We're feeling a tad like expectant mums as we await the arrival of the new Admap hot off the press. If you didn't already know, the February issue will appear in a new set of clothes - a new look created by the award-winning graphic designer David Hillman. It's one thing seeing page proofs as pdfs, quite another to hold your progeny, the result of many months of many people's efforts, in your hands in all its printed, glossy glory.
But it's not just the design that has been improved. For one thing, there's a host of new regular features that add variety to the Admap diet. For example, in Mythbuster, Admap's resident Angry Couple DDB's Les Binet and Sarah Carter expose the 'myth' behind a commonly held tenet of marketing wisdom. The first tenet is that advertising wastage is bad. Les and Sarah beg to differ: "People who buy Mercedes and Prada do so because everyone knows what those brands stand for - even if they are not target market themselves. To create these shared cultural meanings, we need people outside our target to overhear our communication. We need wastage, in other words," they argue. What do you think?
The theme of the February issue is The Future of Planning and it kicked off with an Admap Roundtable of five planners representing, creative, media and digital planning disciplines, moderated by Paul Feldwick. The debate on how and why planning needs to evolve - how much it is about "shucking of the oyster" (big idea generation) and how much about day-to-day "tending the garden", and where the planning function should be housed in the future (possibly at clients) - makes for fascinating reading.
The consensus was that the future of agencies needs to be addressed before the future of planning can be sensibly discussed. And, in a paper titled "A new agency model", Simon Clemmow argues that advertising planning has been failed by the structure of advertising agencies. He proposes a new structure - a series of ideas teams for each client's business with "real planning", harnessing all the agency's resources to link consumer insights with the benefits of the client's brand - at the core of this structure. He adds that planners are too often guilty of navel-gazing: "They have to stop thinking of planning as a separate department and consider it in terms of what the whole agency does and how it goes about doing it."
So, stop contemplating your navels, get up and start a revolution!