Ogilvy & Mather

Miles Young

Report by Miles Young

Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer

Last year, one of our pieces of work for Dove, ‘Real Beauty Sketches,’ became in a very short period of time the single most watched piece of advertising in the world, with 5.5 billion impressions 1 and 170 million views 2 . How did it do that? Of course, there was sophisticated social management behind it, but fundamentally it went around the web like wildfire because it touched something in our hearts, deeply and poignantly. All the academic evidence shows that sharing on the internet relates to a state of emotional arousal, and throughout the year we evidenced not just in Dove, but in many of our other brands, the power of socialised advertising, driven by creativity which arouses. Social has, in fact, become the new currency which differentiates the great from the merely good.

People are sometimes surprised to learn that Ogilvy has the largest network of social media experts in the world. Social@Ogilvy now has 740 staff in 40 locations working to serve clients and transform the agency. With another excellent year, and, now with Thomas Crampton at the helm, Social@Ogilvy is poised for more growth. Selective acquisitions have helped us reinforce unique areas, such as Social Lab in Europe for social media-related performance marketing and Pennywise in India, for social customer care.

Netizens represent the new judge and jury of greatness in our business, but the conventional juries still remain! Here, 2013 was a red-letter year. We won Network of the Year at Cannes by a margin bigger than ever recorded by any agency in its history; we once again were the most effective agency network measured by the Effies; and Campaign magazine voted us Network of the Year. Once again, thousands of our people worked so hard to put us at the top of what we call, shamelessly, the ‘Twin Peaks’ – of effectiveness and creativity.

Social has, in fact, become the new currency which differentiates the great from the merely good

Also of note in 2013 has been the very rapid expansion of OgilvyRED, our consulting business. Led by Carla Hendra, it provides strategic counsel of the highest kind focused on critical c-suite questions ranging from “how will we grow our brand portfolio in both share volume and profit?” to “can our legacy B2B brands stretch into a B2C e-commerce business model?” The answers that RED develops are helping our clients chart their future.

2013 represented the birth of Geometry Global, adding the talent and skills of the G2 network to the strengths of OgilvyAction. The world’s largest activation agency gives us the benefit of greater scale while preserving the benefits of proximity and integration. Its positioning of ‘Precision Activation’ is compelling, and speaks to the new world of data. Steve Harding describes Geometry in detail.

Speaking of data, we appointed a chief data officer in 2013, reporting directly to me. It reflects the primacy of data in our strategy, both ‘structured’ data and the new, ‘unstructured’ data which increasingly guides the crafting of messages and their precisely calibrated and timed delivery.

OgilvyOne, Ogilvy Public Relations and Ogilvy CommonHealth are covered in detail by Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chris Graves and Matt Giegerich respectively. Suffice it for me to say that, together with Geometry, their capabilities represent an increasingly formidable force in delivery, not just of integration, but of really deep integration around a business need. As either Ogilvy itself or working in extended WPP teams, 2013 confirmed again that deft thinking and execution around a 21st century operating system is a powerful driver of success in the marketplace.

1 Media impressions: Edelman and local PR agencies tracked the media impressions (assisted by media tracking companies such as Cision and Burrelles).

2 Views: The source is the publicly-presented stats shown on each video, accessed via the APIs available on the various platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, Tudou, Youku).

Chapter 6 of 13