Leo Burnett Worldwide Gathers for GPC in Chicago
Leo Burnett’s Global CCO Liz Taylor led her first Global Product Committee, setting sights on the network’s creative future.
Leo Burnett Worldwide convened at its flagship office in Chicago for the storied Global Product Committee (GPC), a five-day gathering of creative minds from across the network to review and assess recent work coming out of the agency’s global offices. The occasion marked Liz Taylor’s first time leading the GPC as Global CCO, welcoming 11 executives from nine locations to help set the bar for Leo Burnett’s best work.
This year, like every year, the judges represent a wide swath of cultural perspectives, bringing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to the table. Attendees ranged from newcomers to agency veterans, including CCO of Leo Burnett Paris, Franck Rey, who joined Leo Burnett only six weeks ago, and Sompat Trisadikun, CCO of Leo Burnett Thailand, who has participated in nearly two dozen GPCs over the course of his 13-year career here. Other judges include: Ami Alush, CCO Leo Burnett Israel; Anthony Chelvanathan, executive creative director Toronto; Chaka Sobhani, CCO Leo Burnett London; Marcelo Reis, CCO Leo Burnett Tailor Made; Rajdeepak Das, CCO Leo Burnett India; Jason Williams, CCO Leo Burnett Australia; Chris Cancilla, CCO Arc Worldwide; Alisa Wolfson, EVP Head of Design, Leo Burnett Chicago.
During GPC, these creative pros spend five days completely immersed in campaigns and brand stories created for clients around the world, scoring each piece of work with Leo Burnett’s 10-point HumanKind scale.
Rey, referring to himself as ‘the new kid on the block,’ is still discovering what the HumanKind scale means to him:
“I can easily remember the day I saw the amazing ‘Like a Girl’ campaign, and how I felt at the time,” Rey recalled. “I immediately felt a strong empathy. I witnessed true, raw emotion and the immediate power of humanity in communication.”
HumanKind—a bold philosophy unique to Leo Burnett—represents the notion that ads must be centered on meaningful human experiences. In fact, the network strives to create acts not ads, connecting creative ideas with a real-world outcomes.
The acts not ads approach takes “pure persistence and the determination of a village,” according to Chelvanathan. “I’ve always believed great work is hard work.” He recalled an iconic 8 ball-winning campaign from 2017, “IKEA Cook This Page,” which not only changed the way consumers felt about cooking but reminded him of his own personal experience in the kitchen:
“The really special part for me was all those hours spent with my Mom in her kitchen cooking experimenting with different recipes… There were so many lessons I learned from ‘Cook This Page’ that I still use today, the key one being to never give up on anything you’re passionate about.”
Ads receiving a 1 on the scale are considered “destructive” and fail to represent a brand, while a score of 7 showcases an “inspiring idea, beautifully crafted.” The prestigious 8 ball score has potential to change how people think and feel, while a score of 10 holds the power to change the world.
For Trisadikun, ads that deserve an 8 ball are ones that have “challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations.” One of his most memorable 8 ball campaigns was “Panyee FC,” which won the designation in 2011.
“TMB bank launched a new brand vision ‘Make THE Difference’ by making a film to inspire people to start thinking differently, with the hope that they will start to Make THE Difference to their own world. The work was based on a true story of a 1986 football team that lived on a floating village in the south of Thailand called "Koh Panyee.” The kids loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn't let that stop them. They challenged the norm and have become a great inspiration for new generations on the island and all Thai people.”
Like Trisadikun, Alush believes an 8 ball should have “a wide national impact.”
“Good advertising has a role to create change, a change for the better in the minds of people who will have a positive impact on our clients’ business,” said Alush. “Advertising works. When it does good to people, it sure does good to business.”
His most memorable 8 ball came in 2018 for the Alexander Beer campaign, “Gaza Border Beer”:
“We were able to leverage a very complexed political situation for the benefit of the people behind the politics who are the a real victims of the conflict, the farmers… and succeeded in making Alexander Beer, a very small local boutique beer, into one of the most recognized beer brands in Israel to-date, still enjoying business growth since then.”
Campaigns that exemplify HumanKind create real, tangible change in the world, and GPC is our network’s way of internalizing what it takes to make that happen. The Global Product Committee ensures Leo Burnett’s legacy of work as being “Best in the world—bar none.”