Why do I want to be an Ad Planner?

So, I wrote this for my interview prior to joining Dunn & Co. Still holding true now: 

"Growing up I never ever said ‘I want to be in Advertising’. I wanted to be an NHL player. This was shortly after I wanted to be Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. As always many people ‘fall into their desired career paths but I have always exhibited a level of inherent curiosity about people. More importantly why do people do the things they do. This lead me to pursue a degree in Marketing Communications and Advertising Planning.

From this point forward I really got under the hood of the industry by unpicking the work and following the people within the agency scope. I started to look at work and think to myself: a) Does this move me? b) Did this move it’s intended audience? c) Is this worth the money the client paid?

I want to make work that works. 

This was far beyond what my degree was teaching - which was very much focused on models and theory.

(I was pissed off and frustrated by my education)


My fascination with planning was then fully ignited whilst at M&C Saatchi and understanding that planning is the backbone of the agency. The planners are the ones that can produce the ROI for the client and make the creative really work. By being someone who likes challenges and seeing the world from different lenses I felt that planning was where my skill set and curiosity can lead to creating great work and doing something. 

Being a planner for me today is not necessarily the way of a Stephen King type and I would say I embody a more agile cultural approach by putting my heart deeply with the consumer. 

With my mother being a Catholic, from Northern Ireland, and my Father an Indian Sikh - two very different cultures - I have been able to seamlessly understand cultures and adapt my thinking with audience sets.

Ultimately, I want to be a planner because I am agitated. Advertising is a craft and an art. It’s changed an awful lot in forms and mediums but when it’s done well it can change the world. Being a planner you have the responsibility and power to do such a thing and really have an impact. If that means you can save the oceans or reduce a cities carbon footprint through your insights then that is ultimately why I want to be a planner."

Sam CheemaComment