Life is difficult and complicated. Quite the opposite of a brilliant brief.

Great briefs follow the K.I.S.S principle. No, not over-the-top, excessive power rock ballad style. No, not full face paint and protruding tongue. Not even the ‘turn it up to 11 loud in your face screamfest’. But the more refined and thoughtful principle of simplicity.



Keep it simple for yourself. Keep it simple for the agency. Keep it simple for the audience. By keeping things simple, everyone begins to understand.

Undeniably, marketing is messy. Consumers are complex. The job of a brief is to pick a thread – just one – and then follow it to a specific objective. This might be behavioural in that we need people to stop doing something (crossing the street whilst looking at their phones), or attitudinal in that we want them to think about a subject differently (gender equality), or it might be simply an awareness issue (time to put the clocks back).

The hardest part of a brief is to keep it so. As a guide – if you’re hitting 5+ pages, that’s not it. This requires skill, focus and decision making prior to engaging the agency. Not to the extent of prescribing an outcome, but so far as to ask the right question.

Agencies love questions. Be sure to ask the right one. You’ll be surprised with the thoughtfulness of the response when what you ask is brief.

David Flanagan, Director of Content & Strategy, P2.

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