Leo Burnett has been successfully applying its unique ‘HumanKind’ approach in the process of re-defining the nature of advertising. Highlighting how Leo Burnett puts ‘people’ in the centre of all that it does is Leo Burnett Chairman and Global CEO Tom Bernadin’s book titled ‘Human-Kind’, with Chief Creative Officer Mark Tutssel.
The book talks about the four pillars of the HumanKind philosophy: People, Purpose, Participation and Populism. For Bernadin and Tutssel, these four words are simple in nature, but represent everything that is HumanKind. The book contains several contemporary case studies from within and outside the agency’s portfolio.
Bernadin explained, “It is absolutely critical to understand people’s behaviour and lay that understanding against the human purpose of our clients and their brands. What we look to do through our understanding of people is that we use creativity to transform people’s behaviour towards brands, making them (people) participate and communicate with brands, and that’s how we take our client’s brands to populous culture.”
Apart from the launch of ‘Human-Kind’, the duo from Leo Burnett was occupied with the agency’s Global Product Committee (GPC) – a quarterly practice of evaluating and reviewing all the work produced within the agency. As Bernadin put it, the GPC was a critical part of what Leo Burnett did globally, which helped them keep track of the work that was produced internally.
Commenting on Leo Burnett’s progress globally, Bernadin said, “We grew fairly well in 2008, and in 2009, we grew by 5 per cent when the industry was down by double-digits.” He attributed this growth to the agency’s clients, who managed to remain stable and continued advertising in that period. “We also did not lose any business in the recession anywhere in our network, plus we added a few more businesses, which enabled us to grow reasonably well during the downturn,” he further said.
When asked how the year 2010 had been so far for Leo Burnett, Bernadin replied, “In 2010, partially because of the success and the foundation we laid in 2008-09, we got strong growth. By the end of September, we registered a growth rate of more than 8 per cent. So, we are on track of finishing the year on a good note. Of course, all that growth comes from the growth of our creative reputation. We look for talent that could produce creativity to change human behavior.”
On the progress made by Leo Burnett India, he said that the agency had done extremely well in the past couple of years under the leadership of Arvind Sharma. “This year we have grown over 30 per cent. India traditionally brings double-digit growth, so it’s no different in our case. India continues to contribute a good part to our network’s overall revenues,” Bernadin concluded.