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.


Writing a New POEM


Poetry Photo

Photo credit:


I am still figuring out what to do when I grow up.

But today I am taking another step forward: I will be taking a new role as the leader of Social and Content for Ogilvy West. Still based in San Francisco, but overseeing this new practice across a region that includes also Los Angeles, Sacramento and Denver.

I loved my past 8 years at Ogilvy PR as Global Technology Practice head. Loved the people, the clients, the opportunities to work across so many different cultures and challenges. Did I love everything? Was everything perfect? Of course not. No job is perfect, but I felt like a citizen of the world and have been part of an amazing team; I just loved it.

However, when I was offered a new position, as part of Social@Ogilvy, I just said, “Let me think about it. OK, I am in!” I didn’t hesitate. Why?

Because the most exciting time for the integration of social, content marketing, analytics, mobile and why not, good old-fashioned “earned media” is NOW.  Because this is the time where data can really help to identify insights. Those kind of insights that propel strategic thinking and pragmatic creativity. Where ideas can be brought to life through what I believe in most, and have been preaching for the last many years: that brilliant storytelling and content ultimately changes attitudes and behaviors.

As our global world becomes socially smaller, do I want to be in the center of this integrated, expanding and boundless universe?  Absolutely.  As part of the award-winning Social@Ogilvy team, I will look forward to bringing my global experiences and networks together to develop innovative integrated media solutions to solve clients’ marketing and communications problems. And I am very excited.

Recently I appreciated the word, “POEM,” through a new lens as a way to describe the new converged media world we live in – Paid Owned Earned Media.

Maybe, that’s what I’ll do when I grow up. I will be a Poet.

Social@Ogilvy Social Media Week 2013 Schedule – #SMWOgilvy

Events in Four Cites

New York

February 19th

Panel title: Mocial RX: Leveraging Mobile & Social in Healthcare

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Summary: Health discussions have moved beyond a single screen and one-on-one exchanges. Mobile and social — what some call “Mocial” — is all about a new platform of on-the-go device and broader discussion. From geofencing to quantified self to the second screen, this lively exchange explores how “our networked life” influences behavior change, removes barriers, and adds value to connected communities.

  • Buddy Scalera, SVP, Interactive Content & Market Research, Ogilvy CommonHealth
  • John Nosta, EVP, Senior Strategist, Ogilvy CommonHealth
  • Andrea Hackett, Account Supervisor, Digital Strategy, Social@Ogilvy

Panel title: Pharma & Social: Better Apart?

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Summary: The social health space continues to rapidly evolve, pivoting to serve new needs and voices faster than most pharmaceutical companies are used to acting.  Patients, caregivers, even doctors seem to do just fine taking advantage of existing forums to discuss their health concerns. Is there room for in the social sphere for prescription drug brands? Mixed views and industry case studies fuel a provocative discussion on whether and how Pharma can truly add value to these already active conversations.

  • Chris Cullman, VP, Digital Strategy, Ogilvy CommonHealth
  • Scott Friedberg, Director, Digital Strategy, Ogilvy CommonHealth
  • Andrew Teie, Senior Digital Strategist, Ogilvy & Mather

Panel title: The Social Engagement Hub: Re-Imagining The Contact Center As A Critical Marketing Tool

Time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Location: Advertising & Marketing Hub JWT NYC

Summary: Consumer demands for a new kind of relationship with the companies they buy from has changed how we manage customer relationships: forever.

In this session, Joshua March (CEO and Co-Founder of Conversocial), Evan Shumeyko (CRM Engagement Practice, Ogilvy), Michael Brito (Social Business Strategy at Edelman Digital) and Alon Waisman, Social Media Operations Manager at GoDaddy) discuss The Social Engagement Hub: How do marketing departments and contact centers need to evolve and restructure to deliver the best experience over social channels? Good customer service becomes your marketing strategy when the consumer is king.

