Many Ogilvy Hands – A real hands-on experience of Uganda


In 2009 Ogilvy, in partnership with International Needs, set up the Many Ogilvy Hands (MOH) project to build a school for 450 local children in a town in Uganda. Every four months volunteers from across the Ogilvy UK group travel out to Uganda to get involved in the project.

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Sitting at my desk in London, UK and sifting through emails, writing status reports and completing my Maconomy timesheets seems like a million miles away from my afternoons in March last year… 6,247 miles to be exact as I was in the small town of Buikwe, Uganda with the Many Ogilvy Hands project. Along with 11 of my fellow Ogilvy colleagues, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to head off to Uganda in March 2013 to get involved with the project and see first-hand what Ogilvy has been doing in the this distant land for the past five years.

The comfort of nine hours’ worth of British Airways-strength air conditioning hadn’t prepared me very well for the equatorial humidity that hit me in the face the moment I stepped off the plane, and any thoughts of keeping my well-coiffed hairstyle looking anything short of “beachy waves” were quickly dashed as soon as the first strand of hair came into contact with Ugandan air (I now know why all the local women choose to keep their hair short, rather than face an on-going battle with a pair of hair straighteners!). Despite this initial shock to the system, sprits in the Ogilvy camp remained high as we picked up our backpacks and 20 extra bags worth of donations and headed to our guesthouse for the night, before making the two hour journey to Buikwe the next morning.

After hearing stories from previous trips and seeing photos from colleagues, it was great to finally see the project site for myself.  Alongside the original classrooms first built by MOH, there was also an admin block and now the foundations of a new set of classrooms lay waiting for us to put our building skills to the test. Despite being somewhat challenged in the DIY stakes, I really enjoyed the building work which involved lots of brick throwing (no JCBs on site surprisingly, so building materials have to be moved entirely by hand!), brick laying, mortar mixing and ground levelling. Our days were split between the building site and teaching in one of the classrooms, both of which were physically (trying to control a classroom of excitable teenagers was by no means the easier option of the two) as well as mentally demanding but still incredibly rewarding.


One of the most challenging aspects of the trip was not trying to resist the platefuls of delicious food knocked up by Barbara the amazing cook, it was travelling with the project’s social workers into local villages to visit some of the families that the charity works with. Despite their cheery and excited demeanour at school, the harsh reality is that many of the local children come from homes torn apart by HIV/AIDs, malaria and extreme poverty. Whilst they may be able to attend school (for many, this is thanks in part to sponsorship), their siblings may be missing out on an education either because they are too sick or too poor to go. Eye-opening doesn’t even begin to cover what it felt like to visit some of these families but it definitely boosted my MOH experience, especially meeting the child that I had sponsored and seeing what the project can do to help local families.

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Despite the full schedule of building work and teaching, we managed to fit in a trip to the source of the Nile and a trek through a nearby rainforest, as well as countless hours of post-supper parlour games. Despite all working for the same company, one of the best parts of the trip for me was meeting colleagues from different corners of the Ogilvy group, all of which I would consider great friends now. From visitors in the night, warm Nile beer,  killing Tony at cards (on more than one occasion), Barbara’s carbs, mosquito nets, skipping club, feeding the 5,000, birthday G&Ts and so many other great memories, my trip to Uganda with the Many Ogilvy Hands project will certainly be one I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.


How to Dominate the Social Voice at #CannesLions 2013


The Cannes Lions Festival was big for Ogilvy in two ways. First, we won 155 awards and earned Agency Network of the Year  for the second year in a row. Second, we dominated the online conversation throughout the entire week. We consciously applied our social, event activation model to ourselves. And it worked.

Community + Content

At Social@Ogilvy, we see the pivotal role that community direction combined with a strategic use of content can play in driving business. Community + Content is the new marketing model. And for once, the shoemaker’s children are wearing Manolo Blahniks.

