AdSpeaks: Grant Flannery on the role of the Strategist


Grant flannery white agency macleay guest


Macleay College’s advertising students recently had the privilege of hearing from Grant Flannery, the Lead Strategist at The White Agency. Grant started off his presentation with a very intriguing statement, questioning if advertising has been evolving over the past years or if it’s simply the ways of communicating the message that have changed. 

Grant started his career working for Telstra and World Vision, before he moved into agency world. Before joining White, Grant gained experience from some of Australia’s most innovative agencies, such as M&C Saatchi, Reactive and Sapient Nitro. Grant explained how he highly values his years working client side as it gave him a better perspective and understanding of a client’s requirements and working processes. 

Over the years Grant has been able to build a portfolio of creative work for a wide range of clients, like Nestlé, Lexus, Disney and Lion Nathan. Since then his clients have mainly been within the beer category, which might seem as every advertising man’s dream. 

Grant gave the audience an invaluable understanding of the differences between how strategists and digital strategists work. The main outtake was how the work always revolve around four main pillars; the consumer, the brand, the media and the ideas.

It’s common knowledge within the industry that advertising strategies are moving into digital, and Grant explained what it actually means within the four pillars;

1. What does our consumer look like online? How do they behave and how do we use pull vs. push strategies?

2. What’s our brand’s digital presence? How does it behave across all platforms?

3. How can we use digital media to become more relevant to our audience and reach them at the exact right moment?

4. Digital ideas are evolving faster than anything else, how do we benefit from this?

Besides his perspective on how digital strategy is evolving, Grant gave Macleay’s advertising students expertise advice on finding THE INSIGHT, how to use research as a guide, and the differences between story building and story telling in advertising.

For anyone interested in the creation of big ideas and a strategist’s process, research and intensive search for ‘the insight’, Grant’s speech was incredibly insightful and interesting.

Advertising Student, Emelie Engman

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