Bloody right words about the profession:
I get really uncomfortable if soneone introduces a planner as ‘the brains’.
Especially if I’m that planner.
First because of the obvious, I’m not very clever, I just read more and then pass off other people’s brilliance as my own.
Second, I get all nervous about the pressure to say something remotely interesting and intelligent, since any colleague who has worked with me will tell you that has rarely, if ever happened.
Third, I just don’t believe in putting strategy folks on a pedestal. Just as I don’t believe in putting creative folks, digital folks, suits or even (especially) social media gurus on a pedestal. It’s about the magic that happens when collaboration happens.
Especially strategy folks actually, as the best thing planners can do is surrender their ego, get involved and liberate other’s work, rather than be a barrier.
People don’t like planners because they’re too clever by half, over complicate things and get in the way of getting great stuff out as efficiently possible.
That means NOT being the brains of the operation or having great, clever ideas, it’s about helping others to have them, having the ears and eyes to spot them and the generosity to help them come to life and develop in a way that will work and can be bought by the client.
So I don’t think the role of the planner is just to be the voice of the consumer or make sure the work works, it’s to make sure great work works. We know the basics by now, reach lots of people, build distinctive memory structures, build fame.
In other words, suprise and delight people. Get great work made that is also right.