Burrell Communications Group
Burrell Communications Group L.L.C. is an American advertising agency. Founded by Chairman Emeritus Thomas (Tom) J. Burrell, and headquartered in Chicago, IL, Burrell Communications is one of the largest multi-cultural marketing firms in the world. Some of the company’s work is part of a collection in the Library of Congress. Burrell Communications is now under the leadership of Co-CEOs Fay Ferguson and McGhee Osse, and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) Lewis Williams.
Burrell Communications was founded in 1971 by Tom Burrell and then Partner, Emmett McBain, and was originally named Burrell McBain. The company was established with the intention of forging an authentic and respectful relationship with the African American consumer, and to tap into how the Black Aesthetic could also appeal to the general market consumer. It was at this time that Tom Burrell coined the phrase, “Black people are not dark-skinned white people.” Recognizing that there existed inherent cultural differences, and the fact that these differences drove patterns of consumption, became a driving force and inspiration for future ad campaigns at Burrell.
1971-73—Burrell McBain quickly establishes itself as a leading shop for niche African American -focused communications. Beginning with the creation of the Black Marlboro Man for Philip Morris, accounts quickly expanded to include marquis brands McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
1974—Emmett McBain leaves the agency, and it is renamed Burrell Advertising
1975-80—Burrell’s business grows steadily, garnering acclaim in particular for their work on The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald's campaigns. The Coca-Cola commercial entitled “Street Song” wins Burrell its first Clio Award. By 1979, Burrell tops $10 Million in billings per annum, making it one of the most successful multi-cultural advertising shops in the United States.
1981-83—Burrell Advertising picks up Martell Cognac and Stroh's accounts. The McDonald's “Double Dutch” Commercial in particular gains national attention and gains a Gold Award at the U.S. Television Commercials Festival. Agency billings climb to $20 Million annually. In order to accommodate increased needs for their Coca-Cola account, Burrell opens a new office in Atlanta, GA.
1984- 86—Burrell Advertising gains the Procter and Gamble account. Their work for Crest Toothpaste becomes the first major packaged goods account to target an African American consumer audience. Burrell agency billings surpass the $50 Million per annum mark.
1991-96-- The agency is renamed Burrell Communications. Alma Hopkins is named CCO, while Sarah Burroughs is named President. Burrell Communications is awarded the Grand Effie by the American Marketing Association for its work on “Who Wants,” a spot created for the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Burrell garners new clients including Nynex, Mobil, Nabisco’s A1 Steak Sauce, Maxwell House Coffee and Sears. Agency billings top a record-breaking $128 Million per annum. Burrell acquires DFA Communications, a general market advertising and direct marketing agency based in New York, adding direct marketing expertise as well as a New York presence.
2000-01—Burrell sells a 49% minority stake to French media giant Publicis Groupe in order to fund its expansion. Burrell Communications gains Toyota, Hewlett-Packard and General Mills as its clients.
2004—Tom Burrell announces his retirement. Fay Ferguson and McGhee Osse purchase the 51% majority stake, becoming Co-CEOs of Burrell Communications.
2010--Burrell launches Threshold Nation, a subsidiary dedicated to marketing toward the multi-ethnic urban male.
2013—Burrell launches Rising Tide, a Tide-sponsored aspirational social network for millenials looking for professional access. The program features hip-hop media mogul, Russell Simmons, sharing his wisdom with the young, professional audience.
2014—Burrell scores a major win the 2013 Toyota Avalon Only The Name Remains campaign, starring Academy-Award nominee Idris Elba. The campaign won a Gold National ADDY Award, an Official Webby Award Honoree, and was listed as the FWA Site of the Day.