We dropped our Community Director a hundred yards away from the Palais. We deputized a team of our best writers and bloggers – about 5 of us. Each was assigned sessions to cover and people to interview. We spun up a 3-person video interview team led by Thomas Crampton. They had “targets” – great influentials to catch after or between sessions. And we had a collection of Ogilvy people tweeting from wherever they were.

We established a common hashtag (#OgilvyCannes) and adopted one of the festival tags so we would be swept up in their coverage. All of our content fell under this tag making the stream of coverage easy to follow. We established a second-level page in as our content aggregator.

Making the Internet Visual and Visible

The content was highly visual. Our community director converted session coverage into shareable graphics and flipbook-style Slideshares. Even during our party (I was front row for Franz Ferdinand on the beach), we had roving people capturing the action via tablet cams. Images got captioned offsite and published immediately.

We wanted to enhance the experience for those on site as well as those who couldn’t make it there. For those at our events, we partnered with our good friends at Mass Relevance to build this massive streaming wall of content. Tweets and images flowed through screen in real time to expose people watching the screens to the online conversation.

We quickly discovered what people wanted by watching the data. Award news as-it-happened was big. So was coverage of sessions and discussions with interesting people. The team focused in on those two areas.

The Results

Our share of voice was huge. We didn’t have an army. Okay we did have an army in the legions of switched-on Ogilvy Twitter users.  But at the core, sat a Community Director, 4-5 core writers (only one of which was full-time) and a video interview crew.

We drew 122 million impressions on Twitter, which was about a 650% increase over the previous year. It was also 11,500 more mentions than our nearest competitor. Our year-on-year increase in content shares flew up over 8,000%. Even our SlideShare content, a minority of our overall efforts, was seen over 17,000 times.

Ogilvy & Mather had a great year in digital largely because we are digital and apply it to our own lives.

And the great news is that this event activation model is just one of the ways we apply social and digital practices to the work with our brands.

The 10 Second Rule

Content and brand strategy are inextricable–and both depend on fulfilling the promises you make to consumers.

The following excerpt first appeared on O&M’s page on Fast Company

Two-thirds of the conversation about any brand in existence today is generated from outside the company that creates and markets that brand. Brands are being defined, in many cases, by customers, consumers, influencers, prospects, policymakers, and other sources instead of through owned and paid content a brand distributes about itself. And that content earned through conversation is even more crucial to brand strategy than what the company develops. Brands have had to upend the way they communicate to grapple with that conversational content. This world is instantaneous and ubiquitous, and as a result, brand strategy and experience must be considered every ten seconds, not every ten years. Brands are continuously kneaded, rolled and shaped–by both devotees and detractors–and content about the brand often takes on a life of its own. The kids have the car keys. Pandora’s box is open. There’s no going back.

This can work tremendously well for a brand that has an authentic position and stays true to its brand strategy. Consider Dove and The Campaign for Real Beauty. Several years old now, The Campaign for Real Beauty has rocked the world and made Dove’s brand strategy of real, natural beauty profoundly relevant to women, men and children everywhere through a combination of user-generated and brand-owned content.

Click here to read more on Fast Company

[Clock Hands: ra3rn via Shutterstock]

Tribal Analytics – The 7 Neo-Tribes

The following excerpt is by John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and Dayna Dion, Cultural Strategy Director for Ogilvy & Mather. This post first appeared on Fast Company.

Tribal Analytics reflects the complexity and multidimensionality of human nature. Allowing people to describe how they organize themselves and who they see as their peers, opens the doors to new levels of segmentation and empowers marketers to find language and symbols that speak to people as members of tribes.

In total, we surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than six thousand U.S. adults in order to discover seven neo-tribes organized around shared interests and common aspirations.

