Creative Re:Brief. A New Creative Brief For A New World

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Presentation on how to write creative briefs in a digital world

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Creative Re:Brief. A New Creative Brief For A New World

  1. 1. Creative Re:Brief Workshop April 2014 ©robert graup, www.treesandforest.net
  2. 2. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net a bit about me CHIATDAYGMO
  3. 3. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net 62% of consumers feel there are too many ads in media. ~Yankelovich 65% of consumers feel constantly bombarded by ads. ~Forrester 65% of consumers feel bombarded by too many ads. ~McKinsey 75% of consumers feel overwhelmed by the amount of media. ~NBC
  4. 4. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “In a world where media spend is in inexorable decline, and where advertising per se is an endangered species, agencies don’t know where to turn.  The realization of the nightmare is under way. And that nightmare is the utter collapse of the business model.”  ~Bob Garfield, MediaPost “We are an industry in crisis and we are in denial of it. Like global warming, we’re all going to put our fingers in our ears until it’s too late. And then we’ll get cooked.” ~George Prest, R/GA •–—l—–•
  5. 5. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net
  6. 6. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net CMOs say they believe their agency partners are "extremely valuable." only12% CMO Council, 2012
  7. 7. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net percentage advertising agency income "per unit of work" has fallen, a steady 20-year decline. 40% Michael Farmer
  8. 8. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net As account planners, what can we do?
  9. 9. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net We have to relearn what we think we know.
  10. 10. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net We have to re-examine our key tool, the creative brief.
  11. 11. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Aside from our invoice, there is no document more central to what we produce as an agency than the brief. The brief is the contract between the agency and the client regarding the work. It is the interpretation of the client brief to the agency, the distillation of the agency’s strategic process, the input to the creative process and media planning. It's the mother of all agency documents. The scaffolding you use to climb up to an idea.” •–—l—–• ~Patty Lyon EVP, OgilvyOne
  12. 12. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Giving a creative team a poor brief is like pushing them onto a stage unprepared in front of an unfamiliar audience, and saying, ‘Look, just entertain them, OK?’” Vanella Jackson, AMV.BBDO •–—l—–•
  13. 13. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net The format of creative briefs has remained fairly static.
  14. 14. Creative Director Planning Director GAD CREATIVE BRIEFClient Medium Deadline Task Thought Because
  15. 15. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net All are based on asking the same five basic questions:
  16. 16. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net I think we can improve these questions to reflect our new imperatives.
  17. 17. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net
  18. 18. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Spend as much time thinking about WHY you are about to do this piece of communication as you do thinking about WHAT the communication has to say. There should be a seamless flow from the client's business objective to the marketing objectives and to the communication objective.” ~ Paul Burns Saatchi & Saatchi London •–—l—–• objective
  19. 19. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “What makes messaging interesting is the way we construct the story or problem to which the message is the conclusion. If you want to make a creative brief interesting you don’t do it with the proposition but with the setup. Ask a more interesting question.” ~ John Griffiths CD, Spring •–—l—–• objective
  20. 20. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net The objective is the core nugget that explains WHY the agency is working on a project.  It is not the business objective or the marketing objective, but the role the advertising will play in achieving them.  However, we often forget that we're not ultimately in the business of making ads, we're in the business of solving clients' business problems through advertising. objective
  21. 21. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net For most projects there should be one objective. If more than one is listed, they should be prioritized. •  Sometimes a bit of background on the project can help add context (especially useful for new clients or new creative teams). •  Give the business case. •  If needed, provide a short overview of the conditions that precipitated the assignment and the central business or cultural challenge to overcome. objective
  22. 22. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us fill in the “Objective”: •  What's the big business objective? •  What issue is holding our client back from reaching that objective? •  What keeps the client up at night? What are they most afraid of? •  What does the client really want? What is their secret dream? •  Why is communication needed at this particular time? •  Why does our client need to advertise?  •  Is there a clear agreed role for advertising? •  Is it realistic? •  What is the challenge for our communications? •  What do we want the target audience to do/think? •  Where are we now? •  Why are we there? •  Where can we get to? •  What could we do? •  What should we do? •  How will we make it happen? •  What’s the client’s appetite for augmenting/adapting/ improving the current product or service? •  What prior creative work may be relevant? objective
  23. 23. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net
