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Daniel (of AdStructure) posted a response to my “What’s In Your Briefs?” thing with this post here.

Have a look at it, because it’s a very comprehensive review of strategic shifts over the decades as well as some thoughts for today. And there’s some good thinking in there.

For me, there’s one flaw that (and I do it plenty too) we all fall into – which is the Complex/Simple/Complicated trap… by which I mean that we spend too much time thinking about process and possibility when we design brief templates – we build up what becomes an over-complicated structure, because we have to think about what ‘might’ need including… and what this means about advertising, etc… I guess this comes back to who the document is meant for as well…

For me, the creative brief is NOT a contract with clients, nor a focal document to spark debate internally (although it often becomes that), but a beginning… a note to creatives that inspires them and starts them thinking. Sometimes (the good times), you’ve already begun the debate and you’re summarising the discussion. Sometimes, it might be an update – a nudge in a new direction.

But, whatever you’re doing, it needs to be simple. Easily understandable. It needs to answer the questions that are pertinent to that particular brand, and not what generally might be OK.

I think it was Simon Calvert who told me (a long time ago) that you should build a thread that runs through the brief – that is the idea, really – a thought that begins to show early and re-appears throughout… That would also be the single-minded proposition (since those were still very much in-vogue at the time!).

Anyway, thank you to Daniel. It got me thinking again – which is all I really hoped for in starting to do this blogging thing! And, it adds to the thought that’s building in my head… Can you have a brief template that is purely the core questions, then you build around that with information that helps bring that thought to life?