Fergus Hay featured

Getting to Know Fergus Hay, Managing Director Social@Ogilvy APAC

Earlier this year, Social@Ogilvy APAC welcomed Fergus Hay as the new Regional Managing Director. An Ogilvy & Mather veteran formerly based in the New York and Chicago offices, he is excited about his move to Hong Kong and to work on growing the business across Asia.

Fergus’ previous experience spans multiple continents and some of the largest global brands, including Coca Cola and SC Johnson. In fact, he led the international part of the SC Johnson pitch in 2011 that won Ogilvy & Mather the sizable integrated account spanning 11 countries.

Fergus is passionate about the power of creativity to drive business performance, a passion that led him to create the video series Creativity: Weapon of Mass Disruption. He is the Writer, Producer, and Interviewer for the series and has hosted some of the world’s most pioneering creative thinkers, such as Emmanuel Jal, Jackie Chan, Tony Fernandes, Donna Karan, and Sir Jackie Stewart.


We caught up with Fergus to see how he’s settling in to his new role and to discuss the future of social media in Asia.

What are your priorities for Social@Ogilvy Asia in 2014-2015? 

FH: Social@Ogilvy has made incredible progress under Tom’s leadership, establishing itself as not only the leading social media practice in Asia, but also the category leader becoming synonymous with social media. With our positioning well established and our brand well known, now is the time for us to look at how we can continue to drive exponential growth through our products and our clients.  At its core, our role as a marketer and an agency hasn’t changed: it is to build Business and Brand value for our clients in the context that their brands and consumers live in. Today, that context is the diverse and exciting Socially Enabled world.

To deliver this we will be focusing on 3 growth drivers in Asia:

1 – Pursuing Grown Up Social: As the market matures we need to constantly innovate and launch new, more sophisticated social products into the market for our clients, moving the agency and clients from nascent to grown up social.

2 – Driving integration in the agency: For us to get the most out of our social talent we need to be driving it as a horizontal practice across all disciplines in Ogilvy Group.  You will see deep collaboration with OA, GG, OO, OPR and NEO as we integrate Social@Ogilvy talent into each discipline resulting in effective creative work. This is what makes us special in the market, and a special place to work.

3 – Laser client focus: Ultimately we are judged by how effective our social strategies are in developing creative work that influences consumer behavior to build business and brand value in today’s socially enabled world.  To do this we must focus our best talents and best products on our clients and have the case studies and results to show for it.

Which trend should we be paying (more) attention to? Why?

FH: Amidst all the excitement over the new platform launches, I think we should start to look very closely at the Private networks. As consumers become more and more aware of their own open social graph data, we will see a migration from the mass platforms, such as Facebook, to the closed platforms, such as Heml.is, Firechat, and Silent Circle.  It may not be so black and white – consumers may end up having multiple social profiles which provides a challenging but potentially fertile landscape for marketers.

What have you learned since relocating to Hong Kong? 

FH: The Cantonese have the most wicked, razor-sharp sense of humor of any culture I have come across.  It’s not always comfortable, but it’s definitely brilliant.

Tell us something about yourself that we couldn’t find from Google.

FH: My mum is the coolest person I’ve ever met – so cool in fact that she was invited on the Ali G show……(but she has a different surname to me so Google won’t help you).