Why OMD is shifting its innovation 'Factory' model

By Published on .

OMD Create used its model for the Ad Council's
OMD Create used its model for the Ad Council's Credit: OMD/Ad Council

OMD is shutting down the factory.

The Omnicom Media Group-owned agency's Ignition Factory, to be exact, which for a decade worked on "out-of-the-box" ideas for its clients — like creating a Shazam-able ad for the Super Bowl in 2010 or helping Showtime stoke interest in the premiere of "Nurse Jackie" by loading the script on Kindle.

Ignition Factory was created 10 years ago, but afterward the agency created other specialized units, like OMD Social (focusing on social media); Airwave (for mobile marketing); and Zero Code (focusing on gaming and interactive entertainment). As these technologies were emerging, OMD leaders say it made sense to silo them as that knowledge of those areas was developing. But today, consumers are increasingly interacting with brands across platforms, and it not longer makes sense for those teams to be isolated anymore, according to OMD.

So the agency has been testing the new model — called OMD Create — with a few clients, and is now officially rolling it out this month.

OMD USA CEO John Osborn says clients are no longer going to the agency asking for something specific, but asking to drive sales and asking for the best ways to do that.

"The complexity and the fragmentation in the media environment leads to kind of an arena where clients say, 'We know we want to drive sales, we know we need to move the business forward, but we're not sure how we want to do that,'" Osborn says, rather than asking specifically for a VR stunt or a mobile campaign.

Doug Rozen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer for OMD USA, says the agency is working on a set of services clients are looking into and creating a "set of packaged goods, more or less," around areas like influencer marketing, location-based marketing and dynamic creative that can be offered on a price-for-product basis or price-per-quantity basis with a rate card model. Previously, the agency offered this kind of workon a full-time-employee (FTE) basis.

Rozen says the agency hopes this new model makes innovation more consistent. "It's not this one-and-done bit, flash-in-the-pan, but how do you do that on a consistent, everyday basis versus once or twice or three times a year," he says.

"It opens up innovation for all across the agency, not just those who are a part of the innovation group," Rozen adds. "It's shifting innovation from being additive to innovation [being] always on. Every managing director, group director across the agency is trained in understanding this."

OMD is already working with client Frito Lay for multiple campaigns using OMD Create, and with the Ad Council for the "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving" campaign. The Ad Council's president and CEO Lisa Sherman said it reflects the way the integrated way the Ad Council is trying to work and that it helped the organization be more nimble and audience-focused across different campaign elements. Media led the development of the campaign and creative was optimized for different digital and social platforms.

Most Popular
In this article: