Agencies should work together: Clemenger planner

Breaking down some of the the barriers between creative and media agencies would create better results for their clients, according to new Clemenger BBDO Sydney planning director Mat Maroni.

“Some of these reassuring divisions between disciplines we’re used to working with aren’t helpful and haven’t been helpful for a while,” he said.

Mr Maroni is well-placed to comment, having moved from a media planning role at MediaCom in North Sydney down the road to creative agency Clemenger BBDO in St Leonards, where he has an accounts planning role – a jump from one type of agency to the other.

His work at Clemenger is to “make sure we’re making ads about the right things … making sure that the consumer insight, the understanding we’re bringing to bear on the work is correct, and progressive.

“Often I’ll be the person in the room waving the client brief around making sure that people are thinking really clearly about what it is we’re trying to achieve.”

Mr Maroni says his new work has the same ultimate goal, and questions why planning and creative need to be kept so far apart.

“The job I did previously … was just about getting large groups of people to feel or think a certain way. And the job I do now, despite having changed, is about getting large groups of people to feel or think a certain way,” he said.

Planners should work more closely with the creatives, he said, and should have the freedom to develop ideas and prototypes that are not necessarily fully-fledged advertisements.

That focus on the similarities between the two sides of agency work, rather than the differences, can also be applied to print. The reverence media workers give to certain channels and distinctions between disciplines is holding everyone back, he said.

“If I’m a publisher and I make newspapers then I would argue technically I’m not in the business of printing bits of paper; what I’m in the business of doing is helping people feel connected with what’s going on in the world, helping people feel abreast of developments.

“The newspaper element might be a key part of it, but there might be other ways in which I can help people do that, other ways in which I can meet that need.”

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