  • The God Squad – this large group is principally, but not exclusively, defined by it faith and belief in God.
  • Land of the Free – they are an amalgam of the most traditional values of duty and responsibility, perseverance, simplicity, and optimism.
  • The Happy Hedonists – optimistic and adventurous, this small but mighty tribe is chiefly characterized by its focus on material possessions.
  • The Adventurists—rebellious and adventurous, members of this tribe love new challenges and energetic activities.
  • Go With the Flow – Zen, balance, and leading a personally fulfilling life are their top priorities.
  • The Dutifuls – this tribe includes people who are, above all, modest in everything they do. They place extra value on authenticity, honor, compassion, and trustworthiness.
  • The Persistents – tribal members see themselves through the prism of dealing with life’s struggles, perseverance, the determination to move on, even against all odds.

Click here to view the full article on O&M’s Fast Company channel

The Play’s the Thing – #Gamification

The following excerpt is by Marianne Pizzi, Executive Group Director, Ogilvy & Mather, and the global lead for Fanta. This post first appeared on Fast Company.

Is this all just a game to you? For Fanta, that’s the whole idea. For full disclosure, Fanta is a client.

Those of us who work on Fanta, a brand that sees playing as among its most fundamental attributes, have always believed in the power of play, and in today’s world, that power is only growing. For millennials, gaming is the currency of their lives. Games are key connection points, tools for learning in schools, at work and at home, and important social vehicles, fostering communities of both the virtual and flesh-and-blood variety. They provide a channel for talking to friends and the lens through which they experience life.

At their best, games provide the chance to enter new worlds and make decisions about how to interact and how to work and play together. That’s in stark contrast to the role they played in previous generations: Back in the 20th century, games were largely frivolous–prevalent in the daily newspaper’s Jumble puzzle and the rattle and thrum of arcades, but never much more than a pleasant diversion.

Today’s gamified world represents a welcome mat rather than an obstacle for us. It’s a chance to join consumers in a deeper, more engaging form of storytelling and to stretch ourselves into new creative arenas. With “Play Fanta” we’ve done exactly that. It is the world’s first wholly playable franchise. Every element involves a game of some kind, from the interactive graphic novel that forms the basis for the content to the TV spots to the player-driven content that bridges across all digital platforms.

“Play Fanta” is, in the argot of The Coca-Cola Company, “liquid and linked”–everything is connected and seamlessly flows across all platforms globally, easily translating into other media, languages and cultures and adapting to every level of digital infrastructure. And all the different layers of games work on their own and can be played in any order and shared amongst friends.

Click here to read the full post on O&M’s Fast Company channel

Content and Pervasive Creativity

Ogilvy & Mather and Fast Company come together in a first-of-its-kind content partnership

The following excerpt is by Lauren Crampsie, CMO, Ogilvy & Mather. It first appeared on Fast Company.

In 1978, David Ogilvy wrote, “Great hospitals do two things: They look after patients and they teach young doctors. Ogilvy & Mather does two things: We look after clients and we teach young advertising people. Ogilvy & Mather is the teaching hospital of the advertising world.”

Now, of course, this is not 1978. Far from it. But what David described was the fundamental posture of an agency determined to teach its employees and the industry at large how to create great advertising. (Speaking of posture, David implored his executives to “lean in” during presentations decades before Sheryl Sandberg entered the workforce.) David’s teachings are just as much his legacy as is the agency he founded. His final book, Ogilvy on Advertising, remains a perennial bestseller in the category and the most popular advertising book of all time. It’s also the reason why, nine years ago, I joined this great agency.

Click here to read the full post

BuzzFeed, Social@Ogilvy and Chute: Capture, Create and Share with #DOAustin


Leading Social Media Agency and Media-Rich App Developer Partner To Capture Highlights And Key Innovations Through Photo-Sharing Contest Offering an Insider’s Look at the Interactive Festival.

NEW YORK, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

Social@Ogilvy, the largest social media marketing communications network in the world, and Chute, the leading platform for building media-rich apps and sites for brands and publishers, today (re)announced that they will be partnering for a user-generated photo contest at one of the year’s largest interactive and tech festivals in Austin that shall not be named. To participate, festival attendees need to capture, create and share photos of the five-day festival, from March 8 – 12. The contest will be held on the popular photo sharing and social network app Instagram. The tagged photos will be featured on and on a dedicated content channel on BuzzFeed for the best of the best.

