Wearing The Creative Briefs

An advertisement can be likened to one of those connect-the-dots pictures that I was doing the other day. Billboards, TV commercials, website banners and the like are simply the dots created by the creative team which form a wonderful picture which you, the consumers, are to fill in with your experiences and knowledge of the portrayed brand. While it’s blatantly obvious that it’s Papa Smurf picking flowers, I still needed to interact with the children’s book to see the true picture.

Ads (not Adds, remember this) are not only designed to sell the product like they were traditionally intended to do through means of demonstration and attractive images. Nowadays they’re selling the lifestyle, the feeling you get while consuming that product.

When was the last time you saw a car ad listing off the specifications? Only a handful of people care about that. You’re more likely to see a middle aged business man with the summer wind lashing at his full head of hair, sweet stunners and a hot babe with some massive mammary glands.

For the hopefully many of you who are interested in the many wonders of Advertising, I wanted to take a few moments to go over the creative brief. The creative brief is a set of instructions given to you by the people who want you to make an ad. You are given the power to design the blueprints in order for the job to be a success. The blueprints are then handed onto the production team who do all boring work, so you’re pretty much done.

Some briefs can be pages long, listing all sorts of shit which is there just to rage you up and others can be as short as a couple sentences long. Mostly they’ll leave you feeling like you’re stuck between The Rock and a Hardy boy.

The brief consists of stuff like details of the product, the competition, mandatory inclusions, consumer insight, previous advertising of the brand/product, the target market etcetera but most importantly the single minded proposition or the SMP. As it states, the single minded proposition is generally the entire brief summarised into a sentence.

The SMP of our PlanetFM assignment is simple, “PlanetFM speaks 47 languages fluently.” This is an example of what I feel is a crap SMP, but it’s what we’ve got to work with.

When given a brief you will often spark dozens of fantastic ideas that lead you to think you’ve hit the bulls eye straight off the bat. You will soon realise that your ideas are terrible and you should uninstall yourself. My art director Charles and I have spent countless hours pondering this brief; we’ve scrapped many ideas which we thought were amazing at first.

There was the idea of a caption written in multiple languages with words resembling English ones, and one of a super long flag blending 47 national flags into one; something that would be recognisable to speakers of all those languages.

We’ve since revised our entire strategy and we think we’re onto a full on double rainbow here, but I’m saving that for next week. Stay tuned for Hugh’s addition on Wednesday.


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