A History of Planning in 50 Objects

We’re going to source 50 plus objects that represent planning over the years, ideally one for each year if that is possible.

They have to be actual objects, not concepts; but anything you can photograph should count.  U-matic machines, copies of Sharp Stick and trophies all count.  The more culturally and strategically relevant they are the better; humour is not discouraged.  

(All contributions will be attributed to the nominee).


The original How Brands Grow

Original paper published by Andrew Ehrenberg, establishing the central principles popularised over fifty years later by Byron Sharp. Remarkable not only for the fact that it was there all along (but densely mathematical), but also that it was published in a statistical not market research journal.

Adrian Langford

Planning Director at J Walter Thompson


Soap Wars, fought on emotion

It was my first Laundry focus group. A room divided by brands: Ariel, claimed by those who wanted performance, certainty; Persil, by the middle-class-dreamers, thinking of muddy children returning from a suburban garden. 40+ years of constructed meaning. Built by insight & advertising. A planner's text book brought to life.

Matt Gladstone

Planning Partner at Grey London


Way out projective tasks Peter Cooper and CRAM

The adoption of discussion groups by planners to develop advertising spawned a research industry. But there were always high end practitioners who pushed the envelope big time. Chief among them was Peter Cooper founder of CRAM. Respondents in his groups modelled clay (John Major election 1992, made psycho drawings Guinness 1985 and described dairy brands in terms of what it would be like if it were a breast 1983. Penises and vaginas loomed large in his debriefs. Planners had to turn these kind of debrief into ad briefs! Peter WAS brilliant and inspired ground breaking work

John Griffiths

CEO Founder at Planning Above & Beyond


A Pint