On Planning and Creatives

August 30, 2006

A Blogger on Planning.

From Campaign Brief’s (Australia) blog; this underwhelmingly-titled piece makes the point that Planning puts blinders on most creative work. Creatives are being excluded from the 360-degree thinking – simultaneously the thing that helps brands most and the thing that most Creatives are best at.

That Planners do an important job is a point beyond question, but perhaps we need to rethink the way in which they work with the people in the creative department. The best Planners are also kickass Creatives, but their need to prove this usually disrupts the creative work. And many Creatives have excellent ideas about where to take the work, but these strategic inclinations are subjugated by missives from Acct Servicing or Planning. Why can’t we work together?

The writer suggests the formation of a Strategic Creative Department where “everyone’s responsible for understanding the product/audience, innovative strategic thinking, great creative craftsmanship and selling the idea.”

When the process of generating great creative work is broken down into a segmented production line – and the strategic creative thought is generated by the Planning Department (often with the help of Account Service) – you’ll never get the best work from a great Creative, because you’re robbing them of the most important part of their job: new, original thinking. When Creatives are reduced to being just Copywriters and/or Art Directors this industry is going to lose all its great Creative thinkers – because for these people, craft will never be enough. They’ll either end up finding real opportunities to use their talent overseas; or they’ll leave the industry to write and direct films, write books, invent products etc – they’ll continue to look for ways of integrating their passion for original creative thinking with their ability to craft and shape an idea.

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