Wednesday, October 12, 2005

We have a brief (Pam)

Received creative brief. Is interesting how a bunch of people can experience the very same conversation, yet retain it in such different ways. Seriously, I’m endlessly fascinated by this.

After some noodling around various words, it’s good to go. Can’t wait for concepts.

This stage of the process is really very annoying for me. Mostly because the stuff is totally out of my control at this point.

It’s like Christmas. I can’t tell you what is the perfect gift for me, but I sure know a crappy gift once I’ve unwrapped it. You can’t wait to open it, but you’re dreading what’s in there. What if it’s one of those sweater shavers? Or a book of inspirational cat poetry? Or a hole puncher with rhinestones glued on it in the shape of a yin/yang symbol?

But, no. It’s not possible for this to happen because the brief is brilliant. It has no mention of rhinestones whatsoever. Why do I get like this?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Who cares? (Pam)

Interesting conversation with Bill and Jennifer today. As they develop the creative brief, they wanted to talk to me about a consumer insight that was pretty interesting.

Essentially, here’s how it goes.

You know, gentle reader, people have problems. Their lives are complicated and stressful and tiring and basically unreasonable. So it’s not too likely you’ll find many folks sitting around after a long day at work contemplating climate change and its global economic, security and livelihood implications. Not any normal people, at least. Um, not even me.

Pretty much, everyone knows what climate change is and are likely familiar with all the nasty scenarios that have been predicted if we don’t get it together. Seriously expensive research shows that, for the most part, people actually do care about this.

How do we move them from caring at the vaguely-disturbing-but-I-don’t-necessarily-need-to-worry-today-cause-I-have-to-get-this-kid-to-hockey level to actually doing something about it, i.e. making a donation to WWF-Canada?

Knowing that they’re busy, but also care about climate change, it seems to us, after some discussion, that if we provide an easy solution, they’ll go for it.

As in, the best way to do something about climate change is to support the work of WWF-Canada because we’re best positioned to actually have a global impact. (This is quite true, by the way.)

Makes sense. There’s very little point in talking about the doomsday scenarios. Not that these scenarios lack any relevance. There’s just no point in it, because people already know it. It’s beating a dead horse.*

It also ignores an important part of the equation…hope.

There is hope. No smart person is going to spend money to fix a problem that is hopeless. In order to inspire people to donate, there must be a demonstrable need, yes. But, there must also be a solution.

So there you go – focus on the solution because everyone knows about the need. And we’ve only got 30-seconds. It all works out nicely for everyone. Errr, well, we’ll see when the concepts come in.
* Let me vehemently declare that I in no way condone such behaviour. Beating horses, whether alive or dead, is profoundly abhorrent. I use this colourful and historied metaphor (arguably a simile, but I didn’t use “like” or “as”) simply to lend emphasis to my point. Believe me when I tell you that it’s necessary for someone who works for WWF-Canada to make this qualification.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Got some timelines for the campaign. Already behind schedule by a week. How is that even possible?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pizza & briefs (Pam)

We briefed FCB. There was pizza. I wonder if we have to pay for that or if FCB donates it to us. I wonder if our studio costs will mysteriously go up by the cost of 6 pizzas. For some reason, pizza seems to have a very positive effect on the morale of my team. It’s comfort food for the overly stressed.

There must have been about 20 people in the briefing session. Julia, our conservation director, was surprised when she saw how many people were there. I don’t think she’s ever worked with an agency before, so it’s all new to her.

Pretty much every division of FCB was represented. On-line, media, advertising, direct marketing. There were suits and creatives from each division, too. Quite something, really.

You know, we’ve found over our last two campaigns that integration is a lot easier to say you do than to actually do it. But each time, we get better at it. I mean, the simplest things can kill you. Even things like status reports. Really, it goes right to the fundamentals. It can be so tedious sometimes, the information sharing and making sure that everyone knows what everyone’s doing.

I took everyone through the brief with the agency people asking tons of questions. We did get into a fair amount of the science involved.

We’ve agreed that none of us is interested in a campaign about what the earth will be like in 60 years. Sure people care, but only when they’re up really late and can’t get to sleep and have nothing else to think about.

The agency is now working on the creative brief. Not sure when they’re presenting it to us. Waiting for a timeline for the whole campaign. I hope we get that today.

I’ll post the brief once we get it and it’s finalized.

This is the point in the process when I get nervous. Nervous, as in, can’t-eat-cause-I-have-no-appetite-cause-if-they-don’t-nail-this-insight-we’re-dead kind of nervous. Pretty much, that never goes away, now that I think about it.