Webinar: 2016 Digital And Social Trends

Marshall Manson, CEO – UK Ogilvy PR, and James Whatley, Digital Director of Ogilvy & Mather London, have published their annual trends report for digital and social media. They look ahead to 2016, and review their predictions from 2015 (hint: they’re pretty darn clever).  We’re lucky enough to have them share their predictions in our weekly webinar series!

In this webinar, James and Marshall discuss key trends for 2016, including:

  • Ad Blocker End Game
  • The Video Evolution
  • Gen Z

With bonus thoughts on:

  • Twitter Erosion
  • Distributed Content
  • Influencer as Media Outlet

View a recording of the session below.

Key Digital Trends for 2016 [webinar recording] from Social@Ogilvy

The Digital Social Contract: Navigating the Rules of Our New World

In this webinar we discuss how brands should pick their content creator partners in order to become effective members of digital communities.

The rules have changed. Content creators are everywhere, and you need to decide which ones you, as a brand, want to work with. How should you work with them in a way that respects the creator but also helps you achieve your objectives?

Brands need to add value to the digital communities they’re part of, and be respected by those communities. This is where the Digital Social Contract comes into play, a brand new Ogilvy Red Paper that discusses how brands should work within the confines of the social rules of our new world. On this webinar, we unveil proprietary research and analysis and share key takeaways from the study. We answer the following questions:

  • How should brand decide which content creators to partner with?
  • What are the 6 articles of the Digital Social Contract?
  • What is the superfan phenomenon?
  • What is the Ogilvy Creator Community 30 list?
  • What 4 actions does a brand need to take in order to be a respected and effective member of digital communities?

View a recording of the session and read or download The Digital Social Contract paper below:

The Digital Social Contract: Navigating the Rules of Our New World from Social@Ogilvy

The Digital Social Contract from Ogilvy & Mather

Programmatic Buying: What It Means for Digital Marketers

Programmatic. You may have heard it in a digital planning meeting, seen it in a media plan or nodded your head when brought up in conversation, all without really understanding it. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit I was guilty of all of the above.

That changed this summer when I participated in a six-week digital marketing and professional development training at Google called Squared. As a cohort of trainees, our final project was to host a Hangout that answered:

“If the future is programmatic,
then what is our role as marketers?”

By definition, programmatic means using technology and audience insights to automatically buy and run a campaign in real time, reaching the right user online with the right message.

What does programmatic really mean?

As we know, there are nearly a trillion websites on the Internet with space (inventory) to house advertisements (display ads). Back when this number was much smaller, publishers sold inventory directly to advertisers. Today, that would be impossible to execute manually, which is where programmatic buying comes into play.

How is programmatic executed?

Instead of each publisher being in charge of its own inventory, an Ad Exchange houses a conglomerate of online inventory. Advertisers, agencies and ad networks looking to purchase inventory work with a DSP (Demand Side Platform), which facilitates the purchase through the Ad Exchange. Much like paid search, DSPs automatically buy online inventory based on set brand KPIs with extensive targeting capabilities. This way of buying, programmatically, allows marketers to reach their target audience no matter where they may be online. The list of targeting capabilities includes:

  • Demographics
  • Geography
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Time of Day
  • Weather
  • Device

For example, let’s say a cruise brand wants to reach people online who live in Chicago and like to travel. An ideal time to advertise to these people may likely be when it’s raining and during their commute home. Programmatic buying allows this cruise brand to get as specific as reaching people -living in Chicago, -interested in travel, -are on a mobile device, -when it’s raining, -from 5-7 p.m. and target them with a display ad. Therefore, programmatic focuses less on inventory and more on reaching the right consumer wherever they’re consuming content online.

Why is programmatic beneficial to marketers?

Even with this new way of buying display ads, there’s still a huge desire to be in control of where they run online. As marketers, we need to switch our thinking to be less worried about which websites our ads appear on and care more about reaching the right audience. When we buy programmatically, we can be assured that our message will hit the right consumer. It also opens doors to a whole new variety of ads that move beyond traditional displays. Here’s a great example of how Nike used programmatic to engage fans with a custom social card when Nike athletes scored goals during soccer matches.

As we move into a programmatic mindset, we’ll have to become better data scientists and better storytellers of how data is communicated. If the future is programmatic, then I predict that it will become channel agnostic. TV, print and digital out of home will all be bought programmatically and geotargeting during culturally relevant events will be even more essential to brands.

Digital Revolution for Social@Ogilvy London

Last week a group of Social@Ogilvy London employees went to the Digital Revolution Exhibition at the Barbican Centre.


Digital Revolution is the most comprehensive presentation of digital creativity ever to be staged in the UK.

This immersive and interactive exhibition brought together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. It also looked at the dynamic developments in the areas of creative coding and DIY culture and the exciting creative possibilities offered by augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearable technologies and 3-D printing.