  24. 24. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net All communications are designed to elicit some form of response from a particular group of people. So, who precisely is our target audience? Get this right and the rest of the brief should fall into place around it. Rather than just stick to a series of bullet points, tell a story. Draw a picture with words. Avoid being vague and generic. The reader should be able to close her eyes, see the person, picture his home and yard (or office), know how he likes to spend his free time, and understand what most excites and scares him in life. communities
  25. 25. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Those “identifiable and reachable networks of people which either represent the target market or influence the target in their purchase process....If mainstream media channels like TV are a shotgun, digital is a sniper rifle. Our task is to turn one mass target into a series of small networks of people that fit the ideal consumer or are connected to that consumer either through their friends or their interests.” ~Bud Caddell, Undercurrent communities Old mass market, based on TV media buy New specific communities, based on multiple analytics •–—l—–•
  26. 26. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Influence Ripples”: overlapping conversations happening in a three-dimensional space—in real time—all influencing each other. communities David Armano
  27. 27. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Think about the individual, the community or network in which they interact, and the behaviors or ripples among members of a network. communities
  28. 28. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us fill in the “target communities”: •  Individuals: ü  Who is the most valuable audience? ü  Who is the most impressionable audience? ü  Replace the word “individual” with the word “participant.” ü  What do we know about them that will help us? ü  What are the most insightful things we know about them? ü  What do they believe before we tell them anything? ü  What are their cultural influences? ü  What causes buzz in their world? What competes for their attention? ü  What should be avoided in talking to them? ü  How do they feel about our brand? ü  What do you want them to say about your brand? ü  Why should they say anything at all? ü  What is it people dislike about using your brand? ü  What are the frustrations and barriers to using the brand? ü  How do they think and feel about the category? Have these beliefs changed? ü  What does our target audience really think about key competitive brands? ü  Why aren’t they doing what we want them to do? ü  What attitudes must we establish or change? ü  How do our current customers find us? ü  When, where and under what circumstances will they be most receptive to the message? ü  What music do they like? Who are their friends? Where do they play? ü  What motivates them, frustrates them, or makes them laugh? ü  What kind of social currency do they have; to what extent do they share their brand experiences? ü  Are there any secondary audiences? communities
  29. 29. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us fill in the “target communities”: •  Community: ü  What communities inform, inspire, or influence these individuals? ü  Is there another group of people that can persuade the target audience?  This group of people might be more likely to engage with the creative assets or act on the creative to influence the real target audience. Think of this group as your inspirational audience. ü  What are the things they are talking about and sharing that relates to this market? ü  What are the shared interests that define these communities? ü  What is their shared emotional needs or desires that the brand can best address? ü  When do they share? How? Where? ü  Where else do members of these communities spend time online? ü  What do these communities need? ü  Who contributes to the conversation? ü  Who influences this community? How? When? communities
  30. 30. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us fill in the “target communities”: •  Purchase Journey ü  What is their customer journey? (note that the traditional purchase funnel isn’t necessarily the correct model) ü  What resources does this target rely on in this process? ü  What are the touch points or decision points at each stage in the journey? ü  What channels can be used to address the touch points at each stage? ü  Of all the stages, at what point is the brand most relevant? communities McKinsey SapientNitro
  31. 31. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us fill in the “target communities”: •  How do they use technology? ü  What is the role for digital? ü  What examples of innovation are there? ü  Role for website/search? ü  How does our audience use technology? ü  How do they behave as internet users, are they more a scanner or scroller or clicker or explorer or browser etc.? ü  Are they likely to use mobile and other established platforms within mobile? ü  Are they well represented in social media? How and where do they prefer to engage? communities
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  33. 33. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net useful ideas (In 1990, the average U.S. household was able to only receive 33 cable channels, Nielsen) Old Brief Based On: interruption Re:Brief Based On: engagement “Consumers no longer have patience for advertising that doesn't inform or delight. They don't need to. The same technologies that bring content to audiences anywhere and anytime often allow those same audiences to skip, block, and opt-out of the advertising that pays their freight. Learned behaviors keep evolving as users get better at blocking our messages. This leaves brands pushing harder and harder to measure and improve ad viewability and work around still-pervasive banner blindness. The challenge is there for even the savviest marketer, but so is an enormous opportunity: to produce advertising that respects, engages, and connects with consumers. Advertising in the interest of the consumer.” ~Cella Irvine Vibrant Media (In 2010, Nielsen stops tracking how many channels the average TV household receives because in a digital, time-shifted multichannel universe, there no longer is a “consistent” meaning for the term “channel.”)
