Was at a meeting with a media partner today. After the ATL and BTL discussions were over, my repeated query to discuss the internet strategy was met with a matter-of-fact- 'We will talk to the net guys after this'. That's the fate of most 360 discussions in India. 360 is just a convenient wrapping for in-reality-36-degree thinking!
It's not an integrated, cohesive brand thinking. Most 360 thinking is along the following templates.
The brilliant 30 sec commercial forcefully stretched into posters, magazine wraps, orthogonal danglers, matt-finished coasters, never-done-before-door-knobs, heritage-trees, large-elevators, etc. Looks 'Wow' when viewed together on the large wooden conference room table!
Now that we have an expensive 30 sec commercial. Lets talk to the activation guy. Then the DM guy, then maybe the net guy, then the film placement guy! Have we left anyone??
Multiple SKUs of creative done on their own but which somehow make a great Effie case study at the end of the year!
I am being a bit cynical and hard on ourselves.And of course in the best of mature markets, many instances of 360 thinking does happen by stretch, upon after-thought or serendipity. But it also happens by integration. In fact Keith Reinhard, the ex-head of DDB is a great promoter of 'integrators'.
Good planners with their unique skill sets, knowledge and right attitude can be potential integrators. In fact it makes a lot of sense in a collaborative world that we live in to have creative planners and integration planners.
Creative planners would be the more intuitive ones and would help make great ideas come to life across media.
Integration Planners on the other hand could play the role of tying the loose threads of brand communication across media into a cohesive whole. A role which should have taken shape. But is difficult to execute due to the current shortage of planner supply, their increasingly elastic roles and lack of adequate power in the system!
For this role to take shape and gain acceptance, it needs the CEO's push and blessings.
Also the integrator must have the necessary seniority and power. Maybe it's a bit blue-sky thinking at the moment. But the future demands such a role. And the future is already here!
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