Is every brief an opportunity?

Everyone wants to work on the sexy briefs. The big brand campaigns, the cool technology projects, the awards opportunities. But what takes up a big percentage of time for most of us is the less sexy stuff, the ‘bronze’ briefs. It’s hard to get excited about working on a banner ad, retail poster, internal video, whatever. They don’t look like opportunities. They suck up time that could be spent on something juicier, with more obvious potential. And often there are so many things to squeeze into a comparatively small space that there’s no room for an idea.

But…maybe this brief’s not the turd you think it is. Before you employ the ‘bash it out as quickly as possible and move on’ approach, ask yourself a few questions. Are you sure there’s no potential in this job? If a team like Walter Campbell and Tom Carty got given this brief, could they do something with it? And, is the other brief that you’ve heard is floating around the department really a better opportunity? Experience has shown me that when you sit around waiting for the dream brief it never actually comes. Or when it does, you’re off that day or you fuck it up or the client doesn’t like your idea or someone else cracks it or whatever.

I’m not saying that every brief is an opportunity to do great work. But I do think every brief is an opportunity. To impress your CD, perhaps. Or your partner. Or to help the account director out. Or do the project manager a favour. Or lighten the load of another team who’ll return the favour some time. Or to learn something about something that might be helpful to you somewhere, some day. I know it’s bloody difficult trying to lovingly craft a staff room poster or do something interesting with a wobbler. And I know there doesn’t always seem to be room for much creativity. But if Matt Groening can squeeze one of the funniest Simpsons jokes ever into 10 seconds, I’m sure we can squeeze a decent idea into a banner ad.


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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