Agency Xray- Ogilvy UK's Take on Integration

This is an interesting presentation by Giles from Ogilvy on social media that gives a good insight into how they are approaching integration and social media. 

The full video on his site looks at a case study from Lenovo on the Beijing Olympics which I wish I had built, but picking out just parts referring to how Ogilvy works with digital shows how much things have progressed since I was there.


  • Digital is not a silo – Digital, as well as social and mobile (and new ones to come) are all cross discipline.  This was well underway when I was at OgilvyOne and makes sense when there are over 150 digital professionals spread across 14+ companies (in the UK alone).
  • Discipline Heads, Digital Hearts and Multi-Disciplinary Muscles – this is a nice way of putting it since clients often want to engage with a specific discipline, even to buy integrated solutions and digital is not a silo.  The question back to Ogilvy — since OgilvyInteractive isn't called out — is who takes the call when the client wants a Digital discipline lead?
  • Brainz – looking to fundementally revisit how work is created by having a social network that allows crowd sourcing solutions
  • Blackbook of Suppliers
  • 80/20 – From Mckinsey – 80% what works well and 20% innovation and testing

It is true that digital is pervading all of the traditional disciplines of marketing (advertising, direct marketing, PR, promotion) and that teams across all of these disciplines need to be able to understand and respond to digital questions.  If the speading around doesn't dillute the skillset — and using good technology can help avoid this — then it looks like a good approach.

Tablet Technology – Apple to launch Eye Tracking?

Is this a great piece of technology that really could change the game — if it can be made practical?  Or as CES closes and everyone waits for Apples big release, are the rumours just building to get us all engaged.

Recombu does a nice piece of analysis on why it is possible.  And even why it would be a very Apple thing to do.

Apple has historically adapted niche input methods and popularised them for a mainstream audience. It did it with the computer mouse in 1984, and then again with the touchscreen in 2007. Both technologies had languished in esoteric devices, or in the case of the mouse, in the labs of Xerox Parc. To imagine today’s PC without a mouse is unthinkable. The inclusion of eye-tracking tech in the company’s forthcoming tablet would be Job’s magnum opus. What better flourish to a career that began with the popularisation of windows, icons, mouse and pointer than to usurp them all?

And there is a bit of substance in the a patent application in place and reported purchase of eye tracking units from Swedish technology company Tobii.
Overall to me I’d be surprised if the iSlate launches with real eye tracking.  I’m still waiting for decent voice recognition before I buy into an electroencephalographic headset to finish my powerpoint presentation.

Interesting Eye Tracking Links: – interesting video of eye tracking controlling a mouse – some of the learning of eye tracking research / heat mapping on website usage – classic video of headtracking’s impact on the Wii experience

A Few Recommended Books

A small step into the work of ecommerce affiliate fun that you just can't do on

And a quick collection of interesting books.  I can see this will have to make it's way to a library page when I get the time.  For now it is simply amazing that one can add a functioning affiliate widget … in less then 10 minutes.

If you haven't read them, want to read them or or going to buy on of them anyway, click through from here!"

Future of Marketing

There were a couple of stories recently that remind me why we all have to understand Search.

Search Marketing is Marketing 2.0 on steroids.  It is not just the auction process or sponsored links or automated bid management, it is all of it and the fact that there are no campaigns but instead ongoing optimisation.  And it is constantly changing as engineers re-work their algorithms to make their search platforms work better and decrease search spam.

When you consider  the new concept of Link Intent and the fact that these marketing platforms will sit under our “TV” video viewing and you understand we all have some work to do.

Get ready madison avenue, soon, very soon, all media will be served!

Everyone recognises the positioning of a headline is critical.  What happens when the pages you’ve created, your bid strategy and the actual behaviour of searchers impacts whether your ad is shown at all?  Welcome to Link Intent.

Authority, temporal factors, anchor text anomalies, document ranking and relevance, excessive reciprocals, TrustRank and harmonic rank, page segmentation and humans all come into play when search engines determine relevance.

Confused?  Check out this article: Understand How Search Engines Consider Link Intent
or if you are  real glutton for punishment:  Detecting Nepotistic Links by Language Model Disagreement


GoogleLogo.jpgMOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google, the online search giant, has formed a partnership with a technology company that will allow marketers buying cable airtime via its television advertising platform to tailor spots for specific audiences.

It has been argued that Google
has exerted a mixed impact on the advertising, marketing and media industries, although the company was forced into a rare retreat earlier this year when it closed its radio and print ad services.

The internet pioneer has now agreed a tie-up with Visible World, which has developed a system enabling brand owners to “target viewers with real-time offers, products, and creative based on geography, programming, inventory levels, time of day, weather, and other business conditions.”

