Let's Be Brief?

What’s a brief? This is the question answered by many advertising and design industry professionals in the documentary “Briefly”. Produced by the award-winning brand and design firm Bassett & Partners, the documentary elicits diverse perspectives across various creative industries to answer this short but so complex question. Featured in the film are one-on-one interviews with Frank Gehry (Founder Gehry Partner), Yves Béhar (CEO fuseproject), Maira Kalman (Illustrator), John C Jay (President @ GX, Partner @ Wieden + Kennedy), David Rockwell (CEO Rockwell Group), and John Boiler (CEO 72andSunny). So, what is a brief?

In this age of rapidly developing social media consumers are now consuming more information at faster rates. With this reality the attention span of the average consumer continues to dwindle. As a result there is an added layer of pressure on design and advertising agencies to capture their audiences in quick intervals. The need for a succinct and quick grasp of consumers lends a new importance to evaluating how we communicate with our audiences. Hence the dire need to not only incorporate briefs in this line of work but to answer with confidence the age-old question, “What is a brief?”.

There exists many different definitions from industry professionals on a brief truly is. These range from; “A short form communication tool developed with a client to set out the vision”,  “a clarity of purpose”, and “a statement of ambition, that’s all it is, so long as it communicates the passion and conviction of your aim”. The diversity of thought and approach to the brief fuels the robust industry of advertising and design which is built on creativity. Despite varying interpretations what can be agreed upon is that a brief can be a critical component to a brand's success and ultimate connection with the consumer. The brief is often short and succinct but is able to communicate a story and vision within those few words.

A key remark from the documentary that has reshaped my thinking about brief’s and the creative process was, “The most important thing about the creative brief would be that it has to inspire the people who are given the task of solving the problem”. I connected with this statement as a creative that produces work for clients on a daily basis. When not personally invested in the idea, mission, or goal of a project I can visibly see the quality of my work decline and my experience suffer. The project is much better off if the one responsible for bringing it to fruition is also inspired to solve the problem.

Take some time to watch “Briefly” produced by Bassett & Partners for yourself. You will grow in your understanding of the “brief” along with connecting with consumers. Any creative will benefit from this documentary. What is a brief to you? Leave your comments below!