100 Days of Leo Burnett, the Midwestern Master of Mascots DAY 2

Here’s this Sunday’s Leo:

To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas.” — Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett Apple StoryThe Apple Story (from “100 LEO’S — Wit & Wisdom from Leo Burnett“, a collection of 100 quotes from Leo Burnett, one of the Advertising Greats)

Apples have been saying “welcome” to Leo Burnett Company visitors since August 5, 1935. On that hot day in the middle of the Depression, supreme optimist Leo Burnett and eight associates opened the doors of their newly formed advertising agency for the first time. To brighten up the place, the receptionist set out a bowl of apples.

When word got around Chicago that Leo Burnett was serving apples to his visitors, a newspaper columnist cracked, “It won’t be long ’til Leo Burnett is selling apples on the street corner instead of giving them away.” To be fair, the columnist was only echoing what seemed obvious to everyone but Leo Burnett and his band of believers: that it was the height of folly to start and advertising agency in the midst of the Depression.

But what the naysayers didn’t understand was Leo’s unique blend of vision and logic: “When you’re on the economic bottom, then the only way to go is up.” Leo was right. From those beginnings, when the entire staff could sit comfortably around a card table, and three accounts made up the client list, the Leo Burnett Company has grown into one of the world’s largest agencies, billing more than $5.82 billion each year.

Representing the spirit of caring and concern for employees and clients alike, the apples have been on reception desks in Burnett offices every day. The agency still offers them to every visitor, and employees as well. In the last ten years, the Chicago headquarters alone gave away more than 3 million of them. Currently it gives away more than 1,500 each working day. Burnett offices around the world follow the apple tradition, giving visitors and employees ample food for thought.

@LeoBurnett #100Leos #LeoBurnett #MadMenSunday

Continue to Day 3


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