|2013||FWA||Site of the Day||Toyota||Toyota.com/OnlyTheName|
|2013||Hugo Television Awards||Audience Choice Award||McDonald's||"All American"|
|2013||Hugo Television Awards||Gold Hugo Award||McDonald's||"New Addition"|
|2013||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Plaque||McDonald's||"All American"|
|2013||Association of National Advertisers||Excellence Award, Digital Category||Procter & Gamble||Tide, "Rising Tide" social campaign|
|2013||NAMIC||Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Award(EMMA)||Comcast||CelebrateBlackTV.com|
|2013||NAMIC||Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Award(EMMA)||Comcast||"Me Times Three"|
|2012||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Fast Food Award||McDonald's||"Step Up To The Mac"|
|2012||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Plaque||Toyota Rav4||“The Journey/Good Day”|
|2012||Hugo Television Awards||Hugo Certificate of Merit Fast Food Award ||McDonald’s||McCafé “A Frosty Affair.”|
|2011||Association of National Advertisers||ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards - Finalist AA Category||Toyota||"Benny, Mark, and the RAV4" campaign|
|2011||Association of National Advertisers||ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards - Finalist AA Category||American Airlines||Black Atlas|
|2011||Hugo Television Awards||"Gold Plaque, Fast Food"||McDonalds||Big Day|
|2011||Hugo Television Awards||Certificate of Merit for Original Music||Ad Council||Park Day|
|2011||Hugo Television Awards||"Certificate of Merit, Automobile Category"||Toyota||Special Feature|
|2011||Advertising Research Foundation||Ogilvy Silver Award, Multicultural Category ||Toyota||"Are You a Venza"|
|2011||Black Enterprise Magazine||Advertising Agency of the Year ||N/A||N/A|
|2011||Hugo Television Awards||Gold Plaque, Fast Food Category ||McDonald's||"Big Day"|
|2011||National Health Information Merit Awards||Consumer Continuity Print Ad and for Overall Engagement Program.||Lilly||Lilly F.A.C.E. Diabetes Engagement Program|
|2010||Association of National Advertisers||Finalists for Campaign with Significant Results||Procter & Gamble||My Black is Beautiful|
|2010||Association of National Advertisers||Finalists for Campaign with Significant Results||McDonald's||Mom's Engagement, Wait, and Happy Meal|
|2010||American Advertising Federation||Mosaic Award for Multiethnic Advertising Campaign ||American Airlines||"BlackAtlas.com: Your Passport to the Black Experience Worldwide"|
|2010||Association of National Advertisers||ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards, African American Category, Grand Prize ||McDonald’s||“Big Day” and Print-“Airplane”|
|2010||Association of National Advertisers||General Market Category ||Tide, Procter & Gamble||“Wicker Basket” and “Towel.”|
|2009||Association of National Advertisers||Honorable Mention||Procter & Gamble||My Black is Beautiful|
|2009||Association of National Advertisers||Campaign with Significant Results||McDonald's||McCafe|
|2009||Advertising Research Foundation||David Ogilvy Award in Automotive Category||Toyota||"If Looks Could Kill" Campaign|
|2009||Association of National Advertisers||ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards: African American Category, Grand Prize ||McDonald’s||"Mom’s Trust"|
|2008||American Advertising Federation||Mosaic Award for Multiethnic Advertising Campaign ||Procter & Gamble Multicultural Development Organization||“ My Black Is Beautiful” Campaign|
|2007||ADCOLOR||Master of Multicultural Marketing Award||N/A||N/A|
|2007||Association of National Advertisers||Multicultural Excellence Award, African American Category||Procter & Gamble||Olay|
|2007||Association of National Advertisers||Finalist in the AA Campaign category.||Verizon||Black History Month|
|2007||American Marketing Association||The Silver Effie ||Allstate||“2006 Your Choice Auto”|
|2007||American Advertising Federation||Mosaic Multicultural Award, Multiethnic Campaign of the Year ||Procter & Gamble||Olay Definity|
|2007||Association of National Advertisers||Multicultural Excellence Award, African American Category ||Procter & Gamble||Olay Campaign|
|2006||Chicago Advertising Federation and the Women’s Ad Club of Chicago||Advertising Woman of the Year, Fay Ferguson|
|2006||Rainbow PUSH||Trail Blazer Award, McGhee Williams Osse|
|2006||Verizon||Verizon Supplier of Excellence Award|
