Shweta Mulki

Ogilvy India and Google in a global-first 'Creative Intelligence Partnership'

An 'immersive partnership' between the two, 'CiP' is a first of its kind between a creative agency and Google - anywhere in the world.

Google's Ignition Labs and Ogilvy India have come together in what they've termed a Creative Intelligence Partnership (CiP). The companies say that as storytelling and brand experiences evolve, this move will enable creative teams to leverage 'creative intelligence' and improve capabilities.

Ogilvy India and Google in a global-first 'Creative Intelligence Partnership'

The partnership will see teams at Ogilvy engaging closely with platform experts at Google to 'understand consumer usage, possibilities and the finer nuances of building creatives, and also access the latest tools that can aid in defining campaign success pre-emptively,' the teams share.

Ogilvy India and Google in a global-first 'Creative Intelligence Partnership'

At the core here is Google's Ignition Lab unit- which brings in 'creative intelligence' from all the data they've gathered and the creative experiments that they've worked on-all over the world.

Ogilvy India and Google in a global-first 'Creative Intelligence Partnership'

Kunal Jeswani

Ogilvy India and Google in a global-first 'Creative Intelligence Partnership'

Vikas Agnihotri

While Ogilvy's work with Google was till now on ad-hoc, case-by-case basis, this partnership is at an organisational level.

"This is far beyond one or two collaborations with Google, on a few brands. It pans across account management, planning and creative-across the board and across clients. It's about the smart creative who leverages all the intelligence we have available on consumer behaviour, and all the technology we have available vis a vis user consumption on digital," says Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy India.

Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director Sales, Google India, says "This partnership is about a greater understanding of consumer insights, how consumer interaction on various media and platforms actually varies, and how we can marry that intelligence with content consumption- there is merit here for the agency and us, as well as the client and the consumer of the brand."

We caught up with both to understand the nuances of this long-term collaboration.

Edited excerpts from the chat with Ogilvy's Kunal Jeswani:

Why this partnership and why now?

The growth of marketing investment in digital is far outgrowing any other media opportunity the client has today. The entire advertising spends landscape is growing by 10-13 per cent - within that the digital space is growing at over 30 per cent YoY. Out of all investments, about 18 per cent go to digital. It's still primarily TV-inclined, followed by print but that 18 per cent will grow to 30 per cent before any of us know it. The latter is growing so rapidly and the others are growing so much slower, the catch up will happen very fast.

If you look at the proliferation of mobile phones as well as cheap data today- you'll of course see that any given environment across any social strata is strapped to their phone for almost four hours a day. We've all grown up in an age when consumer behaviour -from a media consumption perspective- was linked to a TV screen or a remote. The mobile device has now created completely new consumer behaviour - its smaller screen and smaller snacking time in different time periods throughout the day- but far more committed time.

Video especially is now this large consumer engagement environment - the way they respond to content , the increasing time spent on it, the way advertising is placed amidst that content, and the way you need to fight for attention - these require new insights and new ways of connecting with the consumer.

On Google as a partner...

Google has over the years brought in a degree of intelligence on how consumers behave on their platform. We want to learn from that together, and bring that intelligence into the creative magic at Ogilvy. Compelling creatives for digital platforms- that's one aspect, the other is to come up with new intelligence development together -with all that Google has access to, and the talent and the brands that we have access to. That's the depth of this partnership.

Then and now...

In the past, to engage with Google on a particular client or insight, we would have to find our coordinate there, have a conversation about a specific brand or a specific piece of intelligence or assistance. This isn't that- it's a significant move from both Google and Ogilvy where the scale is larger and organisation-wide.

It also involves training of Ogilvy's staff, access to data and intelligence from Google, as well as technology immersion on anything that they have, existing and new. There's a large team at Google we have access to, who will assist all of Ogilvy.

It's all about creating the agile and smart ad...and better ROI?

