The Former Founder ofÂ Ogilvy Labs at Ogilvy & Mather shares her perspective on advertising, digital innovation and Indian advertising
Akansha Mihir Mota | Delhi | August 31, 2016
In 2000, with a brief from the Chairman to âbring the agency into the 21st centuryâ, Yershon joined Ogilvy London where she worked as the Director of Innovative Solutions. In the year 2008, Yershon founded Ogilvy Digital Innovation lab, which was recently shut down as a cost-cutting measure.
Yershon was voted as the Wired UK's top 100 digital influencers/movers in May 2010. She was on the judging panel for Media Guardians Innovation Awards 2011 and the lead judge, digital magazine awards 2012. With many honours in her bag, she was one of the Cannes Lion innovation and D&AD judge in 2016.
BestMediaInfo caught up with Nicole Yershon, Former Founder Ogilvy Labs at Ogilvy & Mather, to know her perspective on the advertising industry given her experience in the field of innovation.
Commenting on Indian advertising and where it stands globally, she said, âI think there is a great curiosity in India and where there is curiosity, there is a want to do something different. Over here there is a want to do something different and I like that. I like the kind of curiosity and the kind of spirit Indian advertising has.â
Social media has become a powerful method for organisations to reach a target market; many social media platforms have integrated methods to help businesses reach their audiences. But on the flip side, the consumers have become too critical with their tweets and Facebook updates. Brands have to remain cautious of that. This puts pressure on the creative agency to create something. Although social media felicitates communication, one negative tweet can tamper the image of the brand.
Asked whether social media restricts creative freedom, Yershon said, âI think you canât please everyone. You just need to be fearless and do what you think is right to do. Otherwise, you will only be frightened of millions of people saying that you canât do it. Even if you are criticised for something, learn from it. Always stand for what you have done.â
Talking about the challenges faced by advertising globally, she said, âI think we are not trying to change everything and only looking at the new things and trying to innovate to show these things are happening and that is not the right way. We need to understand that there are certain problems and the solution is traditional advertising. There needs to be an innovation centre everywhere. It makes things easy for the agencies and brands to find solutions to their problems.â
When asked about how important awards are to judge the performance of the agencies, Yershon said, âIt depends on the very agency and how they measure success. Ogilvyâs measure of success is to get as many awards. Awards are motivational factors for some companies, but not for me personally.â
Innovation is only possible if all come together and invest in the interest of innovation in the creative field. Commenting on how willing are the brands to invest in innovation, Yershon said, âIt depends on the people and not the brands. If there is someone in the brand who wants to push boundaries, they would be innovative.â
Only a few brands are willing to spend more money on the digital front than any other medium. Most of their money is allotted for the traditional medium. That definitely restricts innovations to happen in the digital front. Yershon said that this was the same situation that United Kingdom faced 5-10 years back. She added, âThe change you might not feel in the second, but will see it happen in the future. It also depends what works for the brands. If a television campaign works for them, depending on their market requirement, then they should focus more on the traditional medium.â
According to Yershon, the definition of advertising is, âIn the traditional model, it is shouting out to people and broadcasting and in the new model everything is about communicating in all different walks of life and in all different ways, but just not shouting a message.â
Yershon ended the conversation with a word of advice for the advertising fraternity in India. She said, âAlways be open-minded and at last try something once. Always put 20 per cent of your budget to try something. You will then actually see the difference. But if you donât try, you will not improve.â