Today a member of the Client Service team wondered over with what he purported to be a new brief.
“So what’s the message?” I enquired.
“They just want something generic,” he replied.
At this point I ambled to the nearest available corner, curled up into a foetal position and started singing ‘Row, row, row the boat’ in an unnerving falsetto.
It’s not the first time this has happened. But you don’t want to hear about my hilarious idiosyncrasies.
It’s also not the first time we’ve been asked to come up with a ‘generic’ campaign.
Just think about that for a moment. Could there be anything more antithetical to good communication than a generic message? What in God’s name is a generic message anyway?
Was that the brief behind the iconic Nike campaign ‘Just Do Stuff’?
“We don’t have anything to say. But we do rather want to say something.”
Presumably the second action point from that meeting was to hire someone on a six-figure salary to push a boulder up and down a hill for the rest of eternity.
To neutralise my acerbic acid, here’s a three-step process to effective communication:
1. Have a reason to say something.
2. Have something to say.
3. Say it.
Actually, it’s amazing how often at least one of those steps gets overlooked.