Leo Burnett’s Global Chief Creative Officer On The New Consumer-Brand Conversation [Cannes]

Mark Tutssel discusses customization, collaboration, and how marketing needs to serve true human needs to be effective.

As head of a global advertising network Mark Tutssel is responsible for the creative bearing of 97 offices around the world, and a reputation cultivated over close to 80 years since the company’s founding. In anticipation of the seminar he will be leading at the Cannes Lions Festival, PSFK reached out to Mark Tutssel for his thoughts on customization, collaboration, and how to foster conversations between consumers and brands.

Mark, you’re back at Cannes. How do you think the industry has changed over the last 12 months?

Before I tell you how the industry has changed, I can tell you one thing that stays the same year-after-year-after-year. Every year, more than ten thousand delegates from the world’s leading ad agencies, marketers and media descend on the south of France for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for one thing – inspiration. People unite from all corners of the globe to inspire and to be inspired. Our industry – the ideas industry – can only maintain its vitality if we continue to put a laser sharp focus on enriching our creative prowess. Cannes provides that inspiration in spades.

What has changed – or more so evolved – in the past 12 months, is the way people engage with brands. The channels in which we communicate with each other have proliferated at unprecedented speeds. We’re connecting across nearly infinite platforms and in novel, unexpected ways. As this massive transformation continues, brands and agencies follow suit.

In Leo Burnett’s 25thedition of Cannes Predictions we’ve identified several trends that have evolved in the past year.

Customization: We’re seeing a greater number of brands delivering unique, personal experiences for people. Carlin Black Label “Be The Coach,” Intel’s “Museum of Me,” and 7-Eleven – Slurpee “Bring Your Own Cup Day,” excelled at creating customized experiences for people shifting the dialogue further toward a collaborative and rewarding two-way conversation.

Theater of the Streets: Technology developments have given brands the power and permission to craft once unimaginable spectacles. We’re now creating dauntless and bold experiences that are woven into urban environments and amplified online. Nike – Jordan’s “The Explosive Game” spectacular, Target’s New York Fashion Week “Little Marina” and Mercedes-Benz “Invisible Drive” were some of this year’s most captivating experiences that spread like wildfire on the global online stage reaching millions more online than in person.

Narrative and Craft Reign in Film: The Guardian’s “Three Little Pigs,” Chipotle’s “Back to the Future,” and Canal+ “The Bear,” all have what some may call the trifecta in film – sharp storytelling, impeccable craft and flawless production.

What recent work at Leo Burnett reflects how the agency is evolving?

With 97 offices around the world, the Leo Burnett network focuses on creating ideas that change human behaviour. A great example of that is the Troy Library “Book Burning Party” in the USA (Leo Burnett Detroit). The reverse psychology of this inspired act changed behaviour on a massive scale and the brilliance of its thinking connected with people in a powerful and highly effective fashion. This breakthrough integrated campaign recently won a Gold Facebook Clio award for its innovation, three Gold Effie Awards and is one of the most awarded big ideas of 2012, winning at every major awards show. I have no doubt it will win a Gold Lion at Cannes this year.

Another big platform idea that captured the imagination of a country is 7-Eleven Slurpee’s “Bring Your Own Cup Day” (Leo Burnett Melbourne).  One of the most successful promotional ideas in 7-Eleven’s history, this created participation in the brand on a unprecedented scale. It also won a Gold Facebook Clio this year and a raft of top awards at every major creative show in the world.

In Europe, the immaculately crafted integrated campaign for Montblanc “The Beauty of a Second,” (Leo Burnett Milan) from Italy is another fine example of the quality and style of work the network is creating. This exquisite idea recently won two prestigious Gold Pencils at the renowned One Show awards in America.

And finally from South America, work for Garbarino, a major consumer electronics store in Argentina. “Back to Garbarino,” (Leo Burnett Argentina) is a highly imaginative and future-facing activation idea that beautifully captures the quality of the innovative thinking emanating from Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Everything we do is rooted in a brand’s human purpose. Marketing that serves true human needs and not the other way around. The consistent theme in our work is big platform ideas with the ability to transform human behaviour and change the way people think, feel and ultimately behave.

You’re giving a talk around turning data into an idea on Tuesday, June 19.  You’re looking at how we take a world that is full of data, decode and distill it into powerful ideas that connect with people and create real value in their lives. Can you explain more?

 Our world is full of data, and it is increasing by the nanosecond. We know more and more, but understand less and less. We’re so saturated with data we cannot see the wood for the trees. Thanks to new sophisticated analytics and rich measurement of human behaviour, we are now truly able to fuse that science with the art of communications and marketing to create insights and inspiration never seen before. This creates a remarkable opportunity for future-facing brands that yearn to play a meaningful and useful role in people’s lives. Data is important, but an idea on the other hand, rooted in real-time insight, is worth its weight in gold.

During our seminar, “Turning DATA into an IDEA” you’ll see how we’re transforming data into human understanding. From evaluation to inspiration. We’ll go from a data era to a digital shadow era. Human understanding is the key that unlocks the door to future-facing creativity. A springboard for imagination. We will talk about using technology to extract real meaning, in real time, in the real world, to find real understanding. Reading in between the lines of what people say to find the true value of brands in their lives. A brand’s human purpose. Inspiring our industry to create ideas that transform behaviour.

Thanks Mark!

Connect with Mark at the event he will be participating in at this year’s festival:

Seminar: Leo Burnett: Turning Data Into An Idea

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

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