The Call for Effie’s
Hernan Pena Alvarez
27 August 2020

When Juan Fernando invited me to write this editorial about the Effie’s a few weeks ago, my biggest challenge was writing about something that isn’t the current situation regarding coronavirus. I must confess that I have failed. It currently feels impossible to talk about something that is unrelated to the current economic and social climate. It’s strange when the “new normal” doesn’t flow into the conversation.

 

The conversation has changed dramatically in recent times for all industries, but especially ours. We must all be in total agreement with everyone else, because if we aren’t, we are under the risk of losing relevance. We are in a new world in which the debate is increasingly about what is essential, what is needed to survive, and which expenses can be delayed. The question is, what do we at OMD need to do to maintain relevance in marketing and comms. How should we behave as a media agency, so the new world continues to watch us as key players in the whole ecosystem?

 

Let’s look first to the reality: our client’s businesses are under more pressure than ever to grow. The growth in revenue, improvement of EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) and increase in PBT (Profit Before Tax) dictate every CMO’s agenda. This means it is mandatory to generate marketing actions that have a positive impact on short- and long-term business results.

 

And this is where the Effie’s come in. It must be viewed as more than a mere advertising festival, but a common practice across everyone who works at OMD. It must become a behavior in our company. Our way of working is always thinking of the business result of our client above everything else. Effectiveness is the centre of our job.

 

Marketing needs to be precise. Therefore, the call for the Effie’s is a call for good sense. We must embrace every brief and request that arrives at our desk with good judgement. We are currently working on revisiting the essence of the business. We need to bring the dialogue back to the purpose of media to leverage business for our clients. This will ensure that we keep up the authenticity in what we do, which is in line with a more genuine and principles-based behavior. This means having a common purpose as a network and making better decisions, faster.

 

Therefore, I use this as an invitation to step away from the vanity metrics that overshadow results. We must believe that everything we do will move the cash register of our clients. Again, the Effie’s should be viewed as a behavior, rather than an advertising event. They are part of our culture, rather than a mere ranking. It is a mindset that permeates everything we do and keeps us connected with what really matters.

 

At OMD Colombia, we strongly believe in effectiveness. All of us that work in the Bogota and Medellin offices have lived by this legacy for years. As an organization, we like to feel the weight upon our shoulders. All of us are committed to the results. We have been leading the effectiveness conversation in Colombia and we will continue contributing to the both the global and LATAM network.

 

They say that the world is becoming more uncertain and that the pandemic will keep on challenging us. This means that going forward, we are talking about a reinvention. Many things need to be reviewed, such as how we project ourselves with strength towards the future. We plan to keep contributing by thinking and creating strategies that make every invested dollar have a higher return. This is called advertising effectiveness. This is the call for the Effie’s.

 

We are OMD. We are the most influential and fastest growing media agency in the world. The agency that has been Adweek’s ‘Media Agency of the Year’ for two years in a row. Together, all of us can become the most effective media network worldwide, and we are going down the correct path. In 2019, we were the most effective network in the LATAM Effie’s. Our pledge is to continue working along this path and bring the worldwide accolade to the entire network.

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