I’d just come back from New York, and they didn’t have planners there. Over there the creatives had to do the thinking for themselves.
So I’d never met a planner before. The first one I met (like every single planner I’ve ever met since) had a university degree.
He also had a beard. And glasses, roll neck jumper, corduroy trousers, and Earth Shoes (the seventies version of Birkenstocks).
In fact the whole university, intellectual look at that time. Anyway, we were working on Pepsi. The target market was 13 year old kids, and they were trying to find out more about them. So I sat behind a two-way mirror and watched this guy run the group.
They were a scruffy little bunch of 13 year olds from Poplar. The planner pointed to a large board with the names of lots of TV shows on it.
He said to the kids, "Now, do you watch any of these shows on television?"
One little kid said, "Yeah, we watch all them. Except Star Trek, UFO, and Thunderbirds. We don’t watch them." All the other little kids agreed.
The planner stopped and said, "Would you repeat that?" The little kid said, "Yeah, we watch all them, except Star Trek, UFO, and Thunderbirds. We don’t watch them."
The planner looked towards the mirror, which he knew we were behind, and raised an eyebrow. He turned back to the group of kids.
He said, "So, does this mean that speculation about some vague technological future has no place in your everyday lives?"
The little kid said, "No, they ain’t on no more.