Mmm, yellow fats. A classic planning problem.
I'd say about half of the emails I receive about getting into advertising relate to planning.
And, being a planner myself, I'm more than happy to offer advice, especially as it's a tricky line of work to get into. When I was trying to get into it, I read an awful lot of Russell Davies's blog (the planner who did a lot of very good work on Nike and Honda, amongst others) - and, I think, is still a good resource. Additionally, the London Strategy Unit has begun to run a short course for wannabe planners that you should check out.
Planning is always a hard thing to write about, much less explain coherently (though the APG has a brilliant guidebook on it) if you've never done it. And, for most of the folks reading this, the opportunity to do planning is fairly remote.
Now, when you're in the job as a junior planner, there's a post in the AdGrads archives that might be useful. But for those who've never had to write a planning presentation, or want to understand what goes into it, I've written a short presentation to help show how you'd put something together to show your client, and set up what the creative work will be - along with a communications plan, something to indicate how you'd spend the media money in an ideal world.
I thought it would be a good idea to pick a brand and answer a fictional problem to help folks understand the thought process that goes into a planning presentation - one that's away from the typical sexy brand (your Nikes, your Apples', your Budweiser's) that most think of when they talk about their favourite work. And, after all, the 'yellow fats' category is amongst one of the most traditional planning problems to tackle.
Have a go yourself. Send me your presentations, or put it up on Slideshare, and we can have a Q&A as to how you've tackled it.
Most of this presentation was written with a bit of desk research, some time spent in-store and some time spent chatting to the typical consumers (mums, in short). Check out the ONS, read up on new launches in the category - and see what you think. If I was planner on the business, there'd be a raft of information I'd receive; but in this instance, don't worry about being 100% right when it comes to buying behaviours...just use whatever research you can find on or offline.
The presentation's below, and you can download it (or get in touch with me - william.humphrey at yahoo.co.uk if you'd like the keynote presentation with notes) from Slideshare.
NB: The business has come up for pitch; it'll be interesting to see what sort of work they come up with.