May 2005 By Anis Khan Escape Velocity - Coming out of the gravitational force of our comfort zone Some thoughts on creative briefing
“ If you think the way you have always thought and do what you have always done, you will get the results that you have always gotten.”
- James Mapes
Background and Purpose
We are often held by the gravitational force of our comfort zones of doing the things the way we have done.
We have some thoughts to inject fuel for creative briefing so that we can get even better creative ideas.
A tale of two cities
Insight to inspiration
The love letters
Insight to inspiration
The orgy of marketing minds is over. The brand print, brand positioning and strategic direction is breathing.
Now is the time to have a great creative.
Insight to inspiration
"Creative without strategy is called 'art.' Creative with strategy is called 'advertising.”
Jef I. Richards
Creativity cannot come from void. It needs inspiration and fuel. It needs cues, stimulants, air and space.
Creativity needs fuel
The love letters
A brief is like a love letter. The girl is looking for roses and love quotes while the we try to teach her the art of gardening.
adj . 1. having the quality or power of creating. 2. resulting from originality of thought; imaginative
adj . 1. lasting or taking a short time. 2. using few words; concise: a brief report, 3. abrupt, curt. 4. scanty: a brief bathing suit. n .5. a short or concise statement or written item
What is a creative brief?
We feed in the strategic thinking and marketing jargons, which make it a boring document. Creative Brief should give ammunition and inspiration to creative teams to go hunting for ideas.
In general we have inertia towards reading business documents and this is more profound with the creative guys who want to fly with imagination. Creative Briefing is often seen as a document to be passed upon, while in fact it is a process to spark imagination and creativity. Inertia towards reading
Creative briefing is beyond love letters. It’s romance to elevate the mood and reach to the higher plane where creativity flows and ideas are in the air.
The creative brief
It should be poetic rather than business like . It has to have insights rather than information. I should trigger imagination rather than boring to death.
The creative brief should include only the information that can be used by the creative teams to develop good ads.
Redundancy should be done away with ruthless and support information can be packed as appendix.
The ignition – The key proposition
The key proposition is the soul of any creative brief.
It has to be distinct and inspiring and at the same time conveying the key message based on the strategy
A brief is like a cola in a bottle. The smaller the quantity, the larger is the space for bubbles when you add salt.
Keeping things fresh for the creative teams
The marketing details are likely to create unnecessary noise in the minds of creative teams.
The temptation to show how much hard work has been done behind this brief should be resisted.
The creative teams should be bothered only with the final solution, rather than endless debates that might have preceded, so that they can react to it with original and fresh perspective.
The sight of a hot and sizzling food may be appetizing but the experience of being in the kitchen may kill your appetite.
The Romance- Creative Briefing
You have written the love letter. You have identified what will lift the senses of the beautiful girl.
Let the romance begin…
The Rose- Key proposition
The key proposition is a rose. Directly present it to the girl to ignite the light in her eyes.
We can start by saying, if I say the words ‘……(key proposition)’ what are all the words, images and feelings that come to your mind.
Why begin with key proposition:
The key proposition is likely to act as an ignition and enlarge the horizons for imagination and creativity.
It is important to get in that mood and thinking before, we confront with the product and brand promise.
We need to create an ad for Hada bottled water. Hada is the market leader but it does not own any product benefit. In fact it’s hard to have any product differentiation in this category. Thus we want to do emotional advertising to build a bonding with consumers. Struggle! Thirst! Water bottles! Refrigerator! Consumer drinking water! @ #& ~ An example Planner Creative
Just rest for a while and listen. If I say the words ‘drops of innocence’ what are all the words, images and feelings that come to your mind. Drops! Innocence! Thirst! Water! Baby! Nature! Clouds! Rain! Purity! Refreshing! ….. Another case Planner Creative
Sparks for creativity
The ammunition for creativity can be presented in the form of ‘sparks for creativity’.
We can include images, quotations, ideas, songs etc. that can trigger thoughts on the key proposition.
For example, the following pictures will cue more ideas on the key proposition: ‘Drops of innocence’
Consumer and Brand perspective
After the key proposition has been able to arouse the interest and antenna of the creative teams, we can bring the brand and consumer perspective.
Sharing the proposition first ensures that the discussion is focused around it and this gives better understanding and focus to the creative teams.
Try to minimize the usage of marketing jargons during the briefing.
If the creative teams are excited about the proposition, you can be assured that you can see one of their best stuff. If it doesn’t get through by some initial efforts, overselling should be avoided. We should respect their opinion and remind ourselves, ‘probably there is something better out there’.
The dance- Brainstorming session
The first brainstorming session should take place immediately after the creative briefing.
This session will explode the clouds of ideas and trigger excitement in the team.
There should not be any idea killing at the initial stages so that it does not break the creative flow.
There should not be any hard selling of the ideas.
During the discussion
INSTILL EXCITEMENT: We need to instill excitement among the creative teams. Unless they are excited about it, they are not likely to come up with great ideas.
NO OBSTRUCTION OF THOUGHT PROCESS: When the creative team shares any ideas or thoughts, we should never say ‘why this thinking will not work’. Instead we should try to make them think on the ideas or platforms that make more sense- ‘how this will work’ .
STAY ON THE PATH: At the same time we need to be careful that the free thinking does not go off the line. If it does, we need to bring it back on the path in a subtle way.