The Chicago Headquarters of Leo Burnett aren’t just the largest single ad agency offices in the world, they’re also among the most musical.
Under the guidance of VP/music director Gabe McDonough, 36, who joined the agency in 2010 after a six-year stint at fellow Chicago ad shop DDB, Leo Burnett has produced more than 100 campaigns in less than two years that have brought millions of dollars in synch revenue to the music industry-not to mention returning a fair amount of residual clout to brands like Sprint, Samsung and Kellogg’s.
As an architect of deals that have included pairing Bud Light Lime with Santigold and Os Mutantes with McDonald’s, not to mention a musician himself (his group the Chicago Stone Lightning Band has an album out on Downtown Records this fall), McDonough understands the dual needs of brands and bands. “I can speak musician-ese,” McDonough says. “I understand the pressure musicians and labels are under, and what those mean from the other side as well.”