The documentary “Briefly,” created from interviews with six really great advertising professionals, explores the relationship between creative briefs and the end products they birth. There are many great take-aways and quotes from this documentary that I agree with, and that explain some of the thinking that has guided to where I am today and where I want to be in my career.

“This is about creating emotional work so you can still create beauty in this world.”

Many people ask me what I like about advertising. This quote sums it up perfectly. I believe that everyone has strengths and talents that they bring to the world in order to make it a more beautiful place. While I am not a painter or a sculptor, I hope to bring beauty through my work in advertising. Part of why research is so important in advertising is that it allows us to uncover human truths that explain why we feel the way we do. As an AdWeek article said, “All humans seek to find significance and meaning in what we see, and there is absolutely a universality to how we react to common situations like a loss of someone, a drive to do better, a desire to gain more.” Celebrating raw human qualities in an advertising campaign unites us as humans.

“I don’t believe in briefs, I believe in relationships.”

I think this really illustrates the difference between real world work and the work we have done in classrooms. We complete assignments based on briefs that we are given by professors, or even by clients, but we don’t get the experience of getting to know the people on the other side of the brief. That is what this quote really gets at, and its what I’ll finally get to experience when I begin my career in an agency. Knowing the people you are working with and getting a glimpse into their world powers you to create the best work you can. When you see their motivations as your motivations, you become partners.

And finally, a few other take-aways:

  • A brief is inspirational: it should give the creative team exactly what it needs to run wild (in the right direction, of course).
  • A brief is short: say what you need and be done. Like Doug Kleeman said in a guest lecture, you should answer the essential questions and leave out the rest.
  • You come out in every project you do. Yes, you start with a brief, but you bring something original to that, and that’s what makes each advertising agency unique.

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