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In the last few weeks the Leo Burnett Group has announced partnerships with two major platforms: Amazon and The Huffington Post.

The first is with Amazon – yes, that Amazon. As one of the first agencies to complete Amazon's Trusted Creative Partner Program, Leo Burnett/Arc becomes an official creative agency partner for the platform. This “Trusted” status allows us to create ads that integrate seamlessly into the site and serve up relevant ad experiences to targeted audiences. It’s a highly visible way to showcase our understanding of shoppers and share with them our brands' stories in a creative way.

The Huffington Post and Leo Burnett cooperative promises to transform the relationship between creative agencies and publishers. In a co-op, two parties with similar beliefs come together to achieve a common goal. And in our case, it's that of participation at scale. Acting together, both companies will combine teams, processes and platforms in new ways to help brands participate and drive the cultural conversation.

"Cross-team collaboration, data sharing and, most importantly, creative brand building is at the center of this industry-first model with The Huffington Post," said Rich Stoddart, CEO of Leo Burnett North America. "Together, we'll purposefully infuse our brands into cultural conversations, changing the way people engage with brands."

HumanKind and human behavior are at the center of the way we think and work. And because these things are always in motion, people change and culture is dynamic, it sort of makes sense to always be curious about it. To poke around. To take the occasional time-out and think about it. Humans Being is an exploration that pieces together the story of us. It’s a study of the changing face of humanity in culture and society.

Sharing. There is an enthusiastic and growing stream of people swapping, renting, lending and sharing everything from houses and cars to pets and toys. But in this new world of sharing, do people know how to act and live?

As a cultural navigator for human behavior, we explore the sharing phenomenon in the latest Humans Being. Our recent investigation digs into the truths uncovered during recent research about how and why we share.

A real-world example of sharing close to home is the work LB London’s Hollie Belton is doing with her Books on the Underground. And that’s exactly what it is – books traveling around the London Underground network waiting to be read. Since 2012, it has been a unique way for people to share an amazing book with the world.

We asked Hollie how the idea came about.

“I just love reading. I have about an hour commute to work every day, so reading is a nice escape for me,” said Hollie. “I love getting book recommendations, and I have always loved passing on great books to my friends. On the tube one day I finished the book I was reading and just thought what a lovely surprise it would be for the next person to find. That day I didn’t leave my book, because I realized there were a lot of hurdles to overcome, and also I didn’t want it to be just a book out in the world alone – I wanted it to be part of something bigger. So I designed and printed the Books on the Underground stickers, and that’s how it started.”

“At first I thought I would only leave ‘good’ books. But really, who can judge what’s a good book? Millions of people ride the London Underground every day and we all have different tastes, so who am I to judge what the public wants to read? It’s normally fiction, or aims to be an entertaining read, because at the end of the day Books on the Underground is all about making your journey a bit more interesting than normal.”

Sharing – that’s the big idea behind Hollie’s Underground book-swapping movement. You can learn more about other sharing platforms and how people will and won’t share in the latest Humans Being.

LBsparc, the new in-house retail inspiration lab in Chicago, was created to inspire, educate and activate while elevating our creative product and continuing to affirm our thought leadership at retail. Moving forward, LBsparc will provide a great venue for retail brainstorms, client inspiration and presentation of innovative retail ideas. The lab will spark our thinking and push us to the best creative ideas at retail, bar none.

This summer, a Beirut-based team spent two days at Leo Lab, an intensive, immersive digital and social workshop aimed at boosting employees’ digital media savviness.

With the help of internal and international field experts from Leo Burnett and Holler MENA, the team learned how technological innovations can redefine the way brands connect with people in both the on- and off-line worlds. Drawing from case studies and globally relevant research, the team explored how technology could be applied to the natural cadence of our daily lives in order to make routine activities and behaviors more streamlined, meaningful or entertaining.

The workshop will be rolled out to the entire MENA region by the end of the year.