  34. 34. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net 92% of Americans wouldn't care if brands disappeared. Only 9% believe that brands make a meaningful difference in people's lives. (Havas Media) Only 32% of Americans have a positive view towards the entire ad industry, around the same low level as airlines, banks and pharma. (Gallup) 83% of respondents felt bad ads actually get in the way of their daily activities, including working (20%), having sex (19%) or sleeping (13%). (InsightsOne) useful ideas
  35. 35. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Helene Duvoux-Mauguet
  36. 36. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Rather than saying things at people to get their attention, we need to learn how to do things for people. We need to ask how our brands can be more useful, more helpful.  As Edward Boches puts it, “we need to get out of the business of telling stories and into the business of getting others to tell them for us.” Or as Universal McCann’s Scott Donaton says, we need to move "toward a more relevant storytelling model that people want to invite into their lives and share with others.” useful ideas
  37. 37. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “The ‘obvious truth’ that interruption is seldom enjoyed prompts the spin- off question: Are there times when people enjoy being interrupted? Can advertising ever be a welcome interruption? I wonder, is it now very possible for advertising to be ‘non-advertising advertising’, no longer the unwelcome intruder, but rather the source of any manner of cool stuff that causes us to grin and declare feelings of awesomeness?” ~Simon Pont, Starcom MediaVest Group useful ideas Positive interruptions •–—l—–•
  38. 38. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Consider the classic agency brief for a TV ad, with its focus on a message or an idea to be conveyed. Now imagine a brief which asks for a certain kind of 30-second experience, delivered in film. An experience of joy. An experience of waiting and anticipation. An experience of excitement. I can easily imagine those kinds of briefs” ~Nick Hirst, Dare useful ideas •–—l—–• Positive experiences
  39. 39. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Everyone wants a conversation. They want inspiration. Inspire people with your website. Don’t just interrupt, but interact. Asking about Return on Investment is the wrong question today. You should be asking about Return on Involvement.” ~Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi •–—l—–• useful ideas Positive involvement
  40. 40. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net How do we get there?
  41. 41. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net First, start with a brand's authentic "why," because without that you can't have a conversation. “So, we start with who a brand is, what the target mindset is and what are the shared values between them and then how does the brand’s ecosystem and the consumers’ user journey collide in fortuitous ways to create action, conversation and conversion that cements them to the brand.” ~Andrew Keller, Crispin How What We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed and simple to use. Wanna buy one? Outside In/ Conventional Inside Out/ Remarkable In everything we do, we challenge the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. We challenge the status quo by making products that are beautifully designed and simple to use. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one? Why useful ideas (See "Start With Why," Simon Sinek)
  42. 42. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Second, we need to provide room so the audience can take our "why" and add their "why" to it. According to Zeus Jones' Gareth Kay, this "means creating communication that is less finite and complete. Build some gaps to allow for, and encourage, participation.” The most effective brands in this new world, are finding ways to share beliefs with individuals and the communities in which they participate.  To involve them, to engage them. useful ideas
  43. 43. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Third, “(t)hink about how you can create value through being more invisible and frictionless, rather than shouting for attention. When you think about things you engage with and love, whether it’s a piece of technology or even the service in a restaurant, the best ones are the ones that get out of the way. They are not obtrusive – the more invisible, the more powerful. We have to start thinking about how to do stuff for people that gets out of the way and is more for them than about us." ~Gareth Kay, Zeus Jones useful ideas (Also see “Here Comes Everybody,” Clay Shirky.)
