In a world where the customer is increasingly in control, what do you think about the changing role for companies like OMD?
Previously when I started in the business, we were able to take our audiences for granted. We were able to broadcast and publicise our point of views and our clients’ point of views quite easily – we had a guaranteed audience. We cannot take audiences for granted anymore. We have to earn the right. We have to avoid ad blocking. We have to avoid the distraction of choice that we never had. In fact, even the words ‘audience,’ ‘target audience,’ ‘our audience,’ ‘our customers’ speaks of a world where we’ve learnt to take too many things for granted and I think that is the big change that I have seen.
We’re interested to hear from you on how the role of media has evolved over recent years and what the future of effective media planning looks like, within both OMD and across the broader Industry?
Media planning was how much TV you could afford and in the last five to ten years it has changed beyond all recognition. I think it has become a story less about media planning and channel planning because what we really meant was what audience is more or less likely on the margins to consume various types of mass media. It sounds a little bit like a cliché, but I think we are moving from media planning to content distribution, from media planning to the sharing of stories. I think that requires much less emphasis on channels and much more of an emphasis on how you promote sharing, how you make your stories more attractive. I think it’s that difference between the age we left behind, which is about targeting, and the age we’re moving into, which is about attraction, it is probably the single biggest dynamic.
How do you think the skills required to be successful in media and marketing have changed, and what do the successful professionals of tomorrow look like versus those of yesterday?
So, I think at the moment it helps to be something of a polymath, there is almost too much we need to know. Our business is full of experts and needs to be full of specialist experts as the scope and scale of what we do broadens from content to technology, managing data, statistics modelling, all the way through to our digital services and, of course, we still have the age-old skills of being able to listen to clients.
Similarly, when you think about how the conversations you have with your clients are changing, what are the key things they are most concerned with and how do you drive best in class discussions with your client base? How do you see these discussions continuing to evolve in the future?
Conversations for clients are always about value and value delivery. The nature of that value delivery changes and has changed significantly. The value we deliver is less about not paying too much for your media and more about the value return of building brands and the value return on growing a company’s revenue, not just in the short-term but in the longer term too. Historically, I think there has tended to be a focus on the short-term, what we used to call the short-term, versus the long-term. The short-term sales versus the longer term health and brand building. You can’t have an either or conversation anymore: it has to be ‘and’. You have to win in the today and you have to be winning for tomorrow as well. You have to do both at the same time and I think that is something that has become absolutely clear in the last few years.
I think the way we do that, and the way we are trying to do it more within OMD, is to productise what we do a little bit more by taking what we do and working out a way of how we systemise it, how we make sure we can deliver a more consistent problem-solving product with sharper insights, smarter ideas and stronger results for every client, every brief, every time. We are exploring platform-led ways of integrating our entire global team together to ensure standard ways of delivery and standard ways of quality controlling outputs from our teams. I think that it is quite new and different, and a much better way of problem-solving going forward.
What are you most excited about for Cannes 2016?
I think for me the thing I enjoy most is catching up with colleagues, friends and people you haven’t seen for a while. And of course, there are a lot of important client meetings, of course, there is a lot of partner meetings and there are some really great conversations that you can have here because it is one of the few times in the year that everyone is in the same place. It sounds like a very self-serving justification for everyone being here, but you can get an enormous amount done in a relatively short period of time because everyone is here.
The Shallows is a twist on a classic story of human vs nature – the story of a shark attack in open water where Blake Lively’s character must use her survival skills to overcome all odds. Sony Pictures wanted to launch the movie by bringing to life the challenges she must overcome in a way that would captivate a younger audience. In close collaboration with FUSE, we put together a launch event where 12 internet celebrities from across the globe came together to take part in challenges in shark-infested waters. With professional camera crews on board, a drone camera and a mechanical shark fin, we were able to capture some fantastic footage of these YouTube stars that we are now sharing out across paid and owned channels.
