Today on the Menu: Account Planning Breakdown with Redscout’s Alain Sylvain

By Matt Van Hoven Comment

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Alain Sylvain is the managing director of Redscout. He’s done strategy for Mother New York and stays at SS&K, Martin and in the jewelery business, which is just a fun fact. Today he gave us a break down of the planning side of advertising and the details about SPUR, a video-interview series hosted by PSFK and Redscout that hopes to dive into the planning world by interviewing luminaries, rebels and newbies.

A planner’s job is to being smarts into the mix, says Sylvain. Insight mining; micro thinking and macro execution; putting a match to the wood pile &#151 all are phrases that come to mind when discussing this role. How it fits into the overall business is another thing. “Planning is best practiced outside advertising,” said Sylvain. “Steve Jobs is actually a really good planner,” he remarked, noting Jobs’ understanding of the consumer market and branding as traits belonging to a planner.

Which isn’t to say that the traditional creative side doesn’t do that. But Sylvain agrees that in some cases, creatives are there to execute a plan thought up by a planner. Or planners. Think of it like architecture (that’s our analogy) &#151 a planner may determine the scope and draw up designs, and the creatives make it happen.

Some shops don’t operate this way, but since the early 90s, the job has gained importance. SPUR’s goal is to dig into it and do an informal audit of what’s been happening &#151 and with the trend-peepers at PSFK (a planner’s resource) behind it, you’ll want to watch. At least once.

SPUR launches today at The 5-video series will include interviews from the likes of Paul Woolmington, a founder of Naked Communications; Domenico Vitale of People, Ideas & Culture; John Gerzema, CIO of Y&R; Devika Bulchandani, CSO at McCann Erickson and many others.

Click continued for the full list of interviewees.

More: Episodes of the Menu

&#151 Douglas Atkin, Writer; Partner & Chief Community Officer of
&#151 Devika Bulchandani, Chief Strategy Officer; McCann Erickson
&#151 Dan Cherry, Managing Partner, Director of Brand Strategy; Anomaly
&#151 Piers Fawkes, Founder; PSFK
&#151 John Gerzema, Chief Insights Officer; Young & Rubicam
&#151 Heidi Hackemer, Senior Planner; BBH
&#151 Robin Hafitz, Chief Strategic Officer; Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners
&#151 Sally Jones, Founder; Tangerine
&#151 Gareth Kay, Director of Digital Strategy; Goodby & Silverstein
&#151 Hank Leber, Founder; Agency Nil and Associate Planner, McKinney
&#151 Domenico Vitale, Founder; People, Ideas & Culture
&#151 Freya Williams, Global Planning Director; Ogilvy Earth
&#151 Paul Woolmington, Founding Partner; Naked Communications NY, Global Partner of Naked Communications