Advertising Icon George Lois to receive 2013 CLIO Lifetime Achievement Award
“George Lois is a legend among the pantheon of advertising greats and there is no one more worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Nicole Purcell, executive director, CLIO Awards. “He is the genuine living, breathing example of what the CLIO Awards strive to recognize: groundbreaking work, limitless creativity and the courage to always be asking, ‘What’s next?’
Considered America’s “master communicator” and one of the most prolific advertising communicators of the last half century, Lois is credited as the pioneer of the Creative Revolution in the U.S. advertising industry in the 1960s – a time that changed the world of communications forever and brought a new young breed of advertising that had style, energy and a sense of humor.
Among Lois’ most significant contributions to this era and to American culture were the 92 covers he produced for Esquire Magazine, 38 of which are now housed as a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. His controversial cover art— exhibiting Andy Warhol drowning in a can of Campbell’s soup, Muhammad Ali posed martyr-like as St. Sebastian, Nixon in lipstick and Sonny Liston, the heavyweight boxer convicted of armed robbery, posed as a black Santa Claus at a time when racial tensions gripped the nation — were iconic, bold and a true inspiration to generations of art designers.
Lois is renowned for delivering revolutionary ideas that have changed the entire direction of companies and the way America sees them. He ignited Tommy Hilfiger’s career with a single billboard; breathed life into a failing cable network with his famous “I Want My MTV” slogan; made Xerox a household name in two days by partnering with a chimpanzee; persuaded America to change their oil at Jiffy Lube stations; and lead the winning ad campaigns for four U.S. senators, including Robert F. Kennedy.
Lois incited a seismic shift within advertising when he channeled the 1960s counterculture movement into a new wave of creativity that Madison Avenue hadn’t experienced. This shift, Lois maintains, was only possible through a knowledge and respect for the past work of such influences such as Paul Rand, one of the foremost American graphic designers of the 20th century. This respect continues to drive Lois today, exemplifying the essence of the CLIO Awards.
“I’m humbled at this incredible honor and very grateful to CLIO,” said Lois. “By bringing the industry together to recognize and honor great work each and every year, the CLIO Awards help keep the spirit of our industry alive and ensure that future generations can learn from this work.”
“I’ve always believed that the combination of talent and tenacity can solve almost any problem,” he added. “It may be a new generation but the challenges are the same. To do great work you must educate yourself on the great work that preceded you, trust your creative instincts and then fight to the death for a good idea when you’ve got one. That’s how you’ll find success in this industry.”