“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
About Leo Burnett
Leo Burnett (October 21, 1891 – June 7, 1971) was an American advertising executive and the founder of Leo Burnett Company, Inc.. He was responsible for creating some of advertising’s most well-known characters and campaigns of the 20th century, including Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Tuna, the Marlboro Man, the Maytag Repairman, United’s “Fly the Friendly Skies,” Allstate’s “Good Hands,” and for garnering relationships with multinational clients such as McDonald’s, Hallmark and Coca-Cola. In 1999, Burnett was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Leo Burnett was born in St. Johns, Michigan, on October 21, 1891 to Noble and Rose Clark Burnett. Noble ran a dry goods store and as a young man, Burnett worked with his father, watching Noble as he designed ads for the business. After high school, Leo went on to study journalism at the University of Michigan and received his bachelor’s degree in 1914.
In 1935, Leo founded the Leo Burnett Company, Inc. in a suite at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago. Soon after, the operation moved to the 18th floor of the London Guarantee Building. Today, the agency has 9,000+ employees in over 85 offices globally.
In December 1967, nearing the end of his career, Leo Burnett delivered his famous “When To Take My Name Off The Door” speech at the agency’s annual holiday gathering.
On June 7, 1971, Leo Burnett went to his agency, pledging to his colleagues to cut back to working only three days per week due to some health problems. That evening, at the age of 79, he died of a heart attack at his family farm in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
Leo Burnett used dramatic realism in his advertising, the Soft sell approach to build brand equity.
Leo Burnett was known for keeping a folder in the lower left-hand corner of his desk called “Corny Language”. He collected words, phrases, and analogies that struck him as being particularly apt in expressing an idea. This was not meant by maxims, gags, or slang, but words, phrases and analogies which convey a feeling of honesty and that drive home a clear point.
(Source – Wikipedia)