My Most Immortal Ad: Owen Lee
The Immortal Awards juror on a New York Public Library print ad that uses the alphabet as a visual
There are less than three weeks left to enter this year's Immortal Awards and, in the run up to the September 10th entry deadline, our jurors have been taking it in turns to select the ads and campaigns that are most immortal to them, revealing the reasons why they've stayed with them until this day.
Next up is Owen Lee, chief creative officer of FCB Inferno, who dips into the ad library and pulls out a genius print ad from the '60s...
The New York Public Library '26 Tools' (DDB, 1966)
Everyone picks TV ads to be made Immortal. And just well-known ads. But for me, one of the most stunning creative leaps to an idea that inspires the soul, is the 1965 New York Public Library ad written by Monte Gherlter and quite brilliantly art directed by Charlie Piccirillo at DDB.
To leap to the notion that all the emotions, stories, education and learning offered by the entire world of literature comes down to a combination of 26 little marks on a page is extraordinary.
It’s not famous like 1984 or Smash Martians, but to any creative, the leap in this thought is pure beauty. The copy crafts the thought beguilingly and, as with all type only copy-driven ads, spare a thought for the art director – brave, simple, demonstrating one of the hardest lessons to learn – restraint.
The Immortal Awards entry system is closing on September 10th. Every member of Little Black Book is entitled to up to five entries, depending on their membership tier. This year, Bronze members receive two entries, whilst Silver and Gold members get five entries. The full list of rules, including eligibility dates, can be found here. If you’d like to enter the Immortal Awards but you’re not yet a member of LBB, sign up here today. If you’re already a member and would like to increase your number of entries, you can upgrade your membership here.