Monday, 9 November 2009

What the fuck is planning - the answer!

I've finally figured out what planning is!

I sat down this morning for a very long, very chilled, very meditative poo and the answer just popped into my head - almost as soon as the last torpedo had been fired by HMS Bot-bot.

Let's look at the evidence:

1. It's pseudo-scientific.

2. It uses a lot of mysterious charts and symbols.

3. It makes assertions that are sort of hard to pin down.

4. A lot of people believe it without really being able to say why.


Yeah! It's like your stars in the paper, innit? Every paper, no matter how high-brow, absolutely HAS to have an astrology page. Nobody knows why!

I imagine it works in a similar way. Planners, like astrologers, consult a lot of very complex information that only they understand, they disappear off to spend a lot of time thinking about stuff, then they unveil the truth - which absolutely nobody comprehends, believes or really remembers.

Then everyone draws his or her own heartwarming conclusion, and toddles off thinking that everything's going to be alright.

That's it, isn't it? I mean, tell me I'm wrong - this is a Dave Knockles first because I'm not sure what the fuck I'm talking about!

Are you a planner? Do you plan? Have you planned? Will you plan in the future?

Then tell me what the fucking hell it is you do. And tell me how you make Powerpoint charts that look like Stephen Hawking, a thought bubble and a hand grenade had a threesome in a pot of paint while angry toddlers ran amok with spray cans and a dictionary of confusing nouns.

I'll master planning, just like I mastered marketing! Nothing is beyond Dave Knockles (apart from fisting - I just don't know how people do that).

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


  1. Dave

    I'm thinking of leaving client side and going into planning agency side. Any advice? I'm guessing you would think this would be a bad idea.


  2. Anyone who calls themselves a planner should be slowly dipped into a vat of acid just like in ‘Enter the Dragon’…brilliant.

    I think all ads should simply show the product with a price tag. Imagine the recall on a 60 second spot that was just one image?! Better yet, why don’t we just fucking yell at the audience telling them all sorts of really wonderful reasons to buy the product just like those brilliant Cillit Bang spots.

    I really god-damned love those spots. They target everyone since they are squarely aimed at brainless twits, which, you have to admit is just about every bloody person on the planet! Best thing is that they work a charm. Even bester, the more we yell at the audience, the more stupid they become and the more we widen our target. Virtuous circle baby!

    Just stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap and see if you don’t get to number one. Fire the agency and pump it all into awareness, distribution and endless innovations.

    Building meaning? I say fuck you. Long-term strategy? Go to hell. Increasing loyalty? Kiss my big hairy arse.

    So, I say to hell with planning and planners. All we need to do is turn it up to 11 and crank it out. God bless you sir!

  3. @ John - I'd advise against it. As a client, you get to fuck about with the creative work, drink all the free beerz you can manage, get your botty kissed on a regular basis by the agency, spend a lot of your time at the Dog & Hog Carvery and play golf while 'networking'.

    Now, I'm not entirely sure what planners do, but I doubt they do all of the above. Then again, I don't know. So, like, do what you want! I do!

    @ Aaron THAT'S MY BOY! You remind me of a younger version of myself. Why younger? Well, in those days I might have said something as naive as 'fire the agency'.

    Never fire the agency, Aaron. They buy the beerz. (And, if you're anything like me, they'll fire you before you get a chance!)

  4. Damn. I have so much to learn. Keep the agency, slowly dip the planner in acid. I am only still a grasshopper after all. Thank you master.

  5. Hey, Aaron - you've got enormous potential. Don't give up.

    I'm not actually sure about dipping the planner in acid, to be honest - mainly because I haven't figured out what the fuck they do. I mean, they may be really fucking useful. God knows. It's so hard to tell. I only heard about that about a month ago. Apparently, they'd been working on my account for years! Who knew?

  6. Planners are there to think harder and deeper about your brand than you are willing to do. While you are out getting drunk swinging at little white balls they are in a zen state with massive data sets and more cultural insight than the Daily Show.

    Do not try to understand the Planner. They are meta.

  7. I concur with Mr. Beeson. Planners are the voice of the consumer that works with the brand to help nail the creative and keep ROI high. For your 'beerz" buying, etc.

    Planners solve problems. When the Milk Processor's Board needed to schlep more milk in a new, innovative way, they found it through a planning insight and the classic "Got Milk? campaign was born.

    Though I imagine in the challenging, chaotic world of 'consumer duables', planners may not be top of mind for you. What problems do you really have? No one is going to stop grooming themselves. Your product sells itself. Like water for fish, acid for hippies and 'beers' for @Daves.

    In short, relax, Dave. Enjoy the stupor filled bliss of knowing people are getting their sweat/blood/cum/beerz stain out thanks to your hard work. For that reason, your job is awesome Dave. An inspiring testament that anyone can rise to the top in this world.

    @Aaron: What a brilliant creative mind you are! Seriously, put down the ether rag, hop in a bear suit and join the Bogusky Circus because my friend, you have talent!!!!! Seriously, price tags and a product? WTF?! GTFO! Where do you come up with this stuff and what do you do now? YOU MUST be an ECD at some super ninja ad firm in Amsterdam that mandates fixie bike riding, weed smoking and hating Shepard Fairy despite your envy of his success. From your sychophantic revelry and frat boy insight to ads and consumers, I reckoned you for a mongoloid plumber 12 pints into the night but wow sir, you bested me!!!!!

    @John: grow a pair dude. If you got the pedigree, be a planer, win some new business, kick ass and take names. Sack up and know that if clients were right about anything, they wouldn't have hired you in the first place.

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  9. A planner once asked me why copywriters and art directors are allowed to call themselves 'creatives', but planners are not allowed to call themselves 'the clever people'. The individual in question was brimming with a sense of injustice, but revealed not a glimmer of irony.

  10. Christopher with the smackdown!

  11. As a former planner and (as of an hour ago) avid reader of I AM THE CLIENT, I'll shed some light on Planning.

    Planning exactly the same as a client marketing job, except you've got more people to kiss your ass and buy your beer. In a marketing job, you think about your product a lot and you've got one (or a few) agencies that will buy you steaks, beer and generally kiss your ass. As a planner at an agency, you make stupid PowerPoint presentations to confuse the marketer, because your boss says "graphs look better than a number". Behind those presentations is a whole network of suppliers to dangle The Client's money in front of in exchange for steaks, parties and beer on any given day. On good days, you'll get hang gliding, sporting events and golf tournaments.

    Make friends with your planners. They'll invite you out with the people who buy premium and imported beer.