|'We're going to stop paying lip service to the changing developments in the market and adapt to these changing conditions,' the group's director said.
Maria Mandel, formerly director of interactive services at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Draft, has been hired as director of the new group.
Currently, the innovation unit has two employees, Ms. Mandel and Brandon Berger, a senior strategist at the agency who has focused on gaming and wireless activities for the agency's clients.
'Here and now'
Dan Goodman will oversee the digital group in his new role as executive director of OgilvyInteractive, New York. Mr. Goodman replaces Eric Wheeler, who was promoted to executive director of OgilvyInteractive North America. "It's not a futurist group," Mr. Goodman said. "These technologies are in the here and now."
The unit is starting work on a number of research studies to measure the effectiveness of new-media channels. One study is focused on how consumers respond to interactive video ads online. Another will study the impact of incorporating a brand within a game and comparing that to the banner-type placement of a brand in a game, and then measuring that impact against TV, print and different online marketing impressions. A third study will measure the efficacy of branded entertainment.
'Stop paying lip service'
The unit will consult with all Ogilvy agencies, Ms. Mandel said. It is not yet on board for on any campaigns. "By formalizing the digital innovation group, we're going to stop paying lip service to the changing developments in the market and adapt to these changing conditions and start cultivating and embracing them as the marketing conditions grow," she added.
Some of these emerging technologies are in their infancy and barely visible as current advertising venues. An eMarketer study recently reported that wireless advertising is at roughly the same level relative to interactive advertising that online advertising was in relation to traditional ad spending in the mid-1990s.
Other formats have already gone mainstream. Gaming, for instance, has exploded into a huge industry -- a gigantic, and largely untapped, opportunity for advertisers. U.S. computer and video-game software sales grew 8% in 2003, to $7 billion, according to the Entertainment Software Association.