“What architects and designers do is not go along with the rules, but try to get people to see things in a totally new way.”

Today we will be discussing the short documentary-style video, Briefly, created by Tom Bassett, CEO of Bassett & Partners. The video is essentially a string of one-on-one interviews with some of the advertising world’s most creative talent and their thoughts on THE BRIEF. How they define and use it, why they use it, etc. tumblr_nlixh2gC4k1s95gluo1_r1_1280.png
Why should you watch Briefly?
You get to hear from some the greatest ad minds all in one place.

  • Frank Gehry (Founder Gehry Partner)
  • Yves Béhar (CEO fuseproject)
  • Maira Kalman (Illustrator)
  • John C Jay (President @ GX, Partner @ Wieden + Kennedy)
  • David Rockwell (CEO Rockwell Group)
  • John Boiler (CEO 72andSunny)

Or better yet, why should you continue to read this blog post? 

Because I am going to break the whole thing down for you and give you my key takeaways in a short and sweet post. I am a one-page creative brief person, not a 10-pager. So without further ad0, let’s get brief.

So what is a brief? 

“A brief is nothing more than an open statement of ambition for a brand or a client, that is all it is.” (John Boiler) It is something that should be allowed to change and adapt to the new environment. Not a static object, but a dynamic one.

Briefs should be short and to the point…some creative thinkers don’t even believe in briefs. “I don’t believe in briefs, I believe in relationships.” (Yves Béhar) Relationships differ from briefs because unlike briefs, relationships are not anonymous. Yves believes that relationships allow you to chase your clients dreams, whereas briefs can be restrictive. He is one of the creative thinkers behind Jawbone so, I would say, he must be doing something right–I use my Jawbone headset and JamBox almost everyday.

The more creative freedom that a brief–or a relationship–supplies, the better the result. A brand should never come to an ad agency with a campaign. Instead, they should come to the agency with a goal or an idea. It is the goal of the agency to create the campaign and the crazier the goal or idea–the better. “Audacious briefs baby, make shit happen.” (John Boiler) All of these agency representatives seems to share a common desire; that their clients would be dreamers.

Understanding the culture and the context is crucial.
“We are always looking for new connections and ultimately what we do at the end of the day is make connections nobody else has seen, we don’t create anything out of thin air. And that magic dust? Is like what is happening in the world right now.”

“Incredibly important that idea of context, more important than it ever has been before.” (John Boiler)

So while understanding a culture is important, it is only step 1. You have to understand the context around that culture and around those new innovative ideas. You also have to be able to make connections with that information. If you can do all that, you will succeed.

Easier said than done though, right?