|2006||Southern California Business Development Council||Supplier of the Year|
|2006||American Advertising Federation||Mosaic Multicultural Agency of the Year ||Verizon||"Realize" campaign|
|2006||Association of National Advertisers||Multicultural Excellence Award for Campaign with Significant Results||Verizon||"Realize" campaign|
|2005||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||Multicultural Excellence African American Category||Procter & Gamble||Nostalgia Dad|
|2005||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||Campaign with Significant Results Category||Procter & Gamble||Nostalgia Dad|
|2005||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||Finalist||McDonald's||Baobob 365 Black|
|2005||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||Finalist||McDonald's||Patio|
|2005||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||Finalist||McDonald's||McDonald’s Fruit & Walnut Salad|
|2005||Advertising Women of New York and Working Mothers Magazine||"Fay Ferguson, Co-CEO, as one of five “Trailblazer Moms,” and one of twenty “Advertising Women of the Year,” "|
|2005||Ebony Magazine||"Outstanding Women in Marketing Communications Award, Fay Ferguson"|
|2005||American Advertising Federation (AAF)||"AAF Advertising Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement, Tom Burrell"|
|2004||American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)||O’Toole Multicultural Award Finalist||"Sears, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble"|
|2004||Procter & Gamble Healthcare Advertising Award||People’s Choice Award for Best Ad in Healthcare to Burrell||Procter & Gamble|
|2003||American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)||O’Toole Award Finalist||"Toyota, McDonalds, Sears Adidas"|
|2003||Sears||Partners in Progress Award and Quality Supplier of the Year Award|
|2002||American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)||O’Toole Multicultural Award Winner||"Verizon, Sears, McDonald’s"|
|2001||Association of National Advertisers (ANA)||"Multicultural Excellence Award, General Market Category"||Verizon|
|2000||Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF)||"Award of Excellence, Windy Award competition"||McDonald's||New Math|
|2000||Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF)||"Award of Excellence, Windy Award competition"||Coca-Cola||Five Deadly Women|
|2000||Adweek||Best Spots of 1999||McDonald's||New Math|
|2000||Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)||"Top Gun Award, Tom Burrell"|
|1999||Procter & Gamble||1998/1999 Proven World Class Copy Award for Crest brand “Class Reunion”:30 TV commercial|
|1998||American Association of Advertising Agencies (A.A.A.A.)||"O’Toole Award, for Creative Excellence, Multicultural Marketing to African Americans"||"McDonald’s, Mobil, Sears, Bell Atlantic"|
|1998||Chicago Advertising Federation CAF)||Awarded 1998 Silver Medal Award to Tom Burrell.|
|1997||"Public Relations Society of America, Chicago Chapter."||Skyline Award for McDonald’s Hip-Hop Comedy Jam.|
|1997||Promotions Marketing Association of America (PMMA)||Finalist for Reggie Award||McDonald's||1001 Dalmatians|
|1994||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Hugo||Coca-Cola||3DJs|
|1994||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Plaque||Polaroid||Sinbad and Models|
|1994||Hugo Television Awards||Silver Plaque||Coca-Cola||Sax Man|
|1994||Hugo Television Awards||Certificate of Merit||Coca-Cola||Sax Man|
|1994||Hugo Television Awards||Certificate of Merit||Red Bull||Bull Rider|
|1994||International Animated Film Festival Society||1994 Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Commercial||Coca-Cola||Sax Man|
|1994||American Marketing Association||"Grand Effie for ""Who Wants,"" a PSA for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America"|
|1994||CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education)||"Gold medal for ""The Spelman Campaign: Initiatives for the 90's"""|
|1994||"International Television Association (ITVA), Chicago Chapter, Ninth Annual Philo Award"||"Gold for ""The Spelman Campaign: Initiatives for the 90's"""|
|1994||"International Television Association (ITVA), Chicago Chapter, Ninth Annual Philo Award"||"Bronze for ""The Mac Report,"" McDonald's infomercial"|
|1994||Procter & Gamble 1993 Health Care Sector Advertising Copy Award||Crest||Role Model|
