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'Stephen King's fears are true even today'

06-December-2007
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'Stephen King's fears are true even today'

Celebrating the life of a man who is regarded as the 'father of account planning', JWT has launched 'The Timeless Works of Stephen King'. The book contains 20 of King's articles, and was launched in the Capital by Guy Murphy, Planning Director of JWT, at the agency's planners' meet 'Provoke 2.0'.

Heralding the relevance of the King's views in today's scenario, Murphy said, "It is a great moment for the planning and the advertising industry. Stephen King's thinking forms a major part of the JWT brand of planning, and I want to pursue that. He wrote back in the 1970s that brands were becoming diced up into separate parts, as different agencies were getting their hands on different aspects of brand marketing. He pointed out that a brand was a holistic entry that must be planned as such. I think his fears are true even today."

While talking about challenging brands around the world, Atika Malik, Senior VP and Executive Planning Director, JWT, said, "JWT India Planning has always been the backbone of the big brands that JWT has helped build – beginning with partnering clients from new product ideation stage, steering brand launches and relaunches, working through annual brand plans, being the consumer advocate, visiting markets, crafting brand visions, creating communication briefs, stimulating and partnering the creative process, helping sell creative to clients, keeping a close eye on results and effectiveness, and worrying about their brands."

"He gave us purpose then, and he gives us purpose today. I grew up in JWT listening to stories of Stephen King. We lived and breathed the T Plan and then the Total Thompson Branding or TTB. Even today, the planning cycle to me is not just a tool, but a way of thinking about life itself," added Mythili Chandrasekar, VP and Executive Planning Director, JWT Chennai.

Jeremy Bullmore of WPP, who was also a close friend and creative colleague of King in JWT London, said, "King turned proposition theory on its head. He invented and propagated an extremely simple, utterly workable way of setting advertising strategy so it liberated rather than restricted creative thought."

Each one of the articles authored by King has been introduced by a practitioner who describes the relevance of the article to the communication industry today. The contributors include thought leaders like Ogilvy's Tim Broadbent, WPP's Jeremy Bullmore, Marketing Society's Hugh Burkitt, Baskin Shark's Merry Baskin and Burswick Group's Stephen Carter. With media converging and proliferating at the same time, King's emphasis on planners being grand strategists and brand designers couldn't have been more relevant today.

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