The event ran just over a week ago, so the media campaign is still currently in progress – with a phased market by market rollout that continues until the end of August. Influencers involved include Cheng Loew – Germany, Valeriia Liubarskaya – Russia, Room 94 Members: Sean Lemon, Dean Lemon, Kieran Lemon and Kit Tanton – UK, Francesco Gentile – Italy, Bullysteria (Hector Trejo) – Mexico, Pauline Wang – France, Celopan – Spain, OllieGamerz – Spain and Federico Devito – Brazil.
Arab Luxury World, the region’s largest conference on the business of luxury, took place on 1-2 June, 2016. OMD was present throughout the event with speakers participating in numerous panels and seminars. Here, we bring you all the insights and driving themes from this year’s edition.
Luxury across generations in the Arab world
What are Arab Millennials looking for when it comes to luxury and how do they differ from Generation X? This was the focus of a private break-out session hosted by OMD, featuring key insights from our research study on the subject. Maya Bou Ajram, OMD’s Senior Director-Planning on the LVMH portfolio, presented the findings and then introduced a panel discussion with marketing leads from Infiniti and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. “We wanted to understand key differences across generations – how they differ in terms of consumption, motivation, influence and media triggers – and ultimately learn how we can better influence desire for luxury,” said Ajram about the study. “Millennials do make more emotional purchases while Gen X is driven by a need to replenish or enhance their existing collection. Millennials are about aspiring to be who they are while Gen X are validating who they are.”
Effective data management
The conference featured a panel discussion on the effective use of CRM and omni-channel planning to develop smooth customer journeys. OMD’s Head of Analytics, Walid Hadid, was one of the speakers and he opened the discussion by describing the transformation of data across the decades, from slow-moving data collected in a notebook in the ’60s to the rapidly changing data we collect from digital platforms today. “Social engagement with content changes massively and rapidly. The role of us as marketers today is to decipher that data and link it together in order to allow brands, and particularly luxury brands, to compete more effectively in a crowded marketplace,” said Hadid.
Digital trends for luxury
This year’s digital strategy panel featured Stanislas Brunais, OMD’s Head of Performance Marketing, who explained how digital now acts as the first touch point in the purchase journey for luxury consumers. Francesca Ciaudano, Deputy General Manager Marketing & Public Relations at Infiniti Middle East, further emphasised that 96% of consumers start their search online, hence the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach in today’s environment. Jean-Pierre La Calvez, Head of Global Alliances, Partnerships and Customer Marketing at HP Inc. added to this, stating that technology impacts the whole value chain today, including product creation, supply chain management and consumer engagement. “Luxury brands have prided themselves on personal relationships and technology enables that personalization on digital,” audiences heard.
The rise of influencers in the region
Given the massive rise of influencers in this region, the conference featured a dedicated panel to discuss the value and ROI generated from this channel as well as best practices. OMD’s Senior Director, Maya Bou Ajram, was one of the panellists and shared key insights from regional campaigns she has executed for brands such as Sephora. “It’s not about the number of followers an influencer has but rather, it’s about marrying brand values with that of the influencer,” stated Ajram. “The influencer should reflect exactly who I am as a brand. Authenticity is key and brands should not force content on influencers; this is something we struggle with in luxury. Instead, we need to share our DNA and co-create content with them.”
Through MG OMD’s CANNESdidates programme we had the chance to attend the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2016. We spent 3 days listening to inspirational talks, trying out new technologies and attending a few parties.
We’re certain you don’t want to listen to us boasting about the various celebrities spotted, so instead, over the next 2 days we will talk you through some of the key learnings from the most interesting talks we attended, focusing on the overall topics of purpose, collaboration and creativity that ran throughout the festival.
STRESS DRIVES CREATIVITY
Carl Addy, Creative Director for The Mill, talked about the SNAFU: a word for chaos and messed-up situations and how they are fuel for creativity. As people, we are built to perform and problem-solve through creativity – that’s how we evolved as a human race from the Stone Age to the modern world we live in now. However, it is key to make a clear distinction between good and bad stress. Bad stress leads to tunnel vision, whereas good stress creates a challenge and avoids stagnation. It is important to note that creativity is not about the right or wrong answer – sometimes it’s better to be more interesting than right. Also, we need to be comfortable with not being able to control everything and learn to work with our gut feelings.