  • Marketers, Social Media Managers and Customer Service Directors can join us to discuss:
  • How to build a Social Engagement Hub to bring stakeholders together
  • Why C-Level management should get behind Social Customer Service
  • How pro-active social customer service can revolutionize the contact center of the future
  • Success stories of companies offering unified and coherent customer engagement through social media.

February 20th

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

Time: 10:30am – 11:30am

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Summary: Join us as for a candid conversation with David Karp who has created one of the fastest growing communities of people sharing what they care about most. How can brands participate in Tumblr with meaningful brand or business impact and how do we do it without spoiling the beauty of Tumblr? Join Social@Ogilvy’s John Bell as he asks David Karp about his vision for brands and Tumblr.

  • John Bell, Global Managing Director, Social@Ogilvy

Panel title: 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

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?

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

Time:  1:30pm – 2:30pm

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Summary: Is it plumbing or is it search? Is it Hangouts or Communities? Stop all the hype and anti-hype. We’re going to roll up our sleeves and demonstrate just how brands can use Google+ today and tomorrow. We’ll be working through a LIVE session with Google+, Caterpillar and Social@Ogilvy to create the prototypical, full-out program for the world’s leading B2B brand – Caterpillar. It will be fast-paced, messy and insightful.

  • Gemma Craven, Executive Vice President, Social@Ogilvy
  • Dan Schreibstein, Vice President, Social@Ogilvy
  • Kevin Espinosa, Social Media Manager, Global Marketing Services, Caterpillar
  • Deitra Mara, Head of Social Solutions, NA, Google

Panel title: The Future of Social Customer Care

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm:

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Summary: Participate in a LIVE demonstration with Social@Ogilvy showcasing the next model of engaging social customers with meaningful dialogue, structure and cross-platform integration. You’ll want to attend if you have encountered any problems like these:

  • Are your customers putting service requests on a Facebook page that’s controlled by the marketing team so customer service reps can’t respond?
  • Is it impossible to keep up with spikes in social media activity?
  • Do you need to learn how to transition from a 1:1 response to a 1: many?

To participate, you can start in the weeks before the event using hashtag #SMWOgilvy to propose topics and challenge the panel with the questions our industry is currently facing in social customer care. We’ll work with select panel members and a few participants who will be plucked from the audience to interact with this engaging exploration of the science of social, digital strategy, and technology

  • Evan Shumeyko – Director, North  American CRM & Customer Engagement at OgilvyOne Worldwide
  • Jeff Simmermon – Director of Digital Communication, Time Warner Cable
  • Phil Blum – Social Media Customer Care Manager, Time Warner Cable
  • Dave Evans –  VP, Social Strategy at Lithium Technologies
  • Rebecca Lieb – Digital Advertising and Media Analyst at Altimeter Group

Panel title: Marketing Without Words

Time: 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Location: Stollway Event Space, 250 West 39th Street, NYC

Consumers are increasingly communicating with brands using images, not words. Visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram offer exciting opportunities for marketers to create emotional connections with consumers, driving greater discovery, clicks, and revenue. On February 20, during Marketing Without Words: Social Engagement Through Imagery, industry thought leaders from social’s most successful brands and agencies (speaker lineup below) will come together to discuss the future of social media and how they’re leveraging Pinterest and Instagram to grow their audience, form stronger relationships with consumers, and drive serious revenue.

  • Kristin Fernholz, Managing Partner, Fashmark
  • Kate Gold, Social Media Director, Food Network
  • Jamie Gutfreund, Chief Strategy Officer, The Intelligence Group, CAA
  • Adam Hirsch, SVP, Emerging Media & Technology, Edelman Digital
  • Irfan Kamal, Senior Vice President, Social@Ogilvy
  • Summer Krecke, Director of Content Strategy, Digital Brand Architects
  • Jon Lombardo, Social Media COE, Leader, General Electric
  • Danielle Trencher, Senior Social Media Manager, Meredith Inc.
  • Farryn Weiner, Director of Social Media, Worldwide, Michael Kors

February 21st

Panel title: The Gif That Keeps on Giving

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: Helen Mills Theater, 137-139 W 26th Street NYC

Summary: Since adding some of the first animation to websites of the 80’s and 90’s, the animated Gif has enjoyed a renaissance in the age of Social Media. Emphasizing simple wit rather than flashy technology, animated GIFs have also become increasingly popular with advertisers. Our presenters will look at brands’ and agencies’ use of animated gif advertising and ask what’s next for this resilient medium.

