Nice Briefs

Way back in 1963 David Ogilvy wrote about clients getting the work they deserve. Today’s clients all seem to agree, so why is it that agencies still receive poorly written (or even unwritten) briefs, and why does it matter?

It seems that the junior marketing managers out there are no longer getting taught how to write a proper ‘creative’ brief and the importance of doing so. Do they have a template to work from or do they just learn on the hoof? To answer the question of ‘why does it matter’, the answer would be to save on creative time, client time on development and of course ultimately saving on fees. Judging against the brief helps sell the project internally as well as being something to manage the creative by.

How many times are projects presented to the delight of the client, but when they present up the boss doesn’t like it? This is fine if the feedback is based upon a rational argument which is based on the brief’s objectives, but not if it’s plain old personal preferences. If the marketing manager cross-references the work to the salient principles of the brief, then the senior manager should respect this and leave their prejudices to one side. Well, we can all dream, but why not give it a go?

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