The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Don’t Let Them Feel You’re The Support Act To The Beatles Reunion Gig …
July 16, 2010, 6:42 am
Filed under: Comment

So it’s been a week at WK and I have to say it’s been a really good week.

I am absolutely loving being back in a situation where what I get to see what I do to the endpoint rather than just set the agenda and pass it on to someone else.

That is not meant as disrespect to my beloved cynic – as well as my Google and Sunshine ventures – it’s just that over the past few years, we got pushed into more of an ‘upstream’ role, … which was obviously awesome in terms of influence but something we didn’t want to do at the expense of also being able to make our ideas come ‘to life’ and yet that is what seemed to have happened more and more.

Can an agency ever have both scenarios run in parallel?

Well yes, as cynic’s early years demonstrated where we were helping develop business strategies and opportunities at the highest levels [thanks George’s friends, ha!] and then get to do stuff to make those ambitions come to life – from creating ads and developing training through to making new products and seeking out new distribution prospects.

Now I know what you’re thinking … WK is more in the ‘ad creation’ business than the business creation & communication business … and you’re right, and though they’re one of the absolute best at it, the changes in the World of business and marketing means it will be imperative to also ensure they get higher up the ladder of influence.

To be fair, they are already doing a pretty amazing job of moving up the scale, however I believe there’s still more they [I mean ‘we’] can do and while I don’t want to turn W+K into the car/plane manufacturing company Andy says I want to, I do think I might be able to help get some projects where we are as influential in what is being created as to what is being communicated – which is why my goal for the company is to move them – at least in Asia – from being masters of creative magic to geniuses at commercial magic.

Not going to be easy or quick – but I reckon we can do it and in a better way than pretty much any other agency out there, even those with NPD units already up and running because in my mind this isn’t about separating the business out, it’s about integrating it within the thinking and execution of what you consider and action on an everyday basis.

But back to the point I want to make.

As the last A[P]SOTW assignment proved, I am a huge believer in making planning as interesting, exciting & engaging as possible.

Not just interms of the physical presentation of the strategy, but also in the thinking behind the idea you want them to buy … however being at W+K means I have to raise my game to a whole new level because let’s face it, one of the main reasons people come here is because of the high quality of the work and the last thing they want to do is sit through ‘obstacles’ to get to the main event. [Hence the title of the post]

However what planners do is very important – and whilst I’m sure most will nod their head in agreement – the fact is if you want to stop your audiences attention from wandering, you‘d better make sure you have thinking that can be expressed in a way that gives them the same emotional thrill as they will get when they see the work because if they don’t, not only will all your efforts fail to get the recognition they deserve, you will also create the impression that planning is [1] not creative and [2] not part of the overall creative delivery … and that would be terrible because on a personal basis, I’m not at W+K to be seen as a justifier of their creative brilliance, but a contributor to it.

28 Comments so far
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why the fuck arent my comments appearing campbell, im not doddsy.

like fuck you dont wamt wk to make planes and shit. you think you fooled anyone with your little “throw them off the scent” post? maybe some of the babies that visit this shithole but not the old hands that got mugged into making card games, tea mugs and fucking Internet shit i still dont understand.

that bollocks aside im grudgingly quite happy youre happy and you sound as up for it as you did in 2003 which is a very fucking scary thing for the santa clones in portland because change is a coming whether they like it or not.

good post title too. im gushing. i feel sick with myself.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t worry Andy, you’re not really being nice, it’s just your brain is frazzled with all the creosote you’ve been breathing in.

But thank you. For everything.

Wish you and the boys were here – still feels weird.

Comment by Rob


Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t think anyone would see you as a justifier planner Rob, your ego is too big to not demand to be involved. 🙂

And the “don’t be a support act to the Beatles” analogy is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard for planning and presenting. Good post.

Comment by Pete

I should point out that I doubt anyone at WK is here to basically bask in the reputation glow … besides, they’d be found out pretty quickly and dismissed with [maybe] … but I think [maybe wrongly] that I have the experience to help us make an impact in areas that go beyond comms on a more regular basis than is currently being achieved [though it is being achieved which is an awesome thing] – but I could be completely and utterly full of shit.

But then I am in adland.

Comment by Rob

Following your rant of yesterday, will your very nice “commercial magic” thought be actioned or simply amplified?

Great to hear you are having fun and enjoying yourself but it’s only week 1, I won’t be truly excited for you till you’re saying the same thing on week 20.

Comment by Bazza

You seem to have forgotten what it’s like to work with me Baz as ‘Commercial Magic’ was just one of my throwaway strapline proposition bollocks … though the sentiment of it is exactly what I want to achieve with my time at WK … but, as you point out, it’ll require some fucking action rather than me just saying it in every sentence and hoping that’s enough to kid people into thinking that’s what we’re about.

Comment by Rob

Andy’s near praise is fully justified, this post was most enjoyable to read. It pleases me immensely that you are so excited and happy with your new role and life and your comments about the seamless integration between business strategy and communication thinking/execution are very pertinent. I personally believe your ‘commercial magic’ is an excellent positioning but I am a lowly client so I shall keep my opinions to myself.

I believe this has been said previously, but Wiedens are as lucky to have you as you are to have them.

Comment by Lee Hill

emphasis on “near” praise lee. that means it wasnt praise ok!?

and wiedens arent as lucky as campbell is because i made campbell who he is today which isnt fucking much, but a fuck load more than he should be.

and deserves.

Comment by andy@cynic

“fucking Internet shit i still dont understand.”

i want some of that shit man..

Comment by lauren

You only encourage him Lauren. And give him hope of your impending love.

Comment by Rob

In your first week at WK, did you have time to squeeze in some work in between all the tweets?

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Don’t throw barbs just because I’m efficient and you’re not. Ha!

Happy hols matey, see you soon.


Comment by Rob


Comment by northern

Thats six words! Typical planner laxity.

Comment by John

So basically N[G] has improved his spelling but at the expense of his numeracy.

And yes, I’ve fucked up with the A[P]SOTW, but if memory serves me [and this is a desperate bid for redemption even though I know it’s bollocks] you took almost as long as Hayley’s comet to get the feedback out when you first ran the thing.

Did that work?

Didn’t think so.

Comment by Rob

So WKs optimism makes you happier than Googles do no evil.

Comment by Mario

Bloody hell, it’s the man.

How are you and why would you destroy your cred appearing on here. I know you have swarthy good looks but even they can’t save you from the car crash of being public on here, though not using your surname or blog was a good move, ha!

Where are you? How are you? Email me now … and I absolutely refuse to answer your question on the grounds of – as Baz said – it’s only a week, not because I’m frightened of upsetting someone.

Seriously, write to me matey, been yonks.

[I haven’t used the word ‘yonks’ since last time we met, you have brought it out of me again, bastard!]

Comment by Rob

Another planner post.

Comment by Marcus


There isn’t a post for Monday – at least not yet – so at least that’s something to look forward to isn’t it?

Comment by Rob

I always look forward to your posts. Stop sulking.

Comment by Marcus

Can’t reply up there. My attention to detail is like quantum mechanics, I can spell, I can count, but not both at once.
When I did the APSOTW at least I did it by myself – we’ve done all the work for you.
You don’t spell Hally’s Comet like that

Comment by northern


Comment by Marcus

You don’t spell it like that either.

Comment by John

Thank you judge Dodds for keeping things in order around here.

Comment by Rob


Comment by northern

He’s a feisty fucker these days isn’t he. I’m proud. And scared.

Comment by Rob

It is much better to be feared than loved

Comment by northern

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