Google @ Omnicom London 2013

By Paul Morris
#googleomg – I attended the Google @ Omnicom 2013 (thanks to Rocket PHD for the invite) event at the BAFTAS in London earlier today.

What a fabulous event it was and a slight departure from Google’s normal approach at this type of event; this time it was all about Connectivity (to be expected) and Creativity (something Google do talk about but they/ Omnicom really turned the dial up on this area).

Here goes with the Google @ Omnicom takeouts (grab a coffee as I tend to procrastinate):


Matt Brittin – Google VP Northern & Central Europe

Q: How many tablets were there 3 years ago?

A: None

Q: How many now?

A: 20% of people have them.

That’s utterly insane!

Other interesting stats:

  • 90% of the content on the web was created in the last 2 years.
  • There are on average 3 connected devices per person.
  • 43% of top 100 brands do not have mobile websites.
  • 45% of people research on their phone whilst shopping in store.
  • 20% change their mind buying a product due to in store mobile research.

Nice holy trinity introduced. AAA = All screens. Always open. Audience engaged.

…I cannot do justice explaining the acronym hence will leave Dan Cobley to do it (he was not at this event though I have seen him present before and he’s excellent)

An amazing You Tube ad from Volkswagen

As brands we should endeavour to be relentlessly relevant. As if we are not relentlessly after our customers then someone else will be

Newsjacking the new marketing phenomenon but summed up well by the Independent –  Bold, brash and incredibly risky – how the advertising equivalent of Russian roulette (sometimes) conquers the world’

Great social media examples for charities:

Prostate Cancer piggy backed on the viral Harlem Shake by interrupting searches with a PPC ad for the search term ‘Harlem Shake’.

‘Think this is news? Help crack prostate cancer etc (clearly this will suffer poor quality score and get taken down in the short term however a great idea and the type of ad strategy that raise awareness and wins awards!)

The Missing Children Society of Canada asked people to, instead of donating time or money, donate your social network by pushing out Missing children society messages via the ‘donors’ social media channel.


Steve Vranakis, Creative Director , Google creative labs

An amazingly inspiring session from Steve who heads up Google’s 20 something creative lab in London.

The first thing to note of interest for us was how they essentially use agile methodology to get great ideas (small ideas that scale) out quickly and then iterate thereafter.

Some of his teams developments:

Jam with chrome a great way of getting people to engage and informing consumers of a boring product (the chrome browser) that joins people together through their love of music

= amazing

5 Chrome experiments brought to life and again showcases Google’s innovation and impact on our lives in the Science Museum, London

= amazing

Super Sync Sports –  A great development that showcases cross device interplay (well even more boring than that is the useful feature of Google syncing across devices e.g. search history and bookmarks) via simple games that can also involve your friends

= amazing

Google Science Competition is a 13-18 year old science competition. Sounds boring yet again but

= amazing

And here is the Google Science video


Next up were Drum, Omnicom

Not all brands need more connections but there is often a need for more meaningful relationships.


Ecosystem economics

Julie Meyer , Ex dragons den, Ariadne Capital

A talk about entrepreneurship

Q: Why follow the entrepreneur?

A1: They advance the future and are willing to live abnormal lives

A2: Capital follows ideas always has, always will

When developing a proposition; who are my natural allies? How can I incentivise them to bring me into the market?


Hamish Nicklin, Head of YouTube and Creative Agency Sales at Google

Creativity on a connected platform – lots of opportunity for creative development on YouTube and to be fair a lot is already being done at a micro interest level.


Annalect, Omnicom

The talk was on the opportunities of using BIG Data .

Very much a focus on intelligently mashing data together .

EMI did it well (even though they were only the match and a Chinese development team the fuel) with their Music Data Science Hackathon 

you can even use BIG Data at a boring but hugely practical level.

As an example in the Food business.

Is there a relationship between what people watch on TV and eat?

Yes there is but how strong? If you could mash TV programming together with the weather, mood of the nation, etc could you change store offers or TV advertising that day to maximise sales? Sounds mental but there might be something in it in a few years time.

With advertising (particularly RTB – Real Time Bidding Display Advertising) we need to move from mass advertising spam to mass personalisation by not only taking into account cookie information (sites visited, location, etc) but take more into account mood, contextual and sensory data.


Mary Burris – Mobile UK advertising lead for Google

Stressed the need for Responsive design and consistency of design is key in the research and sales funnel.

Store locator seen as key in certain retail sectors to facilitate ROPO (see my ROPO post)

Alongside companies such as Peter Jones (owned by john Lewis) Google are developing some amazing Store maps (see my post from a few months ago on Store Map developments)

Mary promoted the Think with Google (see my Think with Google post) calculator which is excellent however there are always going to be issues populating some of the ROPO multipliers as ROPO just isn’t that simple for a mathematical formula to spew out the anwer in 1/2 hour


Mike Warriner – Engineering Director for Google

An amazing view into the short-medium term future of Search developments that are coming to market soon.

Key take outs for me were:

What an interesting way of approaching ambiguous search.

I liked the new scroll bar tablet functionality searching for terms such as ‘Lincoln’

Conversational Search developments to come are brilliant

e.g. Search for ‘Barack Obama’ = you get him funnily enough

Then search for ‘who is his wife’ = you get stuff about Barack’s wife (which is amazing)

Then search for ‘how old is she’ and you get her date of birth and age as of today

…This is all mind blowing if they can do this at scale for millions of searches (which they are planning to do)

What it does also do is completely (and I cannot emphasise completely enough) rewrite the PPC adwords management rule book.

No longer will you whole heartedly rely on your PPC expert/ agency to manage your PPC account, and to an even greater degree than Google have done with Enhanced Campaigns (check out my post on Enhanced Campaigns for more information), you will rely on Google’s mental search connection technology (as I in part posted about a year ago in regards to the semantic web)

Caveat: this development is reliant on people changing their search behaviour from ‘who is Barack Obama’s wife’ in connected searches to ‘who is his wife’

Google are doing some amazing stuff with Google Maps (as mentioned above and I’m already testing it on their beta invite programme) and this was showcased in their Vatican City example (see my Google Maps update post for more info)

Then there was the pièce de résistance in Google Glass.

If we can get over the privacy concerns then I guarantee the following mental ideas showcased in the video will happen within 10 years as Google + technology to empower the ideas is almost there already


All in all then an excellent Google @ Omnicom 2013 event that got my creative juices flowing and made me realise yet again why I love my job!

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