Summary: Don’t be scared of stress – it helps you to think creatively and come up with new solutions. Don’t try to control everything and trust your instinct.
HOW TO WIN A CANNES LION
‘Cracking the code of creativity’ session by Razorfish and Contagious analysed 25 years of Cannes Lions winners with the goal of identifying the key factors that maximise the chance of winning a Lion.
To be honest, the general feeling was that winning a Lion is extremely hard; the percentages speak for themselves:
Bronze Lion 1.7%
Silver Lion 1.83%
Gold Lion 0.73%
Grand Prix 0.07%
So how can we maximise our chances? Interestingly, the research showed that there is no correlation between creativity and media spend, no correlation between the GDP of the country and creativity and no correlation between the size of the agency and the likelihood of winning a Lion. So it seems the code is far from cracked, however here are a few indicators that do have some influence:
Clients and agencies that stick together have a much better win rate! 10+ year client/agency relationships experience x2 the average winning rate
Submissions that have more individual people involved are more successful by 26%
Submissions with a larger share of below director level individuals are more successful
Submissions with 3+ agencies credited have 42% higher rate of winning
Summary: Every campaign has a chance to win a Cannes Lion no matter what the budget, the key is relationships between the agencies and the clients as well as involvement across all levels of the businesses.
SHIFTING FROM TARGET TO GOAL
The actor, Will Smith, had one of the most inspirational talks of the festival discussing how the internet has changed the movie industry and how social media puts pressure onto film directors to make great movies due to instant reviews.
Then he hit a more philosophical note regarding how brands and individuals need to shift from targets to goals. This would build both brand and personal legacy. Question all of your decisions – are they helping you reach your goals?
Summary: Do you know what your brand and personal purposes are? If so, make sure any decisions you make help you to get there.
IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE WAY WE WORK WITH CLIENTS AND OTHER AGENCIES
Al Moseley from 180Amsterdam spoke about moving from the imperialist model to the Roman orgy. Sounds very saucy but it posed a lot of truth. Currently, competing agencies in front of the client are like gladiators fighting in front of an Emperor. They are constantly fighting their corner and waiting for approval. All too often the consumer gets forgotten in this process as well as keeping track of the bigger picture. We need to be reminded that the real Emperors are the consumers and they are the ones to please.
Agencies and clients should move to a more collaborative Roman Orgy model where everybody has clear ambition, knows the rules, trusts each other and creativity is encouraged. This will provide a sound basis for a collaborative culture, healthier relationships and overall commitment to the common goal. To start the collaboration process, Al Moseley encouraged all parties to agree on three key questions:
1.) Do we know the ambition and purpose? Do we share the ideology?
2.) Is everyone empowered to contribute in a positive way?
3.) Are we prepared to push boundaries and if so, where do we draw the line?
Summary: We are stronger when working together; creativity should be a collaborative effort rather than a clash of egos and bravado. Everybody needs to be equally invested in a relationship and have the same ambition and purpose.
FUTURE BRANDS ARE CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER
Keith Weed from Unilever talked about the power of individuals, influencers and impacts, but primarily focused on the latter.
Advertising has the power to change habits, hearts and minds meaning that big multinational corporations, such as Unilever, have the chance to touch people across the world at scale. They moved from advertising to sell products, to advertising with a purpose. Some of these examples – Lynx – Find Your Magic , Persil – Dirt is Good, Dove – Self Esteem Project fight stereotypes and encourage social good. We create better advertising if we create more progressive, purposeful ads.
The good news is that purpose led ads are more successful. At Unilever – sustainable living brands grew 30% faster than the rest of the business.
Summary – The returns on purpose-led advertising are not limited to a feel-good factor and a sense of moral achievement – It also provides growth and revenue.
WHAT IS INEVITABLE IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS
Wired’s Kevin Kelly covered four out of 12 predictions for the future. He highlighted that these changes are inevitable, but specifics can’t be known until it actually happens.
