The publisher, John Wiley & Sons
Jay Chiat, founder of the prestigious Chiat/Day advertising agency (which created campaigns for the Energizer Bunny and Fruitopia) called it "The best new-business tool ever invented." A newly defined discipline that combines aspects of four traditionally separate areas of advertising and marketing, account planning is one of the hottest topics in advertising today. This book by account planning pioneer Jon Steel provides advertising professionals and marketers with their first practical look at a tool that is reshaping the ad industry.
From the Back Cover
Judging by all the press it's received lately, account planning must be the biggest thing to hit American advertising since Doyle Dane Bernbach's Volkswagen campaign. Agencies are falling over each other to establish account planning departments and arm themselves with what Jay Chiat of Chiat/Day once described as "the best new business tool ever invented."
Despite this enthusiasm, account planning remains shrouded in mystery. Is it, as Chiat suggested, merely a tool for attracting new clients? Or is it, as many critics have suggested, no more than traditional consumer research dressed up in new clothes? In the first book devoted exclusively to the subject of account planning in the United States, Jon Steel, Vice Chairman and Director of Account Planning for San Francisco advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, argues that it is neither of these things.
Account planning exists for the sole purpose of creating advertising that truly connects with consumers. While many in the industry are still dissecting consumer behavior, extrapolating demographic trends, developing complex behavioral models, and measuring Pavlovian salivary responses, Steel advocates an approach to consumer research that is based on simplicity, common sense, and creativity--an approach that gains access to consumers' hearts and minds, develops ongoing relationships with them, and, most important, embraces them as partners in the process of developing advertising.
A witty, erudite raconteur and teacher, Steel describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumers, and agency creatives. He criticizes research practices that, far from creating relationships, drive a wedge between agencies and the people they aim to persuade; he suggests new ways of approaching research to cut through the BS and get people to show their true selves; and he shows how the right research, when translated into a motivating and inspiring brief, can be the catalyst for great creative ideas. He draws upon his own experiences and those of colleagues in the United States and abroad to illustrate those points, and includes examples of some of the most successful campaigns in recent years, including Polaroid, Norwegian Cruise Line, Porsche, Isuzu, "got milk?" and others.
The message of this book is that well-thought-out account planning results in better, more effective marketing and advertising for both agencies and clients. And also makes an evening in front of the television easier to bear for the population at large.
"Jon Steel is one of the great practitioners in advertising today. This book captures the essence of how to understand and connect with other human beings--not just to sell them something, but to create strong, long-lasting brand connections. It should be required reading for all planners, creative people, and account people." -- Lee Clow, Chairman of TBWA Chiat/Day, Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide
"A very smart, very funny look at what works, what doesn't, and why, in the sometimes maddening, sometimes inspiring business of advertising. One of the brightest books about the subject in a long, long time." -- Geoffrey Frost, Director of Global Advertising, Nike Inc.
"Jon Steel is one of the top five account planners in the world. The depth and breadth of this book reflects his vast personal experience and exceptional talent. It's not just a great book about account planning, it's a great book about advertising." --Jane Newman, Partner, Director of Strategic Planning, Merkley, Newman, Harty.
"The beauty of this book is that it discusses the theories and practice of one of the brightest minds in advertising today, yet never loses its irreverent tone. It's a great book for the advertising industry and a must read for planners." --Rob White, Director of Planning, Fallon McElligott
". . . I was glued to Jon's book. Best practice, common sense, and extraordinary intelligence throughout." --David Wheldon, President, BBDO Europe.
"Jon Steel's book is the perfect insight into a discipline that for some time has been misunderstood, misused, and maligned by most agencies and clients in the U.S. So, run it up the flag pole, put it to groups, check it against the norms, the answer is the same--Truth, Lies, and Advertising should be read by anyone who has to make or approve advertising." --Rick Boyko, President, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather, New York.