Winning Attention: A Q&A With Antonis Kocheilas, CEO of Ogilvy Advertising
Ogilvy comprises five key business practices–Growth & Innovation, Advertising, PR, Experience and Health–all best-in-class offerings that work seamlessly together to help support and grow client brands. Ogilvy Health sat down with the heads of the other Ogilvy mega-businesses to help our clients better understand what these groups do and how their services can benefit Ogilvy Health clients. Meet Antonis Kocheilas.
What is your name/title/business function area?
My name is Antonis Kocheilas—sounds Greek because it is Greek, so please do not worry if you cannot pronounce it right, not even people in my country can. I currently serve as the Global CEO of Ogilvy’s Advertising business, with the sole responsibility to harness Ogilvy’s global capabilities in branding, advertising, and content creation for the growth of our clients.
Can you explain the challenge that Ogilvy Advertising was created to answer?
I can sure try, but first allow me to start by sharing with you my opinion on the paradigm shift that happened in Advertising over the last 10-15 years. It may sound like a long time but believe me, this shift has a profound impact in our business.
The industry formerly known as Advertising developed its offerings on conditions of:
Attention Abundance and Media Scarcity
But, mainly due to technological progress, those conditions have been flipped on their head into a state of:
Media Abundance and Attention Scarcity
Media Abundance because nowadays everything and everybody communicates, and Attention Scarcity because everything and everybody competes for a share of people’s finite attention span. Our industry not only failed to adapt in this new paradigm but has become obsessed with meeting every customer need and want for utility and convenience by using technology, leaving little room for creative differentiation. As a result:
That industry obsession—meeting every customer need and want for ease and accessibility by using technology—has left little room for creative differentiation. What can make one brand different from another when their expressions and experiences are built on the same common technological platform, designed to solve the same user or category need, targeted to reach the same generic audience definitions, and programmed for the same device? This type of thinking makes communication fit for platforms, but unfit for purpose. It has made the advertising industry a victim of pseudo-dichotomies like culture vs collateral, equity vs performance, effectiveness vs efficiency, broadcast vs personalized, etc.
It is this challenge that Ogilvy Advertising’s offering came to answer.
Can you share a description of the services the Ogilvy Advertising practice provides?
Ogilvy Advertising’s offering aligns our services under a common ambition.
To inspire brands to make an impact by winning people’s attention.
We think, create, and scale ideas that are the currency of today’s Attention Economy by being dynamic in nature, having a branded point of view, and the ability to connect brands and businesses with people through paid, owned, and earned media.
We generate ideas that help clients answer the question, “What is the point of view of my business?” For Ogilvy, the brand is a point of view that acts as a shortcut in the maze of sameness that is today’s marketplace. Discovered, defined, and developed with growth in heart and action in mind. Brands for Ogilvy are purposeful in spirit and immersive in nature.
Therefore, we offer services on:
- Cultural Exploration: Understanding the tensions, trends, and insights that exist in the intersection of culture and commerce and define how people form the beliefs and behaviours that form their choices.
- Brand Strategy: Discovering, defining, and developing why a brand exists, what is the value proposition that differentiates it, and how that can be expressed creatively.
- Brand Experience: Developing the conceptual, visual, experiential, and sensory assets used to identify a brand, and define the actions, behaviours, and beliefs that describe how the brand will deliver on its promise and purpose across all touchpoints.
We also help clients answer the question, “How can I win people’s attention for my business?” For Ogilvy, advertising is the act of winning and keeping people’s attention. Fuelled by creativity and independent from the means of delivery, is how we make a brand famous and loved—not only by the many, but by each and every person, individually.
We also offer services on:
- Dynamic Communications Strategy: Planning initiatives that grow brand equity and saleability, long-term support growth, and boost sales for the next quarter, and exploit ad-hoc, cultural, or commercial moments when they happen.
- Dynamic Advertising: Creating ideas that win attention, through fame, for the masses, through personalization in context for each one individually, as well as drive action across communications and commerce.
- Data and AdTech: Auditing, developing, and deploying the right tech solutions that will allow clients to connect the “data-dots” going forward.
We scale ideas that help clients answer the question, “How can I connect my products and services with people?” Creating content that is purposefully personalised, efficiently produced, and effectively distributed.
Our content services focus on:
- Dynamic Content: Planning content with accuracy and scale. Making, co-creating, and curating content that is creative in nature and fluid in form. Producing, realizing, and adapting content efficiently.
- Dynamic Context: Distributing, deploying, and optimizing content ecosystems that cover paid, owned, and earned media.
Our offering comprises the above eight distinct but complementary services that can deliver dynamic advertising that makes an impact by winning people’s attention for our clients’ brands and businesses.
What can your group do to directly help grow Ogilvy Health client businesses?
Our Advertising services focus on thinking, creating, and scaling ideas that make an impact for our client’s brands and businesses by winning people’s attention.
