- I have led over 100 pitches as CEO, New Business Director and Chief Creative Officer at several of the region's most successful advertising agencies.
- Agency pitch teams that I have helped manage have won more than $200 million in assignments from clients like AAA, ADM, Boston Market, Century Link (formerly Qwest) the Denver Post and DEX, Red Robin, Western Union, and Xcel Energy, with accounts ranging in size from $1 million-$35 million in billings.
- I have written pitch books, overseen the creation of leave behinds and presentation materials, and lead the pitch team through practice sessions to final presentations.
- I have created and overseen two prospect marketing programs, the first to a list of 600 marketing directors and VPs in the Western United States, the second to a list of 6,000 contacts nationwide.
- I have acted as coach and cheerleader on best presentation practices to my company's pitch teams.
- I have utilized a combination of inbound and outbound marketing techniques, including 3D and traditional direct mail, cold calling, a blog and an email newsletter.
- I have written and overseen the production of videos, collateral, websites, blogs, television and radio commercials, as well as PowerPoint and Keynote presentations.
- I have created and overseen advertising, marketing, naming, branding, and research campaigns for a diverse set of regional and national clients (see second bullet above).
- I have led agency creative/production departments of 25 and 50 people, and built a 15-person dedicated in-house marketing group.
- As a creative director, I have won 500+ advertising awards from the Clios, Cannes Advertising Festival, New York One Show, Andys, Effies, CA and the Denver Ad Show.
Dec 2002 - Sep 2014
PILGRIM Advertising (formerly CCT)
As Director of New Business, I oversaw our pitch team, and won over $50 million in assignments from Boston Market, Heinz, Western Union, CollegeInvest Colorado, Connect for Health Colorado, the Wildlife Council, and the United Way. As CEO, I set the strategic direction for our business, was responsible for overseeing the development of a $13 million annual budget, and helped oversee the marketing planning, research, and creative for my clients' marketing campaigns.
1995 - 2002
EVP/Chief Creative Officer
McClain Finlon Advertising
As 1 of 3 people on the executive leadership team, I helped oversee an agency pitch team that won over $130 million in assignments from Century Link (formerly Qwest), Western Union, DEX, Red Robin, Xcel Energy, Vail Resorts, Johns Manville, the Denver Post and other clients. In addition, I set the vision for the agency, and helping lead the business planning process. During this time, the agency grew from a 23-person creative boutique into a 150-person full-service advertising agency. As agency CCO, I helped develop communications programs, and oversaw the agency's 50-person creative department in the development and production of all television, print, direct mail, collateral and online advertising campaigns.
Oct 2014 - Feb 2016
I lead an advertising and brand consultancy dedicated to helping non-profits navigate the changing communications landscape, and inspire greater generosity for their causes. We link talented creative and account people from the region's premier ad agencies with worthy non-profit organizations. Most recently, our team helped the Denver Foundation develop Close to Home, a new branding and advertising campaign to raise awareness for the causes and solutions for homelessness in Colorado.
1993 - 1995
EVP/Executive Creative Director
As a member of the executive leadership team, I helped the agency win $20 million in assignments from regional and national clients. I also created a new vision for the agency, and developed marketing programs for Pizza Hut, Midas, Total Petroleum, Sports Authority, and the Colorado Rockies, while managing a 25-person creative/production department.
"What's great about working with Tom is the opportunity to collaborate with a terrific strategic thinker who has a creative heart. Tom has a wonderful way of finding the opportunity that exists in divinely messy business problems and bringing simplicity to the solution. "
CEO, McClain Finlon Advertising
"To have Tom in your corner is a guarantee of success. Tom is sharp, creative, experienced and will do what it takes to effectively get your message out and achieve your goals."
Myung Oak Kim
Fmr Chief Marketing Officer
Connect for Health Colorado
"Tom Leydon is not only one of the best advertising minds in Denver, he is one of the most outstanding people you will ever meet."
Founder/President Cactus Advertising
"Tom is strategic, smart and one of the best at solving creative problems and turning them into opportunities. You would be fortunate to have him on your team. I would want him to work on my brand."
President, Karsh-Hagan Advertising
"Tom Leydon is smart, patient, a wonderful strategist, and not afraid to push back when he feels strongly about a direction. We worked together on a very complex rebranding effort that required an added amount of political savvy. It was a true partnership; And such a nice, nice person."
Fmr Vice President Marketing
Mile Hi United Way
View my online portfolio at http://bit.ly/24mOM9S
For large-scale pitches I commissioned an annual custom template with standard page designs, which I re-used on pitches throughout the year.
To keep our proposals fresh, I also modified the template so we could change out the cover for each pitch.
Often with the help of a designer, I have created custom pitch books.
Sometimes I have customized proposals to match the visual identity of the client we are pitching.
Another example of a custom designed RFP
Some clients have allowed us to send proposals by email, so I have created several templates that will work in this format.
Often a prospect was concerned about signing a long term contract. So I would sometimes develop 3-5 year campaign roadmap to demonstrate the extended impact we could make if our prospect committed to a multi-year course of action.
With the help of a consultant from Accenture, I developed a research platform to test campaign and brand messaging using consumer panel discussions. I have conducted the research and written complete research reports for an array of prospects and clients, and I have on occasion done this whole research report to help us win a new business pitch.
Writing marketing plans for clients was a great way to ensure my agency got more work from my prospects. Here's an example of one I wrote for Connect for Health Colorado that led to several million in additional fees for the agency.
The Wildlife Council asked my team to develop a public information campaign to inform an urban public about the important role hunters and anglers play in wildlife management. We chose to avoid the tension and controversy of gun rights vs. gun control and focus instead on the gratitude non-hunters told us they feel once they understand how much of our wildlife management fees are paid for by hunting licensing fees. I also acted as creative director on this project.
For more examples of other digital, social and mass media advertising my agency has created, click on the blue link titled Advertising Samples.
I have overseen dozens of rebranding projects for clients. In this example, The Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation asked my agency to rebrand their disparate program names, which included 7 different properties including a hospital, community pet sterilization program, home outreach program, veterinary care grants , under one umbrella brand. We developed the name PetAid Colorado. To see the brand standards book we created, click on the blue link titled Brand Identity Book.
My team and I have shot a variety of digital videos for our non-profit clients. Here is an example I did recently for the Denver Foundation's Close to Home project. The goal was to show that there are lots of causes of homelessness besides mental illness, alcoholism, and laziness. A total of 6 video interviews I did appear on the Close to Home website. To play the video, click on the blue link titled Online Video.
My agency has overseen the design and development of websites for CollegeInvest, Boston Market, United Way, and a variety of other clients.
Bachelor of Arts, English
St. John's University
Editor, campus literary magazine; writer campus newspaper; member, Forum Debate Society; maintained a 3.75 GPA my final 3 years.