Want to impress an ad geek? Buy and wear (or gift) this new “Leo Burnett, Ad Legend” t-shirt.
Leo Burnett left an amazing legacy and the agency with his name on the door continues to be a powerful force in the industry.
Significantly for the time, Burnett put women into creative positions of power and let them fight it out with the “boys.” Wisely, he also railed against ageism in advertising. He once wrote a memo to the staff about it, declaring that the business was not the prerogative of the young. Instead, it belonged to those who worked the hardest.
Leo worked hard to see inside the problem. He looked deep inside the product, the company, and the experience that customers had with the company. He believed that every product has “inherent tension.” He believed that the answer to the brief lay within the product itself.
This counters the idea that the creative solution is out there somewhere waiting to be discovered. He believed it’s in here. Inside the product.
I find this comforting because it helps immensely when you know where to look.
Leo Burnett is one of nine ad legends featured in “The Ad Legends: The People, Creative Movements, and Legendary Work That Shaped the Modern Craft of Advertising,” a live workshop by David Burn. The workshop was first presented at Signal Theory in Kansas City and Wichita, on December 11 and 12, 2019. To learn more about how this skill-building workshop can help your team make better work, inquire at [email protected]