Bring the Brief

This might seem like a small point to post about, but I think it’s important. When you go to a meeting to present creative, bring the strategic brief along. Ideally, you should set up your work using the brief, but at least have it with you.

Inevitably, the creative director, or account person or the CLIENT will ask to be reminded what the net takeaway on the brief is. It’s okay to whip the brief out and read it (usually, an account person or planner will be all over this). What doesn’t look so good (and believe me, I’ve seen this happen) is if all the creatives just look at each other, hoping that someone remembers the main thing their work is supposed to communicate. This puts a bullet in the work before it’s even been presented. It says that there’s a good chance your work will be off strategy, because you don’t even know what the damn strategy is.

I tend to lose things easily, so I started making a 3/4-sized photocopy of the brief and pasting it in my sketchbook. That way I always know where I can find it quickly. Just in case.

2 thoughts on “Bring the Brief

  1. And if you're still in portfolio school, it doesn't hurt to remind your professor what your strategy is before presenting your work to the class.

    Even if you're not working with student planners, you should be thinking strategically enough to say, “This campaign is about (fill in the blank).”

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  2. Absolutely. Great point. When my students get up to present work, I expect them to be able to be able to answer any of the main questions that would be on the brief:
    Who are you talking to? [target]
    What to they think? [target insight]
    What do you want them to think? [main takeaway]
    Why should they think this? [support]
    They don't have to have a beautifully crafted brief, but at least an answer to each of these. If they don't it usually shows in the work.

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