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Wednesday, September 27

Let's talk to the 'Net Guys' after this!

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.

1. 'Stretch'
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!

2. 'Afterthought'
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??

3. 'Serendipity'
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!

6 comments:

pooR_Planner said...

Completely agree. A planner has multi face. He is the audience voice, market researcher, culture addict, data analyst, information source, moderator, thinker, futurologist, story-teller just to name a few. But, today a planners role is reduced, often described as 'that guy in the corner' he conducts market research, analyzes data.
Ideas are welcome but inputs on whether a piece of creative make sense to the target consumer is still a Big NO-NO. It's a Creative domain.
The idea demands an ambient media or a sting operation of guerilla marketing...enter Media Man ... "No, its a 3 part teaser on page 5 of TOI we need to do followed by scrollers on NDTV for the launch campaign."
Planners play a very insignificant role in most agencies. It's good to show a planner on the account structure for a pitch presentation.
Things need to change and the Godfathers need to understand planners bring invaluable truths to the table. They are capable of speaking that bitter truth (whether you like it or not, pricks your ego or makes you hot) for the good of the brand and the consumer.

meraj said...

just got over with a 2 day-workshop on BAV, the showcase tool of Y&R. in a nutshell, they are trying for a Y&R's answer to TBWA's Disruption (though not so well thought of and structured yet) working on the similar 'Workshop' model. will get into the details sometime later...something else for now...

one term kept coming our of the firangs conducting the workshop...'creative strategists or strategic creatives'and how our peofession needs more and more of this breed...somehow, i kept having a sense of deja-vu...

harshal said...

Welcome to the World of BAV! :)

It's interesting, but not neccesarily in the quantitative sense - i personally quite enjoyed reading "The Hero & The Outlaw" at a time when i did a stint with the group way back..

Apropos to the OP, the integration planning is a good concept - maybe a few agencies are trying this out with what they now call as "contact planning"?

Manish said...

in the beginning BAV was a nightmare for me. Ram Sehgal was after my life to use it! he even sent me to singapore to do a course under zareen desai( more about her later). it was a good vacation, but my interest in BAV and fondness for the tool remained quite modest! anyways, many clients loved it and i soon mastered the art of dressing up presentations with my half-baked understanding of BAV. quite honestly, it was my worst phase as a planner:-)

Manish said...

in the beginning BAV was a nightmare for me. Ram Sehgal was after my life to use it! he even sent me to singapore to do a course under zareen desai( more about her later). it was a good vacation, but my interest in BAV and fondness for the tool remained quite modest! anyways, many clients loved it and i soon mastered the art of dressing up presentations with my half-baked understanding of BAV. quite honestly, it was my worst phase as a planner:-)

Manish said...

i never quite warmed up to the BAV. though i was sent to singapore for a training! in the end I mastered the art of dressing up presentations with my half-baked understanding of the tool.