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. But he found their stories interesting. And so, with dreams of making it big in the industry, Gavin enrolled in Art College. After graduation, he joined Ogilvy & Mather Direct in ’92 as Junior Art Director cum Visualizer. He then moved to Drayton Bird, Crocker & Mano before working with DDB, O&M KL, Y&R KL and Leo Burnett Indonesia.
Gavin left for the Philippines to join Ogilvy as Executive Creative Director in 2005. 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 1998. In the Philippines 2006 Creative Guild Awards, Ogilvy once again were the number 1 agency, garnering the greatest number of golds – 9. During his time, the agency also numerous international awards including Cannes, Clio & One Show.
In 2007 Gavin moved to Ogilvy Hong Kong as Executive Creative Director. Gavin’s creative leadership was instrumental in Ogilvy winning the global account- Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts. Other significant wins include Mercedes Benz HK, Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway and K11, a property under New World Development Company. During his time the agency also won numerous awards and was voted No.1 creative agency in HK. In his free time, Gavin would roam the streets of Hong Kong in search of the perfect dim sum.
In 2010, Gavin went back to his roots as Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Malaysia. Under his stewardship, Ogilvy Kuala Lumpur was awarded Agency of the Year at Spikes Asia 2011. At the same time, Ogilvy KL has also picked up two of the country’s most prized accounts, Malaysia Airlines and BMW.
In 2012 the agency scored a rare ‘nomination’ and Yellow Pencil at D&AD - along with a Gold, Silver and Bronze at Cannes. The same year the agency picked up a Gold, a Silver & 5 Bronzes at LIA. His Pictionary Quick Draw Wins campaign was named 2012, second most awarded campaign worldwide by The Gunn Report. In 2013 Ogilvy KL picked up 2 Silver Cannes Lions and 2 Bronze Cannes Lions. Ogilvy Kuala Lumpur was also ranked 2nd most Creative Office among all 500 Ogilvy offices from 120 countries worldwide. At the Campaign Asia Pacific Awards, Ogilvy Kuala Lumpur was also awarded Gold for Malaysia Creative Agency of the Year and Silver for Digital Agency of the Year for Year 2016 & 2017.
After a long innings with Ogilvy, Gavin join Fortuna, Indonesia in late 2020 as the Chief Creative Officer. In addition to client responsibilities, Gavin will also be responsible for developing and training the agency’s talent. Gavin Simpson is a proven creative leader. He has made his mark by winning business pitches and awards wherever he went – From Kuala Lumpur to Manila to Hong Kong to Jakarta. With business wins and international awards wins under his belt, he is one of Asia’s most consistent creative leaders. Gavin has not seen the evening sun since 1992.