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

Key trends in social media for 2015

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 15.23.39

Well isn’t this lovely?

Just over a year ago now, Marshall Manson and I smashed our heads together for several hours and came up with a fairly lovely document covering off our trend predictions for the year ahead.

Such was the warmth of the collective feedback of said presentation, we’ve done it again this year. Hurrah and hurrah again.

The document outlines a brief review of those ideas as well as a more in-depth look at the thoughts, trends and predictions for next year. However, if you’re a big cheat and don’t want to read the presentation (seriously, what kind of monster are you?) here are the cliff notes:

Trend predictions for 2014: Review
Marshall and I scored four for four with, ‘Disposable Content’,Brand Banter’, ‘Facebook as a Paid Media Channel’, and a little thing called ‘Sub-dividing Communities’. Each and every one of them came true and, well, we’re pretty chuffed about that (the proof is in the deck below).

So without further ado, let’s move on to our Trend predictions for 2015:

Trend 1. Twitter Zero
Algorithmic content serving is coming very soon and, when it hits, and very much like Facebook before it, brands will need to understand not only what paid products are available but also how to use them.

Trend 2. The Video Battle Royale
‘Video’ was one of my ‘things that are not trends for 2015‘ however the BIG BATTLE FOR VIDEO AD DOMINANCE is 100% going to be a thing next year. With Facebook and Twitter both going all in on video-based ad products, we’re also predicting that Instagram’s existing ad products will also soon include video. Did you know Facebook outdid YouTube, on the video front, in 2014? We don’t think Google will let that lie… do you?

Trend 3. Teens & Anonymous Platforms
Less of a trend prediction more a piece of social / anthropological commentary, this section is about there now being a generation of teens who have grown up not knowing a world without an Internet. So what does ‘youth Internet’ look like? And why?

Check it out, you’ll see.

The presentation is embedded below.

And hey, tell us what you think on Twitter (@whatleydude or @marshallmanson) – we’d love to get your feedback!

2015 Trends from Social@Ogilvy


Global Study by Social@Ogilvy: Why We Share

There is nothing more human than sharing, but what exactly triggers us to share content on social networks? Which country shares the most on social media? What content is most popular to share? How do emotions influence what is shared?

Teaming up with SurveyMonkey, Social@Ogilvy examined social media sharing behaviors of 6,500 people in 16 countries.

Here is the definitive report on what people share and why they share it, including:

– The reasons and motivations behind sharing content online
– Local and cultural differences in sharing behavior
– How to make your content more likely to be shared

Does this research hold true for your country?

Why do people share on social media? Global survey results from Social@Ogilvy

Social Digest – The true cost of Comic Sans


Because everyone loves a good font anecdote right? No? In that case, you should probably just close this window right now. Still here? Okay let’s get started then… welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London.

Continue reading Social Digest – The true cost of Comic Sans

Five Learnings from the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

Two months ago, I discovered my 13- and 11-year-old sons posting videos on Instagram proclaiming that they were “accepting the challenge” – and then someone dumped water on their heads from a roof or tree overhead. I remember wondering what they were doing, though not enough to really ask. All of their friends seemed to be taking part in this mysterious challenge, too, so I chalked it up to “tweens and Instagram.”

Fast forward to about four weeks later. Suddenly, people I knew were acting just like my crazy children, posting videos and getting doused with ice-cold water. I watched about five of them (notably from people in separate social circles) before I started to notice the ALS connection. Since then, as we know, the challenge has really caught on – with celebrities and politicians taking part, as well. I wondered aloud, “Did the ALS Association just think, ‘Let’s take advantage of this?’”

fallon billboard

Photo credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

The answer is no. It all began with former Boston College baseball star Peter Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS three years ago. When Frates saw a few kids like mine taking part in the same challenge, he posted on Facebook encouraging people to use their videos to spread awareness of ALS. Then, he challenged some friends to partake in the ice bucket mayhem. His friends took him up on it… and as it turns out, they had some friends of their own. The rest is history – to the tune of over 225,000 new donors and $13 million.

The challenge has been fantastic for the ALS Association, and it’s been fun for the rest of us to watch celebrities and our friends all doing the same things (stars: they’re just like us!). But there have also been some key lessons that can be applied to any brand trying to create a movement beyond just saying, “Buy my product.”

