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Ogilvy versus Aristotle: How creative briefs fail and why brand strategists should adopt a new patron saint
Chief executive officers, general managers, marketers and those who strive to create compelling creative content in the pursuit of business objectives lack the kind of foundational thinking that underpins other critical business functions such as law, operations and finance. The advertising industry has failed to define what matters most in a creative brief or develop industry standards for how to identify ‘what the work should say’ so that creative teams can develop creative ways to say it. This is a systemic problem that damages the credibility of creative presentations as well as the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. ‘Messaging’ is seen as the development of statements, without thought as to how those statements should be organised to optimise their persuasive impact. The paper argues for a more reasonable and more powerful approach based on perception-shifting cases.
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Casey Jones whose career spans both the agency and marketer worlds, began his career at Ogilvy & Mather, became CEO of Grey’s global technology practice and then Co-Chief Strategy Officer for McCann Worldgroup. Casey has also served as global Vice President of Marketing for Dell, developed core briefing curriculum for the ANA’s School of Marketing and trained over 1,000 Fortune 100 marketers in ad strategy, agency briefing and agency management.
Daniel Bonevac is Professor of Philosophy and Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin and co-founder of BriefLogic. He is the author of five books and editor or co-editor of four others. He has published over 60 articles in professional journals and served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy for 10 years.