Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m Matt Foulk. I’m a VP Group Planning Director at Leo Burnett Toronto. Canada’s largest and most awarded Planning department.
What first attracted you to Planning?
The ability to get up close and personal with people from all walks of life, to try and understand what makes them tick and why they behave they way they do. And the promise of free Thai food watching focus groups.
What Planning term/phrase is most over-used and misunderstood in your opinion?
There’s so many but it has to be that old favourite ‘insight’. Usually these tend to be statements of fact, rather than a fundamental or ‘revelatory’ human understanding. And if I see another chart with an iceberg or lightbulb on it I’ll scream…
What advice do you have for people wanting to become a Planner
Make sure you’ve done something different first. Whether you’ve travelled or lived overseas, tried a different career or at the very least worked in different parts of advertising, it’s really important to come to Planning with diverse skills and experiences and a different way of looking at things. Helps get to better, more effective work.
What campaign/insight/activity did you wish you had done – and why?
I’m really liking all the Sonos (home audio) activity right now. Grounded in insight, fantastically purpose-led and beautifully executed.
Is there a Planning mantra that you subscribe to – why that one?
‘Keep it simple’. Media fragmentation, increasing competition, increasing amounts of data and information – all these things and others are conspiring to make the world a more complex place. As Planners and strategists it’s our responsibility to cut through this clutter, to distill and bring clarity.
How do you explain Planning – and what you do – to new clients or to your parents?
I try and avoid the ‘cocktail party’ favourite of the ‘voice of the consumer’ because I believe we do much more than that. Helping brands be more successful through better understanding seems to work – anything more and I see their eyes begin to glaze over.