Inspired by Ogilvy & Mather’s founder David Ogilvy (D.O.), #DOAustin encourages festival attendees to take a participatory role in the five-day Interactive portion of the festival by creating and disseminating key ideas and trends to the rest of the world through photo-sharing. By offering attendees the opportunity to express their creativity and share the best moments, #DOAustin will add value outside of the festival by providing an inside look at the on-the-ground trends, panels, people, brands and culture.

“Creativity is at Ogilvy’s core and the Social@Ogilvy team strives to bring this to all of our work. In turn, we want to see how creative the [festival] attendees are; with this year’s event for inspiration and using the tools available on today’s visual social web,” states Gemma Craven, New York Group Head, Social@Ogilvy.

Using its API, Chute will aggregate the photos and stream them on the website and at a live event for clients of Social@Ogilvy. Chute’s involvement in the partnership and contest represents and reflects the company’s ongoing commitment in powering the “visual revolution,” as brands and publishers look to leverage user-generated content in managing relationships with their audiences.

“For years, [this festival] has been the arbiter of innovation and the ultimate taste-maker for creativity and inspiration,” said Ranvir Gujral, Co-founder of Chute. “Combining Social@Ogilvy’s creative power with our technology to help illustrate this year’s highlights is just another example of that innovation. We look forward to enabling this year’s attendees to express themselves through the power of digital imagery.”

In addition to being featured on the site and on BuzzFeed’s content channel, five winners (one per day) will receive a $200 American Express gift card. The judging panel includes Jon Steinberg, President and COO of web-sensation BuzzFeed; Ranvir Gujral, Co-founder of Chute and Calle Sjoenell, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather New York, Skeery Jones, Radio Host, Elvis Duran & the 96.7 KISSFM Morning Show,  and Claire Mazure and Erica Cerulo, Founders, of a kind.

The judges will evaluate the photos and choose a daily winner based on the most creativity and representation of the daily challenge. The daily prompts, which will be announced each day on Ogilvy’s Instagram (@OgilvyMather), will challenge users to capture what’s next in technology/start-ups and show how brands that are breaking through this year.


Social@Ogilvy is the largest social media marketing communications network in the world. Named 2011 Global Digital/Social Consultancy of the Year by The Holmes Report, the practice leverages social media expertise across all Ogilvy & Mather disciplines, offering an extensive list of services within the foundational business solutions – Listening and Analytics; Social Business Solutions; Social Media Marketing and Communications; Social Shopping; Social CRM; Social Care; and Conversation Impact. For more information, connect with us at,,


Chute helps brands and publishers ingest, manage, display and optimize visual content through our API/SDKs, cloud platform, and brand and publisher friendly applications. We currently work with some of the world’s biggest brands, agencies, publishers, and developers, including, Turner, Conde Nast, Saks Fifth Avenue, and House of Blues Entertainment, combining cloud infrastructure with extensive developer tools to provide instant media infrastructure to new and existing mobile and Web applications.  For more information, please visit

Five Trends to Watch for at Mobile World Congress 2013 – #MWC13


With 70,000 attendees, 1,500 exhibitors and over 100 conference sessions, the Mobile World Congress can be an overwhelming experience. The conference ranges across all aspects of the mobile economy, from hardware and infrastructure to marketing and education. Fortunately, Martin Lange, Executive Marketing Director of Digital Strategy for Ogilvy & Mather, will be attending the conference.

Since Martin is deeply immersed in the mobile ecosystem, he’s keeping track of what really matters in this, the most rapidly evolving aspect of marketing and communications.

Martin will focus on the following top five mobile trends during the conference, including his perspective on some must-see keynotes and panels which will bring these trends into sharp relief. Be sure to follow Ogilvy at MWC 2013 on Tumblr or @OgilvyWW on Twitter for real-time updates of all things Mobile World Congress.

Here are Martin’s top 5 trends to watch for at Mobile World Congress 2013 (#MWC13). Below that is a more in-depth look into each trend.

