Leo Burnett
Overview
 
Leo Burnett was an advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 executive who created the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man
Marlboro Man
The Marlboro Man is a figure used in tobacco advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. In the United States, where the campaign originated, it was used from 1954 to 1999. The Marlboro Man was first conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954. The image involves a rugged cowboy or cowboys, in nature with...

, Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam is the cartoon mascot for Froot Loops breakfast cereal. The character has been featured in advertising since the 1960s. He exhibits the ability to smell out Froot Loops from great distances and invariably locates a concealed bowl of the cereal while intoning, "Follow my nose! It always...

, Charlie the Tuna
Charlie the Tuna
Charlie the Tuna, the cartoon mascot tuna for StarKist Tuna, was created by Tom Rogers of the Leo Burnett Agency after StarKist hired Leo Burnett in 1961. StarKist Tuna is the name of a brand of tuna currently owned by Dongwon Industries....

, Morris the Cat
Morris the Cat
Morris the Cat is the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials. A large orange tabby tom, he is "the world's most finicky cat", and prefers only 9Lives brand, making this preference clear by means of humorously sardonic...

, the Pillsbury Doughboy
Pillsbury Doughboy
Poppin' Fresh, more widely known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising icon and mascot of The Pillsbury Company, appearing in many of their commercials. Many commercials from 1965 until 2004 conclude with a human finger poking the Doughboy's stomach...

, the 7up "Spot", and Tony the Tiger
Tony the Tiger
Tony the Tiger is the advertising cartoon mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal, appearing on its packaging and advertising. More recently, Tony has also become the mascot for Tony's Cinnamon Krunchers and Tiger Power...

.

He was named by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Born in St. Johns, Michigan
St. Johns, Michigan
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,485 people, 2,994 households, and 1,999 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,909.1 per square mile . There were 3,148 housing units at an average density of 802.9 per square mile...

, he studied journalism
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. His first job was as a reporter at the Peoria Journal in Peoria, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, in the United States. It is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007, and is the third-most populated...

.

In 1917, he moved to Detroit, where he went to work for the Cadillac Motor Company as a copywriter  and became advertising manager in 1919.
Quotations

Fun without sell gets nowhere, but sell without fun tends to become obnoxious.

You have come to a place which doesn't tolerate anything but the best. You have come to a place where you can be heard. You have come to a place where you can grow.

I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one.

Quote 38

Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.

Quote 65

Friction makes sparks and sparks start creative conflagrations.

Quote 93

I am often asked how I got into the business. I didn't. The business got into me.

Quote 100

Encyclopedia
Leo Burnett was an advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 executive who created the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man
Marlboro Man
The Marlboro Man is a figure used in tobacco advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. In the United States, where the campaign originated, it was used from 1954 to 1999. The Marlboro Man was first conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954. The image involves a rugged cowboy or cowboys, in nature with...

, Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam is the cartoon mascot for Froot Loops breakfast cereal. The character has been featured in advertising since the 1960s. He exhibits the ability to smell out Froot Loops from great distances and invariably locates a concealed bowl of the cereal while intoning, "Follow my nose! It always...

, Charlie the Tuna
Charlie the Tuna
Charlie the Tuna, the cartoon mascot tuna for StarKist Tuna, was created by Tom Rogers of the Leo Burnett Agency after StarKist hired Leo Burnett in 1961. StarKist Tuna is the name of a brand of tuna currently owned by Dongwon Industries....

, Morris the Cat
Morris the Cat
Morris the Cat is the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials. A large orange tabby tom, he is "the world's most finicky cat", and prefers only 9Lives brand, making this preference clear by means of humorously sardonic...

, the Pillsbury Doughboy
Pillsbury Doughboy
Poppin' Fresh, more widely known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising icon and mascot of The Pillsbury Company, appearing in many of their commercials. Many commercials from 1965 until 2004 conclude with a human finger poking the Doughboy's stomach...

, the 7up "Spot", and Tony the Tiger
Tony the Tiger
Tony the Tiger is the advertising cartoon mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal, appearing on its packaging and advertising. More recently, Tony has also become the mascot for Tony's Cinnamon Krunchers and Tiger Power...

.

He was named by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Biography

Born in St. Johns, Michigan
St. Johns, Michigan
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,485 people, 2,994 households, and 1,999 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,909.1 per square mile . There were 3,148 housing units at an average density of 802.9 per square mile...

