Thursday, October 11, 2007

Should Planners Be In The Edit Suite?

Richard Huntington says they should. He calls it "Continuity Planning".

I was going to leave this alone, but sadly I find I can't.

Here's 3 reasons why it's soooooooo wrong.

1) Currently in suite: Editor, Director, Creatives, Agency Producer, Production Company Producer; sometimes Creative Director, Production Company Executive Producer, Agency Production Assistant... yes a Planner might have a useful comment but you've got to draw the line somewhere. We wouldn't want to run out of sushi in there.

2) Do you want Creatives poring over TGI data? No. Account Handlers writing TV scripts? No. So do you want Planners in the Edit Suite? No. And this isn't 'demarcation', it's just common sense - have people do what they're best at. (I've railed against the evils of creative generalism before; this is a similar point).

3) If Planners are going to spend say 5% of their time assisting in the edit suite, then an agency with 20 Planners now needs 21. That costs money. And I'm all about the Benjamins, baby.

Richard Huntington
A good guy (I've met him, he's cool) but has he gone too far this time?


Anonymous said...

couldn't agree more scamp.

and if you say dicks a nice guy, fair enough but that quote from ogilvy:

"why keep a dog and bark yourself"

made me want to kick his face off.

mikemystery said...

Simon, I couldn't help think of "Carry On At Your Convenience" when I read this post. "I'm not fitting that on a bidet! We only do toilets! Tools down boys!"

Why should planners be banned from edit suite? (aside from the quite pracical "too many people in a small room" but that has more to do with available soho room-sizes than anything else) Or account handlers write scripts? As long as they're good scripts and vetted by a creative.

Yes, people should do what they're good at,but as a creative that should be "selling things with creativity" not just "making adverts.

We've been insulated to long in our wee creative bunkers. While the world changes about us. If traditional agency creatives aren't generalist enough to come up with the "where are the Joneses" of the next ten years, someone else will.

But hey, you're a creative who blogs! that already makes you a bunch more multi-skilled than the bulk of any top-ten creative department ;)

Anonymous said...

Planners in the edit suite? No problem with that. Here's how you get there Richard - get a great book together, get hired by a CD, write a great script, shoot it, and hey presto you're in the edit

Anonymous said...

What's an editing suite?

Anonymous said...

Why is there such a lack of trust between the disciplines in advertising and indeed between agency and client? Trust, guys, trust. I'm not feeling it.

Anonymous said...

editing is for editors and creatives. and directors if it makes sense. editing is writing. and i f**king wrote the spot. so i'm going to finish it. and i don't need any help thank you very much.

what a bunch of bollocks!

Lunar BBDO said... planners have a valid opinion about the cut?

Maybe, but I guess they can have their say when it gets back to the agency. It's the process of editing (sound/TK/grade etc, does Dicky want to get into all the post or just editing?) that can turn into a 'too many cooks' tedious fuckfest. Do what you do now, planners: tell us you don't like it when you've seen what we want to show you.

And another thing...I've had a good many briefs where I've read a page of complete bollocks, and responded by suggesting we do something different to the brief. And many times the planner has just shrugged and said 'OK'. So I guess creatives are allowed to influence briefs, but only after planners have shown us what you've come up with.

So the slightly convoluted message is: let someone do their job, then tell them if you've got a problem with the job they've done.

And stay out of those suites. The bigger the lunch order, the colder it arrives.

Anonymous said...

The reality is in our business everyone has an opinion about everything. If as a creative I expect to have a say in the strategy then it's churlish to expect the planner to keep the nose out when we're working on the edit (I tend to order Wagamama - its always cold). However I don't think the planner should attend the edit any more than I think it's valuable for creative's to attend lots of strategic workshops. As long as there's transparency after the edit, and before an edit goes to client, allowing all interested parties to comment - just in case a genius comment is made. Then fine.

Anonymous said...

Many Planners are just frustrated Creative Directors. Richard Huntington proves it with this article. Didn't he work at HHCL which encouraged this sort of "happy-clappy collaboration"? In their time they made 3 or 4 great ads and the rest were shit. Where is HHCL now? Get on with your own job Dick and leave others to do theirs. And remember: A camel is a horse designed by a commitee

Anonymous said...

