Today, we went to a creative agency where the magic happens – it is just one of the perks for being a member of the Planning Book Club in Arena. Wieden + Kennedy made most of my favourite ads so I was super excited to meet their head of planning, Paul Coleman. He told us what W+K stands for and how they work.
I’m jealous we don’t get Tuesday mornings off as their planners do! Actually, I’m also jealous that as a specialist I don’t get as much time thinking about the nature of the brand as they do. While describing their planning process, Paul said that they gather in a room where everybody who works on the account is present: planners, creatives and account people, they work on a brief and think of different areas and place them on walls around (Instead of planners knocking on creatives’ doors and handing them a brief). “Embrace failure” If you have two ideas and one is ok, everybody is kind of fine with it and the second one is risky, you think “oh will they go for it?”, you clearly should go with the latter. Will client approve it? It depends on the relationship and trust you have with them.
In media we do many mundane repetitive tasks, reports, time sheets… Although creatives don’t carry this burden, their work is not all unicorns and rainbows. According to Paul, 90% of their work is rejected. I guess you get used to it and after seeing W+K’s work, it is totally worth it!
I have one clear thought after this meeting – you need to have a life, experience interesting things around you to create ads. Because your work has to compete with everything else out there: art, tv, music, it has to be so great that it distinguish itself from the rest of the world.