Reaching for The High Notes

The holidays are a time for getting together with family, sharing yuletide cheer, filling up on eggnog and, in certain circles, putting the deceased founder of your ad agency in a dress and pretending to sing absurd Christmas carols with him.

That seems to be the new tradition at Leo Burnett. This holiday season, the “Leo Burnett Choir,” apparently featuring many of the talented folks at Burnett’s Toronto office, recorded and sent out a CD called Carolling for Clients. With its humorous ad-related reworkings of the classics Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells and Silent Night, the CD raises the spirits of even the most Scroogeian listener. What’s more, the choir claims to include Leo Burnett himself—an unexpected cameo, given that the legendary Chicago adman has been dead for 32 years. (He’s seen here in a detail from the CD cover.)

The singing is solid, the lyrics occasionally inspired. Silent Meeting, for example, includes the lines: “Silent spot, quiet spot/They say it breaks through. How could it not?/Reminds me of one of those foreign flicks/The creatives are up to their regular tricks/Our faces are filled with doubt/ The consumer’ll figure it out.”

Staffers at Burnett Toronto were wrapping up their holiday vacations last week and were unavailable for comment. Burnett himself may have been rolling in his grave.