This is one in a series sharing my admiration for the genius of Leo Burnett, who after years of studying is in my estimation the most creative ad man of the past century.
“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
I picture myself as the young ad guy presenting a piece of work to Mr. Burnett just hoping for his approval. Mr. Burnett possibly looked at the ad and then asked, “When’s the deadline?” Whether it was ‘today’ or sometime later, what I take away are two things: he knew his people, and he encouraged them to aim high. Like they say about professional golfers putting – they generally miss on the high side because if you leave it short, there’s no chance for success.
Leo Burnett (October 21, 1891 – June 7, 1971) was an advertising executive who created the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man, Toucan Sam, Charlie the Tuna, Morris the Cat, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the 7up “Spot”, and Tony the Tiger.
He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.