, he studied journalism
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

. His first job was as a reporter at the Peoria Journal in Peoria, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, in the United States. It is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007, and is the third-most populated...

.

In 1917, he moved to Detroit, where he went to work for the Cadillac Motor Company as a copywriter  and became advertising manager in 1919. After a marriage to Naomi Geddes in 1918 he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

, where he worked for an advertising agency
Advertising agency
An advertising agency or ad agency is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising for its clients. An ad agency is independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to the effort of selling the client's products or services...

 from 1923–1930. Later, he worked at Homer McKee Advertising in Indianapolis. In 1930 he was hired away from McKee by Erwin Wasey & Company of Chicago to assume the position of vice-president/creative head. Five years later Leo Burnett left Wasey & Company to form his own agency.

Leo Burnett Company

His own firm, the Chicago-based Leo Burnett Company, became the 10th largest advertising agency in the world, the eighth largest in the United States, and one of only a handful of top-ten American agencies not headquartered in New York City. It is best known for major advertising campaigns , grounded in traditional American values, for major American consumer products corporations.

The Jolly Green Giant, Morris the Cat, and Charlie Tuna are all Burnett inventions. And that is only the beginning of the list. The near-unemployed Maytag repairman, the Pillsbury doughboy, Tony the Tiger, and the legendary Marlboro Man are also examples of the Leo Burnett agency's talent for giving a product an image that endears it to the consuming public.

When Burnett first started his business in August 1935 he had one account, a staff of eight, and a bowl of apples on each desk in the reception lobby. The agency's only client was the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, which had formerly been with Leo Burnett's old firm. It had moved over to the fledgling Burnett agency because the management at Minnesota Valley liked Leo Burnett personally. "I want the little guy with dandruff and the rumpled suit," said the president of the company. To reward this display of confidence and loyalty, Burnett created the Jolly Green Giant.

In an industry centered in the fashionable Madison Avenue in New York City, the Chicago company was something of an oddity. Burnett's ads reflected a mid-American homeyness rather than eastern sophistication. The Green Giant and Kellogg campaigns typify this technique. Both have historically been aimed at the emotions of their respective audiences, portraying the products with a large degree of human warmth. Burnett used what he himself called "sodbusting corniness"--language and imagery that drive home a point by conveying a feeling of straightforward honesty.

During the 1950s, his company was able to reflect the American values of strength, tradition, comfort, and family in its advertising campaigns. This won a number of new and profitable clients and secured those accounts already in the Burnett agency. As an example, United Airlines, though possessing a large market share of the passenger air travel business, was feeling the pressure of new carriers. For years United had been associated with the cold stainless steel of its airplanes and began for the first time to worry about its image. When it received the account, Burnett focused on the people who ran the airline rather than on the plane itself. This gave rise to the "Fly the Friendly Skies" campaign. Similarly, the thematic catch phrases of "the best to you each morning" for Kellogg's and "you're in good hands" for Allstate Insurance
Allstate
The Allstate Corporation is the second-largest personal lines insurer in the United States and the largest that is publicly held. The company also has personal lines insurance operations in Canada. Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and was spun off in 1993...

 carry with them a familial warmth and all-American appeal.

Marlboro Man, 1954

The most famous Burnett creation was the Marlboro Man. In his book, On Advertising, David Ogilvy writes that, "Without any doubt, Leo's greatest monument is his campaign for Marlboro."

In the 1950s filtered cigarettes were viewed as unmasculine, and Phillip Morris's filter-tipped Marlboros could never claim more than 1% of the market share. Burnett created a different image for it, a cowboy, exuding masculinity and American heritage. After the campaign's introduction in 1954, Marlboro became and has remained the number one-selling cigarette brand in the world. What was particularly striking was that the message translated so well from television to magazine print and billboard advertising—an absolute necessity after cigarette commercials were banned from network television in the United States in 1970. The Marlboro brand was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame in 1994, due to its "enduring success in the marketplace"

On the strength of its work for Phillip Morris, the Leo Burnett agency expanded to London by purchasing an interest in the firm of Legget Nicholson and Partners. In 1967 the company merged with Detroit-based D.P. Brother & Company, a move that added G.M.'s Oldsmobile to the company's list of accounts.

Continuing and Refining the Burnett Legacy: The 1970s

Leo Burnett died of a massive heart attack while having dinner with his wife Naomi at his home in Lake Zurich Illinois on June 7th, 1971.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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