Miami Ad School Students Taught To Think Like Real Mad Men

Miami Ad School Students Taught To Think Like Real Mad Men

Teachers Dan Gregory of the Impossible Institute and Saatchi & Saatchi’s Jason Lonsdale will train aspiring planners to think like creatives at the Miami Ad School Boot Camp class ‘Switching sides and switching on’.

Helga Diamond
Posted by Helga Diamond

In addition, the school’s art directors and copywriters will team up with planning students to develop and execute campaigns in the class ‘Duck Duck Goose’, lead by The White Agency’s Grant Flannery.

Encouraging students to tap into undiscovered parts of their imagination, the class works on the premise of improvised theatre guru Keith Johnstone:

“Mad thoughts are those which other people find unacceptable, and train us not to talk about, but which we go to the theatre to see expressed.”

Lonsdale, executive planning director at Saatchi & Saatchi, who has just returned from a Stanford Design School ‘Customer Focussed Innovation’ program, said: “Planners need to adopt design thinking just as much as creatives need to apply empathy to solve real problems for real people.”

“At the Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp we combine brainstorming techniques with planning principles, and team creatives with planners. Meaningful collaboration between planners and creatives grows out of kicking crazy notions around, then building on each other’s ideas. The end results are ‘idea babies’ that are more relevant, diverse and interesting than conventional thinking,” he added.

Lonsdale is working across all accounts and leading the strategic output of the agency. His career spans fifteen years, across London, Toronto and Auckland. He has won a host of Effies as well as Lions, AWARDs, Clios, Caples and Axis Awards

Gregory of the Impossible Institute will lead students to produce and present innovative and creative campaigns.

“We’ve been programmed to struggle against our imagination. We try so hard to be ‘original,’ but refuse to allow the ‘forbidden’ thoughts into our consciousness,” said Gregory.

“At the boot camp, we want to make sure that down the road when Students are thinking of brand possibilities, nothing will limit the potential of their imagination. And that no technology will ever overpower good strong thinking,” he added.

In a 20-year history as a thought leader in human behaviour, creativity, collaboration, culture, change, innovation, Gregory has worked with the biggest global brands and won awards around the world for creativity, effectiveness and ROI. He also worked as a stand up comic in the UK and the USA.

Flannery, senior lead strategist for innovation at The White Agency said: “The White Agency is really excited to be involved in teaching at the Miami Ad School’s Boot Camp. In the class ‘Duck Duck Goose’ (I’ll aptly play the Goose) we’ll replicate the agency environment as closely as possible and throw a bunch of interesting business and consumer problems at the students to help them form some great creative briefs and strategic thinking. It’s all about teamwork, deadlines and pushing each other to do great work. The students will end up with the right skills, techniques and passion to help them enter the industry in the right frame of mind and a high level of understanding of what’s expected.”

In addition to the two weekly classes, each week during the three month boot camp, a different account planner takes the students through topics essential to planning operations in intensive, three-day, hands-on sessions.

The Boot Camp starts in Sydney on 5 January.