Enterprise Marketing & Promotions Management

When to Take My Name Off the Door

By / June 2017


Many years ago, when I first entered the Marketing and Advertising field, I was fortunate to have a mentor by the name of Bob Lundin. I learned quite a bit from Bob, but without question the most important lesson I learned from him was the importance of understanding the “history of my craft”. Without understanding where it has been, it will be difficult to take it to where it needs to go he would say.  And so, at his urging, I immersed myself into the lives and work of iconic figures such as Theodore MacManus, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, Mary Wells Lawrence, Rosser Reeves and Albert Lasker. But no one had a greater impact on me than the legendary Leo Burnett.

Burnett started out early in his career working for Cadillac and under the great Theodore MacManus. It was MacManus who penned the classic “Penalty of Leadership” ad. Many marketers, including myself, have a copy of this ad hanging in their offices even today. You may not have heard of Leo, but you are certainly familiar with his work – All State Good Hands, Marlboro Man, Tony the Tiger, the Jolly Green Giant, Morris the cat, the Keebler elves, and the Friendly Skies of United Airlines. Despite all the great work, it was a speech given by Leo in 1967 that really moved me. It was about advertising, and so much more. The clip is about 9 minutes long, but I can assure you it is worth every second of your time. And to understand his comments about apples, click here.

Whenever I see this clip I am reminded of two good friends who also appear as guest contributors in this newsletter from time to time. One is Ron Lunde, with whom I worked to launch a loyalty card program at Price Chopper way back in the late 80’s. Ron worked at Burnett and is heavily invested in everything Leo. The second is Ted Rubin. Ted is recognized as a true rockstar in the world of social and relationship marketing. A reputation well deserved I might add.  But what sets Ted apart is his understanding that despite all the new media and platforms available, the core principles of good communication remain even today. They both get what Leo advised 50 years ago.

And, oh yeah, Leo’s name is still on the door!

Contributed by Dave Henry, Board Member at Aptaris and Senior Marketing & Advertising Executive. Dave has over 40 years creating successful brands that customers love and companies depend upon. Nationally recognized for building the businesses of several large grocery retail chains, his career includes SVP of Marketing for Winn-Dixie and senior executive at Price Chopper Supermarkets and Star Markets division of Jewel Companies. He has been a leader at organizations such as the Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association. Currently Dave also serves on the Boards of the Florida Theatre, SparkShoppe, Origin Marketing and Vioby Media. He also conducts ad agency reviews for companies. You can follow Dave on Twitter at: @d_f_henry or via LinkedIn: Dave Henry.


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