Single Minded Power

The SMP.

I was trying to explain what a S(ingle) M(inded) P(roposition) is to my family over the Christmas break. We’ve spent quite a lot of time learning about them and should be able to define them in a succinct way, but they’re slightly deceiving. They’re simplistically complex.

To the uninformed reading this, an SMP is essentially a thought (shoutout Pete Cain) about a brand or product. It describes something about a brand/product; what it is trying to achieve, a benefit, etc.

The brief we were given over Christmas break was to write a proposition for brands starting with each letter of the alphabet. We were given 25 days to work on this brief and me being the nose-to-the-grindstone type that I am, I started working on it in earnest during the last five days or so.

Speaking with classmates, we all equally shared confusion about what an SMP should be. Some of ours were simply describing the product. Some were just observational jokes about the product. In fact some of my joke SMPs were my favourites. But the thing about truly good SMPs, and this is something that our mentors have been banging on about, is that they should be the catalyst for a multitude of ideas to build a campaign around.

While working on the brief I can’t say that I felt any massive bursts of inspiration. As is a common trend, the only acute moment of inspiration happened when I wasn’t thinking about the brief at all: I woke up at 5am with a random thought which I immediately jotted down in my phone before going back to sleep (interestingly enough, that idea ended up being applied quite successfully). But when actually sitting down to focus on the brief, I found it very difficult to discern which was a good or bad thought. Everything seemed too simple to be good. As the clock ticked down, I reluctantly put everything together in a slideshow and figured I was submitting some maybe satisfactory work.

(texts exchanged with my partner the night before it was due)

Which leads to our first week back.

Our first brief to start term 2 was to create three campaigns in our new partnerships based off of the SMPs we made over the break. My initial thought was that it was going to take some real creative tinkering to find the gems amongst all the trash I submitted. But when I met with my partner to discuss the brief and go through our SMPs, we immediately started to find good ideas that sprouted from them. Later that same day we both received positive feedback from mentors on our SMPs.

We started to develop campaigns for our three favourite SMPs. There were points where I thought that our executions for the SMPs were too simple, but again at the end of the week we received good feedback on the work we created. 

All this has made me realise something that the mentors have been drilling in our heads since day one. Great work comes from a great thought. I wouldn’t say that our SMPs were great thoughts, but they were good. And because of that, the work that we thought might be too simply executing the SMP ended up being good too.

I’m still in the process of understanding how to identify what makes a great thought. But this last week has been an incredible step forward.


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