If proof was required that nice guys don’t finish last, then Andrew Ruhemann is the evidence. If he has any enemies, I have yet to find one. He has elegantly charted an innovative course through the animation side of advertising with his company Passion Pictures these last 27 years, making more than his fair share of lauded and loved ads. Passion are behind the Meerkats, The Gorillaz, Vodafone Mayfly, NSPCC, Sony Play-Doh, Levi’s Mr Boombastic and this year’s big hit Nike Risk Everything.
Andrew trained to be an actor, (that’s why he’s such a brilliant public speaker) then swanned about in Paris for a bit, after which he took a job working for the great animation luminary of the 80s, Richard Williams. Within a week the MD was fired. Andrew was made MD. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing. One week into his new role, Stephen Spielberg appeared unannounced having researched Richard as the animator he wanted to work with on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. That was Andrew’s first proper meeting.
But with Andrew advertising is just part of it. He’s a storyteller at heart. A very talented one. Uniquely in our adland fraternity he has won no fewer than three Oscars. Two as Executive Producer for the Documentary Features One Day in September and Searching for Sugarman and then another Oscar for good measure with his directorial debut The Lost Thing as Best Animated Short.
The Gorillaz project was profoundly innovative in its time. The first virtual rock band. He’s pushed towards creating culture and connecting it to his clients’ needs in a way that has always been ahead of his peers.
All this should make me green with envy and hate the guy. Impossible. Well, a bit green maybe. But Andrew is just the most charming, affable, self effacing and brilliant bloke. The epitome of a top man. This award is so well deserved and fits him like a glove.