  44. 44. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Finally, strive for big ideas yet also start lots of small fires. •  David Ogilvy's belief that, “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night” is still valid.   •  But, needing to “discover” the big idea shouldn’t bog us down. useful ideas “Teams who are briefed to find the one big idea almost always come up with a decent concept, while teams that are freed from the mandate for one big idea think about the long view of the customer and come up with rich experiences that work across the entire customer journey.” ~Kip Voytek, MDC Partners •–—l—–•
  45. 45. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Starting many fires doesn't mean thinking small, it means trying small on: iteration and prototyping.  useful ideas “in the life of a brand there is a continuous stream of actions every day and they all can’t try to create a huge news day for a brand. We also need to create snackable content, bits and bites–shareable, playable, postable quips that maintain our strong relationship and give the world something to talk about.”  ~Andrew Keller, Crispin “What a consumer doesn't want to see is the same idea done 16 different ways. Instead, come up with 16 ways to make that idea bigger.” ~Reid Miller, Taxi •–—l—–•
  46. 46. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net As with the old brief, the Useful Idea(s): •  Should be rooted in the human need. •  It should fight to be insightful, and inspiring. •  It should be motivating to the target audience. As Jon Steel wrote in Truth, Lies and Advertising, “If it’s not relevant to the consumer, it’s not relevant to the brief.  It should be true–don't waste time on wishful thinking or vague claims. If it's not 100% supportable, drop it.” •  It should be more than an offer or incentive. People rarely buy something only because it's 10% off, or includes a free gift. Incentives are useful to strengthen the call to action, but are rarely the basis for a great idea. Offers often form the basis for the idea, and act as essential support, but a motivating useful idea must always go beyond “Buy x”! useful ideas
  47. 47. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net If it helps, write it as a headline on a single piece of paper–on its own and make sure that it’s in large type in the middle of lots of white space. No supporting words. Then let it percolate.  Or, try Crispin's press release technique: express the useful creative idea in a breaking-news, journalistic format. The discipline of this is about understanding the expectation of impact within an idea as you concept it, vet it and create it. It’s about understanding what will drive the conversation and illuminate the message in a spectacular way. useful ideas
  48. 48. © ROBERT GRAUP Will people get it? Will it resonate with our target? Is it something new? Is it simple enough? Can you support it? Will it effect change? Is it participatory? Is it generative? Is it magnetic? Does it stand the test of brevity? Do you still feel proud? Now Judge It: If the Useful Idea fails these questions, you’re creating a poorly written brief.
