Friends of advertising guru take out ad in The Straits Times to mark his 60th birthday

Mr Patrick Low is the founder of independent advertising agency Goodfellas. He has been creating advertisements for more than 30 years. Now he has one which was dreamed up specially for him. -- PHOTO: PATRICK LOW
Mr Patrick Low is the founder of independent advertising agency Goodfellas. He has been creating advertisements for more than 30 years. Now he has one which was dreamed up specially for him. -- PHOTO: PATRICK LOW

SINGAPORE - Advertising guru Patrick Low has been creating advertisements for more than 30 years. Now he has one which was dreamed up specially for him.

His friends, colleagues, business partners and even professionals from rival agencies took out an ad for him in the Sports section of The Straits Times, to mark his 60th birthday on Friday.

"I almost had a heart attack when I saw the ad," said Mr Low.

He had found out about it around noon yesterday, after his wife received a message from a friend asking them to check the papers.

In the black and white ad, Mr Low was described as a partner, boss, mentor, competitor, friend and a jolly goodfella, the latter in reference to the independent advertising firm Goodfellas, which Mr Low founded.

The agency was behind the anti-gambling ad aired during last year's World Cup, in which a despairing young boy named Andy bemoaned how all of his savings had been used by his father to bet on Germany.

"Patrick has always been a man of few words, so we decided to celebrate his birthday with a few choice words of our own," said Mr Mark Fong, who came up with the idea for the ad. He has known the advertising guru for some 30 years, since they were colleagues at multinational advertising firm Y&R.

"We couldn't find a card big enough to say what we wanted to say or enough space to include all of our names," said the 51-year-old former creative director.

"But since we are all from the creative industry, we wanted to do something unusual."

For the ad, he opted for a simple concept as Mr Low has always lived by the design philosophy that less is more, he said. It was designed by Mr Toh Han Ming, an executive creative director at an international advertising agency.

Said Mr Low: "It is not everyday that you see an ad for someone's birthday.

"I'm truly blessed to have known so many great people in the course of my working life."