I am an arbiter of ideas…I am a brand planner.
The best brand planners do two things: they incite brilliant creative and the recognize creative that sells. Sometimes clients and agencies only want creative that gets noticed. Blight to the budget and brand though it may be, sometimes it’s a worthy, temporary fix. It can set the table for a better idea or to fight another day.
An arbiter of ideas creates briefs thick with consumer need, consumer care-abouts and fulfillment. These briefs, mostly pieces of paper brought to life through presentation, mime and voice over incite artists, writers, digitists and their directors to create and package selling stories and experiences. Because the creative people don’t have the time to get out of the building the inspiration must be brought to them in boiled down fashion by the planner. (Aside: Why planners and HR people hire planners is odd to me – they should be hired by creative people.) Inciting creative through inspiring inputs is part one.
Part 2, is being able to see strategic ideas with ballast. This requires telling creatives, clients, and money people which ideas will live and resonate in the ecosystem. Pretty ideas are nice — as are pretty boys and girls in ads. Poetry of phrase is nice. Newness is remembered. But our brains have seen so many selling claims each day — stacked up like salmon in a fish pen – that we’ve been conditioned to ignore and repel them. The ability to actually see an idea like Deutsch’s “Darth Vader” Volkswagen spot and feel it work before it’s produced is not a commodity skill. It’s a gift. And it’s part 2. Telling creative people they’ve missed, based upon this arbiter’s “gut” feel is where many brand planners and agencies fall short. Luke, use your gift wisely. (Not Luke Sullivan. Couldn’t you hear the depth of the voice? Luke Skywalker.) Peace.