Propositions are the devil’s work. By @KennyTNL
By Kenny Meek
Propositions are the devil’s work.
‘That’s not a proposition, Kenny. That’s a line’.
I hear that phrase way too often and it’s beginning to urk on me. For the uninitiated, a proposition is a short sentence that lays out your jumping off point for a brief. It tells you what you’re aiming to achieve in a short, concise manner, and is able to be referred back to as you traverse your idea and execution. It’s dynamic and changeable but ultimately it is the summarised version of what your ad is trying to say.
I hate creating propositions.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh. What I mean to say is that I’m not very good at them. Not yet anyway. See, I have this habit of running straight to an idea. I want executions, I want pretty colours and I want sexy typography. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.
SCA teaches us not only how to make beautiful and clever advertising, but also the strategy behind it. Propositions are part of that. We must think, learn, research, learn some more, and then discuss before we even put a pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. As a proud member of the administerial illiterate, I’m not very good at the whole numbers, planning and research game. My dissertation in university looked nice, but it sure as hell wasn’t backed up very well. This is what planning means to to me. It’s investigatory journalism, it’s peer reviewed research, it’s the science of this industry and it’s… Really boring.
But then it evens out a bit. Planning is justified and proposition finding gives us the ground on which our ads are built. Nothing is anything without purpose and that’s what a proposition gives. In the same way Mel Gibson probably needed to file a police report to kill the baddies in Lethal Weapon, I need to do my admin to make great ads. I feel that comparison is valid and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.
At the end of the day our content needs to be credible. It may inspire minds to take a stand or just give validation to a product. In either case, it’s nice to know that any given advert has a real human truth behind it. It’s nice to know it was worked on by people who care about what they put out into the world. Mainly though, it’s nice to know that advertisements are lead by one simple proposition that basically validates the ads existence. Propositions make adverts credible and credibility spawns great ads.