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Olivier Altmann is awarding golden watches for best advertising campaign

In the year 2010 the 12 best advertising campaigns will be awarded by the prestigious brand BOSS wrist-watches.  They stand for casual elegance in a classical sense, yet adapted to fast and dynamic executive life-style. Innovatively designed watches are suitable to any taste and make a perfect finish to a classy appearance.
 Golden Watch 2010 awards are sponsored by SLOWATCH, the largest watch and jewelers company in Slovenia,


How will you judge the works? What are you looking for in it? What are your criteria for a good campaign? And how would you define a bad campaign?
I will judge the work as always with an open and curious mind looking for fresh unexpected ideas. I will keep in my mind the local aspect of the region but as I am in the international section I will mostly judge it according to my global standard.
A good campaign is a campaign that makes you jealous and happy at the same time. A bad campaign is just the opposite.

Advertising is obviously changing fast lately or as we say, it is under reconstruction. Into what? And how will it look like in the next five (10, 20) years?
If I knew the answer I would be rich… Advertising constantly changes according to the media landscape, people’s needs and behaviour, culture and economy.  It is a discipline that needs "intrinsically" to adapt permanently to fulfill its role at the best. But it is true that it increasingly demands the ability to embrace digital. On the other hand, the whole part of the job remains the same: understanding the client’s business problem, people’s aspirations and psychology and being able to connect the first with the second through entertaining and contagious ideas and messages.
We should remain creatives not technologists. That is what our clients are ready to pay for and that’s the most exciting part of our job.

Why is there so little awarded (creative) advertising seen in everyday life? And why all we see is sales-promotion, no-brand-building, pushy-brainwashing? Or do I have a wrong opinion?
Why are there such ugly houses, bad movies, boring books and shitty products? Because quality demands talented people ready to work harder, it is a rare breed both for clients and advertising agencies. If you have a large amount of money to spend you can still run bad advertising and hope it will work and sometimes it does. But imagine how much more successful it could have been with a better idea, or how much money you could have saved with a contagious idea that people would be happy to talk about voluntary instead of skipping the ad to watch the football game after. We need more good agencies and more smart clients.


Olivier fell in love with advertising at school when his teacher asked him to comment on an ad for a Teflon-coated frying pan. He wrote 17 pages instead of one. Curiously, 32 years later, he’s now working for the French Teflon utensil maker Tefal, but, as worldwide chief creative officer of Publicis. So what happened in between?

In 1987 Olivier set off as an intern at Y&R, before getting his first pay check at FCB. Three months later, he won his first Cannes Lion for Handy Bag (an award easier to win in those days). Then he moved to Australia (the agency, not the country) where he created a breakthrough 90-second television ad that showed nothing but pure silence.

In 1992 he joined BDDP (now TBWA Paris) where he honed his skills, producing award-winning work for BMW, Epson and Caisse d’Epargne, to name just a few.

Six years later BDDP’s founders urged Olivier to start his own agency (with two partners) and that’s how BDDP&Fils was born. This small outfit rapidly earned the reputation of being the best creative agency in France – three years in a row (2000, 2001, 2002), and the sixth worldwide (Gunn Report). It even won the Eurobest Grand Prix in 2001.

That may well be why Olivier was elected President of the French Art Directors Club and became CEO of his agency in 2003.

In 2004, Maurice Levy offered Olivier the role of Co-Chairman & Chief Creative Officer of the network’s flagship agency Publicis Conseil. A year later, Publicis Conseil landed the Eurobest Grand Prix and was voted the second best agency in Europe. In 2008, Publicis Conseil was voted Creative Agency of the Year and Best Advertising Agency, while Olivier was named Creative Director of the Year. And he won that distinction again last year.

November 2009 saw Olivier promoted to the new role of Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Worldwide and he has become a member of the Worldwide Executive Committee.

During his career, Olivier has worked for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Mercedes, Nestlé, Michelin, Club Med, Samsung, Wonderbra, Orange and Renault. He has won numerous awards, including Cannes Gold Lions, Clio Golds, One Show, two Eurobest Grand Prix, D&AD and the French Art Directors Club. He is regularly invited to sit on juries at Cannes, D&AD, the Clios, and has been twice Chairman of the Eurobest Jury.

After 23 years in the business, he’s still in love with advertising.

Portoroz, 02.08.2010

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