Many people, including myself, believe that the United States and the United Kingdom are very similar despite the fact that they are on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, there are can be many differences as well. This week, we had the opportunity to visit two interesting places. We first went to the Brand Museum which is near Notting Hill. It shows and displays numerous brands and how they have changed over the years. Later, we went to visit Ogilvy & Mather, a public relations and marketing agency, where we learned how an agency works.
According to Sam, the man who presented and gave us a tour, the agencies in the United States are quite different than what you can find here in the United Kingdom. Sam and his colleague worked in the Ogilvy & Mather New York office for a while and agree on this assertion. The layout in the US there is in cubicles and the environment contains lots of tension. Eventually the both were sent to the London branch, whose atmosphere is open and allows for ton of creativity.
Something that stood out to me on the tour of the agency was the friendliness of everyone. Although you can find friendly people anywhere, I think that in the United States we put a lot of pressure and tension on ourselves which explains why Sam and his colleague prefer the London office. Yet, something that I found very similar to other agencies I have visited is the collaboration of other departments. Everyone works as a team to get a project done.
I think Ogilvy does a great job using the Persuasion in New Media model. Ideally, when they start a new project for a client, they process all the input and figure out the message they want to portray. Then, they make changes and run tests using potential consumers to see how they would react and take note of their behavior. Although there are many other things that go on during this process, I believe Ogilvy uses this model a lot, but more in depth.
During our visit to the Brand Museum, we did an exercise where we were given a product and had to create two completely different consumers who would likely use it. I though this was a lot of fun and reminded me that every product can have multiple target audiences. Doing this type of exercise uses a lot of strategic thinking and data analysis, which can be extremely helpful in an agency setting.
It would be a dream of mine to work at Ogilvy & Mather. When I was eighteen years old, I read David Ogilvy’s book, Confessions of an Advertising Man, and knew studying strategic communication and working in advertising or public relations was right for me. I think I would excel well as either an Account Executive or something along the lines of management or social media. A few skills I would need to have in order to excel in either of those positions is strategic thinking, organization, time management, adaptability and a positive mindset. Things are going to happen all the time, whether they’re good or bad, so I think it’s important to be prepared and calmly response to these situations. I think I posses a lot of these skills, but can still develop them further. I’m a huge believer that we learn best from our mistakes and experiences, so I am confident I would learn so much more from my future jobs and peers.
Overall, I had a great time this week learning about the similarities and differences between the US and the UK and cannot wait to bring this new knowledge back home with me.