Such a result is achieved by drawing demographic and other information from cable set-top boxes, which can then be used to alter various aspects of communications, such as the script or promotional offers featured, as appropriate.

Among the other facilities the “intelliSpot” software provides is to allow advertisers to withdraw commercials that are found to be under-performing, and replace them with alternative executions.

Google will pay Visible World to use this service, which will be made available through its TV Ads portal, described by the Mountain View-based firm as a “flexible, all-digital system for buying more accountable and measurable TV advertising.”

Mike Steib, director of Google TV Ads, argued “audiences are more and more fragmented. One ad with one message for one audience is not the right thing for everyone.”

Lenovo, the IT company, has previously worked with Visible World to run 50 targeted ads containing bespoke offers and links to a campaign website, allowing the company to track results.

It originally bought the relevant cable inventory using Google TV Ads, and was said to have been one of a number of advertisers which encouraged Google to consider an alliance with Visible World.

CableVision, the cable provider, and DirectTV, the satellite broadcaster, are also both attempting to make inroads into behavioural advertising.

However, Craig Moffet, an analyst with Bernstein Research, recently wrote in a summary to investors that “addressable advertising on cable has been two years away from reality for, oh … about 10 years.”

YouTube, the video-sharing portal owned by Google, is also trialling a new service enabling its content partners to insert ads of their choosing into material they have uploaded to the site.

The FreeWheel ad-serving programme is also used by CBS and Warner Brothers, and effectively means YouTube is part of a broader, third-party ad network for the first time.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff, 29 July 2009

Earth Hour – Still Time to Take Part

A friend Robin Grant is working on this campaign with his company with his comapny We Are Social.

Can’t wait to hear how social media impacts this is an on / off-line event. 

Sort of like a high-profile, main-stream, quasi-flash mob.  The effect of doing something, even as minor as turning off your lights, somehow makes it all different.

We’ve already seen a host of e-mails go across the office network.

Great to be able to do a simple post like this one as well.

Linx goes to … TMW. BBH Digital?

This is interesting.  It seems like it was only yesterday that we were all talking about BBH having won Lynx’ digital business.  It was one of the big events like Glue almost winning 3’s advertising.  And it made digital veterans like Ian Tate question on the difference between digital and advertising clients.

Their first campaign launch, the Lynx Effect, was called an “agenda setting event” by Clare Beale herself.  She called out the planning and striking design in an editorial, and in her column in the Independent made it sound as if the growth of the digital agency was done.

21 January 2008, The Independent

So the new site –
– is crammed with clever chat-up tools, such as a “fit girl finder” that you can download on to your mobile, and advice like, “Alcohol and chocolate make for a lady-wowing combination”, so click for cocoa cocktail recipes. And yes, there are plenty of sexy pics and the whole thing is beautifully crisp and user-friendly.

But sod what the punters might think of it. The big question in adland is: “Can the non-specialist agencies do digital?” On the basis of BBH’s Lynx work, the answer’s a big, agenda-setting “yes”.

Claire Beale is editor of Campaign

I’m not sure at the time the digital specialists out there were as impressed by the site.  Other work like BBH’s launch of an Audi site was pretty heavily critiqued.  With a brand like Lynx it is usually easy to make great viral, and interactive campaign sites like Dare’s Feather show it.  This site, aside from a great early use of video, is interactive, has send to a friend features and is original.

Brands doing their own video sharing sites like the Linx Effect are dismal and really were only proposed because teams new to digital could say “a YouTube for <insert brand here>.”  Or maybe it is the opportunity for junior ad agency art directors to try out their directing skills for the seeding videos.  Unfortunately they rarely catch on with the public as Coke found out in a big way.  As did Hellmann’s.  And countless others.

Of course the bigger question is what happened to BBH’s digital team?  Was the big digital build out just a pr exercise?  There was a very tight campaign with the reporting on hires like Michelle Stanhope from Glue. And the Linx win just afterwards.  Had BBH truly turned the from its break up with Dare?  In that case a group of digital experts decided they couldn’t work with the big famous ad agency — even despite BBH owning 37% and having John Bartle himself as non-executive chairman.

I think the answer is that “learning digital” and integration is harder then people expect.  This article from the Times gives a nice view — and has a great quote that explains it.

Consider BBH’s Executive Creative Director’s quote here:

The Times – 13 May 2007

John O’Keeffe, executive creative director at BBH, is sceptical that there is anything unique about digital marketing skills. “There is a very, very simple truth to all this,” said O’Keeffe. “Nothing is more important than the idea. The people who espouse the view that [digital specialists] have some kind of technological advantage are diminishing in number. It’s just not the case.”

