Head for the exit

Brian Millar
Sense Worldwide

Planning 3.0. If you're still doing it in an agency, you're doing it wrong

To realise their true value, planners need to escape their agency shackles and start up a McKinsey-type creative consultancy.

Advertising Age recently published its list of the best work by the shops shortlisted for Ad Agency of the Year 2011. There wasn't one ad in the list. Most of the ideas didn't need regular production teams. Some didn't even need creatives. The list was crazily eclectic. Furniture assembly manuals delivered on Twitter. An epic model railway construction project. RFID tags in clothes that triggered music in changing rooms. And an offer that expired when a poster (containing a product shot and a price -hardly troubling the print department) sank through a frozen lake.

It's banal to say the advertising industry is changing. If a top advertising magazine's best work of the year doesn't contain an ad, then, well, duh. What clients value about advertising is changing. The way brands build value has changed utterly. As a planner, you have a choice. On the one hand, you can realise the value you bring to this new world and leave the old structures of the agency world behind or, you can try to make that happen from within, honing the crafts passed on to you by a previous generation, being a good team player, being one department among many.