To mark the centennial of David Ogilvy’s birth, the agency he founded held 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 was 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,” commemorated the centenary.
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.
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.”