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Purpose of re-founding is to simplify our offering: Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy India

20-June-2018
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Purpose of re-founding is to simplify our offering: Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy India

Leading ad agency Ogilvy broke down all internal silos that had been created over the years, as the organisation developed multiple specialisations and celebrated its re-founding on June 5. The agency dropped Mather from its name and switched to a new logo doing away with all the sub-brands, thus retaining the core of the agency -- Ogilvy.

Under this new simplified structure, the agency will comprise six capabilities: advertising, brand strategy, customer engagement & commerce, earned influence & public relations, digital transformation, and partnerships.

Kunal Jeswani, Chief Executive, Ogilvy India, spoke to exchange4media about the agency’s recent re-founding, what it means to the clients, the people who work at Ogilvy and more. He is confident that this overhaul will be welcomed by clients. The re-founding is particularly aimed at clients who will want to work with Ogilvy on more than once service and those who will want Ogilvy to manage the entire brand, from long-term communication to everyday engagements.

Here’s the edited excerpts:

Re-founding in a nutshell

Ogilvy is going through a deep internal transformation. We call this the Ogilvy re-founding. The purpose of this transformation is to simplify our offering, clarify our purpose, and unify the way we work and deliver modern marketing services for our clients.

Ogilvy evolved over many decades by building very strong services as independent business units. At its simplest, the Ogilvy re-founding is about bringing all these services and business units together as one Ogilvy, with a common purpose, a common operating system, and a new & unified brand identity system.

What triggered the idea of re-founding?

The idea of re-founding was born in a global marketing environment where we are seeing a great fragmentation. Fragmentation of audiences, media, platforms, devices, geographies and touch-points. This great fragmentation (which will only get worse over time) has led to a proliferation of marketing tactics and dilution of brands. Our purpose, across everything we do, is to MAKE BRANDS MATTER. This purpose drives our new operating system, our new global organisational design, capabilities and crafts.

MAKING BRANDS MATTER, what does it mean?

MAKING BRANDS MATTER is about being obsessive about and taking ownership of every aspect of the brand. It is about influencing every metric that builds brand value and drives brand choice. This is brought alive through an operating system that is designed to channel our thinking and our work across three very different timelines.

Big platform work drives brand equity and reputation, making brands matter over years. Sales programmes drive short-term lifts and critical quarterly results, making brands matter each quarter. And everyday engagement work drives social currency and promotional revenue, making brands matter right now. The organizational design then empowers clients with all the capabilities required, across consumer touch-points, to really make brands matter -- over years, each quarter and right now.

What are the structural changes inside Ogilvy?

To start with, we are one Ogilvy. Every brand, sub-brand and business unit that carried any variation of the Ogilvy name have been unified under a single brand identity - Ogilvy. The core capabilities we now offer under Ogilvy include brand strategy, advertising, customer engagement & commerce, PR & influence, digital transformation, and partnerships. Clients are demanding complex modern marketing solutions, but also desperately want simplicity and agility. Our new organisational design gives them a single client leader who can draw expertise from all our core capability specialists.

What kind of remuneration models could emerge under the new structure?

Remuneration models vary by client engagement and comfort. Some clients are comfortable with media commission based models, some with fixed retainer models, and others with project scope driven models. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. It is my belief that the more clients move toward fragmentation and project driven remuneration models, the more they lose focus on building brands. The new organizational design helps clients look at Ogilvy as a single, unified agency that is capable of delivering a full spectrum of modern marketing capabilities, through a single, unified brand team, at a single cost.

How have employees adjusted to the re-founding?

The internal shift to one Ogilvy has happened gradually over the last year. It has not been easy. No significant change ever is. Everyone gets used to a rhythm of working. To break that rhythm and get people used to doing things differently is always difficult. The organisation structure changed, job profiles changed, operating units changed, operating tools changed, the identity changed. All of that creates a degree of unrest. But unrest can be a good thing as well. It reminds us that we need to change. Now that we have unveiled the new identity, there is a lot more excitement around the re-founding. It is almost as if the new identity was the visual assertion everyone needed to make the re-founding feel complete. Now we need to deploy it. As a single, global force.

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