Although we didn’t win, our BMW pitch was the first time I entered the role of Creative Director/Strategy and remains one of my favorite projects.
Sitting on the receiving end of a briefing for the first time, I quickly understood why the creative department gives the planning department a bad rap at Martin (as I’m sure is the case in agencies across the country.) Bottom line the single-minded idea is dead, meaning this little ditty from the planners on BMW was not going to cut it: BMW is more than a car you buy. It’s a car you buy into.
Buy into what? I thought that was the planner’s job to determine! Anyhow, I quickly realized my role was going to truly straddle the fence between strategy and creativity.
My process began with diving into the notes from client interviews. Something popped to the top: People can’t explain the feeling of driving a BMW. That got my head churning. Why? Why can’t it be explained? The deck below is what I ultimately presented to the creative teams. I called it my re-brief, and I’m very proud of the output that came from this. The teams had been without a rudder for a few days, but they took the insights in this deck and ran with them.
But my job didn’t stop there. I sat with the GCD during internal presentations, and as soon as an idea emerged that could really expand beyond itself, I jumped in with it’s authors and blew things out. One of my favorite examples was how I worked with the team tasked with launching the X1 in North America. The original idea was simply “Germany won’t let us have them because they want to keep them for themselves.” Once I (and others) joined in, this germ of an idea grew into a full-blown virus.
Ultimately this test run of my title became the template for how I now contribute on any assignment. I’m up front working on the strategy and also in the trenches working with the teams once the briefing has taken place. The work morphs, changes and evolves as does the strategy. That’s what planning is supposed to be in this day and age, and it’s what I aspire to do on all assignments.
BMW X1 Launch (rough)