Advertising pioneers, media and friends gathered for an intimate VIP reception hosted by advertising pioneer, Tom Burrell at Chicago Recording Company studios. The reception was an introduction to the making of a new documentary currently in production celebrating the journey and the people behind the success of Burrell Communications.

Burrell established Burrell Communications in 1971 and led the company through 2004. By recognizing the unique qualities of the African American consumer market, he spearheaded some of the most memorable campaigns in advertising history. From featuring prominent figures and newcomers—Black people felt a sense of pride capturing trends and raising awareness of our creativity throughout American culture.

The PBS documentary, Burrell: Advertising Revolution is an inside look at the genius of Tom Burrell and the creative team who were responsible for classic jingles, hook lines and branding that has created a revolutionary impact on consumer spending today.

“I am looking forward to the film.  What I like most is that it provides an opportunity to highlight contributions of all the people responsible for the success of the agency,” said Tom Burrell.

Burrell Communications Group continues to thrive under the leadership of Co-CEO McGhee Williams Osse and Fay Ferguson along with CCO Lewis Williams building on the agency’s blueprint of excellence. With annual billings exceeding $200 million dollars and a roster of clients which includes Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, General Mills, Toyota, ECS, Namaste and others—it remains one of the leading multi- cultural advertising agencies in the country.

In partnership with award-winning television commercial producers, Daryl Manuel and Phil Lee of Spin Artist Productions, filmmaker Denise Pendleton is a former freelance talent consultant for Burrell Advertising during the 1990’s. During her time at the agency, she booked and negotiated talented services for some of biggest names in entertainment. Having worked at Motown Records for a decade, her wealth of knowledge and the strong relationships she brought to Burrell included work with EnVogue, Cameo, New Edition, Al Jarreau and Vesta among many.

Many in attendance included former Burrell executives; Andrew Bozeman (VP of Creative Services); Sarah Burroughs (VP Director of Marketing Services and Research), Tony Gregory (Art Director), Anna Morris (CEBA award-winning Copywriter), Eugene Morris (Account Supervisor and Media Director), Alvin Hawkins (Sr. Art Director), Bill Mason (CLIO award-winning Director), Don Woodson (CLIO award-winning Art Director) and Michelle Flowers-Welch (VP of Public Relations), currently CEO of Flowers Communications Group.

The documentary is scheduled to air on PBS stations for Black Music Month in June 2018.

PHOTO CREDIT: Parthenia Luke