Truth, Lies, and Advertising | Jon Steel

Summary of: Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning
By: Jon Steel


Dive into the fascinating world of account planning in the advertising industry with the book ‘Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning’ by Jon Steel. Learn about the crucial role of the account planner in understanding consumer needs and finding creative solutions for client problems. Discover the importance of in-depth research, effective communication with the creative team, and creating a comfortable environment that fosters genuine information from focus group participants. Embark on a journey to understand how creative briefings act as a bridge between research and brilliant ad campaigns, and the art of balancing client feedback with innovative ideas.

The Crucial Role of an Account Planner in Next-Level Advertising

Advertising is often seen as untrustworthy and unethical, but some ad agencies aim to connect with their audiences on a human level. An account planner is responsible for conducting in-depth research into the consumer’s needs to solve client problems. They work with the creative team to communicate the client’s needs and ideas to develop next-level advertising that resonates with the target consumers. The account planner should ideally work with three clients at a time, max, to ensure in-depth research and attention to detail. Through this crucial role, ad agencies can establish lasting relationships with clients and create a profitable portfolio.

The Art of Asking Questions

Effective communication between creatives and clients requires good listening skills and asking the right questions. This is especially important when conducting focus groups to gather accurate and useful information. It is essential to create a comfortable environment for test participants and avoid one-answer questions. Interviewing style should be non-threatening, and participants should be given a way to participate and express their views. Planning and executing creative briefs effectively is the most crucial aspect of an account planner’s job.

Crafting a Compelling Creative Brief

Crafting a creative brief involves synthesizing consumer research to develop an overall campaign strategy presented to the creative team. A compelling brief should address business problems, identify specific campaign objectives, target audiences, and include concrete knowledge about consumers. The most critical part is the proposition, which is the core message conveyed in one simple sentence. An effective brief should also provide entertaining ideas to communicate the proposition, leveraging insights gained from research. One example of this is the Cuervo focus group, where the participants’ body language conveyed that Cuervo equaled party and was used as a supporting anecdote in the creative brief, which had the proposition, “A party waiting to happen.”

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