adobo SERIES: Ogilvy & Mather Philippines’ CEO Elly Puyat on leaving nothing overlooked and relentless curiosity

MANILA, PHILIPPINES—As part our International Women’s Month tribute in adobo magazine, we talked to ad agency leaders, of which many are women, to tell us how they view the future of the ad industry: what’s the most exciting emerging area, the risk and threats to the industry, and their fearless predictions.

A barometer and dip stick into the ad business as seen from remarkable women leaders, after traversing their business through a full year in lockdown due to the pandemic. Let us hear what they have to say. #adoboSheCreativeNetwork

Ogilvy & Mather Philippines’ CEO Elly Puyat tells adobo that as technology makes more capable creatives, so does it make consumers more dynamic.


What is the most exciting emerging area or skill that agency leaders are looking for today?

More than ever before, technology is today’s game changer.  It’s been around for some time but it can no longer be overlooked.  And the most valuable skill is how we are able to use technology to make conversations with consumers more dynamic, more relevant, more timely.  How do we use technology to catapult our ideas in ways that are hard to overlook, fun to engage with and get things done?

What are the pivots that agencies need to make it in the next few years?

We need to incorporate technology in what we do —end-to-end, internal and external. We need to structure our company with agility built in.  We will be required to customize our approach to address different problems.  We need to reimagine our business models and the methods with which we valuate our services so that they make sense not just to us but to our partners as well.

What is the biggest risk or threat that the industry and ad people are facing?

While we are collaborative as independent agencies, there is room for us to be much more collaborative as an industry. Competitiveness is ingrained in how we operate. This is our biggest threat.

What is your fearless prediction about the ad industry’s future and evolution in the next 10 years?

Over the next 10 years, the best ideas will still win.  Everything that we produce will be delivered directly to our consumers and all communications will be one-to-one.

Do you have any advice for students who want to enter the field?

Be whole brained.  Be curious about people.  Be relentless about coming up with ideas that solve problems. Don’t stop until you get it out there.

About Elly Puyat

As Country CEO since 2014, Elly leads the different businesses within the Ogilvy & Mather Group in the Philippines.

Backed by 20 years’ experience within the Ogilvy Group, Elly relaunched Ogilvy & Mather Philippines as a modern agency in her first few years at its helm and continues to evolve the business into an even more customer-centric model to stay ahead of the curve. Ogilvy was awarded by the 4As as Best in Management of Business in 2014 & 2016, testament to the effectiveness of her leadership. Previous to her appointment as Philippines CEO, Elly was Chief Digital Officer for Ogilvy & Mather Philippines, and Managing Director of OgilvyOne Manila.

In 2016, Elly pursued further studies with an Executive MBA program at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics (with Dean’s Medal) from the University of the Philippines (1996).

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