Building A Center Of Competence: Structures, Success Factors & Innovations In Vocational Training


Vocational Training Is A Need Of The Time To Provide Employment To Our Youth

One of the most significant labor market problems facing Pakistan today is the number of unemployed young workers who are having difficulty in acquiring middle-class jobs. such jobs are slowly  slipping away to people with higher education. Since they  lack the ability to adjust to  the rapidly moving labor market.

We should not delude ourselves into thinking that by providing free education, we can substitute for the slowly failing educational standards and bring the socially immobilized segment into the economy. The current Pakistani institutions to date, are still struggling to deal with the  problem which  by and large is failing to provide basic skills to the next generation.

In such a situation,  apprenticeships can become a substitute for the failing schooling system  and standards. Germany is one of the best success stories in the world, for having this dual education system. The people who are not suited for or are unable to gain university education, can instead acquire vocational skills. For its success ratio, around two thirds of all students leaving school go on to join a vocational training program in the country.

Germany’s economy is admired greatly. Unemployment rate has fallen to below 4% and  has remained stable. Even in a world moving towards automation, their share of manufacturing jobs has not fallen. Germany’s economy has an over-sized trade surplus, lots of foreign assets, an enviable share of global trade, solid public finances and more importantly full and stable employment.

Germany’s edge is that its exports are super-competitive. The country has a talent for precision engineering which means that for decades it has had an edge in luxury cars, chemicals and machinery. Sustained success in such high-end manufacturing means that it has required a commitment to vocational training and to research and development.

Keeping such developments in mind, TAF Foundation is one such organization, which is working towards building vocational education on a strong, internationally competitive skillsets. As part of this system, students attend classes at the vocational training institute and are then placed at salaries at a higher market rate. taf foundation logo

The training for Houskeeping and Cooking is for 4 months. The training comprises of both theoretical and practical education. The students spend 5 days a week, where they are trained practically in Housekeeping and Cooking. While they are given lessons of theory for Financila Empowerment, Legal Empowerment and Soft Skills. As per market research, these have been deemed crucial in placements of these students.

TAFF has started by offering the following training:

  1. Housekeeping
  2. Cooking
  3. Financial Empowerment
  4. Legal Empowerment
  5. Soft Skills
  6. Elderly Care

After training they are placed in households and companies such as Espresso and KFC. feature 2Here they are required to showcase the skills acquired.

This combination of theory and practical training, gives people a head start into building secure careers. Employment prospects for students who have completed such vocational training programs are extremely high. This is one of the reasons why vocational training is very popular and increasing in popularity around the world.

About TAF Foundation:

www.taffoundation.org

TAF Foundation (TAFF) began in the year 2010 and served as a charitable organization to the underprivileged. In 2015, the Foundation was restructured into a philanthropic organization focused on long-term development initiatives.

Renamed the TAF Foundation, TAFF aligned its mandates to Education, Health, and Social Consciousness and concentrates on sustainable programs which help to create upward social and economic mobility. Underpinning TAFF Foundation objectives is the aim to foster harmony and positive interdependence amongst societal agents.

TAF Foundation intends to add `value’ to the lives of young men and women by engaging them in discourse that make them emotionally intelligent individuals, articulating apprehension(s), setting a personal course of action by putting theory into practice; thus, raising their self-belief and clarity on future course of personal action and providing them with skills that these individuals can use at every stage of their lives.

TAF Foundation will focus on three areas of organizational competence:

HEALTH

Better well-being with a focus on mental health and preventative healthcare.

SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS

We address cultural predispositions through reasoning mechanisms while rationalizing tolerance and social harmony.

EDUCATION

Our focus on education through vocational skills training enables our beneficiaries to polish their skills and get employment.

 

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Comedy Masala Comes To Pakistan


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Comedy Masala International was launched 6 years ago and today is regarded as the biggest & most popular weekly show in Singapore.

After over 350 shows, Umar Rana, the founder has decided to bring the show and format to Pakistan and after his first show on the 23rd of February, 2017, is slated to do a series of shows in Pakistan throughout 2017.

Comedy Masala will start off with 6 shows from 23rd February to 25th February, in Karachi before launching in other cities.

The show will feature three of the best comedians from the USA: Paul Ogata, Dwayne Perkins and Matt Davis. Comedy Masala International’s founder and comedian, Umar Rana, reknowned for his BlackFish Comedy Trio fame, will be hosting all these shows.

Media Idee has been chosen as the marketing partner for the events and will be handling creative, PR & digital duties for the show.

Bookings can be made by calling: (021) 3890 9914 or online at www.comedymasala.com/pk.

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For More Information:

Comedy Masala Pakistan FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/154086181752801/

 

Media Idee Has Earned The Google Partner badge.


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MI Digital – the digital marketing arm of Media Idee, a culture marketing network, is proud to announce becoming a Google Partner. As the ‘Interactive story’ division handling the media budgets of clients from SME to Enterprise levels, the achievement demonstrated the expertise and the excellence of the teams handling the digital marketing accounts for clients in 5 countries.

Google Partner status, is only bequeath on agencies that have demonstrated proven and in-depth knowledge and a vast experience with Google’s tools such as Adwords. More than spends which they have to continuously maintain, it also means consistently meeting Google’s very high standards, performance requirements and best practices.

“We’re tremendously proud of our partner status. It feels fantastic to be recognized by possibly the No. 1 tech company in the world (Google) as a partner,” said Umair Mohsin, Director Culture Strategy for MI. “We’re are honored and excited to now be able to offer an even higher standard of service to our clients – one that’s backed by Google. Our efforts and experience have earned us rewarding benefits that will help us to continue to grow, and further assure our clients that they can continue to depend on us.”

