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Ogilvy & Mather's Behavioural Sciences Practice sets up shop in Singapore

18 July, 2014

Rory Sutherland and Sonal Narain

#ogilvychange combines the latest thinking in cognitive psychology, social psychology and behavioural economics with communications expertise to influence people’s behaviours and purchase decisions

SINGAPORE — Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) is further expanding the global footprint of #ogilvychange, a Behavioural Sciences Practice born in London in 2012 that utilises the latest thinking in cognitive psychology, social psychology and behavioural economics to influence people's behaviour and purchase decisions in the real world. Singapore is the third city globally to launch the Practice following Prague, and marks the first in Asia Pacific.

Building on the behavioural economics agenda long championed by O&M UK’s Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of #ogilvychange Rory Sutherland, the Practice has the largest, most active community of behavioural experts in the world, available exclusively for Ogilvy clients. O&M Asia Pacific’s Regional Planning Director, Sonal Narain, will oversee the practice in Singapore along with Sutherland and Jez Groom, also Co-Founder of #ogilvychange and Director of Strategy Integration, O&M UK.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK and Co-Founder of #ogilvychange, explained: “For marketing to improve, we must abandon the complete over-reliance on two pre-existing models of human behaviour and decision making which have had too much sway over marketing decisions for too long. The first is the assumption that markets behave according to price and demand curves, which is very often not the case. The second is the idea that people can accurately tell you what they want, how they choose and what they prefer. What we're discovering through Behavioural Economics is that large parts of the human brain involved in decision making aren't even accessible to introspection, let alone description, so attempting to pursue marketing by simply asking people to explain what they want to market researchers is sometimes dangerously wrong and at best incomplete.”

“Therefore to significantly improve marketing efficiency - and through that economic growth - we must improve our forecasting of how people will behave. Through the use of these new sciences, through better and more diverse models of how people really behave in the real world we can improve the effectiveness of what we do by an order of magnitude. Will it be perfect? Absolutely not. Will it be a lot better? That’s all we need. Afterall, we're in business. You don’t need to be perfect; you just need to be less stupid than your competitors. That’s the aim.”

Sonal Narain, Head of #ogilvychange Singapore & Regional Planning Director, commented: “We are launching #ogilvychange in Singapore because we see a strong business case for it in this market, and have already been applying Behavioural Science principles to our working philosophy for some time, and with great success in recent campaigns for the public sector. That said, this approach should be adopted by any organization or business that wants to make a positive business or social impact as better understanding of the true motivations of human behaviour makes a significant difference in end results and effectiveness.”

Partnering with leading professors from institutions such as Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Singapore, the London School of Economics and Warwick University, a dedicated #ogilvychange resource works alongside agency and client teams to educate, stimulate and experiment with new and interesting ways to ‘nudge’ people to make better decisions in their daily lives.

Continuing activities for the Singapore launch of #ogilvychange, Ogilvy UK’s Jez Groom will facilitate a series of Behaviour Change workshops for clients in Singapore in August 2014.

For more Little Ideas from Big Thinkers visit or follow @ogilvychange on Twitter.

About Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. It was named the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for three consecutive years, 2012, 2013, and 2014; and the EFFIEs World's Most Effective Agency Network for two consecutive years, 2012 and 2013. The company is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 500 offices in 126 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit, or follow O&M on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on

Press Contact
Sarah Guldin
Corporate Communications
Ogilvy & Mather Singapore
+65 6213 6961 (direct)

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