— On Comms Design. From London

Planners (or not) of Romania, I challenge you

W+K London is hiring a planner for Nike. Yeah, I know. Now, lots of us have things to do here and families and stuff but still I think everyone would stop for a second and think what if. Inorder to get the job, the applicant needs to answer some key questions about what a planner is and what he does in 2010. I think these questions are simply cool to ask ourselves even if we do not apply, so I am posting them here and challenging you all to try to reply.

  • What’s the biggest myth in our industry?
  • Define an insight.
  • Define an idea.
  • What is Planning?
  • How will W+K be making money in ten years?
  • Tell us something interesting.
  • Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?
  • What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
  • What’s the biggest issue facing football?
  • What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?

I’ll be doing my own bit of answering but meanwhile, feel directly tagged Diana, Razvan, Stefan, Stefan, Costin and Elena (sadly none of you can be reached through your blogs anymore :()

FIRST ANSWERS FROM ELENA

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That things are changing. Fast.

Define an insight. An useful truth.

Define an idea. Something I wouldn’t be ashamed to use as my life motto.

What is Planning? Educated common sense.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? By making people pay to see/ take part in its “advertising”.

Tell us something interesting. Talking on TV about the communist times a woman said: “Of course I
didn’t make money. Money were not fashionable back then”.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Nike Here I am (Sofia B) – because they repositioned dancing instead of repositioning Nike. That and exactly 12 other campaigns till now.

What’s your favorite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? “Before” – because it escaped the “Yes, you can” Nike logic and still gave me goose bumps.

What’s the biggest issue facing football? The stake keeps getting smaller. It used to be about ideologies, then about countries, then about teams, now is more about players.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? That his parents are wrong. Take “parents” as a metaphor. Please.

ANSWERS FROM ANA BULGAR

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? It’s all about sales :)

Define an insight. – the gut feeling in your stomach

Define an idea. – the outcome of a sum o thoughts produced by a community of minds

What is Planning? – being aware of the past, present & future and taking actions accordingly

How will W+K be making money in ten years? by finding the right people that will become W+K and are willing to share their lives publicly for it

Tell us something interesting. – we are fundamentally replicators

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Life :) because it’s the most interesting product in the world

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? NikeID – I love the shared ownership idea of the brand

What’s the biggest issue facing football? – authentic experience (forgetting why it exists)

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – believe in yourself

ANSWERS FROM COSTIN

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That advertising  can change everything.
Define an insight.
A source of business for brands and glory for planners. Oops!

Define an idea. The sudden end of stupidity. I can’t remember where I got this from. It just got stuck in my head.

What is Planning? Always thinking about how exactly it will work.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? It depends if it is before or after buying the Nike business.

Tell us something interesting. I think Facebook is successful because, among other reasons, it gives people inspiration on how to live their life by studying the life of others. I may write a book on this when I grow up.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Disney Pillow Talk and Atletico Madrid “It keeps me alive”. Both are built on incredibly strong emotions.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Nike Hurt and Nike Beautiful. Because it shows you can really do fabulous advertising by using negative emotions.

What’s the biggest issue facing football? That the game got more physical rather than technical. Now there are less and less players like Maradona, Romario, Gheorghe Hagi, or Messi. You know, the small, the surprising, the spectacular, the technical ones … the ones who made me watch football in the first place …

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? Whatever the hell the kid wants.

ANSWERS FROM STEFAN

* What’s the biggest myth in our industry? Real people are not influenced by advertising.It’s wrong. We have an incredible power to change a lot of things from opinions to behaviors.

* Define an insight. A blessed observation.

* Define an idea. The perfect tagline of too many thoughts

* What is Planning? The only possible job for a too inquisitive mind.

* How will W+K be making money in ten years? From a new agency structure based on a small crew of creative people from different areas.

* Tell us something interesting. Nike plays in lifestyle industry along with many other brands from many markets. The competition is fierce and the share of mind is getting smaller everyday.

* Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Gatorade Replay. Because it is based on a very simple observation of everyday life.

* What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Write the future because Nike owned the championship in people’s mind not in commercial contracts.

* What’s the biggest issue facing football? Players’performance is related to marketing activities not to sport success

* What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? Something to be re-written. again and again.

