Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thoughts on briefs.

Through 30 years in the business, the phrase I've probably heard more often in advertising than any other is "the brief sucks."

I've heard it at every agency I've ever worked at and I've worked at some of the best. I've heard it on virtually every assignment. I've probably even said it myself once or twice.

Here's what people are missing when they blame the brief.

The person who writes a brief spends X hours doing so.

The person who creates the ad spends 10X hours doing so.

I think to create work you have to live and breathe an assignment.

Just the other day I got an inquiry about my day rate. The potential client asked "that's for an eight hour day?" I replied, well, I usually work about 10 hours. From 9-7. Then, of course, there's the hour I think about the assignment on my way to work. And the two or three hours I think about it when I'm home. For me, writing an ad is a full-body experience.

Advertising is not (yet) a time-clock industry no matter how hard the timesheet people try to make it one. You roll things over in your mind during both your waking and sleeping hours.

It's only natural for the person who creates the ad to go deeper than the person who creates the brief. 

Last week I had an assignment and was given the slimmest of briefs. I found out that the one product we were selling was available in 168 different versions. 

The account people didn't know that. I'd wager the client doesn't either.

I found it out.

Because it's not a brief that we produce.

We're supposed to go further.

No comments: