OgilvyAction debuts brand activation services

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The Ogilvy Group, a subsidiary of British agency holding company WPP PLC, has created a new agency unit called OgilvyAction to offer brand activation services worldwide.

The agency will combine Ogilvy's activation units in North America - including 141 and BEN Marketing - to help clients target consumers as they make purchase decisions in the "last mile."

"Fundamentally, the reason we created this part of the company is because our clients are demanding it," said Rick Roth, CEO of OgilvyAction, New York.

"Ogilvy has always been about 360-degree brand stewardship and building brands in a media-neutral way. So by having an activation component to our offering, we can actually fulfill on that promise in a very rapidly changing market," he said.

OgilvyAction has more than 1,000 employees in 36 countries. It offers services in promotional, shopper, trade, experiential, digital, sports and entertainment marketing as well as retail design. Clients include American Express, Motorola, BAT, Unilever, Kraft and Kodak.

OgilvyAction has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Honolulu, Stamford, CT, and Toronto. Jay Farrell is the North American CEO. In Asia, 141 is part of BatesAsia.

The agency's specialty is retail store marketing. It cites research that shows almost 70 percent of purchase decisions are made near or in the store. It is here that OgilvyAction hopes to aid its clients' reach and influence consumers at key "moments of truth," as the agency puts it.

"We activate a brand where we can create a physical connection with the consumer," Mr. Roth said. "And our focus is on a term what we call the 'last mile,' and we define the last mile as the distance a consumer travels towards a purchase decision.

"I think our clients and marketers today are really being squeezed," he said. "The consumer has control, the trade customer has control and our clients are left to navigate. My job is to help them do that."

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