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

Time:  2:00 – 3:15pm


SMW Global HQ – NYC

125 West 18th Street

New York, NY 10011

Summary: Calling all community managers! It’s one of the most dynamic roles in the marketing industry, and as the social media landscape continues to evolve, so do the community manger’s responsibilities and required skills. This interactive class, led by two of Social@Ogilvy’s community management experts, will focus on “Community Management 3.0” – the new job description, new and common challenges, industry leaders putting it to practice, real-life scenarios for discussion and more to prepare you to take your brand to the next level.

  • Ashley Hurst, Director of Business Development & Account Director, Social@Ogilvy
  • Dhara Naik, Account Supervisor, Social@Ogilvy

Panel title: The British Pub Quiz Hosted by Chingwag

Time: 6:00 -7:30pm

Location: Ogilvy & Mather Theater

Summary: The famous, or should that be infamous, British Pub Quiz, dive deep into your brain to fish out those gems of knowledge, you know you once knew, but can’t remember how. Updated especially for SMWNYC, this quiz, hosted by Chinwag, is a chance to pit your social media wits against the crowd with a few British-themed brainteasers to win the title of social media brainbox. It’s a networking event, a workshop, a seminar and a bit of fun all-rolled into one with a few drinks to oil the wheels. It’s a chance to meet, mingle and get-to-know the group of Brits taking part in the Digital Mission to SMWNYC, a group of the UK’s leading digital startups and agencies, looking to launch and expand in New York. There’s prizes for the winning teams and a chance to enjoy a drink, test your brain power, meet, chat and connect, so come on down and join the Brits in one of our favorite past times.

February 22nd

Panel title: Contextual Awareness – What Is The Future of Social Intelligence?

Time: 2:30 – 4:30 pm

Location: Business and Entrepreneurship Hub at Bloomberg

731 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Summary: How can social data make you and your phone smarter? How do apps such as Google Now (& Google Glass) easily take disparate data sources and help enhance your life? How does all this information make your life more efficient? The panel will discuss what current solutions exist as well as what is to come and what’s the timeline.

  • Gemma Craven, Executive Vice President, Social@Ogilvy
  • Stuart Tracte, Account Director, Social@Ogilvy
  • Brett Martin, Co-Founder & CEO, Sonar
  • Greg Wester, EVP Business Development, GM Research, Mobile Posse
  • Wesley Barrow, Co-Founder, Nomi


February 18th

Panel title: Hyperlocal: The key success factor of the web of tomorrow?

Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Location: Palais Brongniart – Petit Auditorium – Paris

Summary: Connect together two people thousands of miles away, as initially appeared to be the greatest achievement of the internet. Anyway, today the web allows each user to know the right plan restaurant at the corner of the street, the essential information of the football club of his neighborhood or that of his friends walk within 30 meters. Finally, hyperlocal has become a very strong trend of Web 2.0. This dimension is particularly important now for social networks trying to provide relevant information to their users. The hyperlocal did he become the niche social web of tomorrow? Is it enough to be hyper to be relevant to users?

