There’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.
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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?
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.
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 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.
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
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.
We’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.
Sources 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’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
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