How Ogilvy made seven films in seven days for Instagram’s new brand platform

Instagram worked with Ogilvy New York on its first major brand campaign this fall

Despite Instagram’s outsize role in culture, the platform has never strategically defined itself as a brand.

That was the challenge Ogilvy New York’s new CCOs Marcos Kotlhar and Danilo Boer faced immediately after joining the agency in September. 

After running a strategic exercise, the team settled on a core insight: Instagram is a tool that pushes culture forward, whether that’s through content from influencers or everyday users. That insight led them to land on the tagline: “We Make Today.”

“Every time you interact with Instagram, it becomes your reflection of culture,” Kotlhar said. 

To support the bold and ambitious claim, Ogilvy developed seven films each day over the span of a week, featuring content from more than 120 diverse creators on the platform. The idea was to capture how users experience the world in real time.

“We decided to make something actually representative of the tagline,” Kotlhar said.

While the campaign required a lot of prep work, much of it was done on the fly. Every day for a week, the Ogilvy team found great content on Instagram in the morning, worked with editors in the afternoon and pushed out a video on the platform by the end of the day.

The videos aimed to allow viewers to experience how the day unfolded through Instagram posts. The campaign touched on major cultural topics playing out on the platform including confidence, inspiration, humor, the unexpected, belonging, euphoria and change.

Ogilvy and Instagram chose a group of creators and assigned a day for each to post, but then handed the creative reins over to them.  “We didn’t feel like making a traditional brand spot was appropriate, because the brand is so unique and dynamic,” Boer said. 

Making the content in real time was particularly important to reflect how people use the platform. “Immediacy is intrinsic, true to the brand,” Boer added. 

To add reach, Instagram extended the campaign with a digital out of home campaign across large U.S. cities. 

The campaign itself proves out the thesis that Instagram is a place where culture happens. How many other platforms can source their own content and produce user-generated films every day of the week?

For Ogilvy, the creative strategy unlocked a formula for using real-time, user-generated videos in future Instagram campaigns.


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