Not if but how: MG OMD’s winning approach to AV planning

Manning Gottlieb OMD was named Agency of the Year at the 2022 Thinkbox TV Planning Awards, run in partnership with Campaign. Here’s how they went about it…

The AV market is evolving, fast. And any agency committed to delivering the best results for its clients must be as expert as it is creative. Nimble, too. All of which are key to the success of Thinkbox’s TV Planning Agency of the Year 2022: Manning Gottlieb OMD.

MG OMD’s work for Bobbi Brown also won the Best Small Budget use of TV category

“Changing (audience) behaviour means our planning approach needs to evolve constantly, ensuring our clients are at the forefront of what’s achievable,” says Mike Williamson, the agency’s head of AV planning.

“The opportunities in the AV landscape have never been more varied or exciting than they are now.”

How to keep clients spending on TV is no longer the big question in today’s AV market, according to head of AV Martin Broad.

“Instead, it’s about how our clients use it – whether that’s traditional or addressable spot activity, broadcast video on demand (BVOD) or sponsorship – and how data and creativity can underpin all those facets to deliver tangible, measurable business outcomes for our clients,” he says.

And to deliver those outcomes, ensuring planners and strategists from all disciplines understand AV and how AV planning works is critical.

“We work closely with Thinkbox and our media partners to ensure our teams are upskilled as the market evolves – an easy win here is for planners to complete the brilliant Thinkbox TV Masters training course,” adds Emma Withington, MG OMD’s head of planning.

Traditionally, TV (and now AV) has been the bedrock of a client’s media strategy – delivering cost efficient reach, building fame, driving strong ROI, and other benefits, Williamson points out.

“As media consumption fragments and digitalisation continues, we’ve found AV not only delivers these – it’s also key to delivering effective full funnel strategies,” he says. “For example, a smart AV strategy will turbocharge that brand’s performance media channels.”

As a multiple Thinkbox TV Planning Awards winner, MG OMD was quick to enter the inaugural Agency of the Year category in 2021, though it lost out to close friends OMD.
But, proud and excited about the work it was doing for its clients, it wasted no time trying again in 2022.

“We knew we wanted to showcase the breadth of activations that we used across the full AV landscape across our client base, covering new uses of data, utilising new internal and external products, and incorporating new measurement solutions,” says Withington.

“On top of that, we wanted to demonstrate how we have pushed the boundaries with our teams internally, with our clients and with our media partners.”

When they started thinking about their entry and reviewing the body of work they had completed, the entry – according to Williamson – “almost wrote itself”.

“The amount of innovation, tests and new thinking being done by the team meant there was a clear narrative around pushing the boundaries and leading the industry in successful new ways of using AV,” he explains.

“I don’t think we quite realised how much innovation we had delivered, which is why reflecting on our work for awards like this is always a great thing to do.”

Winning the accolade has had a significant and welcome impact.

“It’s a positive sign that our staff’s hard work is going in the right direction, and we need to keep pushing boundaries,” says Broad. “But most importantly, for our clients it’s a recognition that their media plans are the best they can be in terms of delivering against their KPIs.”

Withington adds: “Not only was it a recognition of all the hard work of everyone involved, it was also recognition that our work and approach was industry-leading in the eyes of the judges and Thinkbox.”

Not that there’s time to sit back and rest on those laurels, of course. Because as the AV market’s still evolving, agencies and clients can’t stop if they’re going to keep up.

“2023 will bring further exciting developments in how advertisers’ own data can be used to reach new customers and drive sales, while the broadcasters collaborate with social platforms, providing more access to quality broadcast content for clients,” Williamson predicts.

There will be many challenges over the months ahead, adds Broad. But there will be excitement, too.

“Yes, it’s going to be a challenging time for advertisers and the industry,” he observes. “But this will only reinforce how important AV advertising is in reaching out to viewers and delivering results.”

Entries for the 2023 Thinkbox TV Planning Awards, run in partnership with Campaign, are now closed. The shortlist will be announced in May, with the winners being revealed at an awards ceremony in July. 


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