Global planners' new challenges

John Woodward

Publicis Worldwide

One of the hottest topics at Cannes this year was the restructuring of creative departments. Tourism Queensland's ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign and Fiat Eco-Drive got the industry's attention in 2009, and creative directors had clearly spent the year working on changes.

Technologists or user interface experts are being introduced; PR people being made part of the team; ideas are being presented as wireframes or press releases, not idea statements; and ‘traffic’ is being replaced by ‘production’. We are well into the era of 52-week conversations. The buzz around Wieden & Kennedy's work for Old Spice was that if Procter & Gamble think contagious ideas are the way to build business, this isn't a creative fad, it's a revolution.

This is changing planners' world. Emotional storytelling is becoming interactive and digital. We will have to become ‘perpetual marketers’, to learn to be channel and data planners without losing our human insight or creativity; to vastly increase the level of accountability and provide more relevant experiences for customers. Booz & Co captured the implications recently: ‘Marketers must build a marketing platform that can help automate the process of publishing a consistent set of marketing messages and content... from classic TV spot to Facebook app to YouTube video to Google AdWords to blog entry... and make optimising decisions in real time.”