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Look on the bright side....YOUR IN MIAMI!!!!

No body else is allowed to have ideas. You think you've got it hard as a planner? Try being a printer. Have fun in Miami

If Creatives are red
and Planners are blue,

The purple sea is we and you!

Looks like a gruelling schedule. But I'd like to hear what happens in that 'can pre-testing inspire creativity' session.

Please do a nice crunchy review of the Anomaly people.

Your comments about creative directors reminds me of the old joke: How many creative directors does it take to change a light bulb?..........................................................................................................We're not changing the light bulb!

Hey, some of my comment got eaten!

The answer needs to be acted out, you cross your arms and look fierce and say "We're not changing the light bulb"

How about the planner one - how many planners does it take to change a light bulb? I don't know, how many planners do YOU think takes?

calm down, russell.

these creative directors are just giving you their favourite fantasy picture, it's not reality. i mean, "the creatives are in charge." honestly. how many agencies is that true in?

we're not in charge. we'd like to be! but we're not.

the suits are.

re the creative directors' other comment, that planners aren't supposed to have ideas, i say of course they can!

anyone can have ideas. but that surely is not (and shouldn't be) the primary job of a planner.

just like in football, anyone can score goals.

but the team will get more goals if you have designated goalscorers and designated goal creators.

ronaldo is a naturally talented goalscorer. plus he trains all day in how to score goals. plus he is accountable for how many goals he scores. that is why he scores so many.

aaron lennon is a naturally talented winger. plus he trains all day in how to create goals. plus he is accountable for how many goals he creates. that is why he creates so many.

of course you could set up a system where you say "we will all score goals"... but the result will be that the team will not score as many.

and of course, a good team needs your tony adams and your claude makelele too.

people work better with clear roles.

that are based on their skills and training.

yes there can be lots of crossover, just as in a football team.

but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be clear roles.

Well Russell, you finally drew me in with this one. I'm a Creative Director. But guess what? I would probably agree with your asessment. I'm assuming that many of the CD's you were in contact with were the convential type of Creative Director. You know, the ones that obsess over that "killer" tagline or "killer" visual or "killer" anything...

But have you ever worked with a CD that is part journalist, part designer, part explorer, part writer and all plain CURIOUS?

Have you ever worked with a Creative Director that cares as much about the business impact of what they do as much as they do their "creative product"?

Creative Directors are easy targets—but watch out. There are a whole new breed of us who don't even come from advertising backgrounds (I didn't) but oddly enough now work in agencies that service a broad array of touchpoints.

Here's my take on where creativity is heading (or where it needs to head).


Then again, maybe I'm just a boring, stereotypical, ego-driven Creative Director with a blog.



Ooops. How about a link that actually works eh?


scamp -

All I've got to say - Total Football.

Actually that's not all I've got to say.

I think I was being reasonably precise with my comments.

I didn't say 'creatives are boring'. Creatives are the people who make advertising-like stuff such a high leverage activity. Decent creatives are a rare resource. I didn't even say 'creative directors are useless' Or worthless or whatever. Just boring. Just that they never seem to say anything new. It's always the same old stuff. It might, maybe, be true but it's not interesting.

That's why I like people like Tony and Kim at w+k or Al Young at St Luke's, or Todd Waterbury in New York. At least they're worrying about new problems. Not whether the briefs are too long.

And to David. I guess I am mostly talking about old school ad agency creative directors but I think the new school need to watch they don't fall into the same trap. The idea that there is an elite creative class is a dangerous one.

Anyway, this is why I hate writing negative posts and doing Angry Blogging.

I guess I was just disappointed. You come to this expensive conference, you sit and listen to a splendid array of creative directory talent and you could have predicted every single word that came out of their mouth.

And what was almost worst was the deferential, 'please like me' tone of their planning hosts. It's like mammals sucking up to dinosaurs. Or something.

Please tell me that you're not the only blogger at the conference! No offence, but I think that it shows a weakness of our profession if only one person out of an entire discipline thinks that the annual meeting is worth documenting. So far you're the only one showing up on Technorati.

"The idea that there is an elite creative class is a dangerous one."

"We're the future, not them."

That sounds more dangerous than anything I wrote in creativity 2.E.

Elite creative. Elite planning. What's the difference? I don't advocate for Elitsm. I advocate for a better way of doing things which makes sense for the media we now work in. I'm sure you can relate to this.

But you have to expect with a headline/message like this to stir things up a bit. I'm assuming that was part of the intent. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Good point about the headline. Oh well. I always forget people read this thing.

your blog gets the longest comments. wouldn't all be planners responding by any chance?

the traditional all-sifting tv creative CD is dead. and tedious to listen to apparently. let me guess, it's all about the idea?

it's actually all about the media and production guys these days. but he wants no part of them.

he's too cool for that.

"Creatives are in charge. Planners aren't supposed to have ideas, just create space to have ideas"

Arrrgh! Yes, makes my blood bubble up more than just a bit to read this -- because I know most CD's think this way. And not just the fossils among them.

So, to calm myself down I dug-up this posting, below, from Russell's blog from about a year ago.

Feel much better now.

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” - Harry Truman.

This is the best and hardest thing to learn about being a planner. If you want to work effectively with creative teams (and with clients), if you want to get your ideas into the mix you have to surrender the credit. You have to let your ideas become their ideas (without them knowing your doing it). It's just human nature. The best way to be influential is to be generous.

Who ever got credit for surrendering?

Dan Nq: if you can read portuguese, there´s a very cool blog entirely dedicated to the AAAA Miami, done by some of the most talented Brazilian planners.

I totally agree with Richard, and will not surrender anything. The best part of my work is "selling" my ideas - to clients, to creatives, to anyone, really. It´s not a credit thing - I don´t care - it is fighting for the best work.

Re: total football.

yes, i thought you might raise that!

the problem is we're not all johann cruyff.

most of us need to be told where to play.

I think you've articulated your 'real' beef in your most recent post, russell: "It's like mammals sucking up to dinosaurs."

You're saying why should planners suck up to creatives when it's planners who are smarter, more 'creative' in a way, and more future-focused.

If you'll forgive me, i'll go back to football for my answer.

Most midfielders are more creative than strikers, 'cleverer', and work harder too.

Yet strikers get more fame, more glamour and more money.

Things are so fragmented and mixed up now that the creative delivery is only a small part of it. Having ideas about the medium itself are becoming just as important. Planners are there to make the work better, but that should be just as much media as anything else. Shouldn't working with creatives, suits, media planners and whoever else be an exchange of ideas? We can make each other better if we leave our egos at home.

"better if we leave our egos at home."

Bingo. That's what this is really all about. It's why we need to look outside of advertisig and marketing for inspiration. Look at fields fields like product design—where it's impossible to create a great experience with ego's getting in the way (especially at the team level).

We all have 'em (egos)—we just need to unlearn that part of the human condition if we want to do better work.

Fingers crossed the next generation of CD's will be everything we want them to be.

3 yrs ago i went to uni with a budding creative (no doubt a future CD). And he strongly believes in creative account planning!

The future is bright.

Now that sounds like a job worth doing well!

The purple sea is you and we.

Was this blog really projected into the room you were sitting in for the presentation.

I saw it on the download from Pier Fawkes thing in Miami.


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