Unperson of the Year 2010

In the George Orwell book Nineteen Eighty-Four, an Unperson is someone who has been vaporized. Gone missing, moved, erased. Made invisible, banished. So good.

Since having read the interesting Time magazine Person of the Year issue – featuring Mark Zuckerberg – I've been toying with appointing my own. Our our own. A collective vote from round here for a hero. But then we thought (all my personalities, I'm split you know) that it would be much, much more fun to do a UnPerson. Someone who we do not wish existed. Someone who we could erase, vaporize. So, here goes... The 2010 UnPerson of the Year.

The 2010 UnPerson recognition goes to someone very similar to Zuckerberg in some ways. Some one who's very visible in media. Someone who could be a facebook friend to millions. And, of course. of course, like Zuckerberg, have a few enemies. Like me. And a few of my friends. The Unperson with Egg on Face goes to...

The media planner supreme – yes, senior level, who is unable to define creativity or grasp the fundamentals of planning in the digital age. The planner who, based on years of miscalculated experience, believes that creativity in media planning is about what you do on the contact point, solely. Execution. Not where. What.

The UnPerson for 2010 is the planner who uses and abuses the term 'engagement' – throwing tactical not strategic at the client and trying to win the pitch, the annual plan, the business based entirely on fancy circus trickery. Lo and behold, the banner that sings and dances on one leg on Yahoo. Watch her flip through the magazine and you can literally smell the aroma of your coffee – for she has discovered that one printer in Toronto who uses aromatic ink! Watch him use the newspaper belly band to belly dance at the pitch. Watch out then for what I call a crutch – a fatal dependence on execution. Sans any brainwork outside the proverbial plan excel sheet. Watch him hide same old same old behind a curtain of a touch screen mupi that has an augmented reality app built into it. Whoa!

Whatever happened to good old days? When planning was about reach, about target audience, and the power of frequency. Of copy wear outs and roadblock mapping? Why is there so much hue and cry about a facebook app with a game when the fundamentals of digital power – micromedia planning and thin slice targeting – are not in focus? How come these planners ignore Search and go for Destroy (the in-banner game) instead?

Why are media agencies becoming creative agencies with artwork and flash guys, with 110 slide presentations chock full of song and dance and no spine? Egg on face then to the planner who has forgotten fundamentals. Like Christmas built around Santa, the tree, Boxing Day sales and no Christ.

UnPerson then, to the dependent crutch clutching media personality. Walk. Try. Venture forth. Creativity exists in the world of the media agency – but it's creativity in the fundamentals, in the strategy, in the way you reach, dialog with, and engage people. And, no, you do not need Flash to do that.

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