When planners + creatives = strategy - McKinney

When planners + creatives = strategy

August 4, 2015

Last week, Campaign Live published two articles about whether or not it’s time to “unbundle” strategy and creative. Neither author thought that was a good idea, but in her article, Britt Fero detailed how best to bundle the roles.

She said that the role of strategy beyond the brief has changed, and it’s important that the creative development process involve planners. “Because strategy should drive execution, it seems crazy that it wouldn’t be involved in execution,” she said.

We asked Head of Account Planning Walt Barron how McKinney couples the two departments. For the most part, he agreed with the chief strategy and media officer of Publicis Seattle. Planning “connects vision to execution,” he said, and it should not be separated from creative. But where Britt zigs, Walt zags.

“Instead of demanding that strategists be involved in executional development, we need to think about how to involve creatives earlier in strategic development, and the earlier, the better,” Walt said. “Just like planners can add to the creative execution, creatives can add a lot to the strategy. They ask good questions. They challenge us. And the work is better when they are involved earlier.”

Yes, this is a lot of together time. No, this does not mean that planners become creative directors or that copywriters take on planning. “At McKinney, we realize who is an expert in executional details, who will make beautiful work. At some point, planners stay out of the creative development,” Walt assures us. “But when we’re at our best, we’re involving creatives earlier in the thinking. By doing so, they become invested in it, and their ideas are lodged in it because they helped make it.”