An ad school in Australia asked me if I'd do a Skype interview with some of their wannabe planners. I said no, because those things never work, but said - send me your questions and I'll film a video you can show. My friend Graham kindly agreed to film it and Giles volunteered to ask the questions. Big thanks to them. (Giles is very quiet so I've added some LOLcaptions so you know what the questions were.)
I thought I'd stick it here because I get asked this stuff quite a lot and these answers aren't bad.
It's 20 minutes of me pontificating, so, you know, don't watch it unless you want to slag me off for being a serial self-promoter, having terrible craft skills and being a bad example for planners everywhere.
I attempt to answer these questions:
00:00 What is a planner and what does planning mean?
01:31 What are the most important skills for a planner to have?
02:47 What's the single most important thing a planner needs to get right when developing a strategy?
04:00 Is research friend or foe? How and when can it help, or hinder?
07:07 What role should planning play in carving out the future of the advertising industry?
08:49 How can we, as planners, effect real change to our clients' business?
10:39 What skills does a planner need to work constructively with creatives and account managers within the agency?
13:35 What's the greatest lesson you have learned in your career?
14:13 What's the most difficult brief you've ever been given?
16:27 What's the campaign you take the most pride in - and why?
18:00 Where is planning heading from here?
19:14 The greatest lesson you've learned in your career (attempt 2)?
20:08 It strikes me that lots of the young students watching this interview are going to be terrified at your vision of the future of advertising and planning - it's possibly not what their lecturers have been teaching them is likely to happen - so do you have any practical reassuring tips for those young people as they venture out into the world to start their career?
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