  • Moderator: David Mennesson, Director Tellmewhere
  • Rasmus Michau, Founder,
  • Natalie Rastoin, Managing Director, Ogilvy France
  • Raphael Chenol, Head & Tablets New Media, Mobility Services Directorate, PagesJaunes
  • Jerome Léger, Founder Admoove

February 21st

Panel title: Crisis communication in the event of social media

Time: 2:00pm – 2:45pm

Location: Palais Brongniart – Petit Auditorium – Paris

Crisis communication has always existed. Nevertheless, the emergence of the internet and social media in particular has upset its fundamentals. They have indeed brought the crisis communication in a temporality much narrower and require today unprecedented responsiveness to the risk of mistakes. Social media should they be media communication around a crisis? How to manage the immediacy while keeping the mastery of this communication?

Eric Maillard, Directeur Général, Ogilvy PR

Panel title: Social CRM: real communication tool or customer service?

Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Location: Palais Brongniart – Petit Auditorium – Paris

Historically limited by the media (mail, telephone…), the customer relationship is under going a revolution with social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and forums are all means of expression for dissatisfied customers. Brands are now faced with new forms of interaction with their customers and prospects through social platforms for the new generation. What are the challenges of social CRM? What practice sand tools used are they different from traditional CRM? What are the best practices?

Washington DC

February 22nd

Panel title: It’s Not Just About Likes: Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Media

Time: 9am – 10am

Location: Ogilvy Washington DC

Summary: Generating great content and engaging social media conversations can be exciting, but does it affect the behavior of your target audience? Is all of your social media activity resulting in your desired actions? In this session we’ll take a look at a framework for measuring social media efforts to gauge their effectiveness at creating real behavior change, not just engagement.

Panel title: Juggling Social Media Across Cultures

Time: 11am – 12pm

Location: Ogilvy Washington DC

Summary: Take a dozen social platforms, multiply by distribution technologies, add in multiple languages and then divide by cultural differences both subtle and overt and you’ve got a social media manager with a heart attack. Join Ogilvy, Noor, the World Bank, USAID and more to calculate the keys to success.

Panel title: Transportation in a Shared Economy

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Location: Ogilvy Washington DC

Summary: The Taxicab Commission is battling Uber, a public bicycle rental service is changing the face of city streets and any mobile developer with a few hours to spare can use free public data to build an app to compete with Metro’s. What does public transportation look like now that the public — and not the city — is firmly in charge?

Panel title: Show, Don’t Tell: The Rise of the Visual Web

Time:  4pm – 5pm
Location: Ogilvy Washington DC

Summary: With the rapid popularity of Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, 2012 was a breakout year for visual content marketing. As social audiences access more and more social content through mobile devices, consumption habits trend toward succinct content with strong imagery and design. Learn how to make a picture worth a thousand words — and figure out how to cut through the legalese of those Terms of Service (ahem, Instagram…) and learn who really owns and can profit from the pictures you post.


February 20th

Panel title: What makes great social?

Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Summary: There is much debate about what drives memorable social media marketing. Is it an idea built on a social insight? A social campaign that drove sales? An experience that leveraged the latest platform? Join three social brand managers as they unveil the secret ingredients that drive social for their brands. Networking event to follow the session.

Have You Tested Your Digital Fitness Lately?

All of us have different strengths and speeds. Like babies who are new to the world and adapt to their surroundings, we also have the same natural progression with the digital presence of our brands: crawl, walk, run.

We embrace this progression when it comes to educating clients on how to best use social media for their brand and business goals. So much so, that here at Social@Ogilvy, we sometimes act as a digital personal trainer for our clients. We educate, we nurture, we train and we work to help our clients achieve their optimal levels of endurance, maturity and engagement. So we ask, at which stage is your brand?

Are you crawling to understand when and how to tweet? Are you walking into the work of determining where & how you’d like to develop your online presence(s)? Are you a runner that needs incredible digital storytelling campaigns to strengthen your image and increase your reach across platforms?

