The centre will focus on establishing a new system to define how audiences think, feel and behave to improve marketing and communications effectiveness
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 1, 2017
Ogilvy has announced the creation of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science which will work across the Ogilvy group. It will focus on establishing a new system to define how audiences think, feel and behave to improve marketing and communications effectiveness.
Christopher Graves will assume the role of President and Founder of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science with immediate effect. Graves will work with Carla Hendra, Global Chairman, OgilvyRed and Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Worldwide Board.
“Behavioural science will create a real edge for us in the marketplace,” said Carla Hendra, Global Chairman, OgilvyRed and Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy Worldwide Board. “We are thrilled that Chris has agreed to take on this new role as he is one of the industry’s most recognised experts in the field and will help us to transform the way we understand and move people on behalf of our clients.”
As part of its work, the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science will tap a huge and fast-growing body of research to help clients identify the levers most likely to shift behaviours and change attitudes. To do this, Graves and the team have created a new navigation tool called AMOS, named in honour of one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, Amos Tversky.
“Recently we have all seen how traditional demographics research can fail spectacularly in predicting outcomes – especially in a polarised, ‘post-fact’ environment,” said Graves, “but behavioural scientists look beyond demographics and beyond what people say, to the inner workings of how people view the world and create their own identities.” Graves noted that behavioural scientists have shown that instead of targeting people, understanding them works better. Behavioural science helps us do that, creating far more effective ways to help clients achieve better outcomes.
The Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science will do just that, plus create a comprehensive, new approach to achieving client goals by combining the legendary Ogilvy expertise in brands, with new cognitive and behavioural insights. The approach is called “B4” due to its focus on brand, brain, behaviour and bias.
Graves said he spent eight years finding, digesting and sorting research, but the key was creating a way for non-scientists to use the findings in practical ways. “This is not a niche,” cautioned Graves, “It drives big increases in effectiveness for everything from health and well-being, the environment, personal finance, social issues, politics, crisis management, employee engagement, and sales of products and services.”
The Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science will launch in Q1 2017 and will scale across Ogilvy over time. The centre will appoint a board of scientific advisors as well as partner with and build on the ground-breaking work of the behavioural expert practice group. Ogilvy Change is based in London and Washington, DC. In the UK it is led by Vice-Chair Rory Sutherland and Managing Director, Mark Lainas. In Washington, DC it is led by Executive Vice-President, Tony Silva with further centres in Paris, Sydney, Milan, Madrid, Wellington and Johannesburg.
Additionally, the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science will partner with other behaviour change specialists such as research giant WPP’s Kantar to create new cognitive insights, and with WPP Government to help in large-scale population behaviour change for quality of life improvement.
Christopher Graves has led the industry as a proponent for bringing more behavioural science into communications. The Rockefeller Foundation honoured Graves in 2016 with a prestigious Bellagio Residency, the Holmes Report named him a Top 25 Innovator, and he is a WPP 4-time Atticus Award honouree for thought leadership. Graves also co-founded the behavioural insights initiative at the Institute for Public Relations. His behavioural and cognitive insights writing has been featured in the Harvard Business review and widely cited in media.
Graves has served at Ogilvy Public Relations for a combined 12 years as Global Chair, Global CEO, and APAC Regional CEO. Graves just completed two terms as Chair of the PR Council and he is an elected life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.