Tuesday, February 5, 2008

planning sells "the work"

While planning is increasingly the job to get, it's still the job that is least understood within the industry. Advertising has a creative foundation: what sorts of bells and whistles can we add so we can get more consumers interested? It was a problem + idea business. Planning introduced "a strategy" to the equation.

Planning is the middle child: not as strong as the Oldest - account management, not as protected as the Baby - creative. We are the in-betweens; the people that need to connect the two. And while planning might take a tad longer to input, it's worth it; because planning sells the work. And it alleviates a lot of the time creatives spend staring at a brief (if there is one) and concepting a solution to an ill-defined problem.

Concepting is one of the hardest f'n things to do. And if the creative team hasn't been given sh*t to work with, it's even harder. They've been given a problem (which used to work in the old days) and they'd come up with a solution because creativity was still innocent and un-competitive when it came to the marketplace.

But now, we all have to concept for a very competitive marketplace. We cannot forget this. Planners have the job of positioning a new product or evolving a brand to a new position within consumers minds and the marketplace. We don't fabricate the possibilities. Planners connect all of the dots. We define the dots. Then we put the dots to be visually connected into the brief. Then the creatives concept visual solutions. That's what they're good at! And what us planners are not so good at; and if we are, then we should switch departments.

Planners are here to help
. We've put together (what should be) valuable information. We have fine-tuned the elements; we've pointed you in a direction; we've identified an opportunity. Planning sets up the problem to be solved, gives you a target to work with, identifies what works and what doesn't and is here to help give the creatives direction so they're not so frustrated.

Do you get it? Doesn't this sound great? Doesn't this sound useful? Why do I have to keep explaining it?

3 comments:

Sean said...

I'll raise my hand to say,
"I get it." Thanks Erin.

Cam Beck said...

What Sean said.

erin said...

Thanks you guys.

It's frustrating when you can see something so clearly and yet other people are like "huh?"

Change is good but slow.