We have a quick test that can help you assess your digital fitness:

1.  When you hear the words “social media”, what comes to mind?

  1. A.    A waste of time
  2. B.    A necessary evil
  3. C.    The best thing that ever occurred! 


2. When running a social media campaign, is a solid pairing of strategy & measurement important?

  1. A.    No – I have no idea what’s best
  2. B.    Maybe – I just want to have a great social media campaign
  3. C.    Absolutely – anything less & you are setting yourself up for failure


3. Does your brand have an investment, specific to employee and budgetary resources, in social media over the course of the next year?

  1. A.    Not at all – we need to allocate resources elsewhere
  2. B.    We see the benefit in this investment but not sure yet
  3. C.    We are completely invested to growing our digital presence


If you answered A to all the questions, then consider yourself a digital fitness crawler and you should check this out. To be a digital fitness walker, then you either answered B or a mixture of A, B or C to these questions – you might find our case studies to be quite helpful. As a digital fitness runner, you would have answered C to every question and will appreciate our Social@Ogilvy thinking.

Regardless of your result in our fun digital fitness assessment, know that the most important question to ask: WHERE do you WANT your brand’s digital fitness of your brand TO BE?

Have additional thoughts or questions about our digital fitness assessment or anything else Social? Tweet to us @SocialOgilvy and check us out at Social@Ogilvy.

Written by Sophia Aladenoye and Rose Reid.

The Updated Ogilvy Social Media Engagement Code

First of all, this isn’t new. We have had a social media-related ethics code in place since 2005. At that time, it was the Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics. It helped us decide what was ‘best-practice’ and what wasn’t. These are our ethics not something handed down through culture or a governing body. We simply believed that social media’s true power was grounded in trust — trust between bloggers and their readers; between brands and their followers; between marketers and customers.

The updated code covers more contemporary circumstances. Facebook for one. We have learned that there are principles that can guide our behavior in community management as well as influencer management. We have made a choice to embrace the principles of clear disclosure in our work everywhere even while only one consumer protection body that I know of, the FTC, requires it.

I wanted to share with you and certainly ask for input and feedback. This is a living document and can hardly ever be called “done.” Still, it will guide our global teams as we continue to design and execute complex, multi-market programs around the world. Check it out:


The Ogilvy Social Media Engagement Code

Great relationships are built upon trust. From the start, the value for marketers to use social media was to earn the attention, advocacy and action of customers, influencers and stakeholders. While there are ways to improve our odds at “earning” all of this, there are also perils at short term tactics that can undermine the circle of trust and effectively poison the well.

The relationships we grow online between brands and customer or stakeholders are the future of our business. The digital age has changed the marcom world. Our ability to grow healthy relationships, earn brand advocacy, earn a place in someone’s social graph, earn people’s precious time and attention – will define marketing and communications effectiveness.

Trust, transparency, and true value exchange are not clichés nor empty buzzwords. They are the difference between effective use of social media and word of mouth marketing and harming relationships between organizations and their customers and stakeholders.

We, at Ogilvy, have had a social media code of ethics to guide us since 2005. It began as the Blogger Code of Ethics and spoke to our commitment to doing things right. It’s grown but never wavered from what we know from experience is the right way to run our business and provide value to our clients.

So here is the latest generation of our engagement code. This is foundational to how we do things. It has been informed by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Code of Ethics as well as consumer protection laws such as the United States Federal Trade Commission’s Guidelines on Endorsements and Testimonials. This is a living document and will be refined periodically.

Beyond our commitment to doing things right in social media, never forget how David Ogilvy captured our approach to business, “Only first class business, and that in a first class way.”


