Sunday, 28 March 2010

The single-minded propositional emotional true insightful thought springboard starter

It used to be easy. OK, not so very easy, but easy enough. That bit in the middle of the Creative Brief that was the Holy Grail for all planners. Whatever you called it, that was the bit that would really get the creatives going, get the agency a killer campaign and maybe a little recognition for the planner that dreamed it up as a reasonably useful brain to have around the place.

At Saatchis, it was a Single-Minded Proposition. And it was all about focus down to the brutally simple, which would then inspire the creatives to great things.

In these days of Web 2.0, it's not so easy. Or simple. We're not just about messages any more. We're not in the world of "what our advertising should say", because we're not just interested in what our communications "say", we're interested in what people pick up and what they do with it.

I don't work in an agency at the moment, but I can imagine there's been a lot of wringing of hands about what to call that pivotal part of the brief. Is it a "start point" or "conversation catalyst"? It's a thought, yes, definitely a thought - but is that "thought" disruptive or merely "central" or "key" somehow? Or is it a "brand truth" or "emotional connection"?

Whatever we call it, never mind what used to be called the "target audience" - what exactly do we expect or want the creatives to do with this thing once we've given it a label? All of this can lead us into areas of vague and wooly thinking - I know, because I've been there.

I don't have the Archimedes-style answer, maybe because there isn't one. I'd certainly be interested in any other views and experiences on this. In the meantime, I'll try my best to hang on to those past ways of thinking that still make sense with one hand while grasping the changes in the ways that brand communications work in the other.

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