Thomas L Aiello

Vice President, Account Supervisor—Leo Burnett, USA

I graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1993 with a bachelor's of science degree in engineering management. After West Point, I spent five years serving in the U.S. Army in the armored cavalry where I led groups of 50 or more soldiers. As a Captain, I was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for my accomplishments during real-world deployment to Panama, Korea, and Kuwait. My military training and experiences taught me valuable skills about leadership, project management, and strategic decision making. But the most valuable thing the Army taught me was about people and what makes them tick—this human insight is the core of all good advertising.

In 1998, I transitioned to the corporate world and accepted a position with Leo Burnett in Chicago. I had interviewed with Fortune-500 companies for careers in sales, operations and even manufacturing. When I interviewed with Leo Burnett,the advertising job seemed the best fit for my skills and I was attracted to the strong values and culture of the agency. Working at a major agency like Leo Burnett has many advantages. We have big agency resources with a small agency attitude in terms of our adaptability to move the client's business forward. My first position at Leo Burnett was in the Client Service Department working with the Chicagoland McDonald's account team. I played an integral role in helping Chicago become one of McDonald's top sales regions.

In 1999, I began working on national assignments for McDonald's and was the catalyst in winning new McDonald's business for the agency. After a promotion to account supervisor, I took the lead role on the McDonald's Happy Meal calendar team. I helped develop programs to launch new products such as Mighty Kids Meals and the Kid Dessert Menu.

Although I was learning through experience and Leo Burnett's training program, I felt a need to expand my business skills. I began night school and in early 2002 I

"The Army is a great account because of the diversity of people I get to work with."

finished my MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management evening program with majors in marketing and finance. The undertaking of working full-time and going to business school was tasking, but I was able to directly apply my class work to my job at Leo Burnett. I then moved to the U.S. Army account,where I supervise the ROTC business and all local advertising and field marketing.

Working on an account like the U.S. Army is very rewarding given its importance in a post 9/11 world. Personally, it seemed like my years of military experience, advertising, and business school had come together.

The Army is a great account because of the diversity of people I get to work with. My client partners are Army officers and Department of Defense civilians. They bring a great deal of experience and drive to the business. Our approach on Army is integrated, so I get to work with a diverse cross-functional team spanning creative, planning, media, web, PR, direct mail, sports marketing, and ethnic experts. Coordinating all of these areas into flawless execution is half art, half science, and a lot of hard work. My peers on the Army account created the Army of One integrated campaign. It has helped the Army achieve their recruiting mission over the last two years and won many ad industry awards.

I also do volunteer work for various organizations which help promote the advertising business such as the Ad Council which is a leading producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) since 1942. I am also an ambassador for the Advertising Education Foundation (AEF). The AEF is a not-forprofit organization created and supported by ad agencies to improve the perception and understanding of the social, historical, and economic roles of advertising. As an ambassador I visit students and faculty of various colleges and universities to talk on the advertising process and issues such as global advertising and ethics, gender, and ethnicity in advertising.

The growth in promotional expenditures also reflects the fact that marketers around the world recognize the value and importance of advertising and promotion. Promotional strategies play an important role in the marketing programs of companies as they attempt to communicate with and sell their products to their customers. To understand the roles advertising and promotion play in the marketing process, let us first examine the marketing function.

with a somewhat different answer, since marketing is often viewed in terms of individual activities that constitute the overall marketing process. One popular conception of marketing is that it primarily involves sales. Other perspectives view marketing as consisting of advertising or retailing activities. For some of you, market research, pricing, or product planning may come to mind.

While all these activities are part of marketing, it encompasses more than just these individual elements. The American Marketing Association (AMA), which represents marketing professionals in the United States and Canada, defines marketing as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.3

Effective marketing requires that managers recognize the interdependence of such activities as sales and promotion and how they can be combined to develop a marketing program.

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