Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning (Anglais) Relié – 16 mars 1998
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Présentation de l'éditeur
A witty, erudite raconteur and teacher, Steel describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumer, and agency creatives. He criticizes research practices that, far from creating relationships, drive a wedge between agencies and the people they aim to persuade; he suggests new ways of approaching research to cut through the BS and get people to show their true selves; and he shows how the right research, when translated into a motivating and inspiring brief, can be the catalyst for great creative ideas. He draws upon his own experiences and those of colleagues in the United States and abroad to illustrate those points, and includes examples of some of the most successful campaigns in recent years, including Polaroid, Norwegian Cruise Line, Porsche, Isuzu, "got milk?" and others.
The message of this book is that well–thought–out account planning results in better, more effective marketing and advertising for both agencies and clients. And also makes an evening in front of the television easier to bear for the population at large."
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"A very smart, very funny look at what works, what doesn′t, and why, in the sometimes maddening, sometimes inspiring business of advertising. One of the brightest books about the subject in a long, long time." –– Geoffrey Frost, Director of Global Advertising, Nike Inc.
"Jon Steel is one of the top five account planners in the world. The depth and breadth of this book reflects his vast personal experience and exceptional talent. It′s not just a great book about account planning, it′s a great book about advertising."–– Jane Newman, Partner, Director of Strategic Planning, Markley, Newman, Harty
"The beauty of this book is that it discusses the theories and practice of one of the brightest minds in advertising today, yet never loses its irreverent tone. It′s a great book for the advertising industry and a must read for planners."–– Rob White, Director of Planning, Fallong McElligott
"... I was glued to Jon′s book. Best practice, common sense, and extraordinary intelligence throughout."–– David Wheldon, President, BBDO Europe
"Jon Steel′s book is the perfect insight into a discipline that for some time has been misunderstood, misused, and maligned by most agencies and clients in the U.S. So, run it up the flag pole, put it to groups, check it agains the norms, the answer is the same –– Truth, Lies, and Advertising should be read by anyone who has to make or approve advertising."–– Rick Boyko, President, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather, New York
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Steele's approach is rare in the advertising world for several reasons: it shows humility and common sense, honors listening to the consumer with imagination, acknowledges the importance of creative quality, is mercifully free of self-promotion, and states the limits of account planning (sometimes there are simply no insights to be found).
While this is not a "how-to" book, I particularly enjoyed some of the tools and tactics: asking focus group participants to go weeks without milk and report back on what they had missed; asking drivers to fill in a thought balloon when they see the driver of a particular brand of car.
When I was done reading the book I felt as if I had just had a witty and interesting conversation with an intelligent and insightful person. I have been sharing the book with my advertising partners ever since.
Three parts of his message are especially valuable to "client side" (i.e. marketing) people: first, he is very articulate about the importance of doing qualitative, consumer-centered research....but not over-interpreting it.
Second, he makes a convincing argument for the use of judgment over data: clients sometimes imagine "hard numbers" will prove to them whether they are doing the right kind of advertising, but agency folks see this as a kind of cowardice. Steel will help you understand the difference between useful, diagnostic, research that inspires great creative-- and research that results in boring, average advertising.
Finally, his chapter on creative briefs - what they are for and how to write them - is superb. This is definitely going to be on the syllabus for next year.
Whether you are a client marketer, or an agency person who would like to inspire a client to more creative work, this is a must read.
In Steel's eyes, the most effective advertising involves consumers in two critical areas; one, consumers must take part in the development of communication and two, consumers must be involved in the communication itself. Simply put, creating dialogue with consumers will allow advertisers to know exactly what consumers actually want in a brand and product, and consumers should not be told what to think, but they should be given persuasive facts and allowed to make up their own minds.
As Director of Account Planning and Vice Chairman for by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, Steel has helped create several consumer-centric campaigns such as the "Got Milk" campaign for the California Fluid Milk Processors Advisory Board and the "See What Develops" campaign for the Polaroid Corporation. Steel has also planned successful campaigns for the Northern California Honda Dealers Advertising Association, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Chevy's Mexican Restaurants. Each of these advertising campaigns are described in great detail and serve as wonderful examples of how Steel's consumer focused philosophy of performing comprehensive research or even "eaves-dropping" on consumers helps breed advertising success.
Steel also makes excellent points by including the opinions of some of the most influential fathers of modern advertising. Ad pioneers such as Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy, Rich Silverstein, Stanley Pollet, and Jay Chiat each appear throughout the book via quotes or clever anecdotes Although these admen's opinions may not be considered entirely precise and applicable by today's standards, Steel uses each person's suggestions to clearly illustrate points related to successful account planning.
Lastly, the four keys to what makes a successful account planner are absolutely classic. Steel's advice that great account planners should be able to provide important information necessary to make informed decisions, should be able to spend more time listening than talking, should possess a chameleonesque quality that fosters unique relationships with different types of people, and in true humorous Steel fashion he sums up the characteristics with, great account planners should simply "have something weird about them!" So even if we don't all dream of planning the next award winning ad campaign, at least we know in some "weird" way we're one-quarter of the way there.
Quantitative research has its place in the advertising world, but all too often this (traditional) research is simply used as a way to cover your a**. One of the many, many things Jon Steel's book taught me was the importance of establishing a relationship with the consumer in order to produce effective advertising.
Steel's writing style is humorous & incredibly easy to follow; he makes you comfortable. This book will educate & entertain you at the same time.
As a recent college grad entering the advertising world, I found this book to be invaluable. (It means as much to me as "The Fountainhead" means to architects.) It will give you insight into the industry, but more importantly, it will give you confidence. Common sense is something we all possess, but are often afraid to use.
I hope there will be a sequel!