1. The specific cause matters. When the challenge began, many participants were vague in their language, encouraging others to “accept my challenge or donate to a charity.” Many people mentioned a cause close to them in honor of a loved one, but nothing truly caught on until Frates challenged us to recognize his nightmare. It was powerful coming from him. So the ALS part of #ALSIceBucketChallenge really mattered (and it’s also notable that the ALSA didn’t come up with the idea).

2. EVERYONE is on social media, but platform choice is personal. Many people started sharing their ice bucket videos on Facebook. Then Instagram became popular with celebrities. And YouTube was an obvious video-sharing option. But the platform didn’t seem to affect the momentum of the campaign. People engage the way they feel most comfortable – and comfort leads to authentic content.

3. Emotional connection matters. Social media is all about storytelling and sharing. The ice bucket challenge had all of those components and more. First, the story is about what I’m actually doing right now, with this freezing cold water (look at how funny and soaked I am!). Second, the story is about ALS patients. It tugs at two heartstrings and makes people care. And if you care about something, you’ll share it with others. Just by viewing and liking and sharing friends’ videos, you become part of the story. It’s challenging for brands to reproduce such an emotional experience, but to get this kind of traction it is essential.

4. Stunts need time to ramp up. From my kids who undoubtedly found out about this on YouTube, to Peter Frates, to Justin Timberlake, to Lena Dunham, to Oprah – this took six weeks to reach everyone. Most brands don’t employ that level of patience with a program. Instead, they invest in a huge push at launch; and if it doesn’t catch on immediately, it is often deemed a failure. True social movements, however, take some time.

5. When you do the right thing, it resonates. ALS is a horrifying disease. ESPN ran a feature on Peter Frates all weekend (which also was trending on Twitter) to remind us that nothing has changed with the treatment or cure of this disease since Lou Gehrig had it in 1947. The daily struggles of these patients and their families are unimaginable – and giving money to this cause is simply the right thing to do. Let’s not forget about it when we move on to the next social media craze. Donate here.

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. 



Ogilvy & Mather Greece: The Lacta story, so far…

This guest post was written by Panos Sambrakos, Executive Creative Director at OgilvyOne Athens. 

Lacta chocolate has been a symbol of love for generations in Greece. Since the early 90s, all communication for the brand has been in the form of love stories, traditionally as :30 second TV commercials, and more recently in the form of branded content, with an online short in 2009 (“Love at first site“), a crowdsourced TV movie in 2010 (“Love in Action“) and a feature film released in theaters in 2013 (“Love in the end.“).

But in recent years, due to the economic crisis, priorities have started to shift for young Greeks. Instead of searching for true love, they focus first on pursuing a career. At the same time, Social Media has forever altered the way people flirt.

In an age when people didn’t believe in the value of love and didn’t want to invest in it, our mission was to keep the Lacta brand and its love theme relevant.

An integrated campaign was launched in 2014 with a new TVC that talked about the effort one needs to make in order to make a relationship work. It described how much it is really worth to invest in love and how you can find someone that completes you. The main message being “Make the first step, because #LoveDoesExist”.

social media campaign asked people to post messages using the #LoveDoesExist hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Lacta’s Facebook page with the promise of posting selected messages. Selected messages appeared as online display ads, YouTube pre-roll videos and out-door posters on bus stops around Athens. Users could even select the location of the bus stop where their message would appear.

In order to further raise awareness of the social issue and show people how important it is to invest in love, Lacta made an hour-long documentary titled “Does Love Exist?” that aired on the eve of Valentine’s Day as a prime time TV special.

In the documentary an actor, famous for his leading roles in love stories, sets out on a quest to talk with young people and discover how important love is to them. In his journey he talks with people ranging from 30-something singles and rappers recording love songs, to people who have made a conscious choice to be alone.

To balance the viewpoint, the documentary also featured happily-married couples and people in new relationships.

A psychology professor analyzed the young people’s hesitation to invest in love, offering the advice that by falling in love, one has the best chance to discover their true self and grow as a person.

The documentary managed to attract a 17% viewer share during prime time with more than 1.55 million viewers. That day the #LoveDoesExist hashtag became the number #1 trending topic on Twitter in Greece.

