Grey Celebrates 100 Years
May 2017. New York, Various Venues
Global advertising and powerhouse marketing agency Grey launched its yearlong centennial celebration with a kick-off week featuring a mix of business meetings as well as celebratory social events. Grey called upon Empire to produce three of their biggest events for the week.
On Monday, May 15, Grey welcomed agency leaders from around the world with a reception and seated dinner in the Whitney Museum of American Art. After remarks by Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New York, Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of P&G, and Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, guests had the chance to explore the Whitney. During dinner, Jim Heekin, Chairman and CEO of Grey Global unveiled the gorgeous, warm red coffee table book profiling Grey’s first 100 years. These books were also showcased on bookshelves spanning the Whitney lobby. Michael Houston, Grey Global President, revealed the commemorative Grey centennial logo – one that celebrates the colorful, diverse minds of Grey's 5,000 global employees by turning scans of their brainwaves into art. A video also introduced Grey's Rising Stars, recognizing young talent and their worldwide contributions to the agency.
The 68th floor of 4 World Trade Center was the perfect setting for the Global Meetings on Tuesday, May 16, and Wednesday, May 17. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided an expansive 360° backdrop of skyline views while executives attended keynotes and breakout sessions. To balance the sun-filled venue, window tints were customized with elements of the Grey centennial logo to add another layer of branding and dimension to the space. Similar vinyls also subtly called out iconic New York City landmarks for newcomers.
The Centennial Gala dinner at Madison Square Park on Thursday, May 18 concluded the week of events. Guests enjoyed cocktails inside elegant tents surrounding the main bar set up in the central fountain, while DJ Lina provided music throughout the evening. The clear expansive dinner tent featured a stunning ceiling installation of sheer fabric panels printed with Centennial graphics. The dinner program featured comedic throwbacks to some of Grey's most famous ads, and presented awards to teams behind iconic campaigns featuring Volvo, Gillette, the E*TRADE baby, the Swedish Number, and more. As part of the future-facing announcements, Houston introduced the UNICEF + Grey Global Kids Council, vowing to drive social change by working together with the next generation to solve cultural challenges with creative solutions.
Additional visual aesthetics and brand messaging were creatively integrated into the event. Floral arrangements in the warm red tones found in the Grey logo were displayed in modern vessels to offset and match the monochromatic, minimal, and geometric designs of furniture and table settings. Red colors were also featured in the custom-designed "brainwave" bar backdrop and sculptural dinner centerpieces cut from acrylic panels.
Empire is proud to collaborate with Grey to celebrate their monumental achievement and reveal a commemorative visual identity for the 2017 Centennial year – highlighting Grey’s global range of creative perspectives and solutions in creating Famously Effective work.