McKinney welcomes Duke Advertising Fellow
McKinney Head of Account Planning Walt Barron and Planning Director Jill Burgeson welcomed Cristina Sánchez-Blanco to lunch and a tour of McKinney. Cristina is a professor at the School of Communication of the University of Navarra (Spain). She’s received the John Furr Fellowship for J. Walter Thompson Research at Duke’s Hartman Center of Sales, Advertising & Marketing. She’s currently conducting research at Duke to understand how account planning was developed and applied at JWT and its relevance today in the advertising industry.
Cristina was curious about planning at McKinney. “I love it,” said Jill. “I love the range of accounts and assignments we undertake. We get to dive in and learn about things you wouldn’t otherwise.” She added that being a planner at an agency the size of McKinney meant opportunity at every level to take on leadership roles. “Here, we get to work with clients of all sizes. Getting to work with a budget of a million or less means you have to get scrappier. I like that!”
Walt agreed. “I like that planners at McKinney get to play on the big stage and truly have a voice. I know there is a lot of talent at other agencies that don’t get recognized for the contributions they make. Here, we are respected and grow professionally because we take on greater responsibility.”
Cristina explained the role of planning in agencies in Spain, noting that “each planner brings a very different perspective to the role because they have such diverse backgrounds in Spain.” She said in addition to supporting the creative process, planners also delve into marketing and brand development. Cristina asked what planning was like in the U.S. “For us, it’s about defining a problem in the right way to give our creatives bigger space for brand behaviors versus simply ‘make me an ad,’” said Jill. Walt added, “While our job is to inspire creativity, the truth is the ads are going to be made with or without us. What we bring is perspective that makes what we’re creating resonate in the world, thereby making it more effective.”