100 Days of Leo Burnett, the Midwestern Master of Mascots DAY 42
Here’s today’s Leo:
“If you have the facts on your side and honest conviction in your heart, your rarely lose by fighting for your idea all the way.” — Leo Burnett
In The Art of Writing Advertising | Conversations with Masters of the Craft, AdAge Interviewer Denis Higgins talks to Leo Burnett:
Q: I have just one quick question for you. And that is: David Ogilvy says that he heard — we were talking about using vernacular and expressions like “Winston tastes good ‘like’ a cigarette should” and all that — he said that you are alleged to have a little box in your desk or on your desk, and when you run across a new figure of speech or an expression that strikes you as smart or unusual or off-beat, you write it down…
A: I have a great big folder — and it’s getting bigger all the time — in the lower left-hand corner of my desk. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, ever since I started the agency, and I call it “Corny Language.” Whenever I hear a phrase in conversation or any place which strikes me as being particularly apt in expressing an idea or bringing it to life or accentuating the smell of it, the looks of it or anything else — or expressing any kind of an idea — I scribble it down and stick it in there.
Then about three or four times a year, I run through there and throw a lot of stuff out and pick out things which seem to me to apply to some of the work that is going on in the shop and write a memo about it. So my ear is always tuned for putting usual things in unusual relationships that get attention and aptly express an idea. I call this Corny Language, and I have always done that.
I also have another file which is a bulging one — Ads Worth Saving — which I’ve had for some 25 years. So I go through them…