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As a creative, i love the thought of doing planning and creative at the same time. However, that begs the question, what is the difference between a creative and a planner? It seems in that position, the planner actually becomes the 3rd creative, (which in my opinion is a great thing). Maybe we should merge planning and creatives together to one uber-department called creative problem solvers...or maybe i'm just talking out of my ass.

I really like the second idea, at least the title fits really well on my own experience...

I work with some big Unilever accounts here in South America and there's so much "this is not exactly what the brand manifesto is all about" (developed 5 years ago by a global planner in London). Plus the "test to destruction" habit... last week a really breakthrough idea was killed after some rounds of animatics...

I actually had this conversation today with a fellow planner "Why the hell they need planners for if they won't change most of the strategic points?". The best we could come out with was "maybe we can bring some new benchmarks and new ideas for research studies that lead to relevant innovation, and then we do something"... but the best thought was really "perhaps the structure/business is just too big and we are tiny gears"

I had a conversation with Andy Law some time ago here in São Paulo and he was talking about the importance of innovation to businesses. Innovation leads to risk and apparently multinational clients won't make a bet (no matter the size of it) before someone in their headquarters approves it... and over here at the agency things are not so different either. I wonder if there's a way out...

This whole thing reminds me of something that's on a BBH presentation: "Insanity is to expect a different outcome when you do the same thing".

Not really motivational stuff.

- Now I'll stop crying and give another idea for a presentation: consumer generated content, can we top/use that? (the web really changed things around.. first communities were about exchanging information, now they create it and have a tremendous power - more than advertising I reckon) - just a thought...

all the best.

As an account planner going into his final year at the VCU Adcenter, who works with art directors and copywriters daily on work, and thinks we're all "creatives" there... The strategy and creative in the same place stuff would be great to hear...

Oh, but you may have to podcast it or something, as I'm just days away from being told that the 4A's in fact, does not give out free tickets to the event, even after you've sent them one very hopeful email inquiry, spell checked and everything...

Sounds good to me, as does the whole "to what extent should a planner be a part of the creative process" stuff people are mentioning here.

I won't be in Chicago - shame as this all sounds really interesting..

I'm about to return to planning after a 4 year absence (during which time I've been working for a major broadcaster in 'insight' - and very close to their equivalent of 'creatives').

Now that I've accepted the job, I'm having very real concerns about the validity of the planning function nowadays, especially when dealing with global clients.

How can I bring myself up to speed and equip myself to have the right conversations once I'm through the door? I'm still up for the challenge - especially as it's getting me to the USA for a few years but, to be honest, I'm feeling quite anxious about the whole thing. Are there any books/papers/essays on all this stuff to feed my brain? What the hell IS good planning nowadays anyway?! For the record, I'd much rather be sitting in the creative department than churning out inactionable strategy docs...



I think just talking about the demise of account planning is an interesting topic in and of itself. Or rather, as is the case in many agencies, the failure to truly adopt planning and the mindset that comes with it - why that happens and what can be done to change it. My experience (having worked at both small new agencies and old big ones) is that planning influences the culture of a place - its a mindset as much as a discipline.

Since you have both US and UK experience it would be gerat to know what we could learn from each other - what is working where and why.

Okey doke. That's all really interesting feedback. Thanks. Since they're pushing me for a title I think I'll opt for Planning 3.1 and then boil some of the other stuff in too. And Ben, I'll try and think about your specific questions and post some answers sometime soon.

I would like to second Tom's podcast request, as my car payments have knocked me out of the bracket where one can drop $1000+ on a conference. Can't wait to hear what you decide.

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