Why have briefs? Creatives = problem solvers Briefs help creatives have (proper) lift-off. It tells us WHY we are doing this in the first place. It ensures that we are asking the RIGHT questions before attempting to answer the PROBLEM. It provides us with vital information that helps us set our direction. It also helps us limit the scope of our search so we don’t run off track. (wasting time, energy, tea bags and ink)
What’s in a Brief? A creative brief is intended to help creatives understand the situation. 1) Background - Whether it is a product or service, a PROBLEM should be clearly written to ensure that we know what we are trying to solve. - Why is there a brief in the first place? What seems to be wrong with the product? 2) Target Audience - Who are we speaking to? It’s very important to have identified the audience. By targeting everyone, the advertising would just flop as it hasn’t got any focus. By knowing who we are talking to, we can target the advertising more efficiently and come up with solutions that make sense! 3) Response - What sort of response do we want from the target audience? By knowing what we want the audience to do, it narrows the scope of what we CAN do.
Patrick suggests that there are 5 things that advertising can do for a product/service. .Familiar .Remind .Spread news .Overcome Inertia .Adds value that doesn’t exist in the product As such, the brief sets a ‘direction’ that can best solve the problem that need solving. Allows us to filter raw ideas and propositions to a single great solution. Most inspiring lesson of the day!
Patrick’s Advice Devise your own briefing forms! What do we think is most important to be included? What should creatives know? What IS the problem?
Problem Solution example? The all-famous Volkswagen advert by DDB. The best example for an exercise of problem&solution. Problem - They were advertising a Nazi Car in a Jewish Car. Insight - Quality was its best trait. There were more people checking on the quality of the cars than the amount of cars actually made. Proposition - If only anything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen. (refer to the Snowplough advert and its 45 years of greatness)
Brief 1 What, Why, How, Who, When and Where? 1. The brief has stated clearly that it needs to raise awareness. 2. Giving a reason of WHY we are doing this in the first place helps support the earlier statement. 3. The stated target audience seems to be a little too wide. It might lead the Creatives away from a focused single minded proposition. 4. The supporting facts aren’t strong enough. It’s too general. Nearly all Armed Forces in the world does what is stated. So what makes the British Army special? 5. They’ve also stated how the audience should react but it’s a little too general. Specifically, they should’ve stated that the moment people saw the advert, people would not only believe that the British Army is a force for good BUT would also like to find out more or do something that might help the Armed Forces.
Brief 2 A similar brief written. Patrick’s Advice: Sum up a long brief into : To.. By.. For.. Reference from the Magazine brief; TO stimulate sales BY increasing the value of the magazine FOR the creative directors.
A Bad Example? Looking at a ‘single minded proposition’. It’s saying too much. Trying to do everything and without a purpose that really makes sense. Considering that they aren’t even a known brand, the brief is not posing the right questions. Target audience-wise, they should be looking at targeting consumers FIRST. Making the brand to be attractive enough for the Sales Reps. The question not asked; Why would the sales reps believe that this ‘doll’ would sell?
Single Minded Proposition The whole purpose of a BRIEF is to finally get to a solution. Also known as the above. A focused, driven and unique proposition. “ Spend twice as long on the brief as you do on your work” -Steve Henry
As said by Steve Henry in his book “How to do better Creative Work”, “ Follow these steps and you won’t go wrong: 1. CLEARLY describe the targets problem in ONE sentence. 2. Then explain HOW the client’s product/service will solve that Problem. “
Trying it out... By taking a few adverts and putting them against what I learned earlier, it will help to understand the theory and concept of ‘proper brief writing’ and getting to a single minded proposition.
My intepretation of The Brief: Problem - Customers found it difficult understanding ‘technology’ and ‘communication’ lingoes. They never understood much of what the customer rep has to say either on the telephone or at the front desk. Customers found it annoying that they have to put up with abbreviations, terms and little things that aren’t making things any better for them. The Proposition - Here’s a telecommunication company that you won’t get confused with. Creative Work - Characters were designed to look sloppy and stupid. Representing the services that annoy customers. Copy suggest that they’re not ‘those’ confusing companies.
My intepretation of The Brief: Problem Customers are used to buying things the way they usually do. Arrive at the shop, look around and purchase. Some just can’t afford to spend time and make themselves available to purchase items that they want. How can Dixons help these poor people? The Proposition - Cut all the hassle and start easy shopping at Dixons.co.uk. Creative Work - Simple typographic work that informs you that there’s an easier way to how you do things. Get away from all the trouble, hassle and get on to dixons.co.uk.
Brief gone bad? An example of what might’ve been a brief gone wrong. They might’ve known what the client wanted, but didn’t get to know what problem they are trying to solve. Even if it’s to ‘spread the news’, the campaign is not focused in targeting a certain group of people. Lacking in relevance to anyone. In context of response, there’s uncertainty of what it might be. Surprised? Shocked? Stunned? Happy? Heartfelt?
Similarity? The (good) adverts had one thing in common. A single minded proposition. It took the Creative Team who handled the SONY account 6 Months to get the brief right before setting off on the work itself. “ A single minded proposition is the key to great creative work. “ - David Patton, client who bought the Advert.
What I learned? Understood the importance of a brief and its ‘little details’. Tried to look at adverts and apply what was taught by Patrick. By looking at adverts and sample briefs, I get a clear idea of what makes a great campaign. A great brief!
Conclusion 1. A brief helps us ask the right questions, in order to come up with the right answers. 2. A brief helps us understand the limitations that we are working in so that the campaigns are focused and driven by a Single Minded Proposition. 3. A brief will ensure we are on track, so we don’t waste time, effort and energy. Efficiency. 4. By examining a few adverts, we can see how well a brief was written to have made such a campaign work out so well.