This year marks the Ogilvy’s 25th anniversary (scheduled for September 26 in New York) and, according to Scott McDonald, ARF president/CEO, “This year’s competition was especially fierce—with applications up 45% from last year”.
“Back in the early years of the Ogilvy Awards,” he wrote, “the research toolkit consisted mostly of surveys and focus groups—with many variations around the basic qual/quant divide. Nearly all of the 2019 ARF David Ogilvy Award submissions used some form of survey research as well as various forms of qualitative methodology—ethnography, interview, and in-store intercepts, even when passively-collected behavioral data were also presented.”
“But now the campaigns are part of broader marketing efforts that also leverage all digital media as well as owned media, earned media, branded content, and other features of the contemporary marketing mix. This complexity comes at a cost, since it is now much harder to structure, plan, understand, and assess all of the factors at work in a complex marketing effort.”
According to McDonald, “It is rare now to see a submission that does NOT include some quantitative evidence of short-term sales impact to demonstrate the impact of a marketing campaign. Of course, this taps into the venerable debate about the tradeoff between long-term and short-term results.
“Evidence from much research supports the idea that short-term results are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for long-term results. However, too much short-termism can do major long-term damage to brand equity.”
“Today’s advertisers have to navigate a much more complex environment with many more tools at their disposal, but also with considerably more ‘noise’ to overcome. But the challenge is still much the same—to understand your consumer, to attract attention, to persuade, to inspire, to influence hearts, minds, and behavior.
In a field that is often criticized for chasing the “shiny new toy,” the historical record of the 2019 Ogilvy finalists show that marketers today are still using the tools grounded in psychology, economics, sociology, and anthropology, now in combination with tools derived from neuroscience, behavioral analytics, decision theory, semiotics, and machine learning.
“But the point is still to get the insight that helps you understand human emotions and motives, that helps you make sense of life experience, that enables you to come up with the inspired breakthrough.
“In celebrating exceptional success stories, the ARF David Ogilvy Awards are as important today as on the day they were born.”
To read the full letter, click here.