Presenting “Rory Sutherland” as a Hero of Advertising BY Jaymes2510 James Essex Presenting Rory Sutherland as a Hero of Advertising Word Count: 1133 Words Born in 1965 in a small town called Usk, Monmouthshire, Rory Sutherland has rose through the ranks in the advertising industry to become “one of the most influential fgures in advertising” (The Marketing Society, 2013). Rory began his studies at his local school ‘Haberdasher’s’, and then on to further his studies at ‘Christ’s College’, Cambridge.
During school, Rory was a mischievous child. His brother recalling a ituation in which, in Rory’s Latin class the teacher wondered whether he had time for a new exercise. *dow much time have I got? ” the master muttered to himself as he looked at his watch. “Not long unless you give up smoking, Sir”, was Rorys response. ” (The Wiki Man, 2011) This sense of foolishness and carefree attitude seems to have followed Rory into his later life, work and has possibly made him the influential fgure he is today.
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Rory seemed to be following in the footsteps of Sir Martin Sorrell from an early age, however it seems that the rebellious attitude seemed to diminish the similarities egan teaching at a grammar school in Aylesbury. This would not last long however. “The contents of the staff room proved too depressing to bear” (Ogilvy, 2013). After applying to numerous advertising and marketing Jobs, Rory finally landed a position at ‘Ogilvy & Mather Direct’ where things did not improve, Paul O’Donnell, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather saying “he was without a doubt the worst graduate trainee we ever hired” (The Wiki Man, 2011).
Rory had many Jobs at Ogilvy and it seemed like he was terrible at all of them. Rory always had a keen eye for seeking out new developments in technology and making se of them. Rory Joined the agency at the brink of a technological ‘boom’, when computers and the Internet were starting to advance rapidly. When Ogilvy got a new information machine called MAID, (a piece of equipment that would give answers to questions being typed into it), they had no choice but to let Rory use it, as he was the only one that knew how. Paul O’Donnell (2011) stated that this was the worst thing they could have let Rory do.
Instead of actually planning, he would sit in front of the machine typing in question after question, looking at the answers and saying “fascinating, fascinating”. After being moved from account management to planning, and then being fired from that, it seemed like there was no hope for Rory. That was until an outcry across the office forced them to give Rory one more chance. He was moved to the creative department and flourished. Within five years Rory was made Executive Creative Director. Rory has become an expert on behavioural economics and believes advertising and marketing must be seen as a science.
In a TED Talk filmed in Athens, Rory talks about how ‘Perspective is everything and how much too time is spent looking for “technical engineering solutions” and not enough time ooking for “psychological solutions”. Using the following example where he talks about the Eurostar Journey times, he sums his statement up perfectly: “Six million pounds spent to reduce the Journey time between Paris and London by about forty minutes. For maybe ten percent of the money you could have paid all of the world’s top male and female supermodels to walk up and down the train, handing out free Chateau Petrus to all passengers.
You’d still have five [million] pounds in change and people would ask for the trains to be slowed down. ” (TED Talks, 2012) This is a brilliant example of the creative and knowledgeable way Rory looks at the dvertising industry and using this insight, he has launched a new initiative called #ogilvychange. Founded by Rory himself and Director of Strategy Integration Jez Groom, #ogilvychange uses leading research in cognitive psychology and the communication expertise of Ogilvy to create a new way of advertising, to change the minds and behavior of the consumers in a way that makes advertising much more effective.
Rory’s view of looking at advertising and marketing as purely a science rather than an art form is not brand new however. In 1923, Claude C. Hopkins published his book advertising and the need to target the man rather than the masses. In other words, advertising that targets a large quantity of people is going to be less effective than advertising that focuses on targeting an individual, finding out the way they think and targeting a more psychological advertising campaign towards them using a scientific approach.
In his book, Claude Hopkins says: “Don’t think of people in the mass. That gives you a blurred view. Think ofa typical individual, man or woman, who is likely to want what you sell. Don’t try to be amusing. Money spending is a serious matter” (Scientific Advertising, 1923) Rory seems to be carrying on this scientific approach to advertising, working with big lients such as British Airways, British Gas, IBM and many more to change the way people think and behave.
Rory has championed the behavioural economics agenda at Ogilvy & Mather and working with a team of experts, he will oversee the future of Looking at Rory Sutherland, as a hero of advertising at the present moment may be slightly difficult to comprehend, after all, Claude Hopkins pioneered the idea of scientific advertising and as such, shaped the way advertisers target their consumers. As a personal opinion, I would argue that Claude Hopkins has made much more of a contribution to advertising in the behavioural economics and sychological advertising segment and is therefore more worthy of the title ‘Hero of Advertising.
However if we look at the work Rory Sutherland is currently undertaking at Ogilvy & Mather, the use of his understanding of behavioural economics and psychological advertising to create a whole new agenda for the company, #ogilvychange, I can not say that he has had no contribution to the advertising industry. His skills speak for himself; his bubbly and rebellious attitude from a young age has made him a charismatic person and as such, he has managed to rise through the ranks at Ogilvy & Mather at a substantial rate.
Perhaps this is why he has such an understanding of behavioural economics and consumer psychology, because he can relate to the consumer on a human level. As such, although Rory Sutherland may not be worthy of the title “Hero of Advertising” at the present moment in comparison to such pioneers as Claude Hopkins, I can see the use of his understanding of consumer psychology and his founding and running of #ogilvychange putting him in a prime place to soon become a “Hero of Advertising”. Hopkins, C. , 1923. Scientific Advertising [online] Available from: http:// www. scientificadvertising. com/ScientificAdvertising. f [Accessed October 2013] The Marketing Society, 2013. Ogilvy and Pimp My Cause partnership [online] The Library. Available from: https://www. marketingsociety. co. uk/the-library/ogilvy-and- pimp-my-cause-partnership [Accessed October 2013] #ogilvychange, 2013. Little Ideas From Big Thinkers [online] #ogilvychange. Available from: http://www. ogilvychange. com/ [Accessed October 2013] Ogilvy & Mather. 2013. Rory Sutherland. [online] Available from: http:// www. ogilvy. co. uk/our-people/rory-sutherland/. [Accessed October 2013] Ogilvy & Mather. 2012. Ogilvy & Mather UK Launches new Behavioural Sciences
Practice [online] Available from: http://www. ogilvy. co. uk/blog/ogilvy-mather-uk- launches-new-behavioural-sciences-practice/ [Accessed October 2013] Ogilvy Change, 2013. An Introduction to #ogilvychange [video, online] Available from: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=PYoD1 IWEYpg [Accessed October 2013] Sutherland, R. , 2011. The Wiki Man [online] London: It’s Nice That and Ogilvy Group Ted Talks, 2012. Rory Sutherland: Perspective is Everything [video, online] Available from: http://www. ted. com/talks/rory_sutherland_perspective_is_everything. html [Accessed October 2013]