|1993||The New York Festivals 1993 TV & Cinema Advertising Competition||Finalist Certificate||Coca-Cola||I Got Man|
|1993||International Academy of Communications Arts and Sciences||Bronze Questar Award for Tuskegee Airmen Video Documentary|
|1993||"Chicago International Film Festival, TV Commercial Competition"||Silver Plaque||Coca-Cola||American Beauty|
|1993||"Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association, 1993 Outdoor Poster Design Contest"||"First Place, food products category for ""Mickey D's. The Lunch Break Break"""|
|1993||CIPRA Award of Distinction||"Corporate PR for Canadian Mist, ""Mist Behavin'"" "|
|1992||"Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, 41st Annual RAC Awards Competition"||"Kmart, Gold for ""Fashion Show"" radio, Silver Finalist for ""Elevator"" and ""All My Secrets"" radio spots; Silver Finalist for ""Couples"" print "|
|1992||Advertising Excellence Award||"Minority Marketing Brand of the Year from General Foods USA, for Stove Top Stuffing, ""Kim & Leon"""|
|1992||"Chicago International Film Festival, Television Commercial Awards"||Silver Plaque||McDonald's||Grapevine|
|1992||"Chicago International Film Festival, Television Commercial Awards"||Silver Plaque||Coca-Cola||Pippen vs Barkley|
|1992||The New York Festivals; International Print Media Competition||"Bronze Medal for Polaroid campaign ""Sound Insurance,"" ""Thank-A-Gram,"" and ""Family Tree"""|
|1991||International Film & TV Festival of New York||"1990 Silver Medal, the campaign for The Media-Advertising Partnership for a Drug-Free America, ""Pusher's Plea"" and ""Funeral Home"""|
|1990||Windy Award||"Top winner in the National Regional Musical Category for radio spot, ""See the M,"" McDonald's Breakfast Campaign"|
|1990||Eight-Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association||"First Place, Automotive Category"||Ford||The New Escort|
|1988||Liquor Store Magazine||"Off Premise Award, 3rd Place"||Canadian Mist||Mist Behavin|
|1988||Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association||First Place for Excellence in Outdoor Design||Canadian Mist||Mist Behavin'|
|1988||Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association||"First Place for Excellence in Outdoor Design, ""Best of Show"" MARTA, ""Easy Come, Easy Go"""|
|1988||Adwheel Award||"First Place from American Public Transit Association, MARTA, ""MARTA Has Landed"""|
|1988||Grand Prize Overall Print||"American Public Transit Association, MARTA, ""Easy Come, Easy Go"""|
|1988||"Bell Ringer Award, Sara Lee Corporation"||Excellence in Public Relations|
|1987||Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association||"First Place, ""Best of Show"""||Coca-Cola||"Red, White, and You"|
|1987||Eight Sheet Outdoor Advertising Association||First Place in the National Backlight Category||Martell Cognac||I Assume You Drink Martell|
|1987||Chicago International Film Festival||Silver Plaque Award||Coca-Cola||Cherry Coke Word Up|
|1985||Chicago Advertising Club||"Ad Person of the Year, Tom Burrell "|
|1985||Greater Chicago Radio Broadcasters Association||"WINDY Radio Award, Greater Chicago Radio Broadcasters Association, McDonald's Corporation/James Brown"|
|1982||The U.S. Television Commercials Festival||Gold Award||McDonald's||Double Dutch|
|1982||New York Television Festival||Silver Award||McDonald's||Double Dutch|
|1981||Greater Chicago Radio Broadcasters Association||WINDY Radio Award||Coca-Cola||Summertime Fun|
|1979||U.S. Television Commercials Festival||First Place for a Coca-Cola USA commercial|
|1979||U.S. Small Business Administration||Certificate of Nomination for outstanding performance to small business prime contractor|
|1979||Greater Chicago Radio Broadcasters Association||"Radio Award, McDonald's spot"|
|1978||Chicago International Film Festival||Gold Hugo Award||McDonald's||A Famiy Is|
|1978||Clio Award||McDonald's||A Famiy Is|
|1978||U.S. Television Commercials Festival||First Place||McDonald's||A Famiy Is|
|1978||New York Film Festival||Silver Award||McDonald's||A Famiy Is|
|1978||Greater Boston Radio Broadcasters Association||WINDY Radio Award||McDonald's||Big Band|
|1977||New York Film Festival||Silver Award||Coca-Cola||Street Song|
|1977||CLIO Award||Best Director||Coca-Cola||Street Song|
|1975||National Association of Market Developers||Advertising Campaign of the Year||Coca-Cola|
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