Step into the idiosyncratic wonderland of Moon Landing Inc.– leprechauns hanging from the ceiling, mini-golf challenges, walls scribbled with sharpie, warning signs that scream, “Beware of Why Does It, Matter,” the president annoyingly wailing out an impromptu Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – and you might think you skipped the rabbit hole and landed right into the Mad Tea Party. But if you can slow down any of the people-shaped blurs darting through the office long enough to engage them in conversation, you might just understand why this eccentric, yet overly passionate environment is producing some of the most creative and emotionally telling campaigns in the world of PR and marketing today – and why this boutique firm is building a client roster of some of the nation’s most envious brands.
Throughout his career, LeMonds has built a nationally recognized reputation for being a traditional brand and public relations anarchist who instills brands with causes that are worth fighting for. He saw the marketing world for what it was, a world full of marketers who drank corporate kool-aid by the gallons and aimlessly peed out messages like drunken soulless pirates. He founded Moon Landing, (formerly named Caffeine Communications, a nickname given to LeMonds early in his career) an award-winning branding, PR, social media, and employer branding company based out of Milwaukee. By asking if you disappeared from the world tomorrow, what would the world be missing, LeMonds has rallied Moon Landing’s clients’ audiences by waging storytelling battles that begged to be shared. For more than 17 years, the creative company introduced the world to bowling balls and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, to tennis racquets, pizza and hairspray. It went to war on behalf of clients as diverse as healthcare companies to celebrities like Jeff Foxworthy, Dan Patrick and Dr. Laura Berman. It carried the torch on behalf of charities and non-profits that truly made the world a better place. It transformed the Amtrak train into a real-life Polar Express and a train station into the North pole, dropped wrecking balls on jukeboxes on behalf of the YMCA, and had the world’s top culture artists turn Harley gas tanks into galleries of world-class art that attracted thousands of new and younger riders to attend gallery events in NYC and Los Angeles.
LeMonds has become known for breaking a few rules here and there, but it’s hard not to when you truly believe in what your clients are fighting for as he does. And after all, boring always fails.
Prior to founding Moon Landing, LeMonds was the president of Chicago-based Euro RSCG PR, where he quickly captured the city’s attention by attracting big-name clients in a downturn economy, including Sara Lee, Wilson Sporting Goods, Alberto-Culver, Red Lobster, Walgreens, and many others. He introduced the world to the number one all-time selling tennis racquet, and grocery stores to the now famous deli-select meat that was packaged in hard plastic containers with lids. However, he is most proud of that era for leading the cause to remove the unwanted hair off of peoples unwanted areas such as backs by creating a storm of buzz surrounding Nad’s, a natural hair removal product.
The first agency LeMonds led was BVK Public Relations. His tireless entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to quickly establish a public relations business, growing the team from three to more than 20 PR professionals. He attracted clients ranging from Culligan, Huffy sports, Pfizer, Outboard Marine Corporation, Air Jamaica, Sun Country Airlines, Funjet Vacations, Samsonite, Milwaukee Electric Tool and Dale of Norway, just to name a few. While at BVK, his work ranged from getting one client on a Wheaties box to securing other clients appearances on MTV, David Letterman and other major media outlets, attracting more than 250,000 spectators to a Jazz & Blues Festival in Jamaica, and helping a client receive a coveted best new sports product of the year award.
Before leading BVK, LeMonds worked for Padilla Spear Beardsley in Minneapolis, where he helped build its’ consumer marketing division and founded PSB Outdoors, a sports and event marketing practice. He provided services for Norwest Banks, Land’s End, Golf Galaxy, Outdoor Innovations, the LPGA, Arctic Cat, Mr. Coffee and Lifetouch.
LeMonds first cut his branding teeth at Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch where he learned everything about working with passion brands. While there, he received numerous public relations awards including the industry’s top award, the Silver Anvil, for a short list of big-name clients, including Mack Trucks, 3M, National Car Rental, Department 56, Amana, Johnson Worldwide Associates, and Rapala fishing lures.
He began his career as public relations specialist for the high-profile and controversial Education Alternatives, Inc., an industry pioneer in providing school management for profit. While at EAI, he successfully managed highly contentious and critical media interviews with 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dateline, This Week With David Brinkley, CNN, Good Morning America, the Wall Street Journal and a rare opportunity with the entire New York Times’ editorial board. One of the first events he coordinated as a public relations professional was with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at an EAI operated school.