MY ANSWERS

  • What’s the biggest myth in our industry? – that people care as much about the super bowl ads as they do about the super bowl 😛
  • Define an insight – an insight is the active observation of a new or yet unexplored way in which the consumer interacts with or relates to a product, situation, fact
  • Define an idea – an idea is a way to create positive tension between a brand and an audience so much so that the audience feels the urge to interact with the brand in a way
  • What is Planning? – planning is the art of making insights into business tools
  • How will W+K be making money in ten years? – in 10 years W+K will be an idea brokerage house, acting as an intermediary between brands and idea creators and getting paid a commission for every new idea and every new idea creator spotted; it will also thrive from talent development – training and coaching potential idea creators
  • Tell us something interesting – ever since internet came along the life span of fads/trends has decreased exponentially making it possible to envisage one second wonders in the economy of the world wide web
  • Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? – Crispin’s Got Milk campaign because it’s textbook insight, into idea into pop culture.
  • What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Nike Basketball, because it genuinely gives me goosebumps every time I watch it (weirdly enough more so than the one about the future). Because for me it’s a great example of what advertising can be and what makes a brand a brand.
  • What’s the biggest issue facing football? – Those who watch the “big” games on the telly play it better and more for real than those playing in on the telly in the “big games”. Real football should be relinquished back to the people. after all nike is about the people, the www is about the people, and we are the first generation which is going to live longer than the generation we fathered because those damned kids don;t exercise enough.
  • What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – I have the power

ANSWERS FROM ADRIAN

What’s the biggest myth in our industry?(advertising, that is) – Everybody knows advertising, right? There is a saying in my country that here everybody is an expert on politics, advertising and football. Now that’s a myth! So, according to that I should be an ideal candidate for this job because I already have two of the requested characteristics.

Now, if I were to talk about myths in advertising I’d say that the one I hate the most it that advertising is necessary only when business is slow. Unfortunately this is the biggest mistake a brand manager could do and I see it very often. Advertising should be continuous and coherent throughout the marketing process. A planner should be able to argue and convince any brand manager by his insights that advertising is needed in different forms.

• Define an insight. – I am going with the guys that say that an insight is a feeling of deeper understanding on this one. Understanding of what drives peoples’ behaviour in a certain situation. I also think that an insight is more likely to appear after long periods of using a product or embracing an idea combined with research. Embracing ideas, developing experiences and actually using the product are conducting to deeper understanding. Of course, time is always an issue and a planner doesn’t always have the luxury to embrace an idea or develop serious experiences and this is where qualitative and quantitative research step in to produce a clear and deeper image of that simple reason to believe.

• Define an idea. – Ideas are subjective. Most of the people perceive things differently due to different ways of thinking and education. So there is no universal definition of an idea. It could be an opinion, a judgement, a point of view or even a simple thought. So if you ask me to define an idea my answer would be “it depends!”. In other words if an insight is a feeling of deeper understanding than an idea could be an expression of an insight or even what lies beneath that feeling of understanding.

• What is Planning? – Planning is the connection between the product or brand and people’s daily lives. Judging by that, a planner must understand the right path that a brand can take directly to the consumer’s mind.

• How will W+K be making money in ten years? – If I tell you this how much will you be willing to pay me? Seriously!

• Tell us something interesting. – I actually think that Ray William Johnson could be a great brand ambassador for Nike although he basically just sits in front of a camera and comments on internet viral videos.

• Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? – It’s actually a Romanian TV ad for fois gras. You can see it here but unfortunately there is no translation in English. Although I think it is easy to understand what’s it all about … the little girl is being neglected by a not so attentive father who forgets to wake up in the morning, who is clumsy and doesn’t know how to dress her or fix her hair and on top of that who forgets to pick her up from her ballet lessons on Wednesday. In the end he fixes all his mistakes with a tasty snack. It seems very simple but there is a lot of strategic substrate in that ad. The father is faced with these problems because the Romanian mothers are changing, developing and this is an incredible insight. The crisis or their needs for personal development and professional success makes them work more. The fois gras is just a fast solution for the father and it’s more like a symbol of his way of thinking, trying to “buy” his daughter’s good will. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it comes from a can. What can be easier than that for a clumsy father? Personally I admire the courage of the guy or girl who came with the idea for the t-shirt the main character is wearing. It’s more than a statement, it’s masculinity all the way!

• What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? – It’s Joga Bonito: Cr. Ronaldo vs. Zlatan Ibrahimovici featuring Eric Cantona because it’s not about wining, it’s about playing the game and enjoying it.

