Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I don't have a name day, nobody sends me flowers"

When I was working in Greece, where name days are even more important than birthdays, I had a client, he was Swiss and worked for Nestle, he was the chief marketing officer, he complained to me one day that he did not have a name day. It seems he was not getting flowers or presents once a year like everybody else.

I diligently looked up Greek saints; after all he was a client, but also a friend. No luck, no Greek saints called Ray, or Raymundo. What a great opportunity to create a new saint. Ray was in charge of all Nestle brands, but we worked with him mostly on Loumides, Greek coffee.

We had to create a reason for this saint, we decided that Raymundo brought coffee to Greece and that was reason enough for sainthood. There would be no Cafenia, no intense discussions, no Greece as we know it today, without St Raymundo’s contribution. Real reason for sainthood.

I have been a creative guy my whole career, art director, creative director, all my life creating ads, commercials etc. I never had the opportunity to create a saint. This was a terrific opportunity, not too many ad guys get to create a saint.

We decided to make this saint coming to Greece on a boat, from the east, and holding a cup of Greek coffee. We debated if there should be a parrot on the boat, but decided that would much too commercial, after all we are talking about a saint, St. Raymundo.

A saint without an Icon is impossible; we had to have an Icon. I went to see an icon painter that had done some icons for me as presents. My first problem, he was willing to do it, but he could not put a golden halo on this figure, he would lose his icon license or something. We finally settled on the design.

Now we had to write the declaration for this saint, almost a saint, since his icon had no golden halo.

One of our creative directors wrote it up, with all the pomp that these things have to be written up with. We aged the paper, not worrying that it was printed up off his computer. We also decided that his name day would be December twelfth. It was the day everything was finished by, seemed like a good day.

The Icon, document and flowers, with a note saying Chronia Polla, was delivered to Nestle, never again would Ray have any complaints about not having a name day and not getting flowers. Another satisfied client.

All of you remember the day; the twelfth of December is St Raymoundo’s day. Send flowers and notes, after all he was responsible for an indispensible part of Greek life.


  1. Only you could come up with something like this. Terrific and funny as hell. It's a great story. The only thing you didn't tell was his reaction when he got the package.

  2. He loved it and looks forward to the gifts every name day