So, Dairy Milk with its Drumming Gorilla TV ad campaign has posted a sluggish 2% market share growth whilst ‘run of the mill’ Galaxy has romped home with a 12% growth. Research has shown that the Gorilla ad is more memorable than Galaxy activity, but clearly this success in recall does not seem to have translated into success in sales. Quite rightly, this result immediately ignites a discussion about the sales value of creativity. You can get into some of that here.

Not entirely unconnected to this is the debate that took place on the 4th August at the IPA – “Who makes better planners? Planners or creatives?” Veteran creative Dave Trott and planning sophistocrat David Golding battled it out with Trott arguing that it’s time planners got back to building sales rather than using advertising “to provide a window on a brand’s soul and to build the brand’s ‘equity’ in people’s minds”. Golding defended the principle of using the brand as a source of insight, and quite valiantly by all reports.

I’ve worked on projects with both of these characters, with David Golding on an existing client account at WCRS and Dave Trott on a creative pitch at WTCS (as was). Dave Trott worked in an interesting way. He did his own planning in his own mind, based on very considerable experience. His approach was intuitive – he visualised the target audience as people he knew (in this case his mother and her friends) and asked himself what type of message would engage her. Then he wrote those messages down and turned them into a visualized campaign for TV and press. Trott’s campaign was a distillation of the communication problem, solved, simplified and then visualised. Dave Golding on the other hand was measured, considerate, analytical and logical. He’d be as likely to base a campaign on what his mother thought as a judge would be to discuss a legal technicality with a courtroom security guard. The work that resulted was memorable and strong. So here’s the question – if the insight for the Dairy Milk Gorilla campaign were to have originated from the grey matter of either Golding or Trott, which would it be?