Bindu Nair Maitra
Sep 20, 2010

"HumanKind is like a compass to the future:" Leo Burnett's Mark Tutssel

Bernardin- Tutssel co-authored book Humankind to be launched next month

Tom Bernardin, chairman and CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide, and Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, have co-authored the book- HumanKind, which is set for a formal launch next month. The duo, who were in Singapore ahead of Spikes Asia, spoke to Campaign India about the timing of the book and why HumanKind is so relevant to the state of the advertising industry today.

The book, which centres around Leo Burnett’s philosophy HumanKind, illustrates in detail the work from across Leo Burnett’s 94 odd offices that is witness to the Humankind approach to creative thinking. The essence of HumanKind's philosophy is to put people at the centre of all brand behaviour.

Bernardin says the book is more relevant than ever today, because the duo were excited about where they were as a company, and as an industry.

“HumanKind is a book about putting people at the center of everything that we do, understanding people’s behaviour and our client’s purpose as it relates to people’s behaviour and then using that to inspire creativity. The real thrill of it all is that creativity has the power to transform human behaviour and that’s what this book is all about. It’s a book about what is possible today, all facilitated by technology,” he adds.

Adds Tutssel, “People live their lives in real time. They get things instantly. They want things that are far more responsive to the world that they live in. So, to really keep pace with people and with society, agencies have to change the way they create and develop communication in today’s landscape. Both Tom and I passionately believe in the power of creativity and imagination; that’s our currency.”
Tutssel says there is a simple way to put into perspective, the way the advertising business has changed over the years.

“We were in the creative business before and now we are in the business of creativity and it may all sound like a play of words but actually it’s really where the focus is for our company right now. We are in the business of creativity and we believe it’s the most valuable asset in business today. It is human currency and it’s the human glue that connects brands with people in the most compelling fashion.”

Tutssel adds, “The book is a celebration of a way of thinking, in terms of what we are as a company, the way we connect with people and the way we focus our people on the brands that we have custodianship of. It’s a compass to the future, it’s a new way of thinking, rooted paradoxically,  in an old way of thinking. How do you fundamentally take a relationship between brands and people and amplify/activate it in a new way? How do you use technology to tell a story in a brand new way? That’s because putting people at the heart of what we do, is changing the way we create communication.”

He further adds, “It all comes down to two things: people and behaviour. What we do is change behaviour with brilliant creativity, which is future-facing thinking, Titanium-esque thinking as also thinking that is category defying, one that bucks the status quo.”

HumanKind will see a soft launch in Asia at Spikes, ahead of its formal launch in the west in October, next month.

Campaign India