Miami - So, here's Bob Isherwood at the Clio gala dinner in Miami last week, where he received the Clio Lifetime Achievement Award. It wasn't so much a gala dinner as a circus of surprises with food.
Any guest who knew Bob might have expected the unexpected, but who would have guessed that the Ritz Carlton ballroom would be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with fir trees and the floor covered in snow?
A jukebox, loaded with Bob's favourite music, was available for everyone to choose tracks from. During dinner, magicians worked the tables, a contortionist performed impossible manoeuvres and a Bob look-alike living statue sat impassively on stage.
After dinner, the statue left the stage and Bob was introduced by Tony Gulisano, Managing Director of the Clio Awards, as a "living monument".
To the surprise of the guests, Bob came out from behind the curtains dressed and made up like the bronze living statue who had just left the stage. And to Bob's surprise, the whole audience (plus the waiters) were wearing Bob masks.
After touching, personal speeches by Dave Droga, Richard Myers and Kevin Roberts, and a very warm video message from Jim Stengel, P & G's Global Marketing Officer, Bob received his Lifetime Achievement Award.
During his acceptance speech, Bob paid tribute to the people who had been pivotal to his career, and their names appeared, one by one, as if being hand-written by Bob, on screens behind him.
Bob ended his speech with the hope that he would be the first person to win the Lifetime Achievement Award twice, and invited his wife Rhonda and elder daughter Sophie to join him on stage. Bob was then swamped by well-wishers. Which was probably the least surprising part of the whole night.
Kevin Roberts also had this to say about Bob on his blog site at http://krconnect.blogspot.com/2007/05/honoring-bob-isherwood.html
Honoring Bob Isherwood
When I joined Saatchi & Saatchi, I knew I had to have at my side the most inspirational person I could find in this new world of ideas and creativity. That this person was Bob Isherwood turned out to be one of the most amazing strokes of good fortune I've had in my life. Bob is a fantastic creative, a true connector, a great friend and an inspired Worldwide Creative Director for Saatchi & Saatchi. Although he has been in advertising all his life, and is still one of the most modest men I know, there is only one word to capture who he is.
He was a winner when he stepped up to receive the first-ever Golden Lion for Australia at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. He was a winner when he helped found Australia's legendary advertising agency The Campaign Palace. He was a huge winner when he dedicated his passion and commitment to the Award for World Changing Ideas. The list just keeps on growing, but inspiring it all is what I personally value most about Bob - his extraordinary empathy and intuition.
Bob's brain seems to be hot-wired to his heart in some unique way I can't quite figure out. I have seen Bob come up with extraordinary, simple and beautiful ideas and solutions, not once but a hundred times, and each time share them with a generosity and warmth that delights everyone involved.
I am in Miami to join the advertising industry as we honor Bob with the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Clio Awards. What an amazing and inspirational contribution you have made, Bob. Thank you.