By: Maureen Teague, ADMA Young Marketer of the Year 2016
Day 1: NYC + OglivyOne Worldwide
As I settle back into my normal routine, the reality of this whirlwind trip certainly brings a smile to my face. My initial itinerary for New York (NY) filled me with so many varied emotions – excitement, happiness, apprehension and nervousness; but perhaps the most appropriate adjective to describe my mindset was “inquisitive”. Laid out in front of me was an opportunity to speak to some of the world’s top marketing minds and it was my quest to absorb as much information, knowledge and advice that I possibly could – thankfully day one did not disappoint.
Our first visit brought Melissa (ADMA Young Creative of the Year 2016) and I to the doors of OgilvyOne Worldwide. Founded by the legendary David Ogilvy in 1948, this company is renowned as one of the largest digital and marketing communications agencies in the world.
Greeted by Ken McVeagh, Marketing Manager, we began with a tour of the building which hosts 2000 + creative marketing minds, across 11 floors. Immediately I was in awe of their innovative workspace and employee facilities, which included a fitness centre, numerous motivational breakout areas, not to mention their very own barber and bank (yes, they really have a bank). As someone who loves to connect and interact with people, it was evident from the onset that this was a company immersed in culture, creativity and innovation.
As soon as our introductions were over we had the opportunity to observe a Jägermeister account meeting with Creative Director, John Long. One of the items on the agenda was Jägermeister’s social media performance and their associated KPI’s. As a lover of social media, my interest piqued when the topic of discussion lead to the brands persona online and their social media engagement strategy. When asked, “How do you decide which followers to respond too”, their immediate response was, “We reply to them all” – which for me, highlighted the emphasis and importance Jägermeister (and OglivyOne) place on their social media reputations. From listening to creative concepts for their next campaign, to viewing the fun way they interact on social media, to the core tasks of budget allocation, it was refreshing to see that even with big brand accounts likes Jägermeister, the fundamentals of social media best practice remain the same.
Whilst I could have easily spent the day shadowing the Jägermeister team, our next port of call was a “stand-up” meeting with account managers on SouthWest Airlines, a low-cost American carrier. Although this visit was short it was refreshing to get a glimpse into how this company markets their low-pricing, whilst also gaining an insight into best practice script writing tips!
Our afternoon concluded with a meeting with Executive Creative Director, Vicki Azarian on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”. As someone who is intrigued by detail, data, patterns and behaviours this was a disrupter I wanted to hear more about. The platform under discussion was IBM’s cognitive system, “Watson” and in particular the role it played in the creation of the world’s first “half-man-, half–machine” light-up dress – made by British design studio Marchesa (and worn by Karolina Kurkova) for the distinguished Met Gala.
Vicki advised us that the designer (Marchesa) chose five emotions that they wanted the dress to convey on the night – they were joy, patience, excitement, encouragement, and curiosity. Initially, this information was fed into two datasets via IBM’s Cognitive Color Tool, which used colour psychology to match the nominated emotions to hues. The primary objective being to refine the colours that Watson could use to ensure that all hues generated aligned with the Marchesa brand. From there, the LED lights attached to the dress were connected to Watson’s Tone Analyzer API, which then interpreted the emotional content of tweets tagged with the hashtags #MetGala and #CognitiveDress on the night.
Incredibly, as the tone of the tweets changed, Watson was then able to change the hue of the dress – all in real time, of course. It was truly inspiring to hear Vicki’s thoughts on the evolution of AI and the work undertaken to produce something so spectacular.
Another example of AI discussed was an “Emotional Spell Check” portrait of Paul Rand. Vicki explained how a piece of art was created by emoji’s which expressed Paul’s mood when writing each and every word in his book, "Thoughts in Design" - once again, this was completed via IBM's "Watson". As an AI novice it fascinated me to hear how a cognitive system could understand and interact naturally with people by detecting their emotions and social tendencies - this certainly opened my mind up to the limitless possibilities we, as marketers, could explore in partnership with software and technology. With a jam-packed day complete and an abundance of knowledge and expertise in my mind, I left OgilvyOne feeling motivated, inspired and excited for the future of Marketing.
Stay tuned for the rest of Maureen's NY diary. For a chance to win the coveted title of ADMA Young Marketer of the Year 2017, click on to this link. Entries close 4 August.