  • When reaching out to a Influencers & fans (these could be bloggers, journalist-bloggers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, message board members – all of the influencers we might engage) on behalf of a client, we will always identify ourselves as Ogilvy working on behalf of our client, clearly disclosing who we are and who we work for.
  • Within an initial outreach email, tweet or other communication, we will always fully disclose the purpose of the email as it pertains to the program or campaign, our disclosure requirements including a link to Ogilvy’s Social Media Engagement Code.
  • In our communication we will convey why we think an influencer or fan, in particular, might be interested in our client’s product, issues, event or message.
  • When blogging about Ogilvy, an Ogilvy client, or products and services, an influencer must clearly disclose their relationship with Ogilvy and the Ogilvy client, including any ‘material connection’ between Ogilvy or the client and the influencer (e.g. a product loaner, an event experience, travel expenses to a brand event, etc…). We follow the WOMMA Guide to Disclosure in Social Media Marketing for Disclosure Best Practices. This approach outlines our responsibilities in enforcing clear and prominent disclosure.
  • Ogilvy staff will not publish (blog, tweet, Facebook post, etc…) about a client without the explicit agreement from the client that we can do so and then only with full disclosure of our connection to the brand (e.g. adding (cl) to a tweet about a brand to signify that they are a client) and in compliance with Ogilvy’s Social Media Guidelines for Employees
  • In working with employees of brands as ambassadors, we will always enforce their full disclosure of their employee relationship in their external communications.


  • Whatever the influencer or fan chooses to write or produce should always reflect their honest and truthful opinion and actual experience.
  • At the same time, we are responsible for the claims a blogger, whom we engage, makes about a product and when they make incorrect or false claims, we must correct the record
  • When we engage with influencers or fans specifically about a client product or service, they are never required to create positive content about that product or service, no matter the type of experience they may have with us or our client. That is their choice and their opinion is their own.
  • We won’t pretend to have read an influencer’s blog or other content if we haven’t, and we’ll always get to know an influencer before we reach out to them.


  • We will always know who we are trying to engage and respect their position with their audience or community. If they are a professional journalist first and foremost, we will understand that role and treat them accordingly. If they are a busy mom blogger, we will be sensitive to their issues and needs. If they are a customer, we will treat them with care and respect.
  • We will always work hard to have good reason to connect our brand or program with a particular influencer or fan. We know that everyone’s time is precious and will not indiscriminately contact influencers.
  • We will seek to present influencers with a range of opportunities to work together around a campaign, so that he/she can create the best experience possible for their audience. We acknowledge that, when it comes to knowing their audience, they are the expert.

Value Exchange

  • We will always be conscious of the value that an influencer or fan will receive for engaging with us (and how the brand will benefit) and work hard to make it relevant, inspiring and right-sized. And whenever it is something of value from a product loaner, to travel expenses in order to have an experience with the brand or dinner and drinks, we will enforce our disclosure policies.
  • If we reach out to an influencer about a product, campaign or issue, we will not provide monetary compensation (e.g. cash, cash cards, similar cash-like offers) for them to produce positive content about the product, service or brand, because we believe it is bad practice to “buy” favorable reviews and do not want to appear as if we are.
  • If we ask a influencer to review a product and, therefore, provide the influencer with the product to enable him/her to “experience” it, we will ask that he/she be transparent and reveal that he/she has been given the product temporarily, or permanently.
  • If we engage the influencer or fan as an advisor or consultant on a specific project, we will consider providing compensation (agreed upon at the start of the project). This compensation will solely be for time as an advisor or a specific job and will not include an expectation that they will write favorably about the project, product or brand.
  • If an influencer has advertising opportunities on his/her blog or media site, we will counsel our client to consider purchasing advertising as a way to reach their readers. We will make it clear, however, that paying for advertising does not mean that the influencer will post about the campaign or that, if the influencer does, he/she will do so in a way that is favorable to the brand.
  • If we involve people in a contest that rewards sharing or posting of content, we will avoid any conditions that would promote people spamming others or falsely supporting a brand, topic or issue.


  • Unless specifically requested or opted in, Ogilvy will not send email newsletters or other material that could be considered as SPAM to any influencer or fan.
  • Before we email an influencer, we will check out the site/blog’s About, Contact and Advertising page in an effort to see if he/she has said he/she does not like to be contacted by PR/Marketing companies.
  • If an influencer tells us there is a specific way he/she wants to be reached, we’ll adhere to those guidelines.

