Reports from our company leaders

Ogilvy & Mather

Report by Miles Young (right)
Worldwide chairman


John Seifert (left)
Worldwide chief executive officer


erhaps one of the most interesting statistics of 2015 is that by the end of the year we were operating over 200 content studios for different clients around the world. Nothing illustrates more graphically how the nature of our business has changed. So what are they doing? The answer is – in various combinations – six primary things. First, they have a ‘community’ function, managing social media content very specifically; then they have an editorial role, playing off the news agenda; next they partner with established media to deliver content and scale; they leverage cultural ‘buzz’ in real-time; key curate and crowd-source content; and, finally, they generate leads using social and research data for effective targeting. And they do it all seamlessly. We believe we are at the pioneering edge of driving models such as these; for us this is not the future: it is the present.

We have amazing talent and capabilities for the modern marketing world, and an enviable portfolio of clients and brands to grow with

But while we are doing that we are very conscious of what it is all for: for driving the power of the brand. Last year, we completed some significant research which showed that consumers value brands in the world of content by the degree to which they do, in other words the way in which they provide a real service to the consumer, and behave according to the way in which they talk. This theme of ‘behavioral branding’ is one on which we now are working with many clients in all regions and categories.

2015 was another outstanding year for Ogilvy – evidenced in terms of creative pre-eminence, new business success, new talent acquisition and discipline advances (with OgilvyOne, Ogilvy Public Relations and Geometry Global and H&O all performing strongly). As we have moved into 2016 so we are transitioning our leadership. After eight wonderful years, I am handing over my responsibilities to John Seifert. Ogilvy born and Ogilvy bred, John represents the very best of our own brand. It is a carefully planned transition, and will be completed by September 2016.

John writes:

"I inherit a company and brand that has revitalized in the last eight years, particularly creatively. Together with co-chairman, Tham Khai Meng, I am very clear about our opportunity: growth through great work.

We have amazing talent and capabilities for the modern marketing world, and an enviable portfolio of clients and brands to grow with.

We will continue to adapt our business system to transform how we work: faster, more connected, and more agile – and all globally. Great work demands: sharper thinking through deeper and more relevant brand, business, and market insights; big and enduring ideas that unify, breaking out from an explosion of fragmented content and delivery channels; and creative craft skills that enable irresistible storytelling and deeper audience engagement.

All this, is for one purpose: to better serve our clients by making their brands matter in our dynamic and ever-changing world."

I wish John and his new leadership team good fortune as they drive us forward into the new world of content and brands that do

Ogilvy has been a family for me, not just a workplace, for almost 35 years. While I will continue to remain close to it, I cannot help but feel pangs of sadness, and a great sense of gratitude to all who live the family values of our brand day by day.