He added: “The technology is functionally very simple. It’s not difficult to find people who can press the right buttons. What’s difficult, and what’s always been difficult, is getting people who can have a great creative idea.”

I can’t say I know John O’Keeffe but I think I’ve met a number of people like him.  Ideas are very important — but unlike a print ad, in the digital world the idea is only the beginning.  And in the same Times article, the journalist hits the real point.  The client’s point of view.

Unilever’s Alan Rutherford sounds less certain that the technical skills are easily acquired. He said: “We’ve given BBH the Lynx account to see if
they can get up to speed on digital.”

Unilever awards Lynx digital account to TMW

by Fiona Ramsay,

03-Feb-09, 11:45

– Unilever has appointed digital and direct agency TMW to work on the
digital marketing account for the Lynx brand following a pitch.


Azure Aviation Update

Just did a check on the application my brother and I set up in 2004 to service the private aviation industry. 

We had a good run and built out the brand, did a couple tradeshows and built up the clients from the original partner to 5 others.

My brother is still keeping it working for the key partners and just did a homepage redesign.

Great Digital Tools

There are times when the internet gives you a great tool that can help you in work and play. 

Like Google. 

Or more approachably like animoto or this wordie.

I dropped in a recent speach I made at the iris UK forum in December and made a tag cloud.  I must work in a Digital Marketing Agency.

Digital Marketing — Banners, Microsites & E-mail?

As more of the media we watch, read and enjoy becomes digital, more of the marketing community is taking up the digital mantel.  Welcome.  It is true that if the work is kept fairly straight-forward and the agency team have a good production partner they can deliver the banners, microsites and e-mails that check the “digital” box.

But is that really digital marketing?

One of my favourite tests for a digital marketing campaign is to ask if it is “interactive” not just digital.  Can the audience act and does the ad react?  Hard to do in traditional media.

A second test is whether it is impossible to run the work without using the computer that serves it.  Having a film or pieice of video call your mobile phone like our St. Mary’s Ghost campaign did is hard if you don’t have a processor behind it and the forethought to use it.  This is different then putting a film on YouTube or print piece in e-mail.

But really the real point is that digital marketing is different from traditional marketing at a more fundamental level.  Consider the article below.  There is a fundamentally different way of thinking when you do real Digital Marketing — It isn’t about campaigns, it is about programmes.  It isn’t about who (audience demographics), it is when (mindset and interest).

And it isn’t just about creative that needs a computer to run, it is about marketing plans that can’t even be organised, much less executed, without some very specific applications and very big networked computers behind them.

At Last, What Agencies Are Learning From Ad Networks Revealed

Posted November 6th, 2008 by Joe Mandese

“More and more we are starting to look like advertising networks,” Don Epperson, CEO of Havas Digital acknowledged during his keynote kicking off the OMMA Ad Nets conference in New York this morning. “I am here today to tell you what agencies can learn from advertising networks.”

And he did.

So what’s the main takeaway? Well, agencies are learning to target consumers based as individuals, not based on advertising placements. To illustrate that, Epperson showed a banner ad for Havas client Air France on the, and implied it may no longer be making such placements based on the context of the editorial content, but on the context of the user that happens to be on that page.

“That’s a very big change,” Epperson emphasized.

Before he went on, he added the obligatory disclaimer: That for all the power of Havas Digital’s super, hyper-targeted optimization capabilities, it’s still fundamentally a brand steward that relies on all the powerful consumer insights that traditional shops have always relied on.

“Regardless of what we talk about today, strategic planning, communications planning, brand planning are never going to go away,” he emphasized, adding, “They will always be very important. It will always be art and science.”

Great Digital Outdoor Inspiration

This is a video — or rather an ad in fact — that shows off some great use of smart digital outdoor and use of video in car and on mobile. It is really great piece of digital outdoor inspiration.

What is more amazing is that as the number of digital outdoor sites grows — we aren't being more creative about how we use them. In most places (like the London tube) we've gone for video using the same 30 second ads formats that are being ignored or skipped on TV. Or as this Thompson video shows, we're using smart, internet-connected displays to cycle through static print!

Just a little bit of imagination and a motion sensor to make the signs at least a little bit interesting and — a key word that has been losing favour of late — interactive.

Taken to an extreme and by adding a touchscreen you have an kiosk or outdoor website or video wall as they are commonly called. Nice thing is — like using video assets in the Tube — you can repurpose web assets. And there are some great case studies of these being put in airports and trainstations where people have time and appreciate a brand giving them information or entertainment.

But in many of these examples we are still in brochureware. Where is the live feed of relevant data? The personalisation of information that is relevant to the viewer who has been identified by RFID or their mobile phone? The tying together of a set of signs into an application that is both useful for the customer and reinforces the brands point of view? Something to look forward to.