Wednesday, 10 June 2015

3 Things Every Planner Should Do

It’s with a sense of trepidation that I write this post, particularly the headline. The Internet is already bursting with things you should do.  Having said that I’ve been lucky enough to get some pretty great advice that I do feel is worth passing on. So here we go, three bits of advice that I believe have significantly influenced my work (fairly immediately) and helped my career.

Work On Creative Briefs

When I was first trying to get in to advertising I had a chat with Jon Steel. He told me to get creatives to give me briefs they were working on and to present work back to them. 'You will present a lot of shit work', he told me. 'But you will learn, and stay in touch with the agency creative process. You will learn what creatives need from you. And most importantly you will become acutely aware of what makes a good, and bad brief.

There are things you can only learn by looking from another perspective.'

Subscribe To A Few Magazines

Herons In Time And Space . ‘To overcome the various technological challenges of a night-time shot, he had built two timing devices for his camera to execute the single exposure. One device moved the focus, while the other adjusted the aperture within a single frame, so both the herons and the stars were in focus. It took 74 nights in the hide before the conditions were right and it all came together.’

National Geographic could be making you a more interesting person for £1.20 an issue. Why would you not subscribe

It's hard to say precisely why a physical magazine is better than the Internet. Perhaps it's long articles and big pictures. Or a monthly amount to read. Or the lack of distractions. It's worth having both in your life though.

And pick up a really weird magazine every time you travel.

Write An Advertising Blog

It will force you to have regular, considered points of view on stuff outside your day to day. You’ll find out what it takes to get people to read your (*buzzword claxon*) content. It might get listed on other sites. If someone Google’s you they’ll be impressed. And It can end up giving you the edge in a job interview. …

Got any great tips? Give me a shout @LucianTrestler

P.S. If you found this at all helpful, and can find the time to share the love with other planners on twitter, I’d be hugely grateful!

Monday, 11 May 2015

The future's bright, the future's...

Orange, 1994. ‘In the future, you wont change what you say, just how you say it.’ 

In the future a lot will be different BUT some things will be the same as they’ve always been. And some of these things will continue to be the fundamental tenets of planning. In my opinion, some of these things being;

Unchanging man

Hard to believe this will become any less important.

What makes a great idea

‘At BBH we aim to deliver intelligence and magic.

We don’t believe that an idea is great unless it’s delivered off the right strategy and we don’t consider a strategy worthwhile unless it leads to inspiring workIntelligence AND magic are mutually reinforcing’. 

Understanding this process will continue to lead to great ideas.

The art of creating power

Sir Lawrence Freedman defines strategy as the art of creating power. Notably, not a science. And in order to do this it must be continuous. It must carry on after you get punched in the mouth. Strategy (over planning) is ‘the evolution of the big idea through changing circumstances’.  Changing circumstances being the operative phrase here.


“A brand cannot be distinctive if it is not consistent." And communications will not increase a brand’s fame if they aren’t distinctive. Which is not great seeing as increasing brand fame is the most profitable objective for communications. And although this pattern is reflective of the findings of the marketing book du jour, ‘How Brands Grow’ by Byron Sharp, it is a pattern that has long been known by brands. Just look at the Catholic church.

In summary, what we have learnt will not one day become useless when some one proclaims that ‘X is dead’.

Quite the opposite.

In an uncertain future, knowing how to apply certainty will make strategy more valuable than ever.

Uncertainty + Certainty = Opportunity

*This article was originally published on BBH Labs within a larger article. To read the whole thing, which includes two other points of view from fellow BBHers Shib Hussain and Melanie Arrow, click here.