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Shrink The Briefs

9aa8bb16c19a4f40d3bd21111eb30c14?s=47 Si Wilson
February 03, 2015

Shrink The Briefs

The slides from the Shrink Your Briefs workshop.


Si Wilson

February 03, 2015


  1. Before we start: Coffee up!

  2. Studio of Things Shrink your briefs.

  3. House keeping. Toilets: go out of the door, turn right

    and follow the corridor round. They’re opposite the door to the elevators. There are no planned fire alarms.
  4. Order of play. Introductions.
 What is a brief? Brief break.

    How do you use briefs?
 Writing a brief.
  5. Some things we won’t cover. Pitches.
 Agency structures.

    a creative director.
  6. Simon Wilson. A quick introduction.

  7. Sporting Life
 Junior developer.
 Senior developer.
 Head of internal projects.

 Digital lead.
 Design & digital manager.
 Creative manager.
 Senior project manager.
 Senior project manager.
 Studio director.
 Chief operating officer.
 Creative & development director.
 Studio of Things
 Tea boy through to managing director. 1998 2014
  8. In that time I’ve been responsible for teams as large

    as 60 people - and the work that they do.
  9. Introduce yourselves.

  10. Person Person Person Person Person Person Person Person Person Person

  11. Ultimately this comes down to one thing.

  12. How you tell / ask
 someone to do something.

  13. Invariably this something is well thought through, considered, and well

    written - and on piece of paper.
  14. The brief.

  15. And now: An exercise.

  16. What is a brief to you?

  17. None
  18. A goal. Our work is the finest calling card we

    can present.
  19. “Client” “Agency”

  20. None
  21. Team.

  22. Account manager. Designer. Developer. Project manager.

  23. Silos.

  24. Understand the limitations of the process and functions as a

    way of kick-starting the search to do ‘good work’.
  25. Box Platform

  26. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

    Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
  27. Recognise the opportunity.

  28. Audience

  29. Control Liberation

  30. Collaboration.

  31. Being open.

  32. Always questioning,
 always improving.

  33. A brief break.

  34. Example #1

  35. What’s ​the problem​ here? Come on ­ this is ​the

    challenge​ you are setting! You’re setting a question and you want some answers. Who​ have we recognised we will be looking to talk with? You really need to understand the audience. It’s means we can tell a story that connects. There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who just doesn’t give a shit what you’re saying, is there? How will the audience ​respond​? Most of the time it’s a call to action. Maybe there’s an emotional response. Embrace your insight here! (Where you get your insight: another story.) What is the stuff the audience will ​embrace​ - and put them off? Bunnies. Puppies. Snappy financial advice. Happy smiley people. A threat. Advice. Reassurance. Any ​channels​ of communication we’d look to ​focus​ on? (Also: any time and places best?) It’s OK. You can put “It’s a blog post” here ­ as long as it’s the best place for this work to go. Anything we need to bear in mind to include - brand guidelines, straplines, complementary activity, SEO shizz, what their competitors are doing? It’s just here cos sometimes we all forget we need to put a logo on there, for whatever reason, that a designer will object to. Might as well get that up front. Oh, and if the client likes a particular font. Or we're just do second tier work and have to follow the lead work. You get the idea.
  36. Example #2

  37. Creative brief hôme Client Job name Job number Account manager

    Date 1. Overview *What’s the Twitter style brief? (sum it up in less than 140 characters) You need to be able to do this as it means you really understand what you’re asking for. It can always be done! Even this fits #twitterbrief 2. Context *Why are we doing this? [If you’re not sure about this section ask the client for more detail] ​We need context, but we don’t need the whole history of the client. Why has ​this​ brief come in? What is the brand trying to do? What’s stopping us from achieving this? What is the challenge that we’re facing? Why does the brand think communications will help? What has the client tried before? What does the client want? What does the client really need? They can be two different things. Also just because the client has seen another idea and wants to copy that? That’s not a why! What relevant things are happening in the marketplace? We need to know more about this so that we can make our solution stand out from them. What a re the trends in the market? Are there any gaps? Do we have examples of competitor advertising? Who are the main players? What are their brand positionings? Is there anything outside the category? *Who do we want to talk to? [​If you can’t answer this section - talk to planning] ​To make things more relevant we need to get under the skin of the people we’re talking to. Who are they; age, demographic, attitude to the brand? What are they doing? Work? Online? Offline? Free time? Who or what influences them? What do they embrace - expert advice? Videos of cats? Who are their friends? What do they read? Is there research? Can we quote them? What do we admire about them? Why would they care about our brand or what we’re trying to do? 3. Content *What insight(s) do we have? [If you can’t answer this section - talk to planning] ​Of all the things we know about the brand, market and audience, what is the really interesting nugget? Is there something about this group of people that other brands haven’t noticed? Is there something that we
  38. None
  39. None
  40. BRIEF ISSUE #1 “It’s 20 pages long.”

  41. The clue’s in the name. It’s called a brief for

    a reason.
  42. BRIEF ISSUE #2 “We are doing this for anyone and

  43. Audience.

  44. Recognise your audience. Recognise what could appeal to them. How

    would they like to be talked to?
  45. BRIEF ISSUE #3 “What exactly sets this product apart?”

  46. Stories.

  47. Reeves Rosser believed in the unique selling point of anything

    and everything. Why come to you above anything else?
  48. BRIEF ISSUE #4 “Christ. She wasn’t that enthused when she

    briefed me in.”
  49. A brief should be engaging and persuasive in how it

    is written, as well as the work it seeks to produce. That includes how you go through the brief.
  50. BRIEF ISSUE #5 “This brief makes no sense.”

  51. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

  52. You are at school.

  53. Another exercise.

  54. In pairs think of 1. An ad you’ve recently seen.

    2. A product you’d like to “sell”. Then write the brief. You’ve ten minutes.
  55. Remember: Problem
 Audience response
 Audience embracement
 Channels to focus on

    And: The five issues.
  56. You’ve one minute to talk through your brief.

  57. The most important lesson from this exercise: Don’t leave your

    briefs until the last minute!
  58. Remember. Our work is the finest calling card we can