Introduction – John Seifert
Introduction – John Seifert
This is my first introduction for The Best of Ogilvy since taking over as Worldwide Chairman and CEO in January 2016.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have Tham Khai Meng, Co-Chairman and Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, as my partner. I see the extraordinary care that goes into curating and producing each of these annuals. It's an honor to contribute to the point of view behind Ogilvy's best work.
After nearly 16 months in the job, I am so proud of the entire Ogilvy creative community and the amazing work we produce for so many first-class clients around the world. In the recently published 2016 WPP Annual Report, I shared this perspective:
"We have an enduring creative culture that David Ogilvy personally built with a close-knit team of partners over decades. Our relentless commitment to produce work for our clients that is both creative and effective (what we call ‘Twin Peaks') propelled us to our fifth straight win as Network of the Year at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, and helped us to regain our title as the Effies' World's Most Effective Agency Network. In recognition of this outstanding creative performance, we closed 2016 by being named, for the first time ever, Adweek magazine's Global Agency of the Year."
It’s been an amazing journey to see our creative reputation revitalized in possibly the most dynamic era of change that our industry has ever experienced. It has not, however, been easy. Khai often speaks about the essentiality of David’s foundational belief in "divine discontent" as our cultural secret weapon. It keeps us humble when we are at our best, and determined to constantly be better … never fearful of reinvention in the face of adversity and new challenges. Divine discontent is essential for growth.
"Growth through Great Work" is not a slogan. It is a perpetual mission that keeps us forever focused on creating ideas and making work that makes brands matter in an increasingly fragmented and chaotic world. Quite simply, we leverage the power of creativity — in all its forms and from every corner of the company — to lift our clients' fortunes and make the world a better place.
As we embark on the next chapter of Ogilvy’s development, I have been thinking a lot about what makes the Ogilvy brand so special. What is our secret formula that makes Ogilvy relevant and enduring in changing times? In a recent meeting with 40 Ogilvy leaders from across our worldwide network, I think I found the answer: It’s the power of a shared culture. Not one founder. Not one star. Not one country or office. Not one client or campaign. It's the power of Ogilvy's culture … a culture defined by the unique brand character that we have been building collectively since 1948, when David founded the agency.
I have seen this brand character at work every day of my career. The character of this company is rooted in creative partnership and collaboration. We know deep inside that it takes all of us, working as one, to give our clients the best thinking, the best work and the best results over time. The work we are most famous for, truly great work, is almost always work that was inspired and created by the most diverse mix of talent, skills and experiences from across the company.
Khai has recently, and very personally, led the reinvention of the Ogilvy "hot house" for a number of clients. For me, there is no better demonstration of the power of Ogilvy's culture at work than experiencing intense problem solving through combustible creative expression and ideas — across cultures, markets, areas of expertise and generations of Ogilvy people. And, the best part, we are putting clients at the center of this branded experience. Clients are co-creating with us in real time and owning the outcomes just as much as we are. A hot house is not the answer to every creative challenge, but it is a beautiful example of what can make the Ogilvy brand experience so special.
I would love Ogilvy to feel like a creative "hot house" every day in every office around the world. Ogilvy is hot right now — in talent, in work, in reputation. Ogilvy culture stands for creative excellence in all that we do together — and always will.
Worldwide Chairman & CEO