Real Life 'Mad Men' Set Record Straight About Advertising Industry

'Mad Men' is one of the hottest shows on TV. A couple of "real life Mad Men" are setting the record straight about the advertising industry. While the show takes place in the 1960s, there are elements that are timeless.

"Great ideas have traveled with the times," says Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer of advertising giant Leo Burnett Worldwide. "Iconic brands transcend times."

Leo Burnett is a large Chicago-based advertising agency that was founded in 1935. Today, the company boasts clients including McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, and Kellogg's. The global company has presence in places from Kuala Lumpur to Cairo.

Advertising today

What has changed in advertising since the 'Mad Men' days is communication and putting people at the center of the message. "We know that if we understand people and their behavior, we can use that knowledge coupled with the human purpose of a brand or product, use creativity and transform human behavior," Tom Bernardin, chairman and CEO tells AOL Jobs. "That's where the thrill is."

In the new book 'Humankind,' Bernardin and Tutssel have let readers into a little of the secrets that led to Leo Burnett's success. With one campaign, Earth Hour, the agency convinced 1 billion people around the world to shut off lights for one hour.

Tutssel says they don't have a "God-given" right to people's attention, so advertising has to earn its way with a relevant message.

Want to work in advertising?

While unemployment is still pretty stagnant, Leo Burnett is a growing company.

"I tell you we're after talent," Bernardin says. "It's all about creativity, and we would like to have an unfair share of the best creative talent in the industry."

It's OK if you don't have a lifetime of experience in advertising. In fact, it may be better if you don't.

"We get people from all walks of life from all backgrounds and disciplines -- and that's what enriches us in our power to transform human behavior," Bernardin says.

-- Find Leo Burnett Jobs

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