Ogilvy puts its money where its mouth is, gets to know its own brand to better help clients

Drive past Ogilvy’s Parnell offices and you’ll notice a new look logo on show through the windows. In the wake of Ogilvy’s global announcement of a redesign to serve as an integrated creative network, the New Zealand arm has rebranded accordingly.

“We in New Zealand wholeheartedly support Ogilvy’s re-founding,” says New Zealand managing director Greg Partington. “We’re 100 percent committed to the re-branding and the operating model changes that sit behind it.”

News of Ogilvy’s rebrand came last month and since then its agencies around the world have been relabelled with the new “Ogilvy” logo, designed with the two fonts Ogilvy Serif and Ogilvy Sans. Partington acknowledges New Zealand has taken some time to advise on its position and says there was “a great deal to consider, including the need to brief clients first”.

While the Ogilvy & Mather has long been referred to as ‘Ogilvy’, the rebrand is the official drop of the ‘Mather’. The original name is the result of the coming together of agencies founded by Edmund Mather and David Ogilvy—Ogilvy, Benson & Mather and Mather & Crowther respectively—in 1964.

But it’s not just an above the line look that’s new, internally there has been a restructuring that’s seen the removal of silos to take Ogilvy from a matrix-managed company of sub-brands to one integrated brand made up of six core capabilities (brand Strategy, advertising, customer engagement and commerce, PR and influence, digital transformation) and 12 crafts (creative, strategy, delivery, client service, data, technology, talent, business development, marketing and communications, and production).

“This will allow Ogilvy to create more dynamic, integrated and agile work. It positions us to take full advantage of today’s marketing and communication tools and technologies,” says Partington.

The new business model is a response to the digital revolution as it adapts to a multichannel digital environment. Prior to the official launch of the new brand, or the “re-founding” as its called by worldwide CEO John Seifert, he explained to Forbes the rationale behind it.

“The world is more complicated and fragmented than it’s ever been before. The number of media sources and the different ways of engaging audiences, along with the new experts and entrants into the world of brand marketing have created a new reality for everyone, particularly agencies. As the world became more fragmented, and the digital revolution started taking hold, Ogilvy grew in response to those forces. But over time, our multi-discipline operating model became too complex to cope with the dynamic nature of both the market at large and how clients increasingly demand that we work with them.”

He explained while some have questioned the role of brand in the fragmented, digital landscape, brand is more important than ever. They are what help companies connect emotionally with consumers, he said, but in order for Ogilvy to effectively guide its clients’ brands, it had to be clear about its own brand.

“We had to align ourselves behind a shared purpose and integrated operating system that delights clients with the creative solutions and agency brand experience they seek. In the context of this chaotic new environment, we needed to clarify its meaning, simplify its presentation, and unify all of our stakeholders behind what it stands for. We had to come together as one Ogilvy.”

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