Some of the commissions included Google’s DevArt, an installation by global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am,Yuri Suzuki, Pasha Shapiro and Ernst Weber and works by artists Umbrellium,Universal Everything, Minimaforms (Theodore and Stephen Spyropoulos) and Susan Kare (Mac Paint designer). We experienced Oscar-winning visual effects behind Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity to learn how these were created. And, we also went back in time to play classic video games like Pacman and Space Invaders.


This is what some of our team had to say:

“I had a great time at Digital Revolution. I found it very interesting to learn more about the digital field. I think that the “Gravity” production section was really interesting – you can see all the creative CGI processes like 3D modelling, animation, integration of the environment and integration of the character’s face on the astronaut model. It’s cool to meet the clever people and the hard work that is behind a successful movie.” (Fran Costa, Junior Designer)

“I thought it was exciting to see how far we’ve come in such a short space of time…from realizing I have a collection of museum pieces at home in the form of Game and Watch, to seeing my friend’s website exhibited and having my wish for a glass of wine broadcast to the whole room via a digital butterfly that understood my speech. I feel lucky!” (Janine Smith, Creative Director)


“I really liked the entire exhibition – what was fascinating is the fact that all this didn’t happen a long time ago. I thought more than once while passing by an 8-bit Super Mario or Pac Man that this was current technology just 20 years ago. My two favorite pieces were the instant ASCII Camera which printed your face on a receipt for you to take home, and the digital laser room (or Umbrellium) where you could interact with different lasers and move them around and create different shapes.” (Jo Schuemann, Digital Art Director)

‘From the first Apple laptop to Lady Gaga’s dress to an interactive flying machine – a must see!’ (Andrew Barratt, Account Executive)

“I was eaten alive by digital crows before being transformed into a satanic, winged creature.” (Luke Bristow, Account Executive)

“It really makes you re-assess how far we’ve come in such a short space of time.   How big did people’s offices use to be with the size of some of that dinosaur equipment!? The exhibition opens your eyes up to digital content and how you can drive constant innovations and interactivity, but reminds you that some of the oldies are still definitely goodies and drive huge engagement and talk appeal.” (Victoria Newlands, Account Director)


What can we learn from a cat video?


This post was written by Karen Cheng, Digital Strategist, in Hong Kong.

Cats: the most popular subjects on the Internet. But underneath all the cuteness, what do we see?

When a cat video was posted by BuzzFeed last month I thought ‘Yea, I’d watch that!’ … it was a cat video after all!

After watching the video you now know what I do: it is actually a Friskies commercial! The video scored four million views in five days, 12 million views as of today at the time of writing! How did it happen?

  • A famous name, ‘Morgan Freeman’, narrates the story.
  • The script is written in the ‘cat’s voice’ (this has a high success rate in cat videos).
  • It is based on genuine cat insights from the internet: babies are grabby to cats, red dot chasing…
  • The audience falls in love with the smart, witty character.
  • It’s VERY ‘BuzzFeed’! It’s authentic.

You can compare it with the brand produced video that garnered two million views in seven months:

What can we learn?

Put your audience first when creating social media content. Sorry brands, you come second.

Oh, and we learnt that cats would be millionaires if they could earn money.

Photo credit: Giphy - cashcats.biz

Photo credit: Giphy – cashcats.biz

How to Convince Your CMO That Your Brand Should Be Using Instagram

Article by Kate Newman, Account Executive at Social@Ogilvy in Chicago.

Does your brand’s CMO consider Instagram a powerful player in the social mix? The answer should be “yes,” but his or her answer is most likely “no.” Instagram is no longer the child following behind its parent company. Engagement levels have hit organic numbers unseen on Facebook (and Twitter). Not only does Instagram boast 200 million active monthly users, 50 million of them signed up within the last six months. At that rate, there could be at least 300 million active monthly users on Instagram in 2015. You might think it’s a no-brainer that your brand should be on Instagram, but how do you convince the c-suite?

Making the Case

Balance Diminishing Facebook Post Reach

Organic reach on large Facebook pages (>500,000 fans) hit an all-time low in February 2014 with levels at 2%. According to Social@Ogilvy’s recent report, community managers can expect organic reach to hit zero in the foreseeable future. At that point, posts will require paid support to see any kind of reach and that reality is rightfully alarming.

While Instagram is not an end all be all solution, it requires little to no paid spend to see high engagement levels. In fact, engagement on Instagram is roughly 60 times higher than Facebook, and Instagram ads have seen 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Additionally, most brands are not allowed to advertise on Instagram, so paid support is not essential for success on the platform. There are only 15 approved advertisers for sponsored images because of Instagram’s sensitivity with whom they let advertise. Brands with no established presence on the platform are not even considered. Therefore, if your company is teetering on whether or not to launch on Instagram, it better start soon if you plan to advertise.

