Do not think the next Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp is going to be a – well – boot camp.Its slogan is, “Mad thinking obligatory”. One of its classes is going to be run by Dan Gregory and Jason Lonsdale. Another is going to use improvised theatre techniques.
Dan Gregory has a razor sharp adbrain and heads up the Impossible Institute (founder and chief executive officer).
Jason Lonsdale is the planner who caused S&S Australia’s chief executive officer, Michael Rebelo, to state, “Getting Jason to lead the intellectual output of Saatchi & Saatchi is nothing short of a coup.”
Gregory and Lonsdale’s job is to make aspiring planners think like creative in their class, ‘Switching sides and switching on’.
Lonsdale, who has just returned from a Stanford Design School ‘Customer Focussed Innovation’ program, said, “Planners need to adopt design thinking just as much as creatives need to apply empathy to solve real problems for real people.”
In another class, ‘Duck Duck Goose’, led by The White Agency’s Grant Flannery, the school’s art directors and copywriters will team up with planning students to develop and execute campaigns.
“In ‘Duck Duck Goose’ (I’ll aptly play the Goose) we’ll replicate the agency environment as closely as possible and throw a bunch of interesting business and consumer problems at the students to help them form some great creative briefs and strategic thinking. It’s all about teamwork, deadlines and pushing each other to do great work. The students will end up with the right skills, techniques and passion to help them enter the industry in the right frame of mind and a high level of understanding of what’s expected,” Flannery promised.
Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp is about combining brainstorming techniques with planning principles, and teaming creatives with planners.
“Meaningful collaboration between planners and creatives grows out of kicking crazy notions around, then building on each other’s ideas. The end results are ‘idea babies’ that are more relevant, diverse and interesting than conventional thinking,” Flannery noted.
Gregory added, “We’ve been programmed to struggle against our imagination. We try so hard to be ‘original,’ but refuse to allow the ‘forbidden’ thoughts into our consciousness.
“At the boot camp, we want to make sure that down the road when students are thinking of brand possibilities, nothing will limit the potential of their imagination. And that no technology will ever overpower good strong thinking.“
Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp lasts for three months in Sydney, with weekly classes from January 5. Each week, a different account planner also takes students through topics essential to planning operations in intensive, three-day, hands-on sessions. Classes are held after hours and at weekends.
Enrolments are accepted until December 17, 2014. Tuition costs are $5,500 incl. GST. Applicants must pass the school’s admission criteria.