“The days of interruptive marketing are coming to an end as consumers build up more and more power to choose what they watch, read and experience Now more than ever, brands need to embrace an earned mentality.”

-  Serge Vaezi, Chief Strategy & Creative Officer at Ogilvy PR



Ogilvy PR’s Keeping up with Kulture event looked at what cultural relevance means for brands today. The evening explored why some brands are succeeding where others are failing, how to foster relevance, and what keeping up with cultural vibrations actually means.

Here are three key take-outs from the evening:

1. Actions speak louder than words

Ogilvy PR’s Chief Strategy & Creative Officer, Serge Vaezi, kicked things off with insights from Ogilvy PR’s first dedicated research study into actions brands need to take to be culturally relevant.

Research demonstrates that consumers are 66% more likely to recommend a brand that demonstrates action behavior. 23% more than those that follow traditional marketing methods.

The research also shows when brands are attuned to their core audience, their stories and content take on the value of social currency that people choose to consume and share. This means real actions that contribute to culture in a meaningful way, from concepts with wide societal impact or ideas meant to nudge audiences towards a new behavior.

2. The scientific approach to influence

Meet A.D.A.M – Ogilvy PR’s Advanced Data Analytical Model created by data analysts at Ogilvy PR as a new strategic approach to finding influencers. Ogilvy PR’s Associate Director, Chris Walts, gave the low down on the team’s new tool. Chris explained how the bespoke algorithm narrows down influencer types, measuring true engagement rather than reach. This allows brands to weight their activities and investment linked to the levels of engagement they will achieve. Find out more about A.D.A.M here.

3. What makes brands matter?

Joining Memac Ogilvy Advize’s Jude Batayneh to end the evening was a panel of industry experts facilitated by Ogilvy PR EMEA CEO, Michael Frohlich. On the panel was Unilever’s VP, Global Marketing, Aline Santos, The Mail Online’s Commercial Editor, Anne Shooter and INTENT London’s Co-Founder, Rachel Holden.

The panel discussed cultural relevance with a heavy focus on authenticity. Aline emphasized the need for brands to put their money where their mouth is in terms of their morals and their brand’s impact on the world. Brands need to provide real action to illustrate their commitment to doing good.

The conversation also touched on a need for brands to be engaged and keep up with the pace of cultural conversation, instead of shying away from it. Technology plays a part here – the advancement of technology will have an impact on how brands approach authenticity and how brands engrain themselves in culture.


Marshall Manson, CEO at Ogilvy PR brought the evening to a close, saying: “for me, there’s one other take away that really sung loud and clear, it is that we have to be brave. Brands have to have the courage to have an opinion and be willing to express it to become part of the wider conversation. Not just an opinion about things that are worthy because we’re not just having conversations about cause-related marketing or purpose. We’re having conversations about Kim Kardashian and we’re having conversations about changing people’s lives and everything in between, brands need to be part of that”.


Over the next few weeks Ogilvy PR is launching their bespoke research – Unearthing the Behaviours of Culturally Relevant Brands, to underpin their cultural relevance platform. Stay tuned…