In accordance with consumer protection laws (we use US law as a global baseline) we will not directly contact children under the age of 13 for any social media or word of mouth marketing program and will comply with all applicable laws dealing with minors and marketing, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (”COPPA”).

The Week That Was On The Wacky WWW

Here are a few funny, entertaining and inspiring things I collected along the way this past week.  The only common thread is that I’ve seen all these things discussed in numerous places, both online and offline.  What did I miss?


If you missed the US Women beat Brazil to advance to the World Cup semi-finals, you missed one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen.  In the final seconds of overtime, Megan Rapinoe landed a ball on the head of Abby Wambach, who finished with authority.  This sent the match into penalty kicks, where the US prevailed (since then, the US has advanced to the finals).  The Internet exploded with excitement, and despite FIFA’s best efforts, it can be found here (the break starts about 5 seconds into where I linked the video).

By the way, this is what you get on YouTube when you search for the official video clip of the goal [insert sad trombone here]:

Sad Trombone

Kenny Powers – MFCEO Of K-Swiss


Not since Old Spice have I seen a brand receive so much Internet love as K-Swiss did this week.  Eastbound and Down is an HBO show about a has-been professional baseball player called Kenny Powers.  Kenny is pretty much the most despicable character on TV, but in a really funny way.  Anyhow, K-Swiss broke a brilliant campaign this week in which Kenny Powers is named CEO of K-Swiss.  There are a series of great video clips on Funny or Die (NOTE: the language is not for the modest) and a cleaner TV version.  Like it or not, this is a brand doing something big, bold and inescapable.

GIFs GIFs Everywhere

Animated GIFs were all the rage this week, apparently because you can post them to Google+.  GIF Shop seems to be the go-to source for creating them yourself, as I’ve done.  Fascinating, I know.  My apologies for not including a cat, which seems to be pretty standard.


How New Yorkers See The Rest Of The US

Thanks to Ogilvy’s Gavin Becker for this gem.  As a former New Yorker I know there’s a lot of truth to it.  The LA-SF note is my favorite.  Click on it to expand.


Driving Social Engagement in the Solar Industry for SunPower

Brands with longer sales cycles have grappled with how to leverage social media to maintain meaningful engagement with potential customers. The purchasing decision process for a residential solar energy system is squarely in this dilemma. Home solar installations have become a more understood product in recent months, and solar industry experts such as Ucilia Wang of Forbes have noted that solar manufacturers are making consumer marketing a priority as consumers become more interested in solar as a viable option for their home.

For most homeowners, the considerations around whether or not to buy a solar system can be daunting. From understanding a timeline for ROI, to appearance, to maintenance, the list of factors to weigh when considering a solar energy installation can be intimidating.With this in mind, SunPower has just launched the Solar Discovery Game as a means to help homeowners better understand the history of solar, mechanics behind the technology as well as the various opportunities a home installation can provide.

The Solar Discovery Game is hosted on Facebook as a completely custom built game, using a SunPower branded Google Maps interface to present solar trivia questions designed to promote solar education and energy awareness. The game supports ongoing engagement by allowing players to earn badges for unlocking achievements. These badges can be published to Facebook friends via wall posts as they progress throughout the experience. The game also leverages Facebook Connect to show a custom leaderboard of just your Facebook friends to drive some friendly competition. Each week, SunPower will add new questions to answer, many of which are based on common misconceptions found in solar conversations online that have surfaced over the last year.

By playing, you can win the grand prize of a complete SunPower solar energy system worth up to $25,000 and will be entered to win more than 60 featured prizes, including plane tickets, video cameras, gift cards, event tickets, SunPower gear, and much more! In addition to offering prizes, we are collaborating with SunPower partners to develop unique questions, which will be placed on the map during the contest.

