"We believe the blogosphere can have a considerable impact on brand health," Carla Hendra, co-CEO of Ogilvy North America, a WPP Group agency. She said that Technorati will aggregate blog content relevant to Ogilvy clients, and then will work with Ogilvy's senior creative directors to integrate existing word-of-mouth into campaigns.
The move marks the latest example of ad agencies forging deals aimed at connecting with social media. Last summer, for instance, Interpublic Group purchased a stake in social networking site Facebook. Publicis Groupe's Denuo also struck a deal with user-generated ad platform ViTrue Inc. to enable marketers to bring social networking to advertising and marketing initiatives.
For the Ogilvy partnership, Technorati will make use of its newly developed "Conversational Marketing System," which helps clients build advertising, destination Web sites and communities of interest that incorporate and link to blog posts around relevant issues.
Technorati's services attempt to incorporate all digital media--including blogs, vlogs, videos, and photos--into brand building. "The benefit of social media is that it allows brands to build a more authentic, participatory relationship with its audience than was possible in the mass media era," said Peter Hirshberg, chairman and chief marketing officer at Technorati.
Ogilvy has already experimented in the word-of-mouth field, using blogs for such clients as Cisco, IBM and SAP.
"Technorati will help us understand what is going on in the blogosphere, which will be tremendously useful to our brand," said Marianne Samenko, director of worldwide brand communications, and consumer digital group vice president for Kodak.
According to Hendra, Ogilvy will not use Technorati's services in the area of public relations or crisis management. Ogilvy Public Relations has its own "digital influence group" for such matters, she said.