Agency influencer Q&A with Brandon Berger: Whenever something happens in the world, people talk about it on Twitter

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Brandon Berger (@BrandonBerger) has his finger on the pulse of global digital advertising. As the Worldwide Chief Digital Officer of Ogilvy & Mather (@Ogilvy), @BrandonBerger makes sure that digital is at the core of Ogilvy’s business across 120+ countries and 22,000 employees.

With @CannesLions upon us, we caught up with @BrandonBerger to get his opinions on the global digital trends to look out for at Cannes and beyond. This interview is the first in a two-part series of @Ogilvy influencer Q&As.

 @TwitterAds: How have you seen global brands navigate the digital differences across markets?

@BrandonBerger: Truly global brands create solutions that allow people to participate regardless of the digital device penetration in a given market. We recently launched a graphic novel for Fanta (@Fantafun). A campaign like that had to be both global and local. Fanta’s brand represents play, so we created a “playable” graphic novel and made sure everyone in Fanta’s key markets could not only read it, but also interact, and ultimately play with it.

@TwitterAds: Speaking of global trends, what are you excited to see at Cannes this year?

@BrandonBerger: I’m a big believer in “social by design.” That means infusing social into ideas regardless of what channel they’re in. A great example is the Dove (@Dove) Real Beauty Sketches campaign. It’s a beautiful piece of content that is dying to be shared – in fact, it’s become the most shared branded video ever. Spreadable ideas that people can engage with are going to be at the center of Cannes.

Mobility is also going to be an interesting category at Cannes because nearly every consumer all over the world has a mobile device in their hand at all times. Cannes Lions is siloing mobile off as a medium, but mobile has to play a critical role in almost every idea.

Some of my favorite mobile work came from Tunisia this year. After the Arab Spring, the Tunisian government banned fans from gathering in stadiums to watch sports. Everyone in Tunisia has a mobile phone, so CS Hammam-Lif football team got fans to download an app that allowed them to cheer with their mobile phones while watching the match at home on TV. They outfitted the stadium with huge speakers that played the sounds of fans cheering from the app. Imagine hearing hundreds of thousands of people right there with you when you’re playing a match in an empty stadium. It was amazing.

@TwitterAds: How do you begin conceptualizing powerful digital campaigns that are social by design?

@BrandonBerger: I fundamentally believe that there should never be a creative campaign idea that doesn’t consider the role of Twitter and social media. If anything happens in the world – like the campaign in Tunisia – people are going to talk about it on Twitter.

We can’t create ideas without being conscious of what we’re doing on Twitter.

@BrandonBergerWorldwide Chief Digital Officer of Ogilvy & Mather


@TwitterAds: How does Ogilvy use Twitter to connect to key audiences?

@BrandonBerger: At Ogilvy, we’ve become a media channel in ourselves through our social media profile. We can amplify our work across the hundreds of thousands of people that follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

@TwitterAds: How do you use Twitter personally? Who are your favorite accounts to follow?

@BrandonBerger: Keeping connected is critical, and I use Twitter for that. Jason Hirschhorn’s Media Redefined (@MediaReDEF) is one I pay attention to. He’s always got a great perspective and collection of the most important news and content. I also love following our Ogilvy handles. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort making our Twitter presence really important.

@TwitterAds: You’re going to be at the WPP Stream event at Cannes this week. Anything you can preview for our readers?

@BrandonBerger: Stream is one of the best conferences in the industry. It’s a place where leaders of the biggest media companies, agencies, global brands, and industry influencers can come together and discuss strategies, plans and visions for their future. I do know the agenda, but it’s highly confidential. If you want to know what’s going on, follow me on Twitter.


You heard it here! For more on today’s exclusive Stream conference at Cannes, follow @BrandonBerger. Check back here next week for the second part of our @Ogilvy influencer Q&A series for an interview with John Bell (@jbell99) on social design.