Coffee with French planner and founder of Oraganic Planning, Froggy
D: So why do we need planners in this world?
F: Well I would say if we need planners in this world, this world doesn’t necessarily need planners! Sometimes, we are not as humble as we should be, advertising existed before the profession and some of the best ads of all times have been realized before planning. I remember reading this quote about Jean Baudrillard on Richard Huntington’s blog "he is one of the greatest philosophical thinkers of the late 20th century and you are just some idiot who works in advertsing". I think that it’s very true!
To answer the initial question, planners only have a place in this world if they can help the industry to be more innovative, weird, thoughtful, meaningful…
D: Your philosophy on organic planning has been the cause of much praise being sited on a number of blogs and industry magazines, could you tell us a little about it and its application? How it differs from conventional planning?
F: Thank you very much, but I hadn’t so many praises! Just enough to have a job! I have created the Organic Frog blog as an application blog. I’ve tried to use the viral techniques and sent it to 40 agencies (mainly digital) around London. I had some positive and negative reactions, some was thinking that it was annoying, shameless… but I had the chance to meet some world-class planners: John Grant, Saher… thanks to this application. As I had chosen to be subversive, I asked this question: “Every agency is speaking about creativity but where does all the rubbish ads come from?” It was quite interesting to observed the reactions of the different agencies… Read the whole story on my blog here and here.
To speak a bit about the Organic planning philosophy, it starts with being curious, making lateral and non-industrial leaps, being innovative, having fresh eyes, not being stuck on a briefing template all day long! I guess this thoughts are develop by many planners – especially the bloggers one – the aim was more to show what I didn’t want to do.
D: Someone roles up to you one day and claims to be heavens marketing director. For some odd reason, you believe him (possibly due to his business card being trailed by a halo) He goes on to elaborate on how people are losing faith in heaven and putting all their allegorical eggs in this life's basket. Any idea what your brief might look like?
F: Wahoo who could refuse such a prestigious client! Well I guess that if heaven isn’t as popular as they were it is probably because the marketing department was only communicate about spirituality, fantasy, the power of the brand image… very branding 1.0 isn’t it?
The only way to be back in the game is to embrace authenticity, why not a heaven blog: do a good deed every day, an angel avatar on Second Life, the heaven festival, and why not a more cynical tool: the Heaven/Amex card, Go to heaven thanks to the ordinary expenses…
But I am deeply convinced that a business like this one is more than communication, it’s like in political communication should just be the tool and not the content.
D: Your all time best campaign?
F: I will not be original on this one but I definitely think that the “Think small” or “It’s ugly but it get you there”advertising is one of the best of all time, the insight and the execution are obvious, they look like powerpoint slide, just brilliant!
I love also the insight behind the Évian advertising with the babies, the old persons… The fear of getting old is one of the hottest topic these days, but most of the brand are misunderstanding this trend, Renault Modus advertising was saying “growing what for”… So hats off to Évian who understood this trend with class!
All time worst campaign?
I just hated the Ferrero Rocher ambassador advertising, I mean the product is crap, you can buy the product in supermarket and they wanted to present it as a premium chocolate… The execution was cheesy as well…disgusting!
I have no idea of what the idea should have been; “let’s create a luxury environment people will think that we are a premium brand!”
D: If the sh*t hits the fan in London think you'd be willing to join us in Dubai?
F: As long as Dubai is tax free why not!!
D:Great, thanks so much for being with us and good luck with agency.com!