Engage An Active Mobile Audience

Instagram is a mobile social platform by nature. The only way to post content is via a mobile device. While community managers have the option to follow, like and comment on images from their desktop, they can only receive notifications through the mobile app.  If search or purchase behavior through mobile devices is high for your brand’s audience, then it’s likely that your consumers are using Instagram.

A new study by Forrester looked at 3 million user interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and found that Instagram had the highest engagement for any given brand. For every 1 million Instagram followers, branded content received 40,000 interactions – Facebook only saw 700, and Twitter was 300.

Provide an Authentic Portrait Inside Your Brand

Instagram pre-approves every sponsored image for authenticity. They look for images that “capture a lifestyle, not just a product.” Only brands that do this have a chance of being granted access to sponsored images, which preserves Instagram as a place where users expect to be free of stock and studio images. One brand that does this well is GE. Through #GEInstaWalk, fans have access to a real-time tour of GE’s advanced technology facilities as seen through the eyes of popular Instagram photographers and GE’s most avid fans. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram allows for an authentic viewpoint of your brand. The best way to connect with your consumers on the platform is by showing them what they cannot visualize from a simple Google search.


What’s stopping you from telling your CMO why your brand should be on Instagram?

5 (Off-the-Pitch) World Cup Trends to Watch For

This post was written by Mac Cullen, Megan Garafola and Matthew Whatley, Digital Strategists in the Social@Ogilvy Washington, DC office.

World Cup Brazil 2014

Brazil vs. Croatia, World Cup 2014

There is no doubt that, like much of the world, the Ogilvy Washington office has a serious case of World Cup Fever. While we’re all thrilled to cheer on the US National team as they battle out of the “Group of Death,” one thing on our digital strategists’ minds is how brands will compete against each other to win a different kind of World Cup.

Already, we’ve seen brands like Nike, Adidas, Hyundai and others take massive strides for a chance to participate in the world’s largest conversation. As we all settle in for the month-long celebration of the world’s greatest sport, here are five things we’ll be watching for in between games:

Battle of the Brands: Adidas, Nike and the dark horses

Not surprisingly, brands from the farthest corners of the world are looking for a slice of the action. At the heart of it is the battle of World Cup sponsor Adidas and its non-sponsor rival, Nike. With large marketing budgets and months of planning, both brands are ready to go head-to-head for a chance to reach soccer’s most passionate fans.

Does it still pay to be a sponsor, or can a brand be just as impactful with creative strategy and tactics?

And don’t count out the little guys. There are a lot of dark horses in the World Cup brand battle — and Spanish-language online marketplace company Coppel is an excellent example.

Their online prank of disguising talented football freestyler Séan Garnier as an old man has already received over 8 million views on YouTube. We’re sure this won’t be the last of it — look for smaller brands to make a big push at some of the most unexpected times over the next month.

Two Screens are Better than One

Vying for a spot as the world’s primary companion for World Cup news, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have each created their own digital “hubs” that will continuously share updates of the world’s largest real-time conversation. Each of these platforms should provide a personalized viewing experience and create an entirely new dimension to keep up with every match of the World Cup.

The Many Ways We’ll Watch the World Cup

With Brazil and the US sharing a time zone, the 2014 World Cup will likely be the most watched soccer event in US history. Yes, many fans will watch the games on television, but we won’t be surprised to learn that many, many more will tune into the World Cup from their mobile device.

Seth Ader, ESPN’s Senior Director of Marketing, notes that, since the 2010 World Cup, smartphone usage has jumped from 67 million users to over 160 million. Anticipating the inevitable surge of online viewers, broadcast sponsor ESPN has bolstered its mobile, website and social media channels to serve up 64 matches for digital subscribers.

World Cup apps from a variety of developers around the world, including ESPN, will allow users to track the matches on-the-go – and in the process have created an enormous playing field for brands to promote their messaging through mobile ads. Along with traditional TV spots, we will be on the lookout for unique and innovative ways brands leverage multi-screen viewers to share their content.

Is Real-Time Marketing Maturing or Fading?

Depending on who you talk to, RTM is:

  1. A huge opportunity
  2. Something to be carefully considered
  3. A fad; or
  4. A likely disaster better avoided.

No matter your opinion, rest assured that Marketers’ social studios and command centers are ready to respond to goals and gaffs with quickly produced content meant to insert them in the largest social conversation of all time. Will they learn from past successes and disasters or is the quality of these efforts going to remain spotty?

Sidestepping Controversy

Like the Olympics in Sochi, the World Cup is generating a significant amount of criticism about everything from human rights abuses to corporate and political corruption. Brands will look to tap into the enthusiasm of World Cup fans without seeming insensitive or ignorant to the controversies playing out. Some brave brands may even jump right into controversial storylines the way we saw in Russia when brands showed their support for gay rights during the Sochi games.

