There are good clean briefs. And then, there are the usual skidmarked travesties from the mind of supposed marketing maestros.

What separates the men from the boys? This ballsy little article from the Planning Lab looks at some great  (and not-quite-so-great) briefing forms from a few global agencies: The Better Brief - via the Planning Lab

Do you have a preferred briefing format, or do you favour the same approach as one commentator's one word ideal:  Why?

Advertising in a recession. The question isn't whether you can afford it. The question is, can you afford not to.

There is a famous quote on the topic, attributed equally often to Thomas Jefferson and Henry Ford. It goes "A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."

Google doodles at their best are a demonstration of the power of a brand to enliven one's imagination. I've picked a delightful few. Here they are and not in the order of appearance (c'mon, you can guess which is which) Cezanne's 172nd birthday, the Indian kite festival, Robert Bunsen's 200th birthday, Miriam Ruth's birthday, Van Gogh's birthday.

Look for all of them here.

There is something good here. Listen when you're not laughing.

Definitely worthy of a series of posts. Google's always transformational logos are among its best ideas. They keep the brand alive with change and rich with cultural treasure. Here's a beauty marking the birthday of the great sculptor Brancusi.

This video (from Intel's Visual Life series), featuring noted English designer Michael Wolff made me think about the little things that make us better creative people.

Multicultural wealth is intellectual treasure. Shakespeare knew that when he borrowed from Boccaccio and Ariosto.

I've always believed that diversity gives us inspiration, sources, variety, talent - that it enriches us culturally because it expands our knowledge.

So it was a pleasure to discover this 24 min video by the VCU BrandCenter. It's a thought provoking look at the impact of diversity on advertising and how it has brought us to the edge of a new creative revolution in the industry.

And here's one from Skittles' Touch the Rainbow series. A simple, whacked idea that is extremely immediate and incredibly effective.

Evian and Skittles are doing some genuinely engaging YouTube work.
We knew the Evian babies could roll. Now we're seeing that they rock.

Check it out.

In search of that holy grail, the elusive, perfectly distilled creative brief I've come up with this one-line format.

What and what and why, to whom and when and where, for how much?

What we're saying/doing and what is the proof for it: the message and the substantiation
why: the insight and/or objectives
Whom: the target
When: release or air dates, deadlines,
Where: media/context
How much: budget.

The brief itself doesn't have to be forced into one sentence. Here's an example of how I imagine the original iPhone brief might have looked like if it had been in this format.

The iPhone is the sexiest, most powerful, most natural phone you've ever seen, with touch-screen tech, gesture driven navigation and 1000s of apps that actually make your life better (what).
We need to launch it (why), to anyone who has fingers (whom), by March 2008 (when), in print, outdoor, TV and web (where). The total media and production budget is $150 million. (how much)

I suppose if you insisted, you could tag on a "What else?" to accommodate things like "Follow brand guidelines. Use new logo. Avoid Windows-like imagery." But really these are quibbles and details and the essence of the brief is the one line.

It's about loving the box - like a child does.

Try your hand it - use an established campaign like I did and write what you believe the one-line brief for it would have been.
Nike's Just do it. Energizer's Bunny campaign. Budweiser's True. Molson Canadian's "I am Canadian", are some that spring to mind. Post your pathetic attempts on our FB page.
There may be some cheap wine in it for you.

Photo via flickr user Yosigo. Copyright Yosigo.

To all promoters, champions and fans of transit and public transportation. Spread the word. Another winter reason to ride, courtesy Statoil.
Will post credits and kudos when I find out whodunnit.

What could possibly make you want a mobile phone so much that you'd pay the equivalent of 5 month's salary to get one?

JWT Beijing, led by Polly Chu (we both worked at JWT HK at the same time, aeons ago), picked Bruce Lee to twist your arm - and mess with your mind - to promote Nokia's N96 Bruce Lee Ltd edition phone to Chinese early adopters.

Big social network users who look for authentic viral experiences, the target wants the bragging rights that come from being first-finders. It's what I call the Speke Effect (after the discoverer of the source of the Nile).

The ad got 16+ million views worldwide - it went viral well beyond China. The phones sold out in 5 days online.
Smashing stuff.

Advertising Agency: JWT Beijing, China
2nd Sales Promotion/Advertising Agency: A4A Beijing, China
Chief Creative Officer: Polly Chu
Creative Director: Shankun Sun
Copywriter: Wei Huang
Art Director: Dechun Qiu
Producer: Lin Ma
Director-In-Charge: Dan Ingall
Senior Account Director: Patrick Yap
Director: Jinjing Zhu, JQK Productions
Producer: Jade Tang, JQK Productions
Post: Wang Yu, JQK Productions

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