• What’s the biggest issue facing football? – Clubs are missing symbols. There are no more emblematic players like Ryan Giggs, Pep Guardiola, Fernando Hierro or Alessandro del Piero which played almost an entire carrier at the same club. There is no loyalty, no attachment. The main drive is money not pleasure of playing the game. Focus is on winning and not on having fun and this is why the game seems to be more like a battle. The question is are we that competitive or are we just enjoying violence and struggle more the technique and finesse. So if the player is an aggressive money driven migrant how can he be a symbol?

• What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – Dreams are achievable.


ANSWERS FROM DAN [BODODEA]

• What’s the biggest myth in our industry?

o The Advertising site tells the story of humans on Earth: the excitement, vibrancy, reaction confirm that you are “Simple Man” (pure human being) and and not some Divine leaven.

• Define an insight.

o The gradient that reach people’s hearts; the evidence that you was there
• Define an idea.

o A personal but clear proposal to others to see the world, simpler, better, more useful.

• What is Planning?

o On the one hand, the planning is a discipline of summaries, clarifications, of patience, projections, has specific knowledge and tools, but on the other hand, has the naturalness and science of involving and motivating people to do things with purpose.

• How will W+K be making money in ten years?

o By positioning as a “guide through the tribes”
• Tell us something interesting.

o The World will share in millions of tribes, and then Nike will run stronger than ever
• Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?

o Power to the people (What if a billboard could be more than just a billboard?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc3Eqa8TMjM – because it is not just a simple way to send people a great idea (the power lies in people), but even subtle attach a new meaning of the advertising

• What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
o NikeID – Because Nike decide to show that Nike shoes are not made by teens, but their fathers

• What’s the biggest issue facing football?

o The players have too advanced equipment (shoes and strategy) to leave room for talent. Where is the talent and how much are the shoes?

• What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?
o Mean: “Just follow it”

ANSWERS FROM DAN [SENDROIU]

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That Cannes Lions is an Advertising Festival. In fact (most of) Cannes is to advertising what air guitar is to actual music.

Define an insight. It makes the brand ring true.

Define an idea. A brand’s opinion. May be wrong, but it should at least be interesting.

What is Planning? Applied curiosity.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? They won’t be charging money anymore, but likes for their FB page. Seriously now, they’ll still be making money from ideas in 10 years time.

Tell us something interesting. Did you know that true randomness is extremely hard to generate? No software can do it. You need some actual physical device that measures a natural phenomenon and translates that into bytes.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Tap Project. Because it just works on so many levels.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? “Before” because it’s made from stuff that was there but nobody else thought of using and it’s brilliant.

What’s the biggest issue facing football?We’re all clinging to heroes but it seems to me that teams are becoming so important that there’s increasingly little room left for individual (on the field) shine.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?If it’s his dad’s favorite slogan, Nike is in trouble 🙂

ANSWERS FROM IOANA G

What’s the biggest myth in our industry?
post-rationalization is a bad, bad thing.

Define an insight.
something that makes you feel a bit of a manipulator

Define an idea.
a brilliant thought with a purpose, easy to explain to everybody

What is Planning?
the science of being fascinated; promoting fascination to people

How will W+K be making money in ten years?
how about not making it, but collecting it and spending it on saving the earth?

Tell us something interesting.
physical rewards turn people off. proved.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?
ooh. I can’t pick one. monster.com, pot noodle (and most of the apg papers built on the dirty human side, which is, well.. so insightful). “the great schlep”, for it’s informal efficiency. toohey beer economy, for its simplicity.. this question really frustrates me, I can’t pick one.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
Beautiful. I bet my money on showing the beautiful side of negative emotions.

What’s the biggest issue facing football?
losing the honor of representing the modern wars. trivia all the way.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?
the culture of experiencing all kinds of stuff. and being in a hurry.

ANSWERS FROM DANA

◦                What’s the biggest myth in our industry?

That there are some things that advertising, by itself, can’t do.

◦  Define an insight.

A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.

◦  Define an idea.

Something that alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.

◦                What is Planning?

Something invisible if done right and something really obvious if done wrong.

◦              How will W+K be making money in ten years?

By sharing their mind-reading skills

◦                Tell us something interesting.

One in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed.

◦                Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?

“The best job in the world” – 1. Earned media coverage valued at over AUD$400 million; 2. First ever campaign to win 3 Grand Prixs (Cyber, PR and Direct); 3. Love at first sight.

◦           What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?

Nike Basketball – made me think I could fly.

◦           What’s the biggest issue facing football?

The game and the passion are about to become extinct because of ignorant investors.

◦      What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?

“You’re way smarter than your mom & dad”.