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Ogilvy & Mather Marks Centennial of Founder’s Birth with Cannes Celebration

Posted by: Ogilvy & Mather

Date added: Fri 24 Jun 2011

Cannes set to ‘turn red’ in honour of David Ogilvy

Ogilvy & Mather Marks Centennial of Founder’s Birth with Cannes Celebration

To mark the centennial of David Ogilvy’s birth, the agency he founded is holding a special celebration at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

At sunrise on June 23rd, the longest red carpet ever seen in Cannes will be rolled out along the entire length of the Croissette, leading to the steps of the Grand Auditorium, where a giant billboard stating, “On this day, 100 years ago, David was born to inspire,” will commemorate the centenary.  After dark, all the lights along the boulevard will bathe the pavement in red, setting the mood for the agency’s celebration at Le Grand Hotel.

The company kicked off the celebration by challenging Ogilvy employees from around the globe to create a short video on the theme of inspiration to honour David’s lasting influence, with the grand prize to be Ogilvy’s on-the-ground bloggers at the festival www.ogilvy.com/contest “Turning red” and the theme of ‘inspiration’ is carried out through the official website where people are prompted to tweet “What inspires you?” to #do100, turning their Twitter avatar red and adding their message to thousands of others from around the world in a giant David Ogilvy mosaic.

One of the advertising industry’s most famous and lauded figures, David Ogilvy began his business career as a door-to-door salesman of Aga cookers in Scotland.  He founded his agency in 1948 with no clients and a staff of two, building it into an empire that was eventually acquired by WPP in 1989.  His books Ogilvy on Advertising and Confessions of an Advertising Man are among the most influential and widely-read publications concerning the industry.  His famous campaigns for Schweppes, Guinness, Rolls-Royce, among others, remain highly influential, and his legacy led him to be widely known as “The Father of Advertising”, as well as gaining him the honour of a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, said: “To work at a company founded by someone like David Ogilvy is inspiration in itself.  It’s that kind of legacy that pushes you to explore ideas and ways of thinking, and drives you to new and better things.  We wanted to pay our respects to the great man, but also to celebrate just what made him such a pioneer in this industry and how that can inspire people today.  Where better to commemorate his creative legacy than Cannes?”

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