Anyone who has ever walked into the foyer of Ogilvy Cape Town will remember Victor Jansen. How could they ever forget?
Vic wasn’t just the guy at the front desk, he was an institution, a piece of our soul, a legend.
Victor passed away on 13 July 2011 and has left not only an empty chair in our reception but a gaping hole in the Ogilvy family. He is mourned by his own immediate family, but also by his family at Ogilvy. By a legion of grief-stricken suits, shocked creatives and a community of advertising people whose day will be that much poorer without him in it.
After twenty years as the face of Ogilvy, Victor will always hold a special place in the hearts of all those who have worked for and with us. His energy, his never-ending ‘chirps’ and banter are gone forever. He was that ‘little bit of crazy’ with a whole lot of soul.
Below are some of the tributes that have been pouring in for Vic. To post your own, simply leave a reply.
Goodbye Victor – we’ll miss you.
Jacques Massardo, Associated Creative Director
There are many things I remember about Vic. His larger than life presence, his wicked sense of humour, his philosophies. But my most enduring memory is from about five or six years ago, when we were still at the old building in Roeland Street. There was a security sector strike at the time and the marchers had descended on parliament in numbers. Some of them had started to vandalise shop front windows and the police were firing tear gas. Things got nasty. It was chaos. At one point a large group of marchers ran up our road towards the gate. My enduring memory is of Vic standing at the entrance shoving a stick through a small gap in the closed gate as the marchers pushed up against it from outside. This best sums up Vic for me. He was fearless. He was immovable. He didn’t give an inch. He looked out for all of us.
Greg Tebbutt, Business Director:
As one of my senior clients said to me – “you must realise just how special that guy in your reception is, he sets the tone for my meetings with you. I feel welcomed, I feel important and special, I get a smile on my face and I come into your offices feeling really good and positive about being here.” That buzz and energy, the chirps and comments, the jokes, the insights, the care and the love all made Victor a unique and special character. It’s just not the same without him. Victor we all miss and love you buddy.
Tammy Ward from Leading Edge:
Personally I was a huge admirer of Victor, I never quite fathomed we he got all his endless energy and enthusiasm from. He was a force to be reckoned with, I felt Ogilvy were extremely lucky to have suck a quirky, fun and authentic character at front of house. He really was the face of Ogilvy.
We will miss him, in the short few months/years we knew him, I always looked forward to seeing his face upon arrival. I’m not sure who will call me “bokkie” anymore.
Stephen Jones from British American Tobacco:
Without the lively passion and omnipresent positive energy that Vic showed me on every single
one of my visits to Ogilvy, it is clear that Ogilvy and all their clients will really miss the ‘’Vibrant Victor’’.
Tammy Pearce, Senior Art Director:
I always said he was too big for reception, maybe he should have been in PR or maybe a life coach. He was just larger than life.
Even now I can just see him giving downtrodden angels pep talks.
Lee de Andrade, Media Buyer:
For nearly 20 years you were the first person that I saw as I arrived at work.
You always had a cheerful smile, a compliment about what I was wearing (good or badJ) a joke or something of interest to impart… whether it was to talk to me about your fish, the interesting book that you were reading and recently, you used to stop me and ask me to identify the band that was playing on your PC.
I loved your themed music days. One day it was reggae day, the other was rock… Whatever it was, off I went into the lift with a spring in my step, because of you.
Chris Gotz Exec CD.
The thing that i found utterly amazing about Victor was the breathless, astounding, never-ending enthusiasm with which he approached every single thing he did. Just watching Vic listen to the radio was a command performance. Sometimes I used to wonder if it bothered our clients to be greeted by Vic in his trilby listening to Bob Marley on full volume. Now I wonder what we will ever do without him.
Jennifer Duke from Trident Press:
I am and have been a supplier to Ogilvy for close to 2 decades. People I have dealt with over the years have come and gone.
The one constant, and the face (or should I say voice!) that I saw first every visit has been Victor. Always cheerful, lots of hugs for me over the years, and boy did he love life.
We lent each other books, we shared family news, (we skinnered sometimes!) I truly don’t know how I am going to continue to call on Ogivly without feeling sad every time.
I will miss you Victor Jansen!!
Anthony Walton, Creative Head:
The things that give light to our lives are most starkly noticed when they are gone.
For a thousand good mornings and goodnights, Victor, I’d say go quietly into this good night, but we all know how likely that would be.
