Three Tips for Creating Great Content, with Jamal Edwards

In June Vanity Fair and Intelligence Squared held their inaugural Digital Summit.OgilvyDo, Ogilvy’s online publishing arm was a media partner. I went along and had a chat with Jamal Edwards, CBE owner and founder of the hyper successful YouTube channel SBTV.

He’s a lovely chap and we had some fun banter. Along the way I asked him his top 3 tips for creating great content;

1. Take calculated risks; get the shot / interview / access you need for a great story and ask forgiveness later.

2. Tick at least two or three boxes that make your content something that your audience can relate to and they are far more likely to engage and share it;

  • Not covered by the mainstream media
  • Be funny
  • Shocking
  • Scary
  • Entertaining or
  • Nostalgic (this is a key one for SBTV audiences)

3. Use Barry Manilow lyrics at every opportunity

The full interview is on the YouTube, where else? And there’s more OgilvyDo coverage of the Summit over here.

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Where Are You on the Social Growth Curve?

Before the advent of social media, reaching consumers was simple and broadcast. But with the rapid changes in communication, connecting with current and potential customers has never been so challenging. While consumers spend more time on social platforms than ever before, they are also becoming more easily distracted. It’s a tough environment for trying to build a brand.

Nowadays the majority of brands understand the need for developing a social practice, but each must make the decision about what role social media will play within the company.  There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this, and we often see businesses adopting one of two approaches.

The first is the thought that social media is just a channel, not a behavior. People are following a fad that will eventually end. Brands can use the channels to post information, but broadcast communication has and always will be the best solution.

On the other end of the spectrum sits the social die-hards who believe social media is the only strategy, that there’s no longer a role for traditional marketing practices. All efforts go to using technologies and emergent platforms regardless of the broader business ambitions.

The truth is neither is absolutely correct. There’s a middle ground. Yes, social media is a communications channel that deserves it’s own strategy, but beyond that it should be fully integrated in support of building the brand, reputation, and business in a socially-enabled world.

But developing this type of social practice is a process, an evolution we call the Social Growth Curve. Brands generally experience three distinct phases in their growth:


Disjointed – Emphasis is on channels, with small ideas that tend to be tactical, stunt-driven, or opportunistic. Activities are disjointed with enterprise customer service, sales, or CRM teams and platforms.

Attached – Social is often an afterthought, with ideas attached to social or social attached to ideas. While there is integration with the business it’s often in an ad hoc manner.

Assimilated – Impact of social media beyond social platforms is taken into consideration. Social has been considered throughout and assimilated with every step of the customer journey and brand planning.

While full assimilation is the aim, that does not mean that the early phases are wrong. Brands may not have a structure in place to support full integration. Or in some cases, even if a brand has developed to this phase, they may at times employ social media in a tactical manner or as an add-on depending on their needs at a point in time. The takeaway here is that social can, and should, be considered as having an integral role across all aspects of the business.

For years, people have debated the impact of social on business. This debate may continue, but it’s clear that brands are figuring it out and seeing real results. But it all starts with understanding how social media can support all aspects of the business. And it’s those companies that develop the understanding and apply it to their social practice whose brands, reputations, and businesses will thrive in our socially-enabled world.

Cannes Lions First Shortlists Announced

Here at Cannes, it’s near time for the victory celebrations to begin. The first round of shortlists in several categories has been announced and Ogilvy has had a strong showing. Congratulations to all the teams!

Here’s some of the great work up for awards:

Office: Ogilvy & Mather New York
Client: Coke Zero
Campaign: Drinkable Advertising
Shortlists: Direct Marketing: Digital & Social Use of Mobile Marketing, Direct: Product & Service Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Media: Product & Service Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Promo & Activation: Product & Service Food & Drinks


Office: Ogilvy & Mather Beijing
Client: VisitBritain
Campaign: Great Chinese Names for Great Britain
Shortlists: Direct Marketing: Digital & Social Use of Social Audience in a Direct Marketing Campaign, Direct: Product & Service Travel, Entertainment & Leisure, Media: Digital & Social Use of Social Platforms


Office: Ogilvy & Mather London
Client: Battersea Dogs Home
Campaign: Looking For You
Shortlists: Direct Marketing: Craft Customer Journey, Direct: Use of Direct Marketing Targeted Ambient Media Large Scale, Media: Product & Service Charities, Media: Use of Media Events & Stunts, Media: Use of Media Screens, Promo & Activation: Digital & Social Use of New Technology in a Promotional Campaign


Office: Ogilvy & Mather New York
Client: UPS
Campaign: Wishes Delivered
Shortlists: Direct: Strategy Retention


