NASHVILLE, TN: Planners must ensure their work is supported by a clear underlying philosophy, according to Faris Yakob, the co-founder of consultancy Genius/Steals.

During a recent webinar held by WARC, Yakob suggested the best strategists can call upon a clear, consistent philosophy that influences how they think about the world, interpret what they see, and effectively translate ideas into action.

And whenever a planner is at work, Yakob asserted, there will usually be a particular philosophy that is shaping their perspective and decisions.

“Whether or not you know there is one, there always is,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s exclusive report: Yakob: Why planners must leverage the power of philosophy.)

“And there's a reason for that, because there is an underlying philosophical model which informs that focus on consumers.”

Some examples are TBWA Worldwide’s “disruption” model, Ogilvy’s preference for cultural tension on the “big idea”, and the emphasis placed by Adam Ferrier, a co-founder of agency THINKERBELL, on “action advertising”.

“Different agencies have different philosophical principles which will inform their processes,” said Yakob. “If you're looking at convention mapping, it's a disruption planning process.

“If you are pulling from cultural tensions or discord, then it’s sort of the area of cultural. And if you're targeting the area of behavior itself, that's more action advertising.”

While there are distinctions between these various schools of planning thought, those differences should not disguise the fact that each stream of thinking is premised on a common goal.

“All these things are models, mapping very complex interactions that aggregate human behavior in a way that is useful and directional,” said Yakob.

Such an objective, in turn, points to a shared belief regarding how agencies can most effectively address the challenges that face their clients.

“The philosophy of planning – the underlying belief of planning – is that it's an approach to advertising, or the construction of communication, which informs creative work with rigor to maximize efficacy,” Yakob said.

The second installment of Faris Yakob's "The ABCs [Agency, Brand, Consumer] of behaviours and biases" webinar series will be held on 13 September. Sign up here.

Data sourced from WARC