For anything we do on Google's platform - access to measuring tools is available but that's a small part. When a marketer spends on branded content or any piece of work on any platform- TV or digital, what is 'right ROI.'

Media choice matters to some extent, but ROI's not driven by the choice of media platform or the programme. ROI is determined largely by the creative thought. The specific advertising you deliver on that platform- is that connecting with consumers? Are you able to get consumers fixated on it to the point that they were able to remember the brand? It's about -when you are creating digital how can you do make it better and more informed through available data. And how to scale it to a lot of projects.

Before we even start on a category or spend or specific consumer - it's about what we understand about that consumer's behaviour on digital -and leveraging that for better connecting creatives.

Edited Excerpts of the chat with Google's Vikas Agnihotri:

Google works across agencies, how unique is this partnership?

This is a client-centric approach we are looking at. Ogilvy is one of the largest, highly awarded creative agencies. They were re-inventing their digital work, so this is the right time for the handshake to happen.

Yes, case by case, we work with many agencies, and with brands themselves -that continues, but this one is at an organisational level.

For a long time, we've been working on the value that data insights bring to any form of communication. The creative element accounts for 70 per cent of the efficiency in that communication. What we are trying to do is add insights for that 70 per cent to work better, and on the 30 per cent element we work hard - be it YouTube and its viewers for instance- the content they consume, at what moment they are consume etc. - it's when you fuse 70 per cent and 30 per cent is where the magic happens.

What is the level of interaction we are looking at here?

A dedicated team at Google will work with Ignition Labs, and get data insights and meta-data. That team has the freedom to work with anyone, but right now, they will have a deeper relationship with Ogilvy.

We are expecting that once the Ogilvy teams go through all kinds training they can access a lot of data themselves, and all this will be refreshed based on newer technology and growing insight. It will be an ever evolving relationship.

What's in it for Google?

It's an era of collaboration. We want to do this on behalf of our clients - for creative as well as other elements, to ensure that when Google or YouTube is involved, we bring the most effective and ROI-efficient communication.

Marketers are thinking more from an 'audience planning' perspective than a media planning one.

The change in the ecosystem is massive- more than 400mn people on the internet - 250 mn on YouTube, with its reach in most metros now higher than that of a GEC channel. Audiences are shifting into a mobile-first world.

Intent, Context and Immediacy - what, when, how and where to put out communication, is what meta-data helps us with. In the past two years we've conducted a lot of experiments at Ignition Labs - all that is now in play here.

Can you give us a glimpse of the kind of insight we are looking at...

Firstly, video on the 3-inch mobile screen is viable for many forms -be it 6-second bumpers, 10 sec and 30 second ads, or two minute versions. A phone is picked up 170 odd times a day, and since people come for shorter bursts, understanding 'micro-moments' has become key.

Beyond the what, where and when, another level is that of film craft. For instance, a person on a TV show is shot at various angles with lesser eye-to-camera looks as she/he interacts more with studio audiences, panels etc. But on mobile, it works better if opening shots have the person interacting with the camera directly.

Again on TV, a lot of celebrity shots are very glamorous, zoom in and out, fashion-shoot kinds, but on a tiny screen, emotive expressions get more attention, as you don't have the luxury of time. Similarly, a faster cut in edit works better on smaller screens.

So there's a lot you can do in 'micro-moments'?

You can look at disruptions in the attention span of the viewer. There are peaks of interest (and lows) within an ad- you can break it down by the second. At what curve can you bring in change (be it comedy, emotions etc.) to enable the next peak? The timing of the messaging and supers is also crucial.

Mass customisation is not about 'spray and pray'! Uber, for instance, wanted to understand categories and videos with longer attention span. They identified a 100 key moments when commuters were most likely to book a ride, and then used tools to come up with 85 variations of a 6 second ad. (Read more here)

Also, we are talking YouTube right now, but storytellers will eventually look at more brand experiences possibilities like Voice Assistance and Virtual Reality too.