Creative planners?

on Thursday, October 15, 2009

bridging the gap!

After some interesting conversations on twitter earlier today and of course having been to several large ad agencies over the last 3 years, I’ve been thinking about the agency of the future.
Integration is so important in advertising campaigns these days but what about integration in actual advertising agencies?
I’ve spoke to various “old school” type planners in the past month; they are working or have worked at some of the biggest agencies in the country. One thing they all echoed is that advertising is indeed changing and the roles will be next to change.
Advertising agencies will need people who can thing strategically and creatively.
The days of the pure left brain thinkers (planners) and pure right brain thinkers (creative’s) could be numbered. The new breeds of advertisers will infuse creativity with strategy.
They will bring strategic direction and art direction.
They will bring insight and creative flair.
Above all, they will design profitable yet appealing solutions.
One of the things that were said to me by a traditional planner is: your course is too far ahead of advertising. Basically, it is already producing “creative strategists” like me. I found it very difficult to put a label on what I do; I'm a strong creative but just as strong analytically. So I don't fit into any set agency role without losing one aspect of my skills. The larger, more traditional agencies don’t have room for us yet. They will have in 5 years when the changes have happened but until then we have to choose what we want to lose, creativity or strategy.
The type of role a creative planner would play was summed up nicely on Ivans blog over at adsoftheworld.com:
This guy brings to the table his knowledge and proficiency in understanding a client. Strategic thinking is definitely a pivotal part of this new role, but at the same time he can creatively interpret data coming from the client, and create a platform for the creative team. He gets a task from the client for which he creates an insightful brief. Then he briefs the creative team, giving them enough meat to create a campaign. The team then gets back to him with the solution, which he evaluates, keeping in mind the client's requirements and also the creative aspect. If satisfied, he presents the work to the client.
So what are your thoughts? Is this already happening? Does it need to start to happen?



The IPA referred to Diagonal Thinking, briding both sides of the brain effectively.

I quite like that thought.