Ogilvy unveils new identity: CEO Seifert explains agency's new structure and purpose
All of the old Ogilvy group silos, including the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the customer engagement specialist Ogilvy One and Ogilvy Public Relations, have been dismantled over the past 18 months and from today the whole company officially becomes a single entity, simply called Ogilvy, operating with a unified P&L.
Campaign: John, you've fundamentally re-engineering of one of the biggest agency groups in our industry. Why?
Here's the way I'm thinking about it: we are a reflection of our clients. So what I'm saying to clients is "Ogilvy wants to be a brand that you trust to look at the totality of your brand needs with the most holistic and integrated mindset possible. We don't ever want you to feel that when Ogilvy is sitting across the table from you, we are trying to sell you something that it as the expense of thinking about the totality of your brand and its needs.
There's definitely a move away from time based cost models. We're moving more and more to either task based or outcome based models. It's extraordinary to me the number of competitive reviews from the last year where you've had clients bundle together a whole bunch of asks: "show me how you link media, data, content, brand strategy, performance marketing. I want a completely integrated view of the whole modern marketing agenda for our company. Oh and, by the way, I want that to cost 25% or 50% of the totality of what we're spending on all this stuff today."
This is the new language around defining the specialist skills that our new offering delivers. It's about moving from those old siloed individual lines of business to capabilities that we think fit the needs of a modern brand marketing communications world. So, we have six core capabilities that demonstrate the diversity of our offering but also reveal how we can look at brands in a much more whole, complete way through the promise of those brands, the experience of those brands and the reputation of those brands.
My hope is that they start to feel the rationale behind everything that we've been doing structurally and start to see it in a much larger, more emotionally compelling context. I hope the penny drops, where people can see the manifestation of the softer aspects of the organisation – purpose, culture, values, behaviours, point of view on who we are and why we matter – and they can say "oh, now I understand why we're going to integrated teams on bespoke client requirements" or "now I understand why I should be less worried about positioning myself in the hierarchy of a department and more open to how I develop my craft so that, if I'm a writer or a designer, I'm more comfortable doing my work in an age of digital transformation". That's what I'm counting on, that this just puts a much more fun, emotionally rewarding set of parts on the table that people can use to make sense of what has come before.
Here, to be honest with you, is the reality: I could not be more appreciative of – it hasn't been 100% - but 98% of the leadership team I inherited when I took on this role have been nothing but supportive and have contributed enormously to where we are.
We're defining the purpose of the company in a way that we believe is true to the vision of David Ogilvy 70 years ago. This is about making brands matter and that means putting creativity at the centre of everything we do, as it has always been.
This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.