Don't expect cannons to be shot off or a bunch of iconic critters (hello Tony the Tiger!) to march down Michigan Avenue, but today is the day Leo Burnett celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Apparently the decision was made not to make a super big deal of this anniversary milestone, in part because agency honchos preferred not to draw too much attention to the fact the agency isn't exactly in the best shape it's ever been. New business wins are down markedly, and though there have been a few wonderful pieces of work from the shop in recent months, no one would say the agency is in top creative form across the boards. But there is always hope. And some great work over the past 75 years to build on.
In any event, to mark this 75th birthday, Burnett will get a visit from the Jessie White Tumblers. Staffers will participate in a Chicago creative quiz game show and get guitar, bass and DJ lessons. And even learn how to decorate a cake. Wow! Each employee also will get $75, and they will be encouraged to "engage with" (i.e. give a monetary gift to) several local and client-related charities that will be at the agency today.
Finally, the day will end with a celebration for all staff at the Field Museum, where Burnett Worldwide CEO Tom Bernardin sits on the board. Still to come on Oct. 2 is the debut of "HumanKind," a book that sets forth Burnett's evolved philosophy of advertising. Think acts, not advertising, and you'll have a sense of what it's all about.
So now it's on to the next 75.