Cannes Lions


KETCHUM PLEON, Dusseldorf / MAN / 2009

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MAN – a leading European industrial transport engineering company celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2008. The company’s 250-year heritage and current market position as innovative leader were the cornerstones of a celebratory gala held in MAN’s hometown of Munich. The event setting – the historic Munich Residenz (seat of Bavaria’s government for nearly 300 years) signified the beginning of a new era. In just eight days, over 100 people created an exquisite setting for 1,000 very exclusive guests from the worlds of business and politics.

A pair of custom-built transparent high-tech constructions surrounded the historic building ensuring an unobstructed view of the interior courtyards. A multimedia presentation displayed against the backdrop of buildings where monarchs once resided juxtaposed old and new; while a 360-degree façade projection presented 250 years of MAN history.

At the party an eight minute film emotively recounted the company’s many milestones. This was followed by distinguished contributions from MAN CEO, Håkan Samuelsson, and Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. A specially arranged and performed concert by classical musician, Cecilia Bartoli and China’s modern-pianist, Lang Lang, performed to the accompaniment of an orchestra, spiriting listeners away on a joyful and stunning journey through 250 years of musical history.


The gala opening (which was hosted by Barbara Hahlweg from ZDF’s “heute”) featured an elaborate eight-minute jubilee film detailing the history of MAN. Distinguished contributions from Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of MAN, and Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, lent the proceedings a unique flair.

The highlight of the event was the performance of two ground-breaking artists: Cecilia Bartoli - renowned for her authentic interpretations of classical scores - and Chinese piano prodigy Lang Lang. Accompanied by an orchestra of 60 instrumentalists, these international stars spirited the guests away on a musical journey. Compositions from the past 250 years were given both classical and innovative treatment.

The joint performance of these two artists ended with a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday” in which all the guests joined in.


The unique presentation of Man’s 250 year history and the professional implementation of the event elicited a particularly positive response: the guests were simply overwhelmed. Moreover, the event was covered extensively by the media. Within the industry, the MAN anniversary has since become a benchmark for successful and professional jubilee-related communication.

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