  49. 49. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net The Useful Idea(s) should also be able to answer the "care" question:  The Care Question: You can’t write this from the perspective of what the brand wants the target to think, it has to come from the audience’s mindset. If you’ve done your homework for the previous question, you’ll know the answer to this and if you’ve done your homework well, you’ll know the answer is not going to be some marketing hype, but something that satisfies a real need in their life–be it emotional, physical or mental. useful ideas
  50. 50. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net The two major sub-questions:
  51. 51. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Disruption: How does the competition conventionally try to address/communicate the same issue? How do we disrupt that convention? How will this effort break away from the category in order to best resonate? useful ideas
  52. 52. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Tension: What is the psychological, social or cultural tension associated with this idea? What makes our target tense about the idea?  How can we release the tension and therefore adjust our consumer’s thinking? This is our challenge and our connection opportunity, to fit the brand and product into our target's lives where it didn’t fit before. useful ideas
  53. 53. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us generate Useful Idea(s): •  What level of participation do we want or need? What's in it for the target; why would they want to participate? Have we made it as easy as possible for them to participate? •  What is our experience? Why should our target take part? How do we make space for sharing and for new stuff to be created? •  What results are we promising to our customers? •  How does the creative foster a social experience? •  How can we make this interesting? •  Is there a frustration, aspiration, related life-need, emotional connection or shared belief you can tap into and leverage? •  How will the audience encounter the communication? How might that change from the first encounter to later encounters? •  What would make a real difference to people if only they knew about it? •  How will you get people talking about your product and/or idea? useful ideas
  54. 54. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Questions that can help us generate Useful Idea(s): •  What do we want our audience to know or learn? To feel? To do? What’s tired, uninspired, and plain dead in how competitive brands communicate and behave? •  What is the brand's ambition?  How do we convey it in this instance? •  Why hasn't it achieved that ambition already? •  The question shouldn’t be “What can we tell the consumer to persuade them to buy more,” but rather “How can we help our customer?” •  If you could get one sentence through all the clutter, what would that be? •  Is there an "enemy" we can play off of? •  Who else is competing for our target audience's attention with similar or related messages? How are our messages different to theirs? •  How do we think this will get people talking about the brand?  Why might they talk about this idea? And how do they get involved? useful ideas
  55. 55. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net What makes it shareable, spreadable, and interesting enough to overcome indifference or have people seek it out? It might be the creative idea itself. It might be what you do/make/ build. It might be the way in which you encourage and/or inspire sharing. It might be an idea, concept, or social utility that inherently invites the co-creation of content. useful ideas
  56. 56. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Content isn't king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you'd choose your friends–if you chose the movies, we'd call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about” ~Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing Remembering that it’s the sharing, and the conversations that result, that matters, not the content. useful ideas •–—l—–•
  57. 57. © ROBERT GRAUP Insights in•sight |'in¡sït| One of the most important things to think about to help generate Useful Idea(s) is: What is the insight? “An insight is a revelation that produces great work (there should be a degree of “Fuck me. I never thought of it like that!”) ~Simon Law, Fabric Worldwide •–—l—–•
  58. 58. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Creativity and insights are all about discovery.
  59. 59. © ROBERT GRAUP “It is not about how hard you work. It’s about how well you play. It’s not about how many hours you put in on a project. It’s about how many random thoughts you put down on a piece of paper. It’s not about working week- ends. It’s making sure your people have a life outside of work because if they’re spending 60 to 80 hours a week looking at the same four walls, they’re not going to bring anything to the table beyond what they see in their cube.” ~ Guy Bommarito, GSD&M •–—l—–• useful ideas
  60. 60. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net This is the way many people see creativity. But we’re not creating widgets. We’re creating ideas.
  61. 61. “If you're going to test the boundaries then sometimes you'll fail. But that's OK. It's not trying that's not OK. You don't achieve extraordinary results through ordinary efforts.” ~Matt Fallows, W+K London To do that, you need to feel comfortable stumbling around.
  62. 62. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” ~Steve Jobs And around.
  63. 63. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “More and more, both clients and agencies are looking to harness alternative sources of creativity and put them to work in a creative briefing that is collaborative and collective, rather than linear and sequential. ~Nick Southgate, Grey London With others.
  64. 64. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Gary Koepke of SapientNitro, said he values the notion of “connected thinking,” and invites all sorts of people from across the agency to come to brainstorming meetings–even people not with the agency.  useful ideas “Ultimately what I like is the random molecule idea,” he says. “Invite someone who maybe has nothing to do with anything. Maybe it's an artist or a musician. Maybe it's my mom. Anybody to say, 'Why are you doing that?' or 'What's this?' or 'You guys always do the same thing.' I believe everybody is creative, so it doesn't matter who's in the room, as long as they've been briefed properly and somebody is managing that process.”
  65. 65. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Owned Media Earned Media Paid Media Created Media useful ideas If the media is the message, what are we saying? What are the target’s specific media habits? Any media ideas that suggest themselves given the useful ideas?
