Book Crit Virginity – By @eudaimonicr

By Rachael Simoes


Book Crit Virginity


We’ve been recommended to go to book crits since we came back in January. Two months later I went on my first one. I rarely slide into DMs so I’ve been struggling to take the step to do so sooner. My current partner actually booked this one. I’ve sent two emails asking for book crits with no reply. I can’t blame them, my emails are painful tasteless. I’m not used to flattering people to get things I want. I’m used to my good looks and people feeling sorry for my clumsiness getting me places. Anyway, this SCAB is meant to be about the feedback I got, so here we go.


We met Stu from Creature (or S-Dog, as he asked me to call him). He quickly flicked through the book, spending less than 5 seconds on each page, all while talking to us about something completely different. He barely gave us individual feedback for each campaign, but general feedback about what people want to see in a book. It was excellent. 


The first thing he recommended was to not to put any of the work we do on Portfolio Briefs (big boi briefs we’re set at SCA) in our books. You want to have a variety of brands tackling a variety of problems. You don’t want to be one of the 5 books on Portfolio Day with the same Trek Bar brief. The best thing to do is look at markets that aren’t too easy (fast cars, cigarettes) nor too hard (car insurance comparers), and find a brand we have a personal connection with, and perhaps for unexpected reasons. Make people see the brand in a completely different light.


We went on to discuss what the best strategies for a campaign that make you go “ahhhh” do. They are often either the very obvious things about the product/service with a twist to it, or the thing everyone feels about a product/service but can’t/haven’t yet quite yet put their finger on what it is. I find it hard to tell the difference between these two. I’m very in touch with single every experience I have with everything that everything is obvious to me, so, this will be hard for me to distinguish and put into a strategy. It’s a curse and a blessing. 


He told us that there are 3 stages to the bookmaking process. The first stage is the safe, surface level, communicating the idea but in the plainest way. The second is almost the polar opposite, you’ll have executions that’ll raise an eyebrow because they’re unapologetically absurd. The thinking would be advanced but will need filtering for quick consumption. The third book will be a mix of the first and second. It’ll have the thinking of the second book, with the simplicity of the first.


These were the main takeaways from my main boi S-Dog’s book crit. For a first book crit, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t cry when it happened and only cried for 15 minutes before bed that night.

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