17th International Eyes & Awards

​22.10. / Munich

Eyes & Ears Excellence Award 2015

Eyes & Ears of Europe
Michael Conrad

Michael Conrad, President Berlin School ofCreative Leadership, Zürich/Berlin

This year, the Eyes & EarsExcellence Awards goes to the advertising professional Michael Conrad, whose careerhas been marked in an impressive manner by creative achievement andentrepreneurial success: At a young age, Michael Conrad joins the advertisingindustry rather by accident. When he meets Walter Lürzer in 1963, he is quicklyconvinced of Conrad's qualities as a writer and brings him into contact withYoung & Rubicam. After successful years at Y&R, Ogilvy & Mather andTBWA, Michael Conrad together with Walter Lürzer found their first own agencyLürzer, Conrad in 1975. 1978/1978 it was already named 'Agency of the Year' andwas the fastest growing agency in Germany. The legendary, award-winningcampaign for the Fiat Panda with the slogan "Eine tolle Kiste" setnew standards. The campaign was not only creative, but efficient. In 1980,'Lürzer, Conrad' merged with Leo Burnett, and in 1986, Michael Conrad is thefirst German ever to work at the global Agency Leo Burnett in the USA: Here, heis responsible for worldwide accounts such as Malboro. Creative excellence andeconomic success are closely linked here as well. He introduces the creativesystem '7+ to Heaven': A system, where concepts and ideas are rated on a scaleof 1-10. 4 stands for clichés, 9 for a new standard in communications. "Mycentral theme through all this time remained 'the idea', to which at some pointI added the word 'fresh'. Fresh ideas for radio commercials, advertisements,promotions, TV commercials or campaigns", writes Michael Conrad in anarticle in 2009. Under his leadership, the 27 agencies of Leo Burnett are namedAgency of the year at least once, each. At the end of his career, Leo Burnettis the most awarded agency in the world, the Global Agency of the Year. MichaelConrad calls himself a "Salesman Poet". His creative principle is tounderstand people, recognise problems, to demonstrate product benefits and tobe competitive. "Good advertisers are Salesman Poets, they understand themarket, have the best knowledge about the lives of people and can connect bothwith ideas," says Conrad. In 2003, he founded the Berlin School ofCreative Leadership where he teaches his basic principle "CreativeExcellence combined with business success." And it is this combination thatmakes Michael Conrad one of the most successful creatives and a worthy winnerof the Eyes & Ears Excellence Award.