Office: Ogilvy & Mather New York
Client: IBM
Campaign: US Open Sessions
Shortlists: Promo & Activation: Product & Service Corporate Image & Communication


Office: Ogilvy & Mather London
Client: British Airways
Campaign: The Mood Blanket
Shortlists: Promo & Activation: Use of Ambient in a Promotional Campaign Small Scale


Office: Ogilvy Japan
Campaign: Lights On The Streets
Shortlists: Direct: Integrated Campaign Led by Direct Marketing


Office: Ogilvy Singapore
Client: Transient Workers Count Too (Twc2)
Campaign: Mums and Maids
Shortlists: Direct Marketing: Digital & Social Use of Social Audience in a Direct Marketing Campaign, Promo & Activation: Product & Service Charities, Promo & Activation: Digital & Social Use of Social Audience in a Promotional Campaign


Visit the Cannes Lions Archives to see more work and check back for more updates. Also, follow @socialogilvy and myself, @thomascrampton, on Twitter for more from Cannes.

How & why to use Pinterest “buy” button

In a similar move to Instagram’s action-oriented advertising, Pinterest announced a demand generation platform update earlier this month: the buy button. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What’s new?

  • Pinterest is adding a “buy it” button that will enable users to purchase directly within the app, search by price, and easily select product color, size and quantity. The color selections will be available in a carousel below product image.
  • The user experience has been optimized for mobile shopping.
  • Payment processed by Apple Pay or credit card. Merchants fulfill their own orders and Pinterest prices will be the same as eCommerce stores.
  • Launching to Apple users in the US in coming weeks. No dates on roll-out in other markets yet.
  • Pinterest won’t take a cut of purchases but will monetize via Promoted Pins.
  • The functionality follows Instagram “Buy” ads, Facebook’s Sell Something feature on Groups, and Twitter’s partnership with Barclays Pingit payment service.

Why should a brand use the Pinterest Buy button?

  • Pinterest users want to be able to shop for the items they search for and pin. This new functionality will allow a seamless in-app purchase experience for user.
  • The quick and easy potential to buy should increase sales. If not, it will give you insights to optimize Pinterest for sales!
  • Social media value will be more effectively measured in terms of sales conversion and revenue, rather than re-Pins and Likes.
  • Brands will gain access to data about their customers which could lead to insights for potential retail partnerships, improved media targeting, deeper social CRM … and a myriad of other things!
  • Insights about which products, photographs, titles and descriptions drive conversion can be applied to optimize content on other social platforms like Instagram.

How should brands use the Pinterest Buy Button?

  • Right now, if you’re not a major US brand you’ll unfortunately need to sit tight. Pinterest is working with select major brands, including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Cole Haan, Kate Spade and Nordstrom to launch 2+ million “Buy it” buttons this month. They aren’t clear on when the rollout will go to more brands and/or markets. If you are a major US brand I can help you get in touch with Pinterest to see if you can be part of the second rollout. No promises!
  • Alternatively, retailers with Shopify and Demandware (Pinterest partners) should soon be able to use Buyable Pins. No exact timings though.
  • Keep an eye out on further evolutions because Pinterest are also rumored to be planning on adding other utility buttons – such as “Wish List”.

Here’s this information in a handy ppt format you can share with your team:

How & why to use Pinterest “buy” button from Social@Ogilvy


How to work with Startups

Join this webinar to learn how technology partnerships can fuel a brand’s growth.

Innovation is more than a buzzword. It has become integral to the way that brands communicate and connect with their consumers. And with the number of startups fueling the technology industry there is an increasing amount of opportunities for brands to innovate their offerings, strategies, and experiences.

Whilst exciting, the thriving landscape can also be overwhelming. Brands and agencies looking for partnerships are faced with the questions: What is out there? Who is the right partner? How do I approach them? What should I expect?

In this webinar we will be joined by KITE, an emerging technology platforms marketplace focused on helping brands and agencies find technology partnerships, and startups Retailigence (EAME) or Chute (APAC and AMERICAS). We will discuss:

  • What is the startup technology landscape?
  • Which brands have successful innovation partnerships? Spoiler alert: cases from Starwood Hotels, Hellmann’s and Heineken
  • How do you get started with brand partnerships?
  • Tips for navigating legal and vendor setup, and implementing the project

To receive invitations for all of our webinars, please subscribe here.

Below is the presentation from the Social On Us webinar: 

How to work with startups from Social@Ogilvy

Instagram ads: what, why and how

Instagram is rolling out advertising to everyone – no longer just a select few brands such as Taco Bell and Michael Kors.

Below we capture what’s new, why you should use Instagram ads, and how to get started. Continue reading Instagram ads: what, why and how

Getting Social @ Ogilvy with Nicky Szmala, K1ND

As the the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, 3D printing, and robots become increasingly present in our everyday lives, innovation as a brand will be vital to remaining relevant and top of mind in consumers’ lives.