We can help Ogilvy Health’s clients discover which territory in people’s minds their brand has to occupy to grow, define why their brand exists beyond making a profit, and finally develop the brand platform and experience that immersively unifies all behaviours, experiences, and expressions of a brand. We can create with them dynamic advertising ideas fuelled by creativity and independent from the means of delivery that will make their brand both famous and loved. And finally, by creating content that is purposefully personalised, effectively produced and efficiently distributed, connecting paid, owned, and earned media with each other and within the context that consumers live.
Any successful Advertising/Health collaborations you can share?
We have several Advertising/Health collaborations, but some of the more recent ones that led into great ideas:
– To help build the habit of hand washing with soap among children in rural India, Savlon introduced special chalk sticks infused with soap. These could be used to write just like regular chalk sticks, but the chalk powder collected on kids’ hands while writing turned into cleansing soap when their hands came in contact with water. The simple innovation automatically turned washing hands with soap into a daily habit without requiring any extra effort from children.
– There are so many decisions expecting parents must make when planning for their child’s birth. However, there is one that that rarely makes the list: the decision to donate cord blood. Parents have the incredible ability to help keep their child healthy while also saving the life of another. In recognition of Mother’s Day, and to better help parents prepare, The Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood, a non-profit aimed at educating parents on cord blood donation and family cord blood banking, created The Youngest Donor—an awareness campaign to increase donor registration.
– Everyone knows about the “birds and the bees” talk that parents have with their kids. But as we get older, there are other issues that our older family members can offer perspective on and lets us know they’re looking out for us. Ogilvy D.C. and the US Centers for Disease Control teamed up to create a campaign to raise awareness with younger GenXers (age 45-49) around the importance of colorectal cancer screenings. The film results in looking at screenings as not something to be ignored, but as an act of familial love.
How does the Ogilvy 5-business structure help grow Ogilvy Health client brands?
Our most impactful work happens at the intersection of Ogilvy’s five core businesses. Our structure fosters a diversity of opinions, skills, and expertise that can benefit each client’s brand. The depth of expertise across Advertising, Experience, PR and Growth & Innovation augments Ogilvy Health’s deep sector knowledge and experience.
The last year and a half emphasized the importance of health and well-being for all of us. At the same time, it made evident the need for health brands to stand out, differentiate themselves, and claim purposeful roles in people’s lives. Strong Health brands are not only a business objective, but also a societal imperative. Ogilvy’s structure is uniquely poised to help health brands and businesses to creatively transform to make an impact in people’s lives.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am a strategist by trade. During my 10+ year tenure at Ogilvy, I have been lucky enough to hold various positions on both sides of the Atlantic. More recently, I led our global Brand Strategy Community, bringing together a diverse team of strategists to successfully shape the future of some of the most valuable brands in the world. Throughout my career, I have worked to foster cultures on both the client and agency side where creativity flourishes and is directed to drive demonstrably better business results. I’ve seen the effectiveness of this approach through my work with a range of global companies including SC Johnson, Mondelēz, PepsiCo, Unilever, Constellation Brands, CDW, and Pernod Ricard, among others.
I am a big-picture thinker who loves crafting holistic brand strategies; ones that deliver world-class communications, help to galvanize staff, and ultimately drive business growth. With more than 20 years of experience across leader and challenger brands in industries including CPG, Tech, Telco, and Retail, I have delivered great work for clients as evidenced by numerous Effie (Marketing Effectiveness Awards) and Cannes Lions (Creative Awards) including the inaugural craft Cannes Grand Prix 2018 (Kiwi USA).
Prior to Ogilvy, I served as Managing Partner, Head of Planning for Mullen Lowe Athens, leading the overall strategy for the agency. While in this role, Mullen Lowe Athens was awarded the title of the second most effective agency in Europe by the Effie Effectiveness Index. Although most of my career has been spent in agencies, I worked on the client side for a brief time as a Marketing Director at KORRES Natural Products where I developed and implemented the go-to-market plan to expand their global reach.
On a personal level, I live in London, UK but I’m native to Athens, Greece, and still have roots there. I’m married and I have one daughter, who’s finishing her B.A. in Communication at the American College of Greece this year. Outside of work, you’ll find me at a dojo practicing karate. As a former member of the Greek National Karate team, the discipline and winning mindset I learned when competing influences my work today.
At what stage of brand planning should Ogilvy Health clients consider bringing the Advertising team in and what’s the best way to do this?
Ogilvy is at its best when we work together as one team with our colleagues and our clients, across capability borders in all their forms.
Ogilvy Advertising’s capabilities in branding, advertising, and content creation can be utilized separately and as a continuum when a marketer thinks “What is the differentiating point of view of my business?”, when he or she needs to create the idea(s) that can “win people’s attention” and scale these ideas at the context that consumers live in with creative content.
We are working very closely with Ogilvy Health and, depending on the client needs, we utilize the right Advertising services for the task at hand, always aiming to enhance the impact of Ogilvy Health’s ideas and services. The best way to bring us in is to give me or Kim Johnson, Global CEO of Ogilvy Health, or Philip Heimann, our Chief Growth Officer, a call—Kim, Philip, and I will work together to determine how we might be able to help and provide support to teams and their clients as needed.