Source: Uploaded by user via Social@Ogilvy on Pinterest


Social@Ogilvy Streaming Live at Social Media Week – #SMWOgilvy

This page will be updated in real-time.

Day 3 (February 21, 2013)

Panel title: Masterclass Community Management 3.0 – The Evolution the Most Dynamic Role in Marketing

Time:  2:00 – 3:15pm


Day 2 (February 20, 2013)

Panel title: A Conversation with David Karp, Founder of Tumblr: Brands Connecting Inside the Index of Passions

Time: 10:30am – 11:30am

The Rise of the New Community Manager: A Discussion with Ford, Whole Foods, iHeartRadio, and Ogilvy on the New Brand Role

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00 pm


The Live Google+ Jam with Caterpillar: How to exploit Google+ to its Fullest

Time:  1:30pm – 2:30pm

The Future of Social Customer Care

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm


Day 1 (February 19, 2013)

Mocial RX: Leveraging Mobile & Social in Healthcare

Mocial RX: Leveraging Mobile & Social in Healthcare

5 Minutes With Ford’s Scott Monty

This post originally appeared on Social Media Week by Lindsey Taylor Wood.

The following are excerpts from the original post.

This is Social Media Week’s first year partnering with Ford. This SMW NYC, Ford will be making a very special announcement to help kick off the week. You’ll want to be there! Then make sure you swing by our Global HQ to see what we’re doing together. Why? Well, in addition to their success in the automotive industry, they have made quite a name for themselves as a leader in the social media space. We sat down with Ford’s Global Head of Social Media, Scott Monty, to talk about the past, present and future of the company’s social marketing efforts.

Scott, you tweeted this week that “Ford has now posted a pre-tax operating profit for 14 straight quarters” -— in what ways do you think that Ford’s social and digital efforts have contributed to that sustained level of success?

We’re very fortunate to have a company full of talented employees that are making some of the best Ford vehicles that the market is responding to. From excellent fuel efficiency to state of the art technology and truly breathtaking design, the products are leading our strong financial performance. That we get to amplify and share that product superiority on digital and social is just icing on the cake.

But more than just sharing our business results, our advanced efforts on digital and social are consistent with the kind of brand that people want to associate themselves with. We often say that people trust people like them; well, they want brands that reflect their choices and their lifestyles. So they want fuel efficiency and they want a brand that answers them on social networks, they get both in Ford.

Given what you’ve learned from campaigns past, how has your approach to engagement through social media changed?

I can’t really say all that much has changed. Our core principles remain the same: create engaging content, speak like the customer, allow them to speak, and above all, listen. It’s just that the scale on which we do it now is more intense and broad than ever before. And fundamentally, it’s about the human touch: making it clear that there are real people – just like you – who work for Ford or who drive Fords, and that by forging relationships over time, we begin to regain the trust that had been lost.

It’s been over six years since Ford’s many agencies consolidated into the Team Detroit megaforce -—from the brand side, how do you feel that consolidation has improved the workflow for Ford and your social team in particular?

It’s refreshing to have a single shop to be able to coordinate with. The efficiencies we’ve seen have allowed us to think about other ways to direct our spending. And when you also consider that WPP’s Social@Ogilvy is our corporate social agency, there’s another aspect there as well. The ability to have the expertise of PR, marketing and social agencies together under one company means that there are checks and balances that work within the system as well.

Read the full post here.

Social Media Week Social@Ogilvy and Ford Panel:

The Rise of the New Community Manager: A Discussion with Ford and Ogilvy on the New Brand Role

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00 pm

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Summary: As more and more brands commit to Facebook, Twitter, and other social communities, the stakes of managing millions of fan relationships is rising. Increasingly the job of the community manager is evolving to a more complex and even senior role. Join Social@Ogilvy and hear from those in the trenches and those shaping how brands are managing fans and customer relationships. What are the new skills of the community manager? How will they fit into traditional organizations?

Click here to learn more about attending.

Image courtesy of Social Media Week