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You're right, it has everything - romance, mystery, self improval and a money off offer. Not to mention Tony Hancock.
Almost tempted to post-rationalize the brief

Sorry- for the completely inappropriate place for this comment, but i couldnt find anywhere for random questions for Russell.

I've got three points that i'd really like you to comment on, if you have time:

Did you read or know about the history of the famous Rowan Atkinson Barclaycard campaign (Market Leader - Issue 31 - Winter 2005 - Paul Feldwick, "The Birth Of A Great Campaign).

It essentially says that the campaign was down to a few last minute, rushed creative ideas that didnt follow any of the planning/big strategic thoughts that had been thought out initially.

Isn't this proof that certain types of planning/strategy (i.e. rounds and rounds of research, presentation upon presentation, brand maps etc) is a complete waste of time, when perhaps a great team could come up with a great idea with a little common sense, some creativity and some background knowledge?

If so, why isnt this allowed to happen more often in agencies?

Which leads me on to my second question.

As a researcher, i work with many agencies, and for all the (now old hat) talk about using mediums other than TV and new planning ideas using pictures etc (i.e. all the stuff you advocate in your online planning school), no-one seems to be actually practising this.

Sure there are a few examples and awards for innovative marketing ideas - but it's still very much the exception rather than the rule.

There's still a massive gap between theory and reality in advertising agencies.

Why isnt there an agency that will spend a small amount of time on ways of coming up with a strategy rather than strict, formal approaches and then leave more time for the (relatively more important) creative idea and execution?

Why dont you start up a real School Of Planning. A bit like the School of Rock, but with less AC/DC.

Just a few days a year for young planners? In a big country house somewhere with a lovely cooked breakfast each morning.

I'd pay to attend and you'd make a fortune!

(Apologies for the rushed nature of these points - far too many commas, brackets, dashes, and i.e's - i know!)

dear anxious,

Great, big questions. I'm going to have to think about those a bit. But I will answer, leave it with me.

Thank you! Look forward to reading your comments.

A fourth point could be - how on earth do you have time to do all this? books/blogs/work/kids?! I think there are two of you!

all of this is ignoring the fact that grimsby makes the very best pilchards.

"there are more things in heaven and earth, dear anxious, than are dreamt of in your philosophy"

= I agree with you and do believe that, sometimes, there are too many things between the brief and a great campaign (sometimes I feel it´s me!!!)

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