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Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning

ISBN: 978-0-471-18962-6
320 pages
March 1998
Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning  (0471189626) cover image


"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 and advertising.

A witty, erudite raconteur and teacher, Steel describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumer, 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."

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Table of Contents

No Room for the Mouse: The Failure to Involve Consumers in Advertising Communication.

Silent Partners: Account Planning and the New Consumer Alliance.

The Blind Leading the Bland: Advertising Follows Research...in the Wrong Direction.

Peeling the Onion: Uncovering the Truth and Stimulating Creative Ideas through Research.

The Fisherman's Guide: The Importance of Creative Briefing.

Ten Housewives in Des Moines: The Perils of Researching Rough Creative Ideas.

Serendipity: "Got Milk?" Acknowledgments.




About the Author.
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Author Information

Jon Steel is Director of Account Planning and Vice Chairman at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an advertising agency whose clients include American Isuzu Motors, Anheuser-Busch, the California Milk Processors ("got milk?"), Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Polaroid, and Porsche. Jon began his career in advertising as a 21-year-old account planner with the English agency Boase Massimi Pollitt. By the age of 26, he was appointed to BMP's board of directors. In 1989 he left the United Kingdom to become the first Director of Account Planning at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. He has been profiled by Adweek as "West Coast Executive of the Year," by Advertising Age as an "Agency Innovator," and by San Francisco Focus as one of the 100 smartest people in the Bay Area. In 1995, Jon Steel was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Achievement for executives under 40.
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Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning (US $50.00)

-and- The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding: And How to Break the Vicious Cycle (US $37.95)

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