Don’t let the accent fool you. I was born and bred in Finland. Being a Finn in London adland means never-ending conversations about the future of Nokia, questions about why we so rarely see award-winning work from Finland and misunderstandings about British 80s popular culture references. Oh, and Lordi (if you don’t know it, don’t Google it unless Hard Rock Hallelujah is your thing). I wish we were known for something else.
When I started at Saatchi & Saatchi, Richard Huntington told me that planners don’t necessarily get better with experience; they get faster. Now, some 18 months into the job, I’m painfully aware that I need to get faster. I have three briefs and two client presentations to write in the next few days. It’s one of those weeks when I have lots of internal and external meetings about all the work I need to do. But when will I actually find the time to do it all?
At the moment, my to-do list is pretty much my life. Some highlights from this week’s list include:
Remember your pass.
Google 80s British popular culture.
Find a secret place to think.
Write a B2B brief.
Figure out where all your post goes (do I even get any?).
Have time for lunch.
Buy a new Moleskine (haha).
Format the charts in the deck (OCD).
Answer questions about emotional advertising to help a writer finish a play.
Get the insight to crack the digital brief.
Go to ballet class.
Talk to a taxi driver.
Summarise the strategy in one page.
Watch Searching For Sugar Man.
Needless to say, I rarely get to the end of the list.
I joined the agency through the summer scholarship and was lucky to get a job in planning from the start.
I remember being astonished and thrilled that someone was actually willing to pay me to be curious and spend more time thinking about all the weird stuff that already occupies my mind. At the moment, it’s mostly stuff about creating 4G experiences offline and the emotional value of the click-and-collect service, as EE and Asda are the clients I mainly work on. The 2013 summer scholarship is also on my mind as we are preparing to launch next month. Almost two years after I was on the scholarship, I’m now helping to strengthen agency numbers at the bottom.
The other day, at the IPA open day, I met some young industry hopefuls. The number of confused undergrads who said to me "I’m really organised and like to plan and stuff, like events and parties, so could I come and do your planning?" was astonishing. But ask anyone there and I bet they heard the same. And I certainly like to "plan and stuff". But I don’t like Lordi.
Enni-Kukka Tuomala is a planner at Saatchi & Saatchi