Johannes Leonardo ~ co-founded by ex Colenso BBDO Auckland creative Leo Premutico ~ ranked #3 on Ad Age’s 2020 A-List

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Johannes Leonardo ~ co-founded by ex Colenso BBDO Auckland creative Leo Premutico ~ ranked #3 on Ad Age’s 2020 A-List

Independent New York creative agency Johannes Leonardo, co-founded by ex Colenso BBDO creative star Leo Premutico (pictured), has been ranked #3 on Ad Age’s annual A-List for 2020 honoring the forward-thinking leaders, top agencies and creative innovators in the industry today.


Ad Age attributes Johannes Leonardo’s brave ideas and strong revenue growth for its top recognition. Johannes Leonardo’s saw 2019 to be its most successful year yet adding to its 13-year legacy, including winning creative responsibilities for Volkswagen, Kraft-Heinz and Molson Coors, which added to the agency doubling in size and client portfolio.

“It’s especially gratifying to be named to Ad Age’s A-List in celebration of the strong year we had – a pivotal year for our agency since its inception and further proving that creativity has the power to transform businesses, “said co-founders and CCO’s Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico. “We dedicate this recognition to our people who work courageously to make work that works, and to our incredible client partners whose endless support and belief in us makes it all possible.”

Additionally, Johannes Leonardo continued to create effective and courageous work that was supported by its belief in the power of the brand for both its long-standing and more recent partnerships including adidas Performance, MassMutual, EA Sports, GAP, Amazon, the Bezos Family Foundation and Venmo.

The creation of the ‘Drive Something Bigger Than Yourself’ brand platform for Volkswagen helped the iconic auto brand turn the page from the dieselgate scandal while also driving double-digit increases in sales and brand perception improvement to pre-scandal levels. In its second year working with EA Sports to launch its annual NFL Madden video game, Johannes Leonardo’s innovative work led to the best sales year ever for the 32-year-old franchise and was the #3 best-selling toys of the 2019 holiday season. The agency also yielded record lifts with MassMutual’s Live Mutual platform across company awareness, affinity and consideration scores as well as year-over-year growth for adidas Originals for a sixth year in a row, expanding on its partnership globally from its singular NYC office.

Being named to Ad Age’s A-List comes on the heels of Johannes Leonardo being ranked Adweek’s Breakthrough Agency of the Year and Effie’s 2nd Most Effective Independent Agency in North America in 2019.


Johannes Leonardo ~ co-founded by ex Colenso BBDO Auckland creative Leo Premutico ~ ranked #3 on Ad Age’s 2020 A-List

After a string of early career successes, including being named Best Young Creative UK by Campaign Magazine, receiving the Ansett Encouragement Award for Young Creative of the Year and becoming youngest-ever ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Premutico co-founded Johannes Leonardo in November 2007 at just 29 years of age.

Built on the philosophy that the consumer is the new medium, the independent New York-based agency is internationally regarded for creating transformative brand ideas for some of the world’s most influential companies. In 2018, Johannes Leonardo was ranked in the top four of America’s top 10 advertising agencies by Ad Age.

The Australian native and 1999 AWARD School top ten student has twice been featured in Creativity’s 50 Most Influential People and his Tide ‘Talking Stain’ commercial was nominated as one of the top twenty Super Bowl ads of all time. To top it off, Premutico’s work has been recognised at every major international award show including the One Show, D&AD, Cannes Lions and the Clios.

Premutico made his international rep at Saatchi & Saatchi London, where he first teamed up with South African expat Jan Jacobs, still his partner to this day. Premutico had been lured to London from Colenso BBDO, Auckland, where he was their star creative, eventually ranked number two in the region in Campaign Brief Creative Rankings. Before that, Premutico was a young star at APL, Sydney). Their work in London included the NSPCC “Ventriloquist” spot, which was voted the best piece of work by the Saatchi network and became the 7th most awarded TV commercial worldwide in 2005. That year Campaign Magazine voted Premutico the UK’s best young talent.

Prior to London Jacobs’ work helped get Bozell New York to 3rd in the world at Cannes in 2002, as well as AdAge’s Agency of the Year‚ kudos for Ogilvy Johannesburg and TBWA Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg. Premutico was part of the Colenso BBDO Auckland creative department, winning Young Guns Agency of the Year‚ and successive Campaign Brief Agency of the Year titles.