As online video continues its dramatic rise, Ogilvy & Mather on Thursday officially debuted its own specialty video practice.
In development for nearly two years, Ogilvy's Advanced Video Practice will work with brand clients to take video engagement beyond the "viral" view by targeting measurable engagements that place viewers directly into the sales funnel.
It is being led by Robert John Davis, who joined Ogilvy in 2008, after leading Rainbow Media's cable network sites and serving as MTV Networks' first executive producer of convergence.
"It is not just TV 2.0 -- a new way to get TV programs online," Davis said of the burgeoning video space. "This is a vibrant, interactive engagement medium that goes beyond watching videos to engaging with videos."
According to Davis, the new practice should augment various Ogilvy specialty areas, including digital influence, search optimization and search marketing, creative, content strategy and social selling.
"Video is too important to treat as an add-on to TV or Web marketing efforts," Davis said. "As advanced video opportunities continue to grow across mobile and device-oriented experiences, maximizing this channel is vital for a brand's success."
During its test phase, clients who helped shape Ogilvy's new practice included IBM, Nestlé, DuPont and others.
The practice will focus on several key aspects of online video, including the creation of strategic content and video search engine optimization, as well as the production and distribution of video across multiple digital platforms and measurement.
Furthermore, the plan is to bring together experts from online video strategy and production with the Neo@Ogilvy search practice and OgilvyEntertainment, to provide clients with a full-service online video platform.
Needless to say, trying to maximize the potential of YouTube as a marketing channel for clients is one of the key ways in which the practice will be exploited.
"Our strategy is built around the belief that views will be maximized if you optimize for the multiple forms of search first, making it easy for audiences to find, consume and share the content when they need it most," Davis added.