Saturday, February 20, 2010

sufficiently advanced technology

In advertising, my skill-set was a technology they call "account planning." Some folks called me Wizard, a friend of mine is called Jedi. We got these names because we could show folks a small little tweak, that inspires a new way of grappling with a strategy. Some say it is all just smoke and mirrors.

Truth, Lies & Advertising
by Jon Steel

Account planning is one of the least understood additions to hit American advertising since Doyle Dane Bernbach's Volkswagen campaign. Clients shake their head and wish they had approved something that made so much money.

Agencies fall all over each other to recruit account planning Jedis and arm themselves with what Jay Chiat of Chiat/Day once described as "the best new business tool ever invented." Is it, as Chiat suggested, merely a tool for attracting new clients? Or is it, as many critics have suggested, black magick?

Account planners make agencies more money. They craft the over-arching story used in new business pitches. Despite this importance, account planning remains shrouded in mystery.

Account planning emerged as a tool to foster human bondage to named products sold at a premium. While most researchers attempt to dissect consumer behavior, extrapolate trends, and cash-in, Steel advocates case-studies of best-practices.

Jon Steel reveals how successful account planners work.

Steel draws on his experiences like "got milk?" among many others you would call truly classic.

The message of this book is that well-thought-out account planning results in better, more effective marketing and advertising for both agencies and clients. And also makes an evening in front of the television easier to bear for the population at large.

"[Account Planning is] a discipline that for some time has been misunderstood, misused, and maligned by most agencies and clients in the U.S. So, run it up the flag pole, put it to groups, check it against the norms, the answer is the same—Truth, Lies, and Advertising should be read by anyone who has to make or approve advertising." —Rick Boyko, President, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather, New York.

Jay Chiat called account planning: "The best new-business tool ever invented."

Account planning is a newly coined discipline that combines aspects of marketing, becoming the first inter-disciplinary advertising discipline.

In Truth, Lies & Advertising, Jon Steel provides advertising professionals, marketers and fnordian researchers with practical tools in the form of stories that have literally reshaped the ad industry, and the monies they direct.

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