SunPower Solar Discovery Game

Come play the Solar Discovery Game, and let us know what you think! The game will run throughout the summer, from June 21 to September 14.We’re also looking for you to get involved! Tell us what questions you’d like to see in the game. Also, we’re still accepting partners if you’d like to promote your sustainability efforts, feel free to get in touch. Happy exploring!

Disclosure: SunPower is an Ogilvy client.

Talking Back with Twitter

One of the cooler aspects of Twitter is that it gives consumers a direct line of communication with everyone from big brands to small businesses. It also offers them a chance to talk back when they have a question, concern or complaint. And many of us do just that. But how often do we actually receive a response back?

A recent study* indicated eight in 10 Twitter users surveyed worldwide said they thought the answers businesses posted on Twitter were at least as trustworthy as those from regular people, and about six in 10 said they wanted businesses to respond to them on the microblogging service. Clearly this shows that twitter is more than a nice-to-have for businesses it is becoming an important means of real time conversation with customers.

Actively engaging with your consumers can not only increase your awareness of what’s being said, but also affect people’s buying decisions. According to *Compete Pulse, Twitter is more effective at driving purchase activity than Facebook. 56% of those who follow a brand on Twitter indicated they are more likely to make a purchase of that brand’s products compared to a 47% lift for those who Like a brand on Facebook. This is further evidence that marketers can drive ROI with Twitter by engaging followers through compelling content. See the chart below for more details on usage outcomes across Twitter and Facebook.

While there are brands out there that have a great process in place, a lot of businesses are falling short. One reason I suspect this is happening is because businesses only pay attention to their @ replies and #hashtag mentions, and are missing out on a lot of valuable conversations. This may leave the consumer feeling unappreciated and ignored which is bad for business. So what can be done to prevent that?

There are a few easy solutions. The first is doing a search query for your business name on twitter. Any tweet in which that query is included will appear in order of most recent. This method however is manual and requires that someone remember to do it.

Another, more efficient method, is to use a platform like *Seesmic that allows you to setup a query-specific timeline that will automatically populate whenever anyone in the world includes that query in their tweet. This allows the business to know exactly when anyone uses their name but does not @ reply them. But don’t forget to include common negative keywords, to ensure you are capturing all that is being said about your brand, not just the positive comments.

How would you convince your client to get into the conversation, and go one step beyond looking at their specific @mentions?


When does a brand name create influence?

We’ve all done it. Some of us often and some only occasionally.

We’ve all been guilty of genericide at some point – or, when a trademark or brand name has become the colloquial or generic description for the product or service, i.e. when someone needs a bandage they ask for a BAND-AID®or they need a tissue but refer to it as a Kleenex®.  Or in the digital age, when people say, “Facebook me!” or “Tweet me!”

Last week the French TV regulatory agency Conseil sup©rieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA), determined that the French can no longer say the words Facebook or Twitter on television unless they are used in the context of a news story. The result of this is that the audience can no longer be asked to connect or interact via Facebook or Twitter to find out more, post a comment or ask a question.

Another example to consider is that earlier this Spring Twitter requested that one of its most used applications on Blackberry UberTwitter discontinue using the brand name Twitter in their brand name because of trademark infringement and privacy concerns. UberTwitter was quickly renamed to UberSocial and relaunched within days with new positioning that it is a broadened social communication tool.

Continue reading When does a brand name create influence?

Social Media Week 2011: Facebook Takes Center Stage

Looking back on last week’s Social Media Week 2011, one thing is clear. The event that was born in New York in 2009 has certainly secured the title of “Best Newcomer” on the conference circuit. And Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence jumped at the chance to host events in several hub cities including London, San Francisco and New York.

Since February marks Facebook’s seventh birthday, what better way to celebrate in NYC than to host an interactive workshop with partner and Facebook powerhouse Buddy Media? Entitled “It’s 2011…How’s Your Facebook Strategy Doing?” this session brought together the industry’s top experts in branding and platform development to share their experiences.

Continue reading Social Media Week 2011: Facebook Takes Center Stage