The Masters Of Creative Selling: How Ogilvy Understands the Social Video Audience

The Masters Of Creative Selling: How Ogilvy Understands the Social Video Audience

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When you think of agency powerhouses, you think of Ogilvy. Founded in 1948, Ogilvy is an international advertising, marketing, and public relations agency based in Manhattan with a presence in over 83 countries worldwide. Self-identifying as the “one doorway to a creative network”, Ogilvy provides clients with a range of marketing services, including brand identity, brand entertainment, creative design, customer analytics, and strategic planning, promising to “make brands matter in a complex, noisy, hyper-connected world.”

Unless you live under a rock, you will recognize the plethora of brands they work with – Coca Cola, Dove, IBM, American Express – to craft emotive campaigns aimed at driving effective purchasing behavior. One of my recent favorites is their work on the “Beautiful Real Moms – Baby Dove” campaign. So poignant, so honest and as a parent, so relatable. David Ogilvy said it best, “Advertising is not an art form, it’s a medium for information, a message for a single purpose: to sell. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product”.

Tubular sat down with Robert Davis, Head of Digital at Ogilvy, to discuss how you make brands matter in this intensely competitive market. As one of the OG digital marketing masterminds, Davis is the perfect person to confirm how you need to deeply understand the consumer in order to create compelling content and maintain brand relevance. More importantly, he understands how to effectively measure and present this data to clients to secure future business. Below, is an excerpt from our interview and the full video.

Tubular: What is the biggest challenge for marketers in video?

Robert Davis: One of the challenges in video right now is that we think about the marketing world as kind of nonlinear. And what we’re actually doing is using this kind of video entertainment, video information, to insert into somebody’s very linear experience. So how do we get the user to make the next choice? Whether it’s choosing another video, clicking on a link, going to brand’s website? How do we make our content fit into the linear path that they’re following?

Tubular: How is video being used disrupt the buyer’s journey and how Ogilvy is capitalizing on that?

Robert: So what we’re starting to see is that people are preferring content related to what they’re into watching at the moment users actually want the ad content to be related to the content they’re watching at the time. So if I’m watching sports videos, give me sports ads. If I watching a comedy show, give me humor. The question from the marketplace back to brands is what are you going to do that enhances my experience?

Part of the remit of the digital team at Ogilvy USA is to track trends. See what’s coming next. Figure out what’s going to have enough relevance soon enough to bring it in front of a client. And there’s several ways that we do that. I am a huge believer in data driving that. So, you know, we can all pick up a trade magazine and read about what’s being developed and that’s exciting, and that’s awesome. But if I can pick up some data that shows me that there’s been a change in a way an audience is behaving now or there’s been a little bit of a different adoption of the technology than what we thought was going to be, that’s what I wanna pounce on. Because all of my clients, all of the KPI’s that I have, are about business goals that are in the next quarter, the next two quarters, maybe by the end of the year. So, I’m looking for things that are exciting four or five years down the road.

Tubular: When you think of metrics, what really matters?

Robert: There’s a lot of data that I think is important that maybe the marketplace doesn’t realize the importance of. For example, I don’t really care that much about total subscriber counts with a YouTuber. But I care very much about their active audience at a particular moment. With that, I want to understand what’s happened in the last two months, the last three months, the last six months etc before making a decision.

Tubular: What tools, partners do you rely on to ensure you are measuring video effectively and adjusting accordingly? Why is partnering with Tubular important to your business?

Robert: For video work, we focus heavily on what platforms partners provide with respect to KPI’s, tracking usage and all our measurement needs. One of the reasons that we use Tubular is that the data that we get is the kind of data that’s valuable to us in real-time and cross-platform.

We use Tubular in a number of different ways. For example, we were working with one client in the CPG space last year that wanted to do their first major work with a YouTube creator. And the Tubular data was the root of the entire project. We looked up who we wanted to work with, got an idea of who the right creators were, what their audiences were reacting to, what other content they were watching through the platform. We used Tubular inside and out on that project just to get to the point where we knew the creator we wanted and could pick up the phone and talk to him.

Tubular: What has been a key learning in the Ogilvy’s journey for growing audiences? Can you pinpoint a moment or an action that has caused momentum?

Robert: We’re not about building an audience as much as we are about satisfying the audience that’s there. So any data that I can get, that shows me what’s happening in the moment, is very valuable to me.

One of the interesting things in the maturation of the video market and understanding what consumers want from video, has been the shift from the early days of viral video. It’s about building an audience. Brands aren’t used to building audiences. That’s not something that advertisers have done before the TV age. Now it’s about brands building an audience and owning an audience. That’s an entirely different point of view than what we’ve had for the rest of the history of electronic media and advertising.

Tubular: Care to make a prediction for the future of social video?

Robert: I honestly don’t think that we use data enough in the online video world. There’s so much that we can learn from user behaviors. Not just in terms of where to distribute our content, or what kind of advertising impact we think it’s gonna have. But, in how we tell the story. And who we tell the story with.Who we partner with on these stories. All of that data is out there.

So I think the brands that are doing the best job today focus on audience building, they focus on storytelling over the long haul, and they have a purpose. Let’s give the online audience the content that they want, and data can help us figure out what that is.


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