1.) Virtual reality (VR) will be the next platform after the smartphone and will take shape in Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. The key to these new realities is that we are not trading clicks and views, we are trading emotions and experiences. So don’t try to put a banner in VR – give people a story and an experience they can relate to. New realities allow us to move to the internet of experiences. Check out Magic Leap – they pave the way of future MR.
2.) ‘Cognifying’ – making everyday things smart via artificial intelligence (AI). Kelly calls it the second industrial revolution (some say the fourth). When electricity was invented, we no longer needed to use muscle power to move things. With AI, there will be no need for us to complete certain thinking tasks that require efficiency.
Example: When we applied electricity to a water pump, we no longer needed to manually pump the water out of the well. Now take the electric water pump and apply AI – and you no longer need to think when to pump the water.
3.) Don’t worry about AI taking over – it will be better than humans on specific tasks, but not for everything. Just because a dog is much better at smelling or a mouse in hearing, it doesn’t mean they comprehend the bigger picture. In the same way, Siri is smarter than we are in understanding maps and navigation, or Google Now is smarter than we are in finding the information, but it is just that. AI will become a service, a grid that you can tap into to get extra cognitive power (like electricity, gas or water presently). We will be able to ‘borrow’ some extra thinking power to complete our tasks faster and with more precision. There are, of course, still be questions to be answered, such as AI ethics, for example, with autonomous AI cars, at the point of an imminent crash, who’s safety will it put first – the passenger’s or the pedestrian’s?…
4.) Centaurs – teams of humans and AI working together, rather than AI taking over. It will take over jobs that require efficient process and precise outcome. AI will also create new jobs for humans (the same way the internet did), where efficiency is not a priority – such as arts, experiences, scientific innovation – areas that require creativity, bravery and testing. AI will be able to diagnose and cure diseases like cancer, perform gene modification – but we will pave the way in identifying what to actually research (using AI of course).
Summary: The future is always hard to predict, but at present, we can assume it will be tech-driven with machines having the capability to make us super-human.
In conclusion, we had an incredible time at the Cannes Festival of Creativity 2016 and are so grateful to MG OMD for the opportunity to attend. Through hard work and a winning idea, we got to witness the incredible advancements of thought and technology taking place in our industry first-hand and through the mist of sunshine, sea and the occasional glass of rosé, we learnt to look to the future and embrace the changes that promise to impact us all. We are ready, are you?
OMD IS ONCE AGAIN THE MOST MEDALED MEDIA AGENCY IN CANNES
OMD has once again proved to be an indomitable force as we were hailed as the most awarded media agency network, earning a total of 63 lions across many different categories. Winning 3 grand prix, 9 gold, 16 silver and a staggering 35 bronze. OMD has again without doubt stolen a march on its competitors at one of the most prestigious creative events in the industry.
OMD’s accolades were awarded for work across a broad spectrum of client categories – including automotive, CPG, financial services, media, retail, sports goods and technology – by OMD agencies across the globe. On top of being the most awarded media agency in the Media category, OMD also topped the ranking in 7 further categories including Digital Craft, Creative Effectiveness, Cyber, Integrated, Film, Film Craft and Health & Wellness.
