Ever wondered what goes on inside the offices of one of the most powerful people in advertising? As part of The Drum’s Cannes issue guest edited by Maurice Lévy, the Publicis Groupe chief executive invites us into his inner sanctum, and shares with us some of the objects he holds most dear.
Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Lévy, guest editor of The Drum’s Cannes issue, has given an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse into his office, in a virtual reality film produced by The Drum and Unit9.
Filmed using a 360-degree camera comprised of a ball of GoPros, the video shows Lévy discussing the significance of several items around his office, including a jar of sweets on his desk and a bible rescued from a fire.
Starting with the jar of sweets he keeps on his desk, he tells the viewer he likes to offer it to visitors during meetings. “I like it simply because it's always sweet and it's always very welcoming to offer this to my visitors,” he tells us.
A painting by Louis le Brocquy, hanging behind his desk, is next for discussion. Painted in 1947, it depicts the desperation of the Irish people, explains Lévy. “I’m very touched by it, and it has been in my office since the beginning. I love this painting because it is so expressive of what people can feel,” he adds.
Lévy then turns to an ancient bible manuscript he keeps on his desk. Though he says he is not religious, the bible has another special meaning for him as it was the only thing to be rescued from the office of Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of Publicis, during the building’s fire of 1972.
Another object of special meaning is a pair of stone doves, perched on Lévy’s trophy cabinet, created by an Israeli artist at the time of the Oslo accords signed between Israel and Palestine. “I like the message of hope and the message of peace,” he says.
The film ends with the Publicis chief executive heading off to another meeting.
"I'm sorry, I have to leave you now. The company has to be run. I know that I'm run by my assistant, but I'm doing it as if I was running the company. But don't share that."
The film is best viewed using Oculus Rift, but it can also be viewed on mobile and desktop on The Drum's YouTube channel. Read more about how the film was produced with Unit9, and obtain a copy of Maurice Lévy’s guest edited issue of The Drum here.
Photography by Julian Hanford