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Leo Burnett

Local Chicago McDonald’s Owners Hire Cossette as New Agency

Cossette logo20103The McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana have dropped Leo Burnett and named Toronto-based agency Cosette as their new local advertising agency, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The move, which was announced yesterday, shifts the marketing for almost 500 mid-west McDonald’s away from Leo Burnett, who have represented the McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana since the mid-80s.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Cossette and their fresh creative ideas to MOCNI,” said Ed Schmitt Jr., MOCNI co-op president. “They have a clear passion for our business, and a proven track record with our counterparts in Canada.”

Cossette is already McDonald’s lead creative agency in Canada, where they handle national brand and regional owner/operator business. This appointment marks their first U.S. assignment, and the agency will be opening up a Chicago office to handle the new business. The new office will be headed by Alyssa Huggins, a veteran of Cossette’s McDonald’s Canada business in Toronto, and staffed by around 20 people, including both Cossette Canadian team members and local Chicago talent.

Leo Burnett Chicago Explores Studio of Thomas Bloch

Leo Burnett Chicago and music company Sizzer Amsterdam have released a behind-the-scenes documentary on the unusual, ethereal music Thomas Bloch provided for the agency’s recent Re/Max ad, “Dream With Your Eyes Open.”

To create his music Bloch relies on a series of unorthodox instruments, including the glass harmonica, christal baschet, and ondes martenot (most notably played by Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead). Bloch has worked as a musician, composer and producer with artists like Daft Punk, Gorillaz, and Tom Waits. In the mini-documentary Leo Burnett explores Bloch’s studio as Bloch explains the “infinite possibilities” of his instruments. Bloch’s music really brought the surreal “Dream With Your Eyes Open” spot together and the folks at Leo Burnett were clearly fascinated by the collaboration with Bloch and wanted to explore his world further.

“We wanted to create cinematic music with a contemporary, artful feel that would guide the emotional transitions between the gorgeous dream sequence, nightmarish crescendo and ultimately bring the resolution to reality,” said Chris Clark, senior music producer at Leo Burnett.

Stick around for credits and the Re/Max “Dream With Your Eyes Open” spot after the jump. Read more

Leo Burnett Cuts Some Staff

leoburnett1287069279There’s not a whole lot to go on here, but to address the numerous tips we’ve received over the past 36 hours, yes, it’s been confirmed that Leo Burnett has had to make some cuts. From what we’ve told, the agency has had to let go of “less than 2 percent of its US staff” today, which the Leo camp says accounts for “less than 40 people.” There’s no further comment from Leo Burnett as of yet including reasons for the reduction, but we’ll let you know if we hear more.

Leo Burnett Chicago Decorates for Allstate

Allstate Home Decorator

Leo Burnett Chicago (and, we hear, New Zealand digital shop Resn) have created the Holiday Home Decorator for Allstate.

The site lets you enter your home address or use a standard house, and then decorate with a number of items including lights, candles, trees and presents. You can also control the intensity of the snowfall. Depending on your actions, you will be interrupted by a different kind of mayhem, which acts as an extension of a readily recognizable Allstate campaign. If you put up a bunch of lights, for example, you’ll probably get faulty wiring that causes the house to catch on fire. It’s a fun little diversion, and probably the only holiday site that will let you burn your house down. What’s not to like?

Leo Burnett, Special K Trim ‘Fat Talk’ for Women

One of the opening frames in Leo Burnett’s “Fat Talk” spot for Special K tells the viewer that 93% of women engage in fat talk, a form of passive-aggressive self-shaming. Because of Facebook and Twitter, I’m surprised that number isn’t seven percentage points higher.

But during the two-minute spot, women in a nondescript clothing store are forced to confront their own insecurities. Placards of fat talk tweets are posted around the store, and the women realize the self-degradation is bad and start hugging each other. This ad is not a comedy. Instead, it comes off as an incredibly preachy after-school special for adult women. Tackling fat talk is a compelling psychological start for a commercial, but as with a lot of good ideas, the execution winds up muddled into something so safe and vanilla that it’s hard to remember what brand is advertising in the first place. Credits after the jump.

