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Leo Burnett

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.

McGlothin, Leo Burnett Part Ways

shannonleoSources familiar with the matter confirm that Shannon McGlothin, who last we recall served as EVP/global executive creative director at Leo Burnett, is no longer with the agency. No word on where McGlothin is headed to or reasons for departure, but if our memory serves us right, the creative exec last worked on this Samsung Galaxy spot. You might remember that McGlothin joined Leo’s L.A. office to head up its creative department after working at the likes of Deutsch LA and CP+B. He was also a member of Leo Burnett’s worldwide creative board. No word yet if there are plans to replace, but we’ll keep you posted.

Leo Burnett Crafts Well-Produced Head-Scratcher for Samung’s Galaxy Note 3

Leo Burnett’s “Design Your Life” campaign for the new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear, which the agency hopes to present as “vehicles of inspiration,” kicks off with the 2:51 length “Sweet Dreams.”

“Sweet Dreams” tells the story of a young woman who wants to save her grandfather’s failing toy shop. The ad follows the woman around as she utilizes six of the phone’s distinct features, all leading to a puppet performance that presumably will help revive the shop (somehow). While “Sweet Dreams,” directed by music video veteran Paul Hunter, sets the bar very high in terms of production, direction and cinematography — Samsung and Leo Burnett go as far as to call it a “digital short film” (a bit self-congratulatory if you ask me) — the writing and overall concept are a bit of a head-scratcher. Why isn’t anyone going to the toy store, it looks awesome? Is the puppet show really going to help? The store is closed at the time of performance and the stage seems to be blocking any view of the store itself.

If you can put aside the strange and poorly realized premise, the stylization works well, and Leo Burnett does a good job of showing the phone’s features in action. Plus, what’s not to love about dancing puppets? (Although the “puppets” in question were actually real dancers converted to CGI, rather than actual marionettes.) Whether or not it works as a story (or “digital short film”), “Sweet Dreams” does a good job of showcasing Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear. A promising start to the campaign, hopefully next time Leo Burnett can pull off a better realized concept to fulfill the potential of their impressive production.  Read more

Leo Burnett, hhgregg Go On Date from Hell

hhgregg is a rapidly growing, publicly owned and operated consumer electronics and home appliances retailer headquartered in Indiana specializing in high end TVs and appliances.

For their latest TV spot, Leo Burnett came up with a nightmarish date scenario in which a TV-obsessed tech geek (possibly an hhgregg employee), who bears a slight resemblance to a young Mario Batali, can’t stop talking about “light and illuminating pixels” and “variable refresh rates” while on a paddle boat ride with his date. The extremely bored date sits, paddling with her feet while holding a rose from TV-Obsessed Tech Geek. The poor woman stares off, bored out of her mind, as her date drivels on, “Of course, you wouldn’t know that unless you read the blogs I read.” Then we cut to an hh gregg salesman who says, “Talking about TVs doesn’t make you sound smart, it makes you sound lonely,” perfectly followed by the tagline, “hhgregg knows TVs, so you don’t have to.”

The ad is effective not just because it dovetails so well with the tagline, but because it presents such a humorous real-life situation that everyone can relate to. Ladies, I’m sure you’ve been there: stuck with some dude yammering on about some techie drivel without letting you sneak in a word of conversation, completely oblivious to your boredom. And I’m sure that tech-obsessed guys have felt at times a bit too much like the guy in this spot. Maybe this spot will raise some self-awareness. An advertisement that may open up some eyes and improve first date behavior? I’d say that’s a pubic service.

Chavez Steps Up to CCO Role at Leo Detroit

It appears to be more of a formality than anything as we’ve been told that Steve Chavez was already leading creative at Leo Burnett’s Detroit branch. Anyhow, now we’ve received confirmation that the creative exec has been elevated to the newly created position of chief creative officer at the agency. Chavez, who has been with Leo’s Motor City branch for three years, most recently served as ECD on the Chevy Silverado relaunch campaign and has overseen global work for the agency on its overall General Motors business.

Prior to Leo, Chavez spent five years as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA and has also held senior creative positions at the likes of Ogilvy and Doner. Leo Burnett did a Q+A of sorts with its new Detroit CCO, which you can read here.

Leo Burnett Nabs More GM Work

Well, it appears that Leo Burnett is doing something right as of late in General Motors’ eyes as the automotive giant has given more work to the agency according to those in the know. As you may recall, Leo took over for Commonwealth on the Chevy Silverado duties last December, though the latter agency did produce the recent “Strong” spot for GM’s truck brand before the parting of ways (Update: We should clarify that Commonwealth actually created the Silverado launch spot even after the shift to Leo, which will now handle future work). Anyhow, sources familiar with the matter tell us that Leo Burnett has now taken on AOR responsibilities for three more GM units including Fleet and Commercial Operations, Certified Pre-Owned, and Remarketing.

From what we’ve been told, Leo, which has actually had ties to GM for over 45 years, will oversee brand strategy, digital marketing and creative initiatives for the aforementioned brands, with work for all three being led out of the agency’s Detroit office.

Leo Burnett Wins TruthBrief with Artistic Flourish

In writing, Leo Burnett’s winning entry for the 4A’s TruthBrief Competition almost sounds like a Sporcle quiz: advertisements stripped of logos were turned into artwork.Visually, the Leo Burnett submission – titled “4 Le Communique Art Show” – was meant to show that advertising and art don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The agency produced an art show at a college campus with the logoless works of art. Although you can’t clearly see the the art in the video above (I’m not sure why), the concept still lends itself to thoughtful debate about the relationship between commercialism, creativity, and art.

The competition called for entries that could “improve advertising’s image and attract a new generation of talent into the advertising business.” Considering it’s generally accepted that a majority of ads are boring and/or terrible, the competition seems like a worthy endeavor. As for Leo Burnett, now that the art is over, the agency can go back to handling it’s mega-commercial clients like McDonald’s, The Coca-Cola Company, and Kellogg’s.

Lord Stanley Never Could Have Envisioned ‘The Smackley Cup’

Usually, city rivalries related to sporting match-ups involve wacky wagers from politicians. The mayor of City X wants 100 pounds of cheese from the governor of City Y if City X wins the Super Bowl. But for the 2013 Stanley Cup between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks, the wacky wagers are getting social and, well, smack-talky. The folks over at Arnold Boston and Leo Burnett in Chicago are using the Stanley Cup to launch their own trash-talking competition for charity: The Smackley Cup. Agency employees and random fans from all over are encouraged to tweet using #smacktalkboston or #smacktalkchicago. Once the series concludes, the agency supporting the loser of the Stanley Cup will have to donate 10 cents per tweet and retweet to a charity AND wear the opposing team’s sweater in the office the following day. That sort of masochism always makes for fun water cooler talk.

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