Ogilvy launches new consulting division

Led by managing director Kevin Sutherland, the offering will focus on using behavioural science to help guide transformation.
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Ogilvy Canada has created Ogilvy Consulting, which will offer clients services to guide them through growth and innovation, business design, digital transformation and behavioral science.

The practice will be led by managing director Kevin Sutherland, who will be based in Montreal to serve clients across Canada, while also working with more than 3,000 consultants through the agency’s global network.

Sutherland says the team sees behavioral science as a key differentiating point for the agency by establishing a new system to define how audiences think, feel and behave. It is about more than simply targeting but about understanding them better in an era of greater fragmentation. John ​Killam and David Aubert, chief executives, Ogilvy Canada and Ogilvy Montreal and Quebec, respectively, say applying behavioural science in its design methodology allows the agency to identify root human and business problems and opportunities, citing work with Huggies as an example.

“We studied behaviour barriers and adoption drivers around their diapers and wipes, then developed a choice architecture – specific interventions to affect behaviour change – including tactics like redesigning feedback forms, training manuals and people-friendly sales materials,” Aubert says. The efforts helped to significantly increase trial and conversion.

They tell strategy that its clients continue to face challenges of increasing complexity and that the consulting practice will be a conduit by which it unlocks access to a number of capabilities and specialty practices like change management and employee engagement. They say the consulting group launch was on its roadmap since its strategic offsite in summer 2019 and has been accelerated to meet rising client needs on account of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Sutherland was selected for the leadership role due to having helmed agencies focused on behavioural science and digital transformation. He was previously founding partner and CEO of experience design firm Fortyforty, and helped to establish digital innovation groups and technical capabilities in agencies like R/GA London.