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  67. 67. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Support refers to the evidence supplied to make the propositional claim more credible. As in, what is the rational and/or emotional support or reason to believe the key message?  Why is it true? Why is it believable? Why does it make sense? We need to give consumers permission to believe. Avoid laundry lists of every fact, feature and benefit. Instead, try supporting each word or phrase in the Useful Idea(s) with why?  Make sure the support is as focused as the insight. The support section is most often abused by becoming the place to record miscellaneous features or messages that don't support the idea, but are deemed sufficiently interesting or important to be mentioned somewhere in the input document. Tip: Write the support as if it was the body copy for a print ad. •  Tip:  If you put “because” before each proof statement it should follow on from the Useful Idea. support
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  69. 69. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “Constraints shape and focus problems and provide clear challenges to overcome. Creativity thrives best when constrained. But constraints must be balanced with a healthy disregard for the impossible. Too many curbs can lead to pessimism and despair. Disregarding the bounds of what we know or accept gives rise to ideas that are non-obvious, unconventional, or unexplored. The creativity realized in this balance between constraint and disregard for the impossible is fueled by passion and leads to revolutionary change.” ~Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! •–—l—–•
  70. 70. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net This is not the place on the brief to get creative. It is the place to communicate the stuff that is non-negotiable and to set expectations vis-à-vis the client. Tip: if there are creative routes that are possible given the brief, but unacceptable to the client, use this section to rule out these routes. Questions: •  What must be included? What are the branding and contact details? Telephone numbers, web addresses etc. What has to be excluded? Simplicity is important. If there are assets, include a link. Are there technical barriers that must be addressed? Has the client provided anything they have had already designed and what they (dis)liked about them. Are there colors, logos, websites, they (dis)like? •  What's their favorite brand and how have they learned from things they've done in a marketing sense. If they’re aiming high, make sure you communicate that to the creative teams. Make sure you understand why the clients believe they can achieve this and what great looks like. constraints
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  72. 72. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net What specific action do we want the target to do, and we can reasonably expect next, as an immediate result of the advertising? Stanford research B.J. Fogg created a model of three elements (motivation, ability, trigger) that provide an answer. •  When designing media, content, or experiences that bring change in an individual’s life or lifestyle, we first must persuade them to agree that a change is necessary, i.e., they must be motivated to change. Next, in order to act out the change, the activity to be done must be within the range of their ability. Then we simply need a trigger to facilitate that behavioral change. action
  73. 73. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Ideally, the target is already motivated to do the behavior we are asking of them, e.g., they want to lose weight, buy that new car, purchase that box of cereal, save money for retirement, share that story.  You can increase motivation with effective messaging and media, but if you are artificially trying to create motivation, you're swimming upstream. Similarly, it's best if our communities have the basic talent to complete a task, though we often have “education” as a first step in many campaigns. But even if the target has the ability, try to make the task simpler, which could be done through decreasing the time or effort it takes, the attention or price it costs.  (If you've ever had to go through a long phone tree and hung up or dropped an online basket because of the number of fields you had to fill out, you've dealt with a task where simplicity would work.) action
  74. 74. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net The trigger is usually signified by an offer or promotion connected to a call-to-action. You just need to make sure that you focus on triggering people that have the ability or motivation: •  If you trigger people at the right time, they'll be happy. •  If you trigger them when they lack ability (or if you've made it too complicated), they’ll get frustrated. •  If you trigger people when they don’t have motivation (e.g. asking people to shop for Christmas present in September), you’re just annoying. action
  75. 75. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net “The brief is the equivalent of a fisherman's guide–a person who takes you to the best place on unfamiliar water, shows you where to fish, and has some ideas about the best flies to use. The guide doesn't do any fishing but makes sure that the fisherman (the agency creative) has a more enjoyable and successful time than he or she would have had on their own.” ~Jeff Goodby, Goodby Silverstein •–—l—–•
  76. 76. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net A few final thoughts:
  77. 77. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net A point on brevity.  A lot of folks say that a brief needs to be, well, brief.  My approach is a bit different.  A brief should be kept as short as possible but no more so. The idea is to discard the reams of the irrelevant while keeping the clear, insightful and inspiring. This is about avoiding bloated, clichéd language, not about the number of pages. The brief should contain nothing that doesn’t serve a specific purpose. If you strip away all the clutter and extraneous stuff, you can communicate what truly makes a brand special much more effectively. If that takes two pages great, if a single paragraph, wonderful.