On Valentine’s Day, when the complete documentary was posted on Facebook it gathered 130,000 views, 22,000 likes and 37,000 shares. The documentary sparked a discussion that had many people commenting on how much it made them reevaluate their priorities and their stance on love.

Even though Lacta still held its place as the leading milk chocolate brand in Greece, 2013 marked a year of downward sales trends. The new campaign managed to turn around the brand’s negative trend, as Lacta succeeded in gaining the highest value market share of the last 3 years during the week of Valentine’s day, gaining +2.6pp Share Of Market vs that of 2013. (AC Nielsen, Scanning Data).

Additionally, in February Lacta earned February approximately 75% Spontaneous Brand Awareness, increasing by +3pp vs 2013. (TNS Ad. Tracking).

See the complete documentary, subtitled in English below.

Please visit the documentary’s webpage for more information: http://www.doesloveexist.gr/.

Top 5 Trends Your Business Will Need to Follow in 2014

Ricky Bobby image by Jim Larrison (http://www.flickr.com/photos/larrison/)

Ricky Bobby image by Jim Larrison (http://www.flickr.com/photos/larrison/)

Ricky Bobby said it best when he said “if you’re not first, you’re last.” In today’s ever competitive landscape, brands need to be thinking several steps past the norm in order to stay ahead. By putting social practices under a magnifying glass, you can see the path of where things are going, and if you’re smart, apply that to your own business.

Here are a few of the trends we see being crucial to businesses in 2014. You’ll be hearing a lot more about these in the coming months.

Social Acceptance

Maybe a few years ago, most brands saw social as something that would be a nice addition to their media campaigns, but it was just that – an addition. A shiny new toy that they could put a low investment into and it would be just another line item on a final report.

More and more brands are seeing that social is a vital component to any campaign, and just having it in the plan is not enough anymore, so they are throwing some serious budget towards it. This acceptance is creating a shift in client’s budgets at an alarming rate, so in 2014 we will more than likely not hear “do we need social?” It will be more like “what shouldn’t we do so that we can put more focus on social?”

Visual Advertising

In 2013, we saw that brands were shifting away from text based ads on social and focusing more on visuals to tell their story. We see this trend continuing into 2014. Visual platforms like Vine and Instagram may be primarily ad free and user based at the moment, but we predict that we’ll see more ads popping up in newsfeeds, especially with the changes that Facebook are making to their algorithms.

However these ads will be visual in nature, so it’ll look more like friend content and less like an advertisement. The lines between “regular” content and paid will begin to blur. As a brand, you’ll find yourself working more with your graphic designers and less with your copywriters.

More Mobile

Fun fact – in Q3 of 2013, 70% of Twitter’s ad revenue was from mobile. That staggering number will only go up in 2104.

Mobile capability is a godsend to social. Behaviorally, most users are using social on the go, and a smart phone is the perfect tool for that. Your moments are only worth sharing if you are out in the world doing awesome things, right? With that much time being spent on mobile platforms, social ads on mobile will only become more valuable.

Platforms like Twitter, which are very “in the moment” type platforms, will see more and more brands coming to them looking to gain exposure. This is only further solidified with their new ad offerings that include location based ad serves.


If we’re being honest here, ads can be sort of boring. While they can be thought provoking or slick looking, what people really enjoy and see value in are stories. Social provides the perfect platform to tell a brand’s story and not just push this quarter’s message.

Storytelling over pushing product is going to be the disruptor in 2014. This is going to cause a change in thinking about how brands present themselves overall. Brands would be smart to staff their teams with creative as well as brand managers, finding that balance of cool content along with the important brand message. More and more, users will judge brands by the stories they tell and not the ad campaigns.

Content First

In 2014, saying “content is king” will only get you a room full of groans. The idea has evolved enough where it is now commonplace. It has transcended from a good idea to “goes without saying.”

In the new year, if you’re content isn’t funny/thought provoking/sweet/memorable/impactful, then you should give it a second look. With so many brands stepping up their content game, the quality is only going to go up. This goes back to stacking your team with creative minds.

If you have funny/thought provoking/sweet/memorable/impactful people making your content, that’s what it will be.