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Tuesday, December 5

A Picture Is Worth A Few Briefs


'New Behaviour' mostly lags 'New Thinking'. Therefore, even though every planner/ marketer/ suit/ creative worth her/his salt talks eloquently about 'experience/ experiential marketing/ branding', in day-to-day work/life, there is not much to exhibit this experiential thinking...of course my understanding is limited to the small agency cosmos!

Just downloading few observations from my agency life about this lip-service(sort of) to the 'importance of experience'. No particular order/ importance/ relevance...

1. The agency creative brief formats are always 2D. Mostly 10 odd questions asked differently(with varying degree of complexity). But the verbal format ensures that the starting point of the thinking is word-skewed...There are no visual friendly formats in the briefing procedure. And have used/evangelised the formats of HTA, Leo Burnett, Everest(Y&R), Ogilvy, TBWA and currently David...
Okay, let me make an exception. The Hot Buttoning system that we used at LB was a pure visual exercise. We used it extensively. In fact in one of the GPI projects that I was a part of, had used Hot Buttoning extensively along with Rajeev(Sharma)...to create some strong concepts. But visual thinking was not the norm/ habit!

And while many planners and servicing guys do make an effort to make the briefing process experiential, the basic systems are still word driven...

Though, the Wall of David( Meraj might agree) was experiential in a limited sense!

2. This limited use of visuals in the starting stages of a brief is actually quite ironical as the planner community in India( regardless of the holding company alignment) liberally uses gettyimages and corbis. Am a great getty loyalist. It is among my most preferred brands after google and Abzorb( it's an anti-fungal powder:-)

3. 90%( okay 75%) of all agency briefings still happen in aseptic environments...Machine coffee/ tea sucks, many briefings happen immediately before/ after the canteen lunch which also is largely a bland/ boring affair...I believe good ideas come over good food, good coffee and good conversations...
(Actually the coffee at TBWA Mumbai is very good. I guess one can blame the lack of good ideas on sub-standard lunch and conversations...LOL)

4. Anyways while doing my daily chunk reading, got hold of a Brandsense Aroma to Convey Concept table which I feel is worth sharing!

Here are the concepts/ briefing in sensory language rather than words!


1. Adventure - Salty Air, Sawdust, Mud, Fuel, Mint, Spice

2. Tradition - Leather, Wood, Tree, Wool, Cedar, Rose

3. Nurturing - Vanilla, Baby Powder, Apples, Cinnamon, Lavender, Cotton

4. Sophisticated - Wine, Perfume, Cigars, Oak, Scotch, Musk

Maybe it's wrong of me to paint a generalised picture of the bleak, word-obsessed briefing environment. Send me your rant if you vehemently disagree...

On my part, it's going to be more visuals, experiential briefs from now on...Let me walk the talk...

If the 'briefing system' has bothered/ irritated/ intimidated/ enamoured you, check out the Oct 6th post - How much information is needed in a brief?

Cheers

8 comments:

Heather said...

OKOK this is an out and out sales pitch for which I apologise in advance. I am looking for planners to join a large and well respected agency ... any of the planning fraternity who are looking for a change please do let me know - leave a message on my blog. Am also looking for a planning consultant to work part time with a small growing agency, perfect for someone who may be tired of the traditional agency 9-5 .... SORRY AGAIN MANISH for taking up your valuable blog space with such a pitch. Heather

Manish said...

am available for both....LOL
It's okay Heather...as long as you give me a ride in your purple ambassador(agraphed by shantaram!!!) and buy me some beer!

pooR_Planner said...

There was a recent article in BusinessWeek, I guess, saying "how blogs are stealing the role of placement consultants, great example here ... lol ...

As far as briefing is concerned, Manish, TBWA\has something called as 'Oh, Inspiration' ...this is a must for all briefs... so when a planner or a servicing guy writes a brief, he also creates an ad, a visual image, a photo, an object or anything that will represent his idea at best...so when briefing for a TVC, he actually needs to get/source/download video footage and create a cheap ad using MS Movie Maker. The creative folks takes it from there-on. 'Oh Inspiration 'is about inspiring the long haired, goatee guys to do an effective work, not necessary an award winning work.

A very good example of what I am saying can be found at tissue-issues.blogspot.com, an article called JHAKAAS FORMULA MOVIE. A brief which got translated into a cheap film.

So when you say, briefing needs to be visual, I completely agree with you. While pitching for a women's lingerie account, this planner had to come to office wearing a satin gel bra to explain the creative folks how women with lesser cup size feel, eventually we landed up the account, day before yesterday.

Cheers.

Manish said...

hey roop, jhakas film is too good! keep it up buddy...do you have snaps of the ur gel bra adventure...

i was wondering in the morning about the shrinking time gap between whats happening in the west and its replay here...

soon there will be Zero Lag or maybe we will lead...:-)

pooR_Planner said...

Lol .. I do have snaps ... but am not sending you that... now dont ask me why ... ;-)...I think we'll lead...well diversity gives us that edge...

meraj said...

- ray got inspired to make pather panchali after watching 'the bicycle thieves'...de sica's movie served as his brief

- beatles got inspired to make 'sgt pepper's....' after listening to the album 'pet sounds' by beach boys (yeah, am not kidding!!!). so 'pet sounds' served as their brief

- picasso painted his first cubist work 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', inspired by the works of Paul Gaugin and his nudes of Tahiti

- this one is purely my assesment...rehman got inspired to compose the beautiful guiding chorus of GURU(the new release)by the popular tune for 'gayatri mantra.

good briefs are floating all around us. its just a question of how much we have in us to grab hold of it and turn it into something new and creative.

cheers!

Manish said...

brilliant examples meraj, thanks ...i hope you are working on your librarian malaise though...LOL

Heather said...

Ya, if only I were a placement consultant (and making their kinds of commissions ... :-)) Sadly I am the humble HR head of an agency which is growing so fast in terms of planning and of course WINNING EFFIES hehe that I need to resort to alternative media to find the best and brightest planning talent.