Location: New York
Key executives: John Seifert, chairman; Carla Hendra, CEO
2008 revenue: N/A
2008 b2b revenue: N/A
Key clients: Cisco Systems, DuPont, IBM Corp., SAP, Thomson Reuters
Major 2008 campaigns: Cisco, “Welcome to the Human Network,” TV, print, online, outdoor; IBM, “The Business of Innovation,” mini-documentary series, and “Mr. Fong Lost in Space,” email, social media; Lenovo, “Voices of the Olympic Games,” online, mobile
Comments: Added new clients British Airways, Clear Card, MetLife, Motorola, Siemens and Thomson Reuters; launched new practices including the Greenery, Digital Innovations Labs and Ogilvy on Recession; won 26 Cannes Lion awards, 24 Clios and eight Caples.
Ogilvy North America relied on its proven 360-degree approach to integrated marketing, combined with the development of new practice areas addressing the changing media landscape, to achieve a successful year despite the economic downturn.
“We were having a sort of fabulous year until September rolled around,” said Carla Hendra, CEO of Ogilvy North America. “We won a lot of new business, and things were really going well. During the last quarter, we went through the same shock treatment as everyone else, but overall we had a very good year.”
The agency picked up several new b2b accounts in 2008, including British Airways, Clear Card, MetLife, Motorola, Siemens and Thomson Reuters. It also grew its business with existing clients such as American Express, Cisco Systems, DuPont, IBM Corp. and SAP.
Ogilvy continued to roll out new executions for Cisco's “Welcome to the Human Network” campaign that debuted in 2006. It used TV, print, online and outdoor ads to show how the client's technologies are helping humans connect around the world.
One product featured prominently last year was Cisco's TelePresence video conferencing system. In addition to product placements on TV shows such as “24,” the campaign featured a TV spot in which schoolchildren in different parts of the world use the system to have a staring contest.
For Lenovo, the agency created a digital campaign called “Voices of the Olympic Games,” which included a mobile application for the iPhone that delivered scores, athlete profiles and other event information to users' cell phones.
For IBM, Ogilvy used social media and viral campaigns to connect with the IT and software developer audience. It created an email campaign called “Mr. Fong Lost in Space” in which it encouraged software professionals to help a fictitious character find his way back to Earth using IBM products. The campaign made heavy use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube to promote the effort.
Ogilvy also developed a mini-documentary series for IBM called “The Business of Innovation,” featuring IBM clients discussing how they are using technology to solve business problems. The short films are being leveraged across more than a dozen different media platforms, from IBM's own Web site to a branded content deal with CNBC to clips on YouTube.
“A big part of how the world is changing now is that when we start out with an idea for a campaign, we have to think through the production of the idea—not just for a 30- or 60-second TV spot or a two-minute video—but we have to think through all of the different places in which you might want to use the content,” Hendra said.
A major effort for Ogilvy last year was reorganizing the agency's operations in preparation for a move this year that will incorporate a much more integrated and collaborative way of working across disciplines.
The agency launched several new practice areas last year to reflect the changing business environment, including the Greenery, an environmental practice; Ogilvy Digital Innovation Labs, a global network of labs that explore emerging technologies such as mobile and social media; and Ogilvy on Recession, a recession marketing consulting practice.
TOP B-to-B ADVERTISING AGENCIES
Runner-up - DDB
Honorable Mention - BBDO
Business to Business
Runner-Up - Eric Mower & Associates
Honorable Mention - Doremus
Rogan + Partners
Runner-up - Koroberi
Honorable Mention - Sullivan
Runner-up - Digitas
Honorable Mention - BusinessOnLine
What Recession? Top b2b agencies find opportunities to grow business, add services.