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Why do some people almost always get better advertising?

Why do some people almost always get better advertising?

In a word, it’s the BRIEF.

“Now hold on,” you may be thinking, “I’ve heard this before.” But stick with me, and I’ll share some hard-earned knowledge that changed my creative output and, yes, my life. Seriously.

More than twenty years ago, I began collecting creative briefs and the resulting campaigns. I’m not ashamed to admit I geeked out on this raw data, working with a tight team to do an ongoing content analysis of the briefs and correlating their qualities with the excellence of the resulting work.

The briefs had to be the ones that the creative people had received. We never used the cleaned up document created for awards submissions and agency new business!

In the end, the formula was simple: The simplest, most clear-headed briefs led to the best work. The most consistently excellent agencies, judged by their creative output, also write the simplest briefs.

Words like “strategy” “target audience” “demographics” and “psychographics” are notably absent in the best briefs. In their place are plain words about real people.

The first three campaigns I led after completing this initial research and putting my learning into practice all won Effie Awards and were famously successful at creating brand and business growth. I was able to start my own successful agency. That was fifteen years ago!

I’m still collecting and I’m still a student of briefing. If you’ve got ‘em, send ‘em. If you’ve learned something, please do share.  As always, I answer my own email, so feel free to reply and your message comes directly to my personal inbox.

Cheers,
Mark

Ps: I’m tweeting about briefing quite a bit this month, and will share some gems (and no doubt a few unpolished stones as well). I would be honored if you were to choose to follow me @markdimassimo.