Will Burns Bio
College: Hamilton College
Favorite Color: Sky blue
Favorite Book: Trinity, by Leon Uris
Favorite Band: The Beatles
Favorite Movie: American Beauty
Favorite Cocktail: Martini, Plymouth gin, shaken, dry, olives
Favorite Quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” - John Lennon
It's always been about ideas.
Anyone who has worked with me knows that I love nothing more than either coming up with, or witnessing the birth of, a great marketing idea.
Seriously, I get the chills.
So it’s no surprise, I suppose, that I'm channeling my energy and experience into a unique and entrepreneurial endeavor like Ideasicle, where ideas are all we do.
Right now I am the CEO of Ideasicle as well as a Forbes Contributor. But for over 20 formative years before that I criss-crossed the country experiencing the best agencies in the world. I learned as a pup from the creative greats, David Lubars and David Baldwin, at Leonard/Monahan in Providence.
I've witnessed the magic of Jeff Goodby at Goodby Silverstein in San Francisco. I was immersed in the culture of unabashed creativity and attitude of Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, OR. I’ve seen ghosts in the old "mansion" of Mullen in Wenham. I felt the power of an agency startup with Boathouse in Needham. And I won over $1 billion in new business billings as head of business development at Arnold in Boston.
I have had hands on experience with such amazing brands as Microsoft, HP, Titleist, Polaroid, Volvo, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Tyson Chicken, Umbro, Miller High Life, Stanley Tools, AMD, Staples, CVS, New York Times, Warner Music, Constant Contact, Vistaprint, and many more.
All the while meeting what would one day become my team of Ideasicle Experts. All of them worked at one of the agencies I worked at in my past.
Sometimes I talk about stuff.
I have guest-lectured at the College of Communication, Boston University for years and speak at marketing conferences around the country - e.g. American Marketing Association (Dallas), The Magnet Group, In-house Agency Forum, Worldwide Partners, Liberty Mutual's In-House Agency, etc.
My topics range:
Reality Detached: The Science Of Creativity - I love doing this one because it reviews many of the fascinating scientific studies I've come across in my research into creativity. Here's a webinar I did for the In-house Agency Forum (but it's much better in person and I've added to it quite a bit since then):
Don't Just Brand The Channel; Channel The Brand - another fun one built upon a theme I hit on over and over on my Forbes blog, and that is that the best brands all have a singular idea that inspires everything they do. In this talk, I explain the theory, show some great examples of "channeling" the brand and then conduct a live exercise to prove my point.
Increasing The Odds; Pitch Tips - I spent 7 years doing nothing but pitching business at Arnold Worldwide. I learned a thing or two. With this talk - really just for ad agencies - I share all my secrets, all the things you should be thinking about along the arc of a pitch to increase the odds of victory. You can see many of these tips on my Tumblr blog, but it's much better in person because we can put the tips into the context of your unique agency, do detailed Q&A, etc.