  78. 78. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Measurements. Yes. Include them. Measurement criteria are not only essential for determining whether or not the communication has succeeded, but they also focus the creative teams to consider how the creative is expected to work. •  Identify and prioritize metrics •  Feed from business goals •  Develop test plans •  Define data sources, frequency, and reporting mechanisms •  Match audiences to appropriate reports •  Relate measures back to objectives •  Provide recommendations •  Strategy adjustment Continuous Improvement 4. Results Distribution 3. a) Tracking b) Testing c) Analytics 2. Establish Metrics 1. Outline Objectives 5. Action Planning
  79. 79. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen. Listen. Listen. “The other guys think the purpose of communication is to get information.  We think the purpose of information is to foster communication.” ~Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook
  80. 80. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Make people feel comfortable. It’s not about being the smartest or the coolest. “Great planning is about creating an environment in which other people are more likely to come up with good ideas, and in which clients will be more favourably disposed to running the best of them’.” ~Jon Steel, Goodby Silverstein
  81. 81. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Briefing. Because I teach a lot of classes on brief writing, I often ask friends to provide recent briefs that they've worked on (minus all the proprietary stuff). Usually I get nothing back.  This is not because there is nothing available but because the discussion that occurs during a briefing so changes the brief as to render the original written one obsolete. The first time the team sees the content of the brief should not be in the briefing.  But it is the first time that the entire team gets to go through the brief together. Further, the brief document is necessary but not sufficient for a briefing. •  Brief in situ.  Bring the brief to life by bringing the user environment to the team.  Or take the team to the environment in which the brand lives. •  Use visual aids. Mood boards, competitive ads, collages, consumer quotes.  Paper the walls. •  Be inspiring. “If a brief is given to a creative team by someone who sees it as a process, rather than an opportunity, then 9 times out of 10 they’ll get exactly what they asked for,” says Jason Little, M&C Saatchi.
  82. 82. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net I love W+K's Nick Docherty's distinction between the brief and the briefing:
  83. 83. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net Whither the client? I believe in collaboration. The client should be involved as much as possible. I also would rather get approval on the brief rather than create a separate input document, criteria list, or client brief. The issue we often face is that clients (in fact, people in general) have an instinctual aversion when first exposed to things new and different. When asked directly what concepts they like, the ones that are most literal, descriptive or similar to existing ideas and established category conventions will often win out. But those kind of concepts often fail in the marketplace. This is the “brander's paradox” laid bare: A brand must be differentiated to succeed, yet differentiated ideas are at first disliked. If your client has a tough time judging breakthrough creative, your job is to educate them way before you share the brief with them.
  84. 84. the re:brief template client: project: date: job no.: The Objective Why are we doing this and how is it connected to solving the client’s business problems? Target Communities Who are the communities of consumers whose behavior/attitude we are trying to change or influence? Target Insights What do they need, want or believe? What is the currency that drives them? The Useful Idea(s) What is the most useful ide(s) that can facilitate their participation and sharing? (info., content, experiences, stories, etc.) Disruption How will this effort break away from the category? Releasable Tension What is the psychological, social or cultural tension associated with this idea and how can we release it? Support Why should they believe this? Action What specific action can we reasonably expect a consumer to do as a result of our message? Constraints acct dir: creative dir: planner:
  85. 85. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net You never get the final direction until after the first creative presentation. There are no brilliant briefs, only brilliant ads. There are no brilliant briefs, but there are a lot of bad ones. ©RobertGraup
  86. 86. © ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net© ROBERT GRAUP, www.treesandforest.net rgraup@treesandforest.net

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