Richard might be right - it's not entirely inconcievable that planners could have something to contribute at the edit stage.

But that possibility is easily trumped by the diluting effect of having to take into account yet another person's opinion.

Marshalling all the relevant information and consulting all the relevant perspectives might be good practice for most intellectual endeavours, but creative is different - vast amounts of information tend to cloud judgment, rather than illuminate it.

That's one of the reasons we creatives get small, elegant agency briefs instead of thumping great client marketing briefs.

Shouldn't that same principle extend to the edit room?

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Does it not just depend how valuable their opinion is?

A planner who makes good suggestions should be an edit regular, one who doesn't only gets to go in to see the finished product.

Why shouldnt people be able to help out in other areas if they have the skills to do so? (and to that fact, why shouldnt they be kicked out if they do NOT have the skills to do so)

If that extra planner creates more effective campaigns, then surely they pay for themselves.

Tom said...

Surely all about the Windsors?

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Sorry to double post...

But a few big things:

1. Its great that everyone has an opinion. Id be worried if we all thought alike.

2. Why all the anonymousness? Its as if people want to appear bravado but are scared to show who they are. Which to me is part of the problem really.

3. Richard's blog is not a place of halves. He posts extreme viewpoints to start debates. If people take every word as his strict opinion they will be mistaken.

4. Yes, many planners are frustrated creatives. But many account execs are frustrated CEO's!

Anonymous said...

This says it all

Anonymous said...

I like to sing Shoot the runner by Kasabian to myself, but replace the word runner with planner instead.


Alan Wolk said...

Differences in planning between UK and US continue to surprise me.

I couldn't imagine any of our planners wanting to go to the edit suite (other than for the free sushi)

I agree with all of you who've pointed out that creative designed by committee is rarely any good. Why you'd want one more person in there is beyond me. In my younger days there were plenty of times when we'd try to keep the CD out of the edit suite, before he fucked up the cut. Wouldn't want to have to worry about planners.

And reality check too-- once you invite someone in on a formal basis, of course they're going to think they need to voice an opinion. Especially if they think the head planner is going to ask them about what their contributions were.

So, so wrong.

That said, there have been a few accountniks I've worked with over the years whose opinions I valued enough that I'd show them stuff on a purely informal basis just to get some intelligent feedback.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's another example of the planning function having to justify their existence?

Anonymous said...

I think most of you are wrong. The industry has only just figured out that emotion is vital to everything we do, that messaging and copy and ideas really aren't as important. And with executional factors going a long way to determine how emotive an ad is, I think execution and editing become something planners should be all over.

If the industry was already producing powerful, affecting ads that couldn't have been produced 20 years ago, then I'd say there was no need for planners in the editing sweet.

You'd better just make sure you have the right kind of planner...

Anonymous said...

Advertising in whatever guise is subjective. Some will like it, some won't. This is because we're all human. A planner is no righter than anyone else because he's called a planner. He will simply add another opinion to the countless other opinions flying around an edit suite and as the old cliche would have it "Too many cooks spoil the fucking broth".

Anonymous said...

I'm a planner. While I like to think that I can help get to ideas, and have an appreciation and understanding of how the finished production works in the outside world, I know absolutely NOTHING about editing, film techniques, post production.

That makes any opinions I have about production those of a rank amateur.

Planners wanting to be producers, editors and directors?

Get a job you like then. But don't call yourself a planner.

Anonymous said...

Planners are great, I think the world is a better place with them. After all everything the great DDB did (in its BMP days) was informed and helped along by great planning. Anyone who can help us get to those wonderfully disruptive thoughts and positionings are ok by me. But once the great stategy has been delivered, and the campaign sold then I believe that the people who are there to execute should be trusted to do so. There are enough failsafes - teams have to show to ECD's, CD's and often group heads. Then there are the account people. Enough. I'm not saying the planner shouldn't have an opinion on the cut - they absolutely should. But to sit in on the edit. No. Because for me, it shows a fundamental lack of trust in the creatives and the creative leadership they work under.