News & Views

Creative Social / Event Debrief

by Contagious Team

Hold on, your planning is showing

Wednesday's Creative Social event saw five creatives voice their opinions on the importance of planning in the creative process. The event at LBi's offices in London saw the speakers explore best-practice approaches on collaboration.

First up, Lowe Open's Becky Power explained that she believes that creatives are often restrained by planners, which shy she gave some pragmatic tips on 'How to deal with a planner.' In addition to encouraging communication and making use of planners' remarkable story-telling expertise, she emphasised the importance of teamwork, suggesting that people  pitch concepts in teams made up of both creatives and planners.

Tribal DDB's ECD Chris Baylis said planning was like colouring by numbers, the certainty of getting it right, meant that creativity was falling by the wayside. He advised people to seek inspiration from outside the product category that needs to be advertised to ensure a wide diversity of style. He referenced how KFC's three-letter name and colouring is oft-copied and suggested that Nando's, which offers a similar product, had got it right in differentiating itself within the category. 

Sam Ball of Lean Mean Fighting Machine, suggested that the creative industry focus its attention on different aspects of the creative process. Ball referred back to James Webb Young's book A Technique for Producing Ideas, which breaks down the process into different stages: gathering raw materials, working materials in your mind, incumbent stage, birth of the idea, and the shaping and developing of the idea. According to Ball, agencies nowadays need to spend more time on the initial stages of gathering and working the materials. The planner, said Ball, is particularly helpful in those stages.

Inferno's Tim Doust opened with the question: Creative strategy, or strategic creative - where's the line and who really cares? In his opinion, 'Strategy is what makes it right, and creative is what makes it good.' He referenced examples that got the strategy right but lacked the creative - like Facebook, which is great at sharing, but lacks outstanding creative and design. 

Finally, R/GA's George Prest insisted that strategy should be part of a continuous cycle of creativity, strategy and technology - rather than seeing it as a linear process going from planning to creativity, to technology. His advice was to 'feel the humanity behind the idea' and to understand the technology and the value it can add to people's lives.

Further events will be announced on the new Creative Social blog.