OMD WINS SPAN GLOBE AND CATEGORIES
OMD SWEDEN – SLOW DOWN GPS, IF INSURANCE (6 TOTAL – 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER, 4 BRONZE)
OMD SWEDEN – THE ORGANIC EFFECT, COOP (4 TOTAL – 1 GRAND PRIX, 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER, 1 BRONZE)
MG OMD UK – TINY DANCER, JOHN LEWIS INSURANCE (3 TOTAL – 1 GOLD, 2 BRONZE)
OMD SWEDEN – THE FISH, KLARNA (2 TOTAL – 2 BRONZE)
OMD SWEDEN – THE CHEESE, KLARNA (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD SWEDEN – THE SWIM, KLARNA (2 TOTAL – 2 BRONZE)
OMD UK – HUMANS, CHANNEL 4 (2 TOTAL – 2 SILVER)
MG OMD UK – THE MAN ON THE MOON, JOHN LEWIS (2 TOTAL – 1 SILVER, 1 BRONZE)
MG OMD UK – MONTY’S CHRISTMAS, JOHN LEWIS (1 TOTAL – 1 GRAND PRIX)
OMD UAE – I CAN TEACH YOU TOO, DUBAI CARES (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD ITALY – DACIA FAMILY PROJECT, RENAULT ITALIA (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD GERMANY – KEYS OF HOPE, DEUTSCHER CARITASVERBAND / CARITAS INTERNATIONAL (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD ITALY – BUSINESS BOOSTER, RENAULT ITALIA (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD UK – HUNTED, CHANNEL 4 (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
MG OMD UK – A GROUND-BREAKING CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT LONELINESS, JOHN LEWIS (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD UAE – CHAMPIONS HIJACK, GO SPORT (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD USA – THE SUPER BOWL DUNK, GATORADE (5 TOTAL – 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER, 3 BRONZE)
OMD USA – GE PODCAST THEATRE PRESENTS THE MESSAGE, GE (3 TOTAL – 2 GOLD, 1 BRONZE)
OMD USA – IN-A-SNAP, LOWE’S (3 TOTAL – 1 SILVER, 2 BRONZE)
OMD USA – NYT VR, THE NEW YORK TIMES, NYT VR, T BRAND STUDIO, GOOGLE, GE, MINI (1 TOTAL – 1 GRAND PRIX)
OMD USA – THE LADY GAGA + INTEL PERFORMANCE, INTEL (1 TOTAL – 1 GOLD)
OMD USA – COLOR BARS, APPLE (1 TOTAL – 1 SILVER)
OMD USA – INTEL WINTER X GAMES 2016, INTEL (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD USA – RAINBOWS, DORITOS (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD USA – PEPSI + EMPIRE PARTNERSHIP, PEPSICO (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD USA – HISTORY OF SOUND, APPLE (1 TOTAL – 1 BRONZE)
OMD NEW ZEALAND – UNFORGOTTEN SOLDIERS, SKY TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND (7 TOTAL – 3 SILVER, 4 BRONZE)
OMD NEW ZEALAND – HELLO, NZ TRANSPORT AGENCY (1 TOTAL – 1 GOLD)
OMD COSTA RICA – #LEYDEMIERDA (#SHITLAW), TERRITORIO DE ZAGUATES (2 TOTAL – 1 SILVER, 1 BRONZE)
OMD DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – END THE SILENCE, LA SIRENA (2 TOTAL – 1 GOLD, 1 SILVER)
Mainardo de Nardis, Global CEO, OMD Worldwide said, “We are thrilled and proud to have been awarded and recognised once again for our commitment to stronger, smarter and better work for our clients. Creativity remains at the core of everything we do at OMD and as the landscape changes in our industry we have the agility and the talent to lead and equally make our clients leaders in their categories as well. We wish to thank all of our incredible clients that make this possible – and our people, without whom none of this would be possible”
OMD was recently crowned the most creative global network by the Gunn Report for the 10th consecutive year. The Gunn Report is the industry’s official measure of creativity and innovation. In the last year OMD has had an outstanding run, being awarded over 340 accolades in EMEA alone, of which almost 20 were for Agency of the Year.
This prestigious achievement is not only reflective of our global community but a fabulous recognition of the dedication of our teams and the great work that is being carried out in this region. The inspiration and drive that produces this great work comes from collaboration with some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking clients in the world. We would like to thank our clients, media partners, and all our employees across the region who ensure we are always asking, always thinking and always doing – the benchmarks for success in any marketing performance company.
Over the next ten weeks we will be celebrating this mighty accolade to creativity by deep diving into some of our award winning work from the last year: from McDonald’s Top Chef and John Lewis Monty the Penguin, to Disney Star Wars Rebels Alliance and Talk to Google. Each week we will showcase the innovation and creativity that validates our position as the most awarded agency in the world. This week we will lift the bonnet on the hugely successful Channel 4 Humans, a phenomenal campaign by OMD UK, which made the theme of artificial intelligence exciting and relevant to mainstream audiences, convinced people synths were real, delivered 6.1 million viewers of the first episode and gave Channel 4 their highest rated originated drama of all time.