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Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Written by Melina Seeam – Ogilvy Intern (July 2020)

“I never wrote anything in the office” “too many distractions” –David Ogilvy

Interruptions at work are inevitable. Typically, social media or daydreaming would be thought of as the primary culprits behind the lack of focus on your job. Psychologists look at a different approach to the problem and explains that it as stemming from different levels of the corporate environment ranging from other work piling over the ongoing work, spontaneous meetings as well as incoming phone calls throughout the whole day. Tidying your desk, sensory meditation and if-then planning are some refocus strategies the employee can apply to their daily routine. Nevertheless, a more effective option is currently being seen as more favourable, and that is, working from home.

In a way the ‘work from home’ concept was already made popular many years ago with our founder, David Ogilvy. Today, it is trending again due to COVID-19. The adman ended up retreating to the 12th century old Château de Touffou that overlooks the Vienne Valley in France. Campaign writes about the chateau, describing it as the “inspirational base from which he set forth to make speeches all over the world to trade associations, client groups and Ogilvy group senior executives.” By adopting a non-traditional work environment far from the office life, David Ogilvy was able to stay focused and continued to push his influence across the globe, despite being far away in the French Nouvelle-Aquitaine countryside.

Everything seems to become possible with the willingness to change. Changing how we think transforms everything around us; how we communicate and do business. ‘Work from home’ has proved to be promising but we should not become fixated on the idea. In Namibia, offices have started operating since the 5th of May 2020. This means we need to explore alternative ways that will offer unlimited possibilities to stay in focus and enhance workforce performance when we don’t have the option to work from home anymore.

Clients need to feel safe when entrusting themselves in our hands; the agency, just “as the relationship between a patient and his doctor” (David Ogilvy). Navigating through the rough seas the world is indulged in right now will require a re-design that shifts the business architectures in such a way that builds up on more strength capable of enduring all. This will allow us marketers to emerge stronger and offer timeously adapted solutions to the clientele. As an ad agency, we have the power to do the transition from a business shaped around profitability to one that is motivated to drive impact in society.

The graph shows advertising’s social contribution actions and the percentages of positive public sentiments they have generated.

Globally, governments are urging marketers to change their practices and commit more to marketing responsibility as part of their social contribution. Ellen Hammett argues that the reason behind this push is caused by positive public sentiments generated from the contribution. Agencies must be positioned in such a way to show that their “motives are genuine and go beyond commercial gain.”Creation of impactful content lies in the ability to be productive by applying the right amount of focus to better execute tasks.

Creation of impactful content lies in the ability to be productive by applying the right amount of focus to better execute tasks.

HuffPost outlines what focus can change:

  1. The way we think to be more effective in our work and delivering the highest quality outputs that adopts the new Ogilvy’s ‘What Matters Now’ vision. (Without focus we cannot think)

  2. Focus progression is where a quality product can be produced in a short time where there is no distraction.

Whatever impact advertising has on society can prevent decreasing levels of public trust. Brand strategy is at the core of the advertising world and often overlooked by organizations. “This mindset has become a barrier to scaling impact and driving systemic change”, states Medium. Consequently, a new mindset is in great demand. It should be viewed as the key to “advancing organizational strategy and impact.” 

“Brand is not really about marketing at all. It’s about integrity, accountability and trust.”

– Bill Shore, Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2015

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