I am the Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, and I first joined Ogilvy as a graduate trainee in London in 1987 and left in 1990. I returned (very happily) in 2003.
In Asia we have 124 offices in 19 countries covering 29 cities and over 6,000 people – with 368 different languages and 10,507 different dialects. There is never a dull moment and always something new to learn.
What is changing at breakneck speed are the channels and options we have in which to deliver our messages. It is perhaps fashionable to claim the demise of TV, when in fact the biggest opportunities lie in understanding how TV advertising actually works and how to best combine this with other mediums like online.
Recent studies in the UK show that we are watching as much TV as ever and that we are still watching and engaging with the ads as they in turn continue to effectively drive hard business results. Fragmentation has actually provided opportunities to target more effectively, and the relative cost of TV media is at its lowest recorded levels.
Paul Feldwick and Robert Heath (no relation) are proponents of advertising "aiming for the heart and not for the head," and Robert Heath's study on the "Hidden Power of Advertising" and low attention processing makes retrospective sense of many instinctive practices. It challenges us to recognize that TV is an emotional medium and that it works best when it prompts an emotional response rather than when it tries to persuade us with rational argument.
Effectiveness data (IPA databank) show that campaigns that aim to make the brand famous or to connect emotionally outperform information and persuasion campaigns. This latest thinking combines (very neatly) with Ogilvy's big ideaL to give us an exciting and far from traditional future.
My favorite career highlight at Ogilvy? I believe the best is yet to come.
My favorite David Ogilvy quote is: "It takes uncommon guts to stick to one style in the face of all pressures to 'come up with something new' every six months. It is tragically easy to be stampeded into change. But golden rewards await the advertiser who has the brains to create a coherent image, and the stability to stick with it over a long period of time."