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Blog 5: Briefly

Updated on December 1, 2017


“Briefly” is an appropriately pithy documentary which explores perspectives on Creative Briefs; what they are, how they function in the larger context of a project as a whole. In order to learn more about this topic, the documentary interviews 6 people from various creative areas. As one of the interviewees puts it, “a brief is nothing more than an open statement of ambition for a brand”. This actually answered one of the key questions I had going into the documentary, as my conception of what a creative brief is supposed to do had been foggy.

One of the most interesting things about the aforementioned definition of
“Creative brief” - that is, that it’s an “open statement” is elaborated on by other interviewees as well. John Jay puts it in a pleasantly metaphorical way, saying “you need a lot of runway”, indicating that ideas are more liable to take off if they have room to develop and “soar”. In one case, Behar mentions that he doesn’t even always prefer to get a creative brief, saying “if we get a creative brief, the shorter the better”. Similarly, Rockwell says that ironically enough, “briefs can often be very long.” John Jay sums it up nicely, saying that “The more concise and sharper the point of view is as to what the problem is, the better...”

The film’s basic point is that creative people in various industries see creative briefs similarly; they should ideally facilitate the client-creative team relationship without closing too many doors for the team, which would risk stifling the creative powers at work.

Another impressive feature is watching John Jay discuss his experience with helping design the Eisenhower Memorial. He can recite facts from almost any point in the former president’s life, and amassed a huge amount of research. In short, briefs are important, but they must live up to their name, and leave space for the ideas to develop.


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    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 months ago

      Yes, it always makes it more fun when they leave room for your own ideas.