Summary of Truth, Lies & Advertising

The Art of Account Planning

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Truth, Lies & Advertising book summary
To create ads that work, plan your account tactics and do your research (but don't let it overrule your instincts).


8 Overall

6 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Successful ad campaigns are not linear developments where a business need meshes straightforwardly with an effective creative approach and actually produces successful tangible results. Instead, building memorable, provocative advertising campaigns is such a complex, political task, both rational and emotional, that a successful campaign is a wonder. Veteran advertising expert Jon Steel contends that building a good campaign is the common sense responsibility of the account planner - the new nexus of the consumer, agency creative staff, client and researchers. Steel shows the pitfalls of misguided research and creative arrogance as he explains that a good business-oriented account planner can help produce wonderfully effective, often simple, ad campaigns. His witty, erudite book concludes with its best case study: a look inside the successful "Got Milk" campaign for the California milk industry. getAbstract recommends this book to those who buy and sell advertising and to anyone working at an ad agency.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What account planning is
  • Why preparing a good creative brief is critical to producing good advertising
  • How to make consumer research more effective in the development of advertising
  • What research misses
  • Why they made New Coke


Planning Comes First
Planning is essential for any complex project, including constructing a successful ad campaign. However, many ad agencies neglect the account planning function when they embark on expensive, time consuming creative efforts to solve business problems. This lack of planning...
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About the Author

Jon Steel is director of account planning and vice chairman at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. His clients include American Isuzu Motors, Anheuser-Busch, the California Milk Producers, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Polaroid and Porsche. He is a member of the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement for executives younger than 40 and has been profiled in Ad Week Magazine as "West Coast Executive of the Year."

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