The catalyst for this post is the many conversations I’ve had with planners, creatives and people not even in the business of advertising* recently, about THEE CREATIVE BRIEF being A TAD broken. Being a HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE THING, the very nature of the brief has been debated probably since Adam first showed Eve the mind map. However, some people still fail to admit that there is a problem with the brief, despite a list of MISGIVINGS longer than my (admittedly rather short) arm.
What’s astounding is that despite the debate surrounding the notion and composition of a brief, the template and the questions that we ask ourselves really hasn’t changed that much. Given we’re an industry that gets paid to solve problems, it seems a bit sad. It’s a prickly issue for many reasons we won’t discuss today; needless to say, most of the people I’ve talked to have an opinion on it but choose not to speak up or agitate for a solution because they think the following:
a) It shows a type of treason toward the agency they work for. (fear)
b) They don’t have all the answers at the ready and don’t want to appear stupid or worse, out of touch. (fear)
c) It’s just the tip of the iceberg of much larger and looming issues. (fear)
d) The brief is what keeps them in a job. (fear)
e) All of the above. (fear x 4)
We all know that fear’s a strong emotion, and more importantly it’s probably stopped a lot of great things happening over the years. But being a low-mid planner, and thus not having the responsibility and therefore risk of someone more senior, I’ve decided to have a crack at the problem: reconfigure the creative brief for the year 2012. But before we re-wire, we need to get to the bottom of what’s really wrong and in typical planning fashion, I’m going to deduce this with the power of A SURVEY. Yep, I have my own two cents on what’s working and what’s not, but I could use your collective brains in coming up with questions for the surveys: one for creatives and one for planners. Yes, we’re staying true to 2012 and we’re going to do this thing together.*** And because the issue’s a sensitive one, I’m going to use the power of Survey Monkey****, so you can all anonymously answer and add your thoughts.
Here’s some research fodder (yep, others have been here before me):
- Planning for Participation
- Gareth Kay’s presentation: the brief in the post-digital age
- Russell Davies: the perfect creative brief
- Jasmin Cheng: the creative brief project
Here’s some more proof of the problem if you need it:
Here’s a pick and mix medley of more proof:
- Dan Ariely: predictably irrational
- Hyper Island: share. Like. Buy. 2012
- KPCB Internet Trends 30/05/2012
Thanks for reading and hit me back with some questions for the survey*****.
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*up for debate.
**also up for debate.
***/ you do the work for me.
****thanks for being free.
*****Yes, it’s g33ky, but it works.