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Direct agency of the year winner: OgilvyOne

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OgilvyOne Worldwide, the direct and digital agency of Ogilvy Worldwide, is taking direct marketing to the next level in a world where mobile, digital and traditional media are converging.

“We are beginning to see traditional direct marketing shift into digital channels, whether it's e-mail, Web or mobile,” said Carla Hendra, CEO of Ogilvy North America.

For its b-to-b clients, which make up roughly 60% of its total business, OgilvyOne has developed groundbreaking direct and digital campaigns over the past year that make use of such emerging technologies as mobile, social media and video in e-mail.

To help IBM Corp. introduce its Jazz Technology platform, which allows greater collaboration among software developers, OgilvyOne last year created a viral e-mail campaign called “Mr. Fong Lost in Space.” This year, it launched the second phase of the campaign.

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Using videos embedded in e-mail—and promoting the effort through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter—Ogilvy engaged the software-developer audience with an entertaining yet highly relevant marketing campaign, in which users had to help Mr. Fong reconnect with his team (using means such as Jazz technology).

The results included open rates up to 22%, click-through rates up to 3.7% and increased average time spent on the microsite.

The agency is also exploring ways to use mobile marketing to reach business execs. As part of SAP's new campaign, “It's Time for a Clear New World,” OgilvyOne created a mobile campaign aimed at C-level executives, who are often on the road, accessing the Web via cell phones and PDAs.

The campaign delivered banner ads on mobile versions of such IT, news and business Web sites as CBS.com, CNN.com and Giz-modo.com. Users could click on the ads and link to an SAP microsite featuring videos of business execs talking about clarity and transparency in business—key themes of the campaign.

The campaign is currently running in the U.S., France and Germany. The mobile banner ad campaign has an average click-through rate of 0.34%, with click-through rates as high as 1.03% in France. So far, more than 114,000 visitors have accessed the mobile landing pages.

“Mobile is the application that will really break out in the next few years, in terms of growth,” Hendra said. “Everything we see, everywhere, is that there are starting to be more opportunities to use smart phones in new ways. It was a little slow to take off, but now people are integrating mobile devices into their business lives, which is why the SAP campaign did so well.”

For client Cisco Systems, OgilvyOne created a digital campaign called “The Realm,” aimed at data security professionals. Playing off the target audience's affinity for comic books and action figures, OgilvyOne created a microsite that was the home of a fictitious world called “The Realm,” where superheroes battle hackers and other threats to the network.

The campaign was promoted through banner ads, social media sites, a mobile WAP site and a digital billboard in Times Square.

“Digital outdoor seems to be growing. We would like all of our clients to be experimenting with it,” Hendra said.

To demonstrate new technologies and future applications to clients and prospects, OgilvyOne this year opened a Digital Labs facility in New York. It is the fifth such technology lab the agency has opened worldwide, following similar launches in Beijing, London, Singapore and São Paulo.

To show off some of the newest technologies, such as linking digital outdoor billboards with mobile ads, OgilvyOne hosted an event last month called Outernet at its new Digital Labs facility.

“We wanted to show our clients in the U.S. that there is a lot that can be done with digital outdoor and mobile,” Hendra said. The agency has already done a significant number of digital outdoor installations in Asia.

OgilvyOne continues to expand its business, despite the recession. This year, it won new clients, including Medco and United Healthcare, as well as new assignments for such existing clients as British Airways, LexisNexis and Siemens.

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