So you are a bar tender and you make a good living. The boss comes in and tells you she’s hiring a new person to help you. That person won’t serve drinks but may take a tip or two. That person is there to inspire you. Make you faster and a more creative, loveable bartender. That’s an analog for what an account planner is to some creative people. A helper. A fixer.
If you read comments on Agency Spy, not a place for an uplifting pulse on the industry by the way, you’ll see the derision some creative people reserve for planners. But if you go to a planner event, as I did this week, and hang, you’ll appreciate a love and community you won’t find in many industries. Brand planning has its polar moments. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.
The best planners care only about the work. That’s their reason for being. But they also know the best work sells product. Awards are nice, sales nicer. Planners get out of the building as is were, while don’t always. Their fumes are creative, not consumer.
It is the brand planner’s job to excite and inspire great strategic work. Then get out of the way. Who decides the work is great enough to be sold (be it ads, digital, apps) is up to management. If the brief and the work are in harmony, sell it. If not, you may still choose to sell it, with an asterisk. The tension can be good. The harmony better.
Insights, surrounded by stories, translated by artists, is and always will be the business of advertising. Peace.