In case you haven’t seen it already, there’s a terrifically funny commercial from the Americans for the Arts created by the Leo Burnett agency. Although I don’t think the ad will have much impact on the general cultural consciousness but there’s no escaping the fact that this is one clever and creative spot. By pure chance I sat next to a creative agent from Leo Burnett on one of the longer legs of my international flight a few weeks back (I have no idea if he was involved in the Brahms spot). We started talking about pro bono work and he became very passionate about some of the one off projects his firm has produced in recent years. He also mentioned that although the ads likely have little measureable impact on sales for each respective company, the process (which is fueled by the freedom to take bigger risks) allows the firm to improve the quality of traditional spots and hone their competitive edge. There are numerous lessons to be learned here, just take your pick.