Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett London : advertising & marketing profile

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Leo Burnett London is the US advertising network's biggest international office, and now one of the UK's leading agencies. It is particularly good at delivering a distinctly British twist to creative work for network clients such as McDonald's or Kellogg. Burnett generally maintains a modest low profile, avoiding controversy or showiness, and the agency has delivered generally sound performance since 2007 on behalf of a comparatively small pool of high-spending but conservative clients. This recent stability followed several years of mercurial performance, exacerbated by management upheavals and a major change of location to West London. Though the management upheaval has continued, the agency has continued to perform well. At the end of 2017 it replaced Saatchi & Saatchi as the main partner for smaller Publicis stablemate Fallon London. In 2018, Leo Burnett and Fallon are set to move back into Central London to offices next door to Saatchi & Saatchi.

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Social Media 16th Oct 2018: "Swiss Stack". Leo Burnett London's latest for McDonald's is a great gag supporting the chain's Great Tastes of the World promotion. In the past these have involved a couple of customers discussing what they are going to order and becoming - like those Geico "bro" ads - progressively more over-the-top American, or whatever the promotion of the month happens to be. That's funny, but this approach is funnier, dropping those transformations in favour of a witty play on the words of the campaign slogan "Sometimes, just a taste is all you need".

Adbrands Social Media 27th Jun 2018: "Bold Move". We're feeling there's more that could have been done with the concept behind Leo Burnett London's latest for McDonald's. The first 20 seconds are just great; a relationship summed up with style and feeling, then capped with a sticky dilemma. What do you do when you unexpectedly run into someone you used to go out with? Order the McDonald's Fiery Buffalo Chicken Wrap, isn't the answer that most readily comes to mind, but it doesn't qualify for bathos humour either. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "The Flat White Mystery". One of the great mysteries of modern life is why coffee connoisseurs make it so easy for other people to make fun of them. Leo Burnett London returns to fertile ground in its latest pisstake of barista culture for McDonald's McCafe. This time, Burnett only throws a glancing punch at the pretentiousness of the culture, and instead skewers the self-important sloganeering. It's just coffee with milk, mate, not rocket science. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: Ads of the Week: "First Time". Take a trip down memory lane with Leo Burnett London's retro campaign for McDonald's to introduce Mac Jr and the Grand Big Mac to the UK in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the original Big Mac. Millennials will be horrified, of course, but we Gen Xers can sigh with... well, perhaps not so much delicious nostalgia, but the sheer embarrassment of it. Did we really dress, and talk and behave like that?!? Dear oh dear oh dear. What a foreign country 1970s Britain looks like to us now. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Jul 2017: Leo Burnett regained a position on the US McDonald's creative roster with the capture of the fast-feeder's $100m global McDelivery account, promoting its partnership with Uber for home delivery. Leo's London office will manage creative for the service, recently launched in the US and UK after several years of successful operation in urban centres in India and the Middle East. After years on the main McDonald's USA account, Leo Burnett lost the business last year to DDB's dedicated We Are Unlimited agency. It continues to lead the main restaurant account in several countries including the UK.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th May 2017: It's comparatively unusual for one ad to be banned or withdrawn in a week, let alone three. In the US, a grotesque Mother's Day spot by DDB Chicago for Mars-owned Skittles, was voluntarily withdrawn after provoking a sizeable backlash in social media for its poor taste.In the UK. McDonald's and Leo Burnett London pulled a rather more heartfelt mother and son spot in which a boy asks his mother about his deceased father, hoping to find similarities between them. In most ways, though, it seems he is completely different, apart from their shared love of the Fillet-O-Fish burger. (And almost no one in their right mind loves that monstrosity). It had attracted considerable comment online for exploiting bereavement for commercial purposes. More dramatic perhaps was the ASA decision to actually ban Grey London's ad campaign for Volvo's Life Paint, a double Cannes Grand Prix winner in 2015. The spray paint makes clothing reflective in car headlights, but the ad suggested that it had a similar effect on the frame of bicycles. In fact, a different product was used on the bike shown in the ad.

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