Olivier Altmann is this year’s Golden Drum Advertising Campaign Jury president and, in everyday’s life, he is the Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Worldwide, the organizers of Golden Drum informed.
Asked about the way he will judge the campaigns, Altmann said that will do that 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”, he added.
The future of advertising is an unknown for Altmann, although he says the industry must adapt permanently “to fulfill its role at the best.
“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”, Altmann said.
Asked about why there is so little creative advertising seen in everyday’s life, the first part of his answer was a question: “Why are there such ugly houses, bad movies, boring books and shitty products?” than he explained that “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 Altmann fell in love with advertising at school, when his teacher asked him to comment on an ad for a Teflon-coated frying pan and when he wrote 17 pages instead of one. 32 years later, he is working for the French Teflon utensil maker Tefal, as worldwide chief creative officer of Publicis.
He started his career in 1987, as an intern at Y&R, then he worked for FCB. Soon after, he won his first Cannes Lion for Handy Bag. He sequently changed the agency, going to Australia. In 1992, he joined BDDP (nowadays TBWA Paris) where he worked on accounts such as BMW, Epson or Caisse d’Epargne.
He was elected President of the French Art Directors Club.
In 2004, Maurice Levy recruited him as Co-Chairman & Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Conseil. In November 2009, Altmann was promoted Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Worldwide and also become a member of the Worldwide Executive Committee.