Lately it seems that creatives only know how to present ideas with a “Manifesto”. As if to justify an idea we need a big, elaborate story. Newsflash: we do not.
Manifestos are the lazy version of true, simple ideas. They may even have some insight behind them, but the most powerful, everlasting and meaningful campaigns, start with a one liner. If you can strike a nerve with that, then you’re onto something!
Ideas rarely need a manifesto. Manifesto is what brands have on their websites, describing their mission in life, their purpose in the world. And because they’re part of their core branding, are meant to last for years. It’s not up to ad people to rewrite it. Campaigns or one off stunts should (almost) never have a long copy explanation of what the idea is.
When derived from factual, human insights, an idea can be told simply with this rationale; “here’s the insight, that originated this concept, and we had this idea”. Want an example? Watch this classic (well, about 7/8 years old now) Canal+ ad.
Here's the breakdown; Insight: “Lovers tend to hide in the closet when husbands are about to arrive”, Concept: “The Art of Making Stories”, Idea: “A bloke went through to hell to explain how he got into a closet”
The key is to simplify. Strip away all of the stylistic fat, trim it down, stick with the bare essentials. Craft, craft, craft. If, after all that, you still have an idea that’s good enough to present to your Creative Director, then do it.
It sounds easy. Maybe it’s not. But it’s worth a try.
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