A good Creative can crack any brief... as long as that brief is clear, and simple.

Hence, the real problem most Creatives face is not coming up with great ideas, but getting to a brief we can work with.

I'm now going to let you in on this one weird trick, that can get you to a clear and simple brief in around 30 seconds or less.

But in the spirit of those '1 weird trick' videos for losing belly fat or curing diabetes, I will first give some rambling examples that demonstrate why this tip is necessary.

The first one happened when I was working on a major car launch, a few years ago. This was a big project, and several Creatives had been gathered from several countries to work on it. In Amsterdam. The strategist did a supremely thorough 2-hour briefing, taking us through every aspect of the car, and how it was made. The brief was many pages long, and full of densely-written text. In fact the only part that was blank, was the proposition box. When I asked the guy why, he explained that he didn't want to "limit our thinking." Result: 10 days of flailing around.

The second example comes from when I was working on a brief for scratchcards. In the 'single-minded proposition' box appeared the words: "The fun way to win lots of money in an instant." That's right - fun, big wins, and instant. A rare 'triple'. Result: flailing around.

Okay, here's the weird trick. If the brief isn't clear, and you suspect that it will just lead to a lot of flailing around, simply ask: "What do you want us to dramatise?"

The answer to this question should tell you the way to go.

After all, every ad is some kind of dramatisation. (Tell me one that isn't, and I'll revise my theory).

It can dramatise the care with which the product is made:


It can dramatise the glorious silliness of the internet:


And N.B. it's the same deal with a social, online, or utility-based idea - you're always dramatising something. This app dramatises McCormick's expertise in the world of flavour:



So try it. If you're not crystal clear on what you're being asked to do, simply ask "What do you want us to dramatise?" It's a weird tip that really works.



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