Relevance vs Visibility (and yet another idiotic debate on planning)

I’ve just come back from an IPA seminar that almost made me wonder why planners must get involved in at least one pointless argument every year (after last year’s planning-blogging dispute) until I realized that this one was started by Dave Trott, creative director at Chick Smith Trott.

The title was “Who makes better planners? Planners or creatives?”, and yes, it was as stupid as it sounds. (I should have known better)

Dave’s thesis was that planners are obsessed with brand-whatever (brand equity, brand image, brand icon…), at the expense of finding original and simple business solutions. Nonsense followed.

At the end everyone pretty much agreed that bad planners make for bad planning. And, to be fair, that bad creatives make for bad creative work. (No, seriously.)

Obviously, none of this was worth blogging about, but throughout the discussion Dave pointed out that, though everyone aims at relevant&visible advertising, most of the times you have to choose between the two, with planners pushing for relevant and creatives pushing for visible.

When that’s the case, I think that the planner is not doing a good job: it’s the role of the planner to come up with a proposition so relevant that it becomes visible. And it’s the creative role to push that visibility to its fullest potential.

This has always been true, and even more so today that irrelevant-but-visible pieces of communication can be found anywhere (and you find yourself competing with the McCain-Spears presidential ticket)

So, hopefully we’re done with this year’s death-of-planning meme, and we can move on to something more fun. Or visibly relevant.


Final Burp: I guess that visibility vs relevance is just another form for the old creative vs planning struggle. It’s curios how that struggle happens so much in debates outside the agency, and not nearly as much in real work within the agency.


One response to “Relevance vs Visibility (and yet another idiotic debate on planning)

  1. Pingback: HSBC: from vague to pointless « Final Burp

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