We’ll be finding time in between our many daily meetings to watch as many matches as we can. What trends will you be following throughout the 2014 World Cup?

Lebanese Creatively Shine on Social

During my regional roadshow tour to Lebanon, I was very excited about hearing and experiencing the budding social media scene in Beirut. Like many countries in the Middle East, I found that the use of social media in Lebanon has become a hot bed of creativity and bravery as both brands and companies are starting to experiment with social as a real driver of business.

Over the past decade Internet usage has doubled in the country, creating a large network of people who use social on a daily basis. In actual fact almost half the country is actively engaging on social every day! That’s amazing for a country that just 14 years ago had a tiny connected population of just 5.8% on the internet and now there is 52% of the population connected and communicating.

Lebanon is one of the top 5 leading countries on social media in the Middle East. Interestingly, what Lebanese people like to download first and foremost is music. It really might help lift your content be relevant and interesting for your target market.

Facebook and Twitter are still very powerful platforms in this country.

  • Facebook users is 1.7 million (Facebook 2014)
  • Twitter accounts for approximately 251,000 active users (Twitter 2014)

One of the most interesting brands I came across using social media to drive real business value in Lebanon is Sayfco holding.

The real-estate giant from Lebanon has 3.2 million fans worldwide on Facebook and invests heavily in its Facebook community spending up to $3m a year on Facebook advertising. Why? Because they increased the sales of their units from 4 to 200 every month! If you are not convinced about the efficacy of social to sell just talk to Sayfco!



You only need to take a look at the recent “Strip for Jackie” campaign in Beirut which became a huge social trend after people took to social media to display their outrage at how a national sportswoman was being treated. The I am not naked Facebook page shows how several key influencers and bloggers expressed their solidarity with Jackie Chamoun and started campaigning on Facebook,  as well as Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #iamnotnakedleb.

Amongst the conversations driven around hashtags and semi-nude photos, various commercial brands have gone topless in a show of solidarity for the Lebanese skier. Almaza, Exotica, Absolut Vodka and even VolksWagen stripped for Jackie.

absolut exotica


It seems that many Lebanese brands have a good understanding of real time marketing as last week they made a comeback supporting #Kafa #NoLawNoVote and its race to pass a bill that protects women from domestic violence.

The Lebanese are apparently romantic bunch with this year’s Valentines being a truly social occasion with many a potential suitor or hopeful sweetheart taking to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their true love with the world. I think this sums up the great passion the Lebanese people have and its infectious ability to create real social moments and movements.


During my time conducting the regional roadshow I met many passionate people who completely understand the value of social media and how it can drive real business outcomes. I am excited about the possibilities that we have in this market, the social media scene here has a vast potential and it has already started making use of it. I am looking forward to seeing some truly great social experiences and award winning work coming out of this highly creative and exciting market. 



The Device is the Message: The Story of the Tweeting Bra

All women know that self-examination is crucial for the fight against breast cancer. Still some forget all about it. To help our client, Nestlé Fitness, to remind women about self-examinations we came up with the idea to create a wearable device – the first bra that Tweets!

The lucky person to wear the prototype was a famous Greek talk show host named Maria Bacodimou.

Maria was responsible to wear, charge and of course, unhook the bra each time she needed to. At the very moment she unhooked the bra, the bra tweeted a reminder as well as information about self-examinations to her 170k followers.

And since the Tweeting Bra is a unique piece of smart underwear, it shortly became a hot topic around the world. Mashable.com, The Huffington Post, The Independent and CNN were among the 1 million+ websites and TV shows that featured stories about the campaign.

When we considered why the Tweeting Bra campaign was so successful and widely covered we arrived at four key learnings:

1 – Take the Headline Test

Always ask yourself: Is my idea worth writing about it? As soon as you have an idea, write it down in the same way the media would write about it. If it makes sense, it might get media attention and create earned media.

2 – Solve a Problem

People are open to share ideas that creatively solve real problems. Your ideas should always try to solve an existing problem instead of just communicating it.

3 – Do it for Real

If you want to get media attention you should always try to create newsworthy campaigns. All the campaigns that have received media coverage were not fake. They did it for real.

4 – Find a Cultural Tension

Connect with people by finding relevance in popular culture. The cultural tension behind the Tweeting Bra campaign was our relationship with technology.

Google +Post Ads: three (+1) reasons why it could be a success

This guest post was written by Tomas Sweertvaegher(@tmss), Head of Reputation Ogilvy Brussels. 

Ogilvy Brussels has been selected by the European Parliament to help run its institutional election campaign, aimed at encouraging European citizens to cast their votes in the upcoming European elections.


Continue reading Google +Post Ads: three (+1) reasons why it could be a success