Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Adventures in Nametagging: Leo Burnett Style

You might know Leo Burnett as the worldwide ad agency famous for creating such icons as the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Tony the Tiger.

I know them as my clients and my friends! And we had a fantastic program at their Chicago office yesterday. It all started in the reception area. As I eagerly awaited the arrival of my friend Kerry (pictured), I was cheerfully greeted by several employees. First, two girls walked by and asked, "Hey, aren't you that 'Scott' Guy?" And then a man named Tom asked, "Hey, aren't you The Nametag Guy?"

Yes. Yes I am.

We had a great turnout for the popular "Burnett Fuel Session." Our program focus was to learn how to be that guy in (and out) of the agency.

These were some of the coolest, brightest and friendliest people I've ever worked with. From strategic planners to creative geniuses to PR folk, all areas of the ad world were well represented.

A big part of my corporate workshops is to get the entire audience to wear nametags - at least for a little while! The first exercise is to stick a tag on your chest with your name AND a three word description of who you are. We had some classic monikers such as "The Googling Expert," "Makes Advertising Sane," and my favorite (see to the left) "That Guy Who Always Smiles."

Another activity on the topic of word ownership was to answer the following question: "When clients think of me, this is the first word that pops into their heads."

The exercise is to write that word in big, bold letters on your nametag and proudly wear it for the rest of the day. We had some great examples, like my friend Klista who wrote the word "teeth."

(Check out that beautiful smile and you can see why!)

Another one of my fav's was my friend and fellow Miami Redhawk Jenny, who appropriately wrote "upbeat."

Amen to that! It's not easy being upbeat in the advertising world these days!

The highlight of the workshop was when everyone closed their eyes and I walked around the room shouting out the words from various nametags: Passionate! Intern! Bubbly! Lanky! Dedicated! Organized!

And our favorite of the day...KUTA!

(It's a bit of an inside joke. Guess you had to be there...)

Thanks to all my new friends at Leo Burnett!


Who's your favorite product icon?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag