A Bad Brief – By @Norwarican

Alex Overland

By Alex Overland


A Bad Brief


First off, the title of this scab may be a little misleading. This week, and the week before it, we’ve worked on our first portfolio brief, and although the brief is concise and specific, it feels like I’ve made it into a bad one.

At this point it’s hard to say whether the work we’ve put into answering the brief will result in a great campaign; what is for certain is that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking and formulating, and re­thinking and re­formulating. I wish there was some way of erasing all the clutter related to this brief, and clear up my head a little. ‘The Curse of Knowledge’ indeed.

On Wednesday Tony Brignull said that there are parts of a brief he would ignore — I realized today that this might help getting ideas out. That meant a lot, because sometimes reading a brief there are parts that flash up as if to say “Don’t even think of getting a cool idea past me.”

This isn’t to say the brief or all the research or opinions don’t matter, just that these things shouldn’t stop a good idea from getting out.

Part of the problem with getting a decent output of ideas, is that sometimes I stick too closely to the constraints or parameters of the brief, so I filter before an idea has even had the chance to form, and risk passing up one that might have helped us crack the brief. No more! From here on out, there will be no filter.

I’ll trust that the brief I’ve digested will result in something vaguely relevant, and the brief can be applied like a filter to the ideas afterward, to see which ones tick the boxes. No point in aborting ideas before there’s any indication what the quality is like.

However the brief turns out, I’ve already learnt one lesson: Read the brief, understand the material, then forget it and get to work.

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