As a bartender, Gavin found ad people much like his customers who drank until 3am. They smelt bad, were incoherent most of the time and frequently broke. And that's just the woman. But he liked their stories and the jokes they told. So began his fascination with advertising.
Gavin first started with O&M Direct back 1991 as Junior Art Director cum Visualiser.
After 6 years of licking stamps and stuffing letters into envelopes, he moved to mainstream advertising at Naga DDB in 1998. Two years later, he returned to Ogilvy and was ranked as the No.1 local creative in 2002 and 2003. Gavin won Malaysia's first Gold & Silver One Show Pencil in 2002. Subsequently, he won more awards as Creative Director at Y&R Malaysia and Leo Burnett Kreasindo in Indonesia.
Gavin joined Ogilvy once again in 2005 as Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather Philippines.
"It's like Hotel California, you can check out anytime you want... but you just can't never leave," says Gavin.
As well as driving the quality of the creative output, Gavin was tasked with the role of mentoring local creative teams, ensuring they work towards global standards. Under Gavin's leadership, Ogilvy & Mather Philippines was awarded 2006 Creative Agency of the Year in the 4A's Agency of the Year Awards. The last time Ogilvy Philippines was awarded Creative Agency of the year was back in 1995. In the Philippines 2006/7 Creative Guild Awards, Ogilvy once again were number 1 agency, garnering the most number of Gold - 9
To top his incredible 12 months turnaround, Gavin also won a Gold Cannes Lion for 'Land Rover/Direction' while freelancing for LOWE KL. Just before moving to the Philippines. Coincidentally, ad, was also voted 4th Best Ad in the world by the Gunn Report.
He then took on the role of ECD for Ogilvy Hong Kong in June 2007. Gavin's leadership was instrumental in Ogilvy winning the highly sought-after global account- Shangri-la Hotel and Resorts. Other significant wins include Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway and K11, a property under New World Development Company. During his time, the agency also won a host of awards including the Grand Prix Effie 2008, 4 Golds, 1 Silver & 1 Bronze at Effie's, 1 Silver & Bronze Clio, a Bronze Cannes Lion and a Bronze One Show Pencil. Ogilvy & Mather was Creative Agency of the Year and was ranked No.1 HK Creative Agency by Campaign Brief Asia.
In his free time, Gavin would roam the streets in search of the perfect dim sum.
Now, he is back to his roots as Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Malaysia since 2010.
Under his stewardship, Ogilvy has been producing some of the most memorable and talk about ads in the local scene. Within 6 months, Ogilvy pick up a Bronze Cannes Lion.
At Cannes 2011, Ogilvy KL picks up a Gold, Silver & a Bronze Cannes Lions.
Gavin also lead Ogilvy KL to be awarded Agency Of the Year at Spikes Asia 2011.
The most recent win to come his way was 'Nomination' and a Yellow Pencil at D&AD.
Ogilvy KL has also picked up two of the country's most prized accounts, Malaysia Airlines and BMW. In the 2013 Cannes, Ogilvy KL pick up 2 Silver Lions and 2 Bronze Lions and was the only Malaysian agency to win.
Gavin Simpson made his mark by winning awards and business pitches wherever he went - From Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta to Manila to Hong Kong. With international awards and Business wins under his belt, he has become one of Ogilvy's most consistent leaders.
Gavin has not seen the evening sun since 1991.
Gavin Simpson was recognised as an Industry Influencer on 7th January 2016
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Gavin Simpson has been a Contributor since 7th January 2016.