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Figliulo Joins Forces with Team Sprint

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Four months after parting ways with TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, where he was replaced as creative chief by Matt Ian, Mark Figliulo is now collaborating with Team Sprint–Leo Burnett, DigitasLBi and MediaVest– via his new agency, Figliulo & Partners. From what we’ve been told, “Bringing in new partners and ideas who complement an already strong multi-agency team, is both healthy and consistent with the dynamic needs of brands, consumers and the marketplace.” From what sources tell us, Figliulo will continue working out of New York City with a focus on broadcast. During his career, Figliulo, who replaced Gerry Graf at Chiat NY, served as chief creative officer at Y&R Chicago.

Leo Burnett Makes Nifty Use of ‘Skip Ad’ to Symbolize Ex-Offender Struggles

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Leo Burnett Change has launched a new campaign for the charity Business in the Community, highlighting the difficulties and discrimination ex-offenders face on the job market for the “Ban the Box” project. “Ban the Box,” is a project “calling on UK employers to remove the default criminal-record disclosure tick box from job application forms.” To call attention to this issue, Leo Burnett Chance took an innovative and thought-provoking approach to express the prejudice faced by ex-offenders on the job market.

The interactive spot “Second Chance” (after the jump), directed by Dougal Wilson, puts the viewer in the position of an employer interviewing an ex-offender. Just after the potential employee reveals that he was released from prison six months ago, the “skip ad” button appears. But this isn’t to skip through the rest of the video. The employee in this case is the ad. Leo Burnett equates the hasty discrimination many employers apply to ex-offenders interviewing for a job with viewers hastily pressing the “skip ad” button to get to their desired content. This is where the video gets interactive. If the viewer presses the “skip ad” button he or she is brought back to the video, this time with a more dejected, less articulate ex-offender. This can go on for several clicks of the “skip ad” button until the job applicant becomes fully dejected and says “I’m sorry that you didn’t want to listen. I hope you can find time in the future to give an ex-offender like me a second chance.” If the viewer does not press the skip ad button, the ex-offender becomes more confident and articulate as the video progresses, eventually expressing gratitude to the viewer for listening to him.

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Nintendo, Leo Burnett Channel ‘Inception’ in Mario/Luigi Spot

In a spot that brings to mind Christopher Nolan’s Inception, doctors observe and interact with a sleeping Luigi to alter the dream world he resides in while sleeping.

At the beginning of the spot one of the doctors announces that the Nintendo 3DS “Will allow us to view the strange dreams of our friend Luigi.” The doctors probing a sleeping Luigi premise is balanced nicely with gameplay footage, including tiny Luigis forming a hammer and then a ball to battle enemies. At one point a doctor pulls on Luigi’s mustache, which acts as a slingshot for Mario in Luigi’s dream world. The typical Mario franchise charm is in full effect here.

“Sleeping Problems” incorporates gameplay into the spot in an organic way (not always easy to do), while making the game seem like a lot of fun. In fact, this makes me really want a 3DS. This is a problem, mostly because I can’t afford a 3DS any time soon. So thanks for that. Jerks.

Christopher Nolan could not be reached for comment. Credits and “bloopers” video after the jump.  Read more

Lionel Messi Reconfigures a City for Samsung in ‘The Developer’

Question: What would a contemporary soccer-related version of “Les Miserables” look like if we replaced all the singing actors with kids and threw in the craftiest living man in cleats? Answer: This tw0-minute Leo Burnett commercial promoting Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and accompanying smart watch. When Lionel Messi isn’t dominating the pitch or allegedly evading taxes, he’s also rebuilding cities as an urban developer! For the kids!

From a narrative perspective, this spot is about as corny as it gets – I think it will be very tough to top the new pair of Samsung ads that show the progression of pop-culture smart watches over the years and harp on some brilliantly revealed nostalgia. But “The Developer” is enjoyable on a micro level if you don’t think about it too hard, kind of like every James Cameron movie. Messi on his suit and tie. Kids singing a cute version of Lorde’s single “Royals.” There’s even a building demolition scene if you’re into that. And if you’re not, there’s always Messi, on his suit and tie, smiling, playing soccer with kids. Everybody loves that.  Credits after the jump.

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Tony Rogers Out at Leo Burnett

tonyrogersWe’ve received confirmation that Tony Rogers, most recently SVP/creative director at Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett, is no longer with the agency. What we’re hearing is that there were a few cuts made on Sept. 25 and Rogers was one of those affected. During his brief stint at Leo, Rogers worked on a range of accounts from Coca-Cola to Purina. We’ve also been told that Rogers wrote the last two Leo Burnett Breakfast shows. No word yet on what other “top-level employees” were cut last week, but we’ll keep you posted if we find out more.

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