By: Trevor Zaucha
Speaking to American Advertising Federation members on Monday, October 6th, industry expert and account planning veteran Alan Snitow discussed his experience and provided attendees with insights relating to planning, industry and more.
With a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology and minors in legal studies and political science, Snitow emphasized the importance of different perspectives in account planning. With regards to his degree, Snitow stated that “there are basic fundamental human truths that you learn from anthro” and that he finds himself drawing from his anthropological background on a daily basis.
Snitow advised attendees to keep tabs on the movers and shakers in the industry and to read the trades, but to also be interesting and have other things to talk about.
On the topic of account planning trends, Snitow addressed “the departmentalization of the planning department” saying that “now you have brand strategy, and digital strategy … there’s this huge proliferation of what a strategist is.”
Alongside changes in account planning, Snitow detailed that today’s advertising professionals work with a significant overlap between digital, strategy and creative, and that agencies are “running towards the middle” in an attempt to be providers of both traditional and digital advertising.
On creative briefs, Snitow encouraged attendees to identify what people do, and do not, need to know, and to “tell a story.”
“The brief is the first piece of creative work that gets made in an agency.” However, “briefs are strategies, not ads, but that doesn’t let you off the hook from being creative in your thinking … you have to go through a lot and figure out what matters … there’s no one right answer.”
In response to the question of “what trends do you see from the client perspective?” Snitow stated that “the biggest traditional clients have recognized the power of creativity … and have even embraced it.”
When asked what his favorite ad campaign was, Snitow talked about Red Bull’s “Stratos” stunt:
“It’s about living the brand promise … it’s a brilliant model of what brands should be doing … and it’s been viewed tens of millions of times since … people stopped and watched this.”
Closing out the discussion, Snitow recommended aspiring account planners to read Jon Steel’s ‘Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning.”