Wouldn’t it be great if… By @christinems_

By Christine Smith


Wouldn’t it be great if…

That’s the sentence that starts almost all of me and my partners ideas in our mess finding slack channel. But what exactly is mess finding?

Advertising is about solving problems. But with no problems, there is nothing to solve. Therefore, it’s good to look for problems – in anything, anywhere, anytime. 

I usually ask myself “What annoys me” (which a lot of things do) and tadaaa, loads of problems appear. 

This could, for example, be me trying to explain something in my not-so-good danglish, not knowing how to explain the word in other ways than with my body language. So therefore my mess could be; “Wouldn’t it be great if you could make body language into a visual language so you could communicate with anyone, anywhere?


Mess finding is quite easy if you can choose your own topic, but most times you have a brief to stick to. At the moment, we have sixteen D&AD briefs and a folder with a hundred and fifty something briefs from Marc to choose from. So how do you do that?

I actually find it a bit difficult to choose the “right” brief and the “right” mess for that specific brand. Usually planners have already found the mess for you – you just have to solve it. But sometimes you feel as like you need to find a mess that’s more interesting than “we are not selling enough of this product”. 

One thing I’ve failed on trying too many times is to fit a mess into a brief/brand which it has no relation to. It’s soooo easy to just do that, because the mess is more interesting than the brief. What I’ve learned from that is, that you never just stick to one problem in the beginning, but push yourself to research, research and research for loads of different messes within the brief. THAT’s the amazing thing about research. 1. You get to know your brand better. 2. You find out about random stuff you would never get from the brief alone. And it’s in the middle of those two things that the real messes appear for me. 

Another important thing though, is not to force the “good” idea to come. Because if you do that it won’t. I put on way too much pressure on myself during D&AD. Especially because Marc has invented this sign off sheet where the whole process has to be signed off long before deadline with loads of points to collect, otherwise we are not allowed to enter our work – which is not wrong. But it’s not completely right for me either. With all the pressure of you wanting to get that AMAZING idea you know could change the world and maybe win you a pencil, it suddenly becomes too much of a rush for me – and so I didn’t really got any great ideas. Average maybe, but that’s just not good enough. So wouldn’t it be great if we could still enter work that didn’t have xxx points from a mathematical system? And wouldn’t it be great if we could all trust our gut enough to get that idea when we expect it the least? 

We still have about ten days left, so I shouldn’t worry that much. Good ideas comes to those who wait (or so I tell myself). I just need to keep my eyes open and listen to my fluffy gut. 

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