Norma Schuller, Refreshment Assistant (and family):
Missing you my angel…. When you come to the end of the road, and the sun has set for you. Why cry for a soul set free? For this is a journey we must take, and each must go alone.
Tayrene Cooke, Traffic Manager:
What a wonderful person. Always, always happy – morning greetings, coming to work, happy smiles – old 70’s and reggae music playing – as you enter the building at the start of the day. Victor’s legacy will forever remain with me. I pay tribute to a great “guy” who is fondly remembered and loved by all
“May he forever fly with the majestic eagle”
Wi-amm Isaacs, Intern:
I am an intern @ Ogilvy and have been here for the past two weeks. A few weeks ago I arrived at the company for the first time and Victor gave me such a warm welcome, took away my nerves (‘’,) he was such a jolly guy.
On Tuesday afternoon he spoke to me for about a half an hour, telling me about the industry, the company and his past experiences. I learnt so much from him.
I never knew him for that long but he will surely be missed, he was a great guy.
I’m glad I got the chance to meet you Mr Victor (‘’,)
Brad Page, Digital Media Buyer:
Vic – top man. My ‘caffeine fix’ in the mornings. Will be missed – Brad
Abieda Harris, Frontline Reception:
“Don’t worry about a thing, cos every little thing is gonna be alright” – Bob Marley
Your favourite …cos I know you are alright up in heaven…missing your presents
Caryn Wessels, Brand Team Assistant:
We thought of you with Love today, but that is nothing new. We thought about you yesterday and the days before that too. We think of you in silence, we often speak your name. Now all we have is memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is our keepsake, with which we’ll never part. God has you in His keeping; we have you in our hearts.
Rest in Peace
Abigail Wilmot, Key Account Manager at Media24
I’m just feeling so sad about the news – we want to participate in whatever you are doing there for his family.
On behalf of Media24 please pass on our condolences to Ogilvy for your sad loss – Victor will really be missed.
I’ve been looking after Ogilvy for about 6 years and Victor has always been a part of my visits there, in some way or another, even if it was just a friendly comment or welcoming word – he was always friendly and helpful.
Leigh Carp, Project Manager:
Thank you for teaching me to be passionate and positive through your actions every day. Your ongoing support and friendship will not be forgotten.
Alexis Titus, Art Director:
Here’s to your crazy conversations
Followed by that crazy laughs.
All in all crazy but we liked it
Here’s to you Vic
The guy that kept a smile on my face
And always had a wise thing to say
Now and again
Here’s to a great person
A good friend
And wise man
All things went still and calm
the day u were gone
Rest in peace
Stefan Schoof, Account Manager:
For my first interview at Ogilvy I was waiting downstairs for someone to come and fetch me and was apparently visibly nervous, Victor came up to me and slapped me on the shoulder and said, in his words: “Everyone up there doesn’t know what they are doing anyway, so don’t worry!” (followed by his characteristic cackling laugh). Needless to say, I got the job and now I am one of those people who “doesn’t know what they’re doing”. Victor was the first and last person I saw on most days, and he has left such a legacy of good spirits, humour and genuine honesty that it feels like he isn’t even gone. I keep looking for him when I come in, expecting a raucous greeting and a shout of: “Hold the lift!!!!” I will miss you Vic, you rock, thank you for everything, go well brother.
Janine Hapgood, Designer:
Every morning a smile, Laughter, words of wisdom, encouragement and music…he always promised to take care of me and watch out for me and now I know he will as an angel from above…
I really will miss him :(….his zest for life was amazing and we should all take a page from his book!
Bronwyn Snell and the Redworks Team:
Too many times we wait until a friend has died to tell the world what a wonderful person she/he was, and we are just as guilty as the next person about that. For this day, however, we would like to pay tribute to a very dear friend and colleague, Victor Jansen. We will always remember you Victor. Your friendliness, kindness, the pearls of wisdom you offered and the jokes you told. You will be sorely missed. May the Lord rest your soul in eternal peace.
Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”
Lovingly remembered by Grant, Newton, Bronwyn S, Valerie, Johnine, Sharleen & Leigh Anne.
Vuyisa Ndleleni, Account Executive
With Vic at the office, he would always..and I mean always say something very funny to make me laugh or cheer me up. That’s the kind of relationship shared with Vic. Our reception area will never be the same again and I have no doubt in mind that heaven just got funnier. Peace and much love. RIP Vic you’ll sorely be missed.
Lara Botha, Head of Production:
You made our lives down here a whole lot brighter
I know the Heavens will shine brighter now that you are there