Creating unique brand identities.
Ogilvy equips employees with IT tools to craft tomorrow’s advertising, PR and marketing campaigns for leading global brands.
New York, New York
Teaches employees how to apply IT to drive client results and outcomes
Use case: Employee reskilling
Increase impact of client campaigns by using technology
Maximise value of agency’s enterprise IT tools
Offer a world-class learning experience for staff and a template for wider training efforts
Expands knowledge of how to harness IT to benefit both clients and agency
Achieves higher reach and engagement rates with employees worldwide
Reduces administration, freeing time for curricula development
Increasing brand impact
A famous ad for the stately Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud appeared in 1958. The copy read: “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” The ad established the luxury carmaker at the pinnacle of the automotive industry for years. Another memorable ad — for Dived soap — featured the tagline: “one-quarter moisturising cream.” So impactful were these words that they appeared in the brand’s ads for over 40 years, establishing Dived as a best-selling soap in the United States.
These celebrated ads were developed by Ogilvy and Mather — today known simply as Ogilvy — a leading integrated communications agency. Now encompassing brand strategy, customer engagement, public relations, partnerships and digital transformation along with advertising, Ogilvy is part of WPP Group, one of the world’s largest advertising and public relations companies.
“Clients choose Ogilvy in part because of the impact of those pioneering, early campaigns,” explains Shari Berman, Director of Communications, Ogilvy Business Technology. “However, they have 21st century expectations that the agency will be at the cutting-edge of trends, insights and technologies and that extends to the IT their account teams use on a daily basis.”
Innovating campaigns through technology
Berman’s job is to ensure that Ogilvy employees around the world are aware of the latest technologies — including software, applications and services — and harness them to benefit both clients and the agency. From Adobe Creative Cloud apps and services for photography, design, video, web and UX and the Microsoft 365 suite to SAP financial management software, Ogilvy’s Business Technology team works to ensure the agency gets maximum value out of the IT tools available to them.
This is accomplished through an extensive e-learning programme that includes in-depth training sessions, quick video tips and previews of upcoming tools and applications that can help account teams meet client and agency objectives. In addition, the Business Technology team maintains Ogilvy’s directory of users, helping ensure that every employee worldwide has access to every IT solution.
For many years, Ogilvy used an open source-based learning management system (LMS) to support not just IT-specific training but also wider global e-learning requirements. However, keeping the custom-built system updated with new features was a full-time job that required considerable in-house coding expertise. At the same time, limited data tracking features meant that learning and development leaders had little visibility into employee performance against learning plans, course attendance or training satisfaction scores.
Standardising on a new learning platform
To resolve the challenges, the Business Technology team decided to transition to Adobe Learning Manager following an exhaustive review of the LMS options. Adobe Learning Manager had been bundled into a wider Adobe software contract negotiated by Ogilvy’s parent company WPP, but until that time remained an unused benefit.
“When I learnt about Adobe Learning Manager, I felt reassured because it comes from Adobe and we’ve used Adobe applications successfully for years,” explains Berman. “While testing it, I discovered just how intuitive the user experience was, how easy it was to manage from an administrative point of view with customisation features and automatic software updates and how scalable and data transparent it was.”
After discussing the results of LMS review with Ogilvy’s CIO Owen McLeod and securing his buy-in for Adobe Learning Manager, Berman’s team deployed the platform first in North America and later worldwide.
Up-levelling the training experience
Today, the Business Technology team uses Adobe Learning Manager to host approximately 20 deep-dives into core enterprise tools such as SAP, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365 offerings such as OneDrive and Teams and mandatory security courses on topics such as data analytics and phishing. In addition, a 20-minute Ogilvy Technology Resources Overview is given to new hires as part of the onboarding process.
Using Adobe Learning Manager, employee performance against learning plans is tracked for the first time. After enrolling in courses, Microsoft Outlook calendar invites and reminders are automatically sent to attendees through the platform, eliminating a previously manual scheduling process. Berman notes that Adobe Learning Manager was the only LMS she reviewed to offer this feature. Certificates are given to employees after completing certain courses and are then time-tracked if certification needs to be renewed later.
“When I learnt about Adobe Learning Manager, I felt reassured because it comes from Adobe and we’ve used Adobe applications successfully for years.”
Director of Communications, Ogilvy Business Technology
Adobe Captivate is used to create the IT course content, which frequently incorporates animation, video and pop-up quizzes for better learner engagement and information retention. Berman says: “Adobe Captivate gives me endless possibilities for designing content, from eye-popping graphics to avatars using Adobe Character Animator.”
She continues: “Adobe Captivate and Adobe Learning Manager go hand in hand, because if you can’t entertain learners along the way, you’re going to lose them.” For e-learning content, Berman uses Adobe Premiere Pro to edit videos and the audio capabilities in Adobe Audition to enhance the user experience.
For some users, such as those who regularly rely on Adobe Creative Cloud for campaign or digital work, the Business Technology team will soon start to use social boards as part of the Social Learning feature to share tips of the week, updates on new features and helpful use cases.
Customised course offerings
Unique training modules have been created for clients that have specific learning requirements for their account team members. Berman says: “As individuals on these teams experience Adobe Learning Manager, they’re telling their peers about what a great LMS experience it is and that’s increasing demand for our support.” Another result is that Ogilvy’s HR team recently expressed interest in trialing Adobe Learning Manager for global diversity training.
“I’m an evangelist for Adobe Learning Manager becoming more widely adopted both within Ogilvy and WPP, so I’m continually highlighting our findings and positive results with my peers from other WPP operating companies,” says Berman.
Currently, Berman uses Adobe Learning Manager to put the finishing touches on a branded, customisable landing page for learners so that they can quickly and easily browse the IT e-learning catalogue, register for courses, retrieve supplementary information and submit special training requests.
Berman says: “I love that Adobe listens to our feedback. If we have a suggestion or an idea for a new feature, chances are it will be reflected in a software update. Adobe shares our vision for what we’re trying to create and is an active partner on our journey.”
“Employees are now better equipped to apply IT to achieve client results and outcomes.”
Director of Communications, Ogilvy Business Technology
Forging brand identities in the digital era
Reflecting on the e-learning platform’s implementation, Berman says: “Adobe Learning Manager enables us to reach with more people around the world. Employees are now better equipped to apply IT to achieve client results and outcomes.”
Much of the Ogilvy magic is found in the creative thought process, but the agency’s work has evolved into more of a fusion between creativity and technology. Concludes Berman, “I’m proud that, in partnership with Adobe, we equip our employees with the IT tools to create tomorrow’s advertising, PR and marketing campaigns.”
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