We caught up with Nicky Szmala, creative partner at innovation agency K1ND (pronounced One Kind), to learn more what his team does and what he sees as the future of innovation in our industry.

S@O: In 140 characters or less, tell us what everyone should know about K1ND.

NS: K1ND is Ogilvy & Mather’s innovation agency in Asia Pacific. We’re helping brands grow by creating consumer experiences and new products empowered by technology.

S@O: What do you think K1ND will be doing this time next year?

NS: I think demand from brands in terms of strategic advice on innovation will increase. Instead of an afterthought it will become an integrated part of the communication planning process. That’s the only way to stay ahead of the competition and catch trends before they become mainstream.

S@O: Name one prediction for the future of the advertising, PR, and communications industry.

NS: The Internet of Things demands to be present in new contexts, like smart homes, and provide value to consumers beyond entertaining brand messages. It’s exciting because it allows us to get closer to customers and create or plug into ecosystems as well as new platforms (think of ‘Works with Nest’).

S@O: What was your last update to a social media platform?  

NS: A 3D print from an ultrasound image lets a blind pregnant woman know what her baby looks like.

3D printing

Source: Huggies Brasil/AdWeek

That’s the power of technology.

S@O: If you could be Facebook friends with anyone in the world, who would it be?

NS: I think it would be Elon Musk because he is working on solving really big ideas. The Powerwall is just genius and might solve our energy consumption problem on a global scale. Also Lei Jun (CEO of Xiaomi) because he empowers China’s youth with affordable technology. Finally, Jack Ma (CEO of Alibaba) because 60% of the things that come to my home are either bought on Tmall or Taobao (another 30% come from other eCommerce sites in China that wouldn’t exist if he didn’t create such a big success story).

Pharma In Social: How To Succeed

The fast-moving pace of social media, and the powerful amplifying effect that it can have on perceptions about a brand, means that even for the bravest of businesses it can be a daunting space. And for pharma companies the added regulatory boundaries and compliance constraints do not always go hand-in-hand with the norms of social media. But that is no reason to stay away from the game.

While there is evidence of ‘social anxiety’ across the global pharma industry, many organisations are getting involved in the online conversation. Ogilvy CommonHealth has conducted an analysis of these brands to understand the landscape and identify the trends and best practices that are driving pharma companies’ success in social media.

In the presentation below, we share the results of the study, answering the questions:

  • What is the landscape and how has it changed?
  • Who are the top performers and why?
  • What are the best practices?

Connecting The Dots: Which pharma companies are succeeding in the social media space? from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

Getting Social @ Ogilvy with Thierry Soubestre, Page Karma

Data has always been important for brands to better understand consumers and target messages. With the amount of data collected through social networking sites – what they do, things they like, causes they defend, what they buy, and the list goes on – understanding how to cut and analyze the data to derive consumer insights can be daunting task.

Our partner agency Page Karma is a leader in this space, offering solutions to help brands better understand consumers and optimize communications strategies. We spoke with Thierry Soubestre, General Director at Page Karma, to learn more about his company and what impact data will have for the future of the industry.

S@O: In 140 characters or less, tell us what everyone should know about Page Karma.  

TS: Page Karma accompanies you throughout your social media presence in order to help you understand it, measure your performance and improve!

S@O: What do you think Page Karma will be doing this time next year?

TS: We will work on ways to improve the knowledge and understanding of our “real-life” customers based on their Social Networks activity.

S@O: Name one prediction for the future of the advertising, PR, and communications industry.

TS: The Advertising and the Social Media industries will be more tightly integrated and more than ever will be influenced by Data.

S@O: What was your last update to a social media platform?

TS: A few hours ago about our brand new Profiling & Market Research service named Profiler.

 S@O: If you could be Facebook friends with anyone in the world, who would it be?

TS: I can’t just pick one.

Excitement and Controversy Over Facebook Instant Articles

With Facebook’s announcement of Instant Articles this week comes excitement and controversy. While the update boasts an improved user experience with faster, richer content, for some there is worry that publishers will lose control of their content creation and distribution.

Only time will tell the legitimacy of these claims and concerns, but one thing for certain is that Instant Articles will change the way content is consumed on the platform. And while Instant Articles is currently limited to nine partner publishers, it’s important for brands to understand how the update changes the platform’s dynamics, what opportunities it presents, and consider how it might play into the broader content strategy when access to the tool is opened up to a wider audience.

In the slides below, we give a review of Instant Articles and discuss the implications both for brands and the industry as a whole.

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Facebook Instant Articles from Social@Ogilvy