OK, you'll notice this a bit different to Andrea, both in what she was looking for and what she thought was good and what needed work. Don't let it confuse you. Ask 7 planners a questions and you'll get 10 anwers (if you get that far, some will tell you you're asking the wrong thing). You'll develop a planning style as you go along, but you'll find you'll also have to adapt that to the different expectations and styles of various senior planners and planning directors.
That style is as much about how you present your thinking as it is about the thinking itself.
So use the variety of feedback as maximum input, personally I love it when someone tells me I'm wrong, it forces me to think really hard abot why I think I'm right, or gives fodder for getting a lot better. So take all the feedback and feel free to challenge it, or use to hone your thinking and approach.
Here it is:
So starting with a general point:
Three submissions relied entirely on other people’s ads as ‘source’ material. Ads are not exactly a full and frank representation of culture or society and you shouldn’t really rely on them as such. I do appreciate that there wasn’t the time or budget to do primary research but I’d have liked to see other sources of desk research used (other submissions had dug up free online academic research, interviewed friends or found relevant news stories). Yes, yes, I know Andrew uses a lot of TV ads in his posts, but he mainly uses them to illustrate points he’s already made and supported.
The Strategy (blog post by unknown)
I think the author was trying to suggest a WKD style ‘aligned with young lads behaving slightly badly’ positioning which is interesting as I don’t believe that any skincare brand has tried that before.
But this entry seemed to miss off stage six in the brief entirely (“Write a manifesto … something anyone involved can read, so they can get excited about what you're setting out to do”), so it didn’t really deliver the inspiration that a great strategy needs.
Matt Nixon (APSOTW-2 ppt)
Matt has obviously given a lot of thought to what he wants the reader to take away with them. Quotes, illustrative imagery, a user friendly layout and a Big Idea (grown up Mischief) make it a memorable, sell-able piece of work. I know it’s a cliché, but you really could sell a client this strategy in the time you had stood in the lift with them.
As a manifesto, (Grown Up) Mischief is relevant, distinctive, a good brand fit and ownable within the category. To be honest, I think this thinking is better than the ‘Creative expressions’ that followed it, but overall – very nice work.
There’s a clear and distinctive (if a bit brief at two pages long) idea here – celebrating the ‘occasional shave’ as a form of creative freedom.
But I think you might struggle to convince King of Shaves that appealing to people who shave less frequently (and indeed suggesting that it is desirable to shave less frequently) is a sure fire way to build market share…
Justin Thor Hoyer (King of Shaves)
A nice idea to get men to ‘appreciate and love the art of shaving’ and introduce a routine for a ‘King Shave’. Great from a commercial perspective and also true to where the KoS brand has come from.
It was well researched - although following the many links to outside information revealed that some of the snappy wordplay I’d been appreciating (e.g. most men have a hate/hate/hate relationship with shaving) had actually been lifted from source material. *Don’t do this* – either be very upfront and quote the article directly or find your own voice.
Carolin Dahlman (King of Shaves Carolin Dahlman ppt)
Carolin wants KoS to go after The Good Guy – the man Gillette forgot. She’d position facial hair as a barrier to Finding Love. I suppose it’s the equal opportunities version of a 1950’s housewife ad.
The presentation flowed well and came to a clear and concise conclusion, even if I’d have like to see the manifesto itself flagged up a little more clearly. However MAJOR bonus points to Carolin for a link at the end to a three minute youtube video of her pitching the strategy where she was enthused, told a story and sold it well.
SC (King of Shaves SC)
Sonia writes well, giving her document a clear beginning, middle and end and a manifesto for the brand to march behind. I particularly loved the last line: Because there’s more to life than caressing your face in the mirror after shaving with a razor that could have been nicked off the set of Minority Report.
But I didn’t find anything that summed her manifesto up in a single sentence, which is a real shame as she’s obviously very capable of doing so. Perhaps it was something along the lines of ‘There’s more ways than one to be a Man’?
Geert-Jan Baltus (KINGODSHAVES_GJBALTUS)
The work is all beautifully presented with good supporting imagery, but there’s just too much of it. If it takes 45 slides to get to a manifesto, either your thinking or your working is too complex. It’s very important to go through the thinking process – but you only want to actually share the important leads-us-on-to-the-next-point stuff.
There’s a lot of excellent work here identifying the Ivy League Man, but I’m not sure that the manifesto necessarily fully reflects him, there’s a little bit of a disconnect.
Thomas Wagner (KOS Thomas Wagner)
There are some nice observations about Modern Man and Modern Masculinity here and a nicely linked solution celebrating the modern gentleman (with part of being a gentleman linked to having a decent shave).
There are gems too in the manifesto, but they’re buried a bit. Perhaps a shorter, punchier manifesto might have got the point across more effectively?