As an official Google Partner, MI can now serve clients at Google’s standards. The agency also has access to industry research, product updates, continued learning, and the Google Partners Community.

Media Idee is listed here as a partner on the Google Partner page at https://www.google.com/partners/#a_profile;idtf=4582341880

For more information about Media Idee’s services and reach, visit: www.mediaidee.com.

MI Digital Launches ‘Digital Summer’ Internship Program for 2015


digital agency pakistan

What is MI Digital’s Digital Marketing Summer 2015 Internship Program?

MI Digital offers a competitive internship program, giving interns a chance to work alongside some of Pakistan’s best digital marketing and media professionals, grow their skills and gain extensive experience with Pakistan’s best digital marketing company handling brands in 5 countries.

We are seeking interns who will assist in the implementation of our digital marketing efforts, specifically in the following areas: social media, digital media research, search engine marketing, social & PR, design email marketing campaigns, and content strategy.

You Will Learn

  • The ability to effectively communicate with Web Developers and working knowledge of basic web technologies (JavaScript, Flash, SQL, HTML, web platforms and browsers, APIs, etc.).
  • Experience with analytics tools (e.g. Hubspot, Google Analytics, Other).
  • Familiar with Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe InDesign/illustrator.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and organizational skills.
  • Learn how to be detail-oriented and organized, ability to complete projects within scope and on deadline.
  • Be trained on strong conceptual thinking – visual, editorial and interactive
  • Recognize and identify areas of weakness or poor performance, as well as highlight the strength of campaigns.
  • Understand how the brand and can articulate the brand message through all channels
  • Multi-channel and multi-media experience
  • Grow your skills in a collaborative, team-oriented, fast-paced environment.

Get the complete info at http://www.midigital.co/digital-marketing-summer-internships-now-open-at-mi-digital-agency-pakistan/

Antaysia.com, UAE Appoints MI Digital As Its Digital Agency


Feel Beautiful Underneath

UAE based lingerie brand Antaysia has appointed MI Digital as its first Digital Agency for handling the UAE region.

Antaysia.com is looking to boost sales ahead of Valentines but also intends to build up its activity online to grow sales in the long term.

MI Digital will be responsible for growing the brand’s presence across PC and Mobility Based devices including handling creative & design, infrastructure, media buying, email, search, social networks, including the production of web and mobile applications.

Antaysia.com is particularly looking to invest in mobile, particularly via apps on phones such as the iPhone, while MI Digital will run paid ad campaigns for the brand to boost sales ahead of Valentine’s Day.

MI Digital will also use its network companies such as MI Events & MI Productions, Thailand to launch Events & handle photography and productions for the brand. The launch was handled by the Media Idee Network.

Antaysia.com Launch Event
Antaysia.com Launch Event

MI Digital & Anne French Presents – What’s In A Puzzle Slider Game With Kareena Kapoor


Anne French Kareena Kapoor Slider Puzzle Game

In an Industry first, MI Digital, Pakistan’s pioneering digital agency & MI Gaming, Pakistan’s premier branded games studio, network companies of Media Idee Group recently launched their first branded game for Anne French, Pakistan.

The game based on the slider puzzle adds a social gaming aspect to it by challenging friends and peers of the player to compete together.

Anne French Kareena Kapoor Slider Puzzle Game

Games have become one of the best main-stays on social networking sites as people have turned to them to kill time ­ and brands of all stripes are starting to play along.

The Anne French Facebook game can be found by clicking on this image below:

https://apps.facebook.com/puzzleflash/


Last year the social gaming industry passed the $1 billion dollar mark  fueled largely by brands integrating social games into their marketing strategies. From in-game advertisements to entire games built around name-brand products, engagement through games takes on multiple forms and presents unique opportunities for marketers – on and off the computer.

Anne French’s game venture is a first because aside from facebook at http://www.facebook.com/annefrenchpakistan, the game is also available on iOS and Android markets via mobile game apps specially developed which allows one to compete with friends from any device – web or mobile.

Kareena Kapoor and Anne French App slider puzzle

Social gaming is more than a buzzword; it’s a business opportunity and the Media Idee group of companies are developing such for their clients.

Available for Android 4.0+ from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.AnneFrenchPuzzle.

Digital Audience Measurement In Pakistan


Digital Audience Measurement“Since the beginning of radio, the broadcaster has been interested in how the owner of a receiver reacts to the programs presented over the air. Some of the questions to which the broadcaster, whether he is an educator or advertiser, is anxious to secure the answers are as follows:

  • When does the listener use his receiver?
  • For how long a period does he use it?
  • To what station or stations does he listen?
  • Who listens (sex, age, economic and educational level)?
  • What does he do while the receiver is in operation?
  • What does he do as a result of the program?
  • What are his program preferences?

—Frank N. Stanton (1935)”

Frank Stanton, who later became president of CBS, wrote those words in his doctoral dissertation. Little has changed since that time. The media has undergone great transformations, but the basic research question—a need to know the audience—has been one of the most enduring features of the media industry.

The need for measuring audiences online has been a recent trend in our country. Once the domain of techies, it is fast became a need for marketers and advertisers for evaluation of their digital spends. Ever since the inception of internet in Pakistan, there have been multiple challenges to address the issue of measurement. The biggest challenge namely being that the internet is HUGE and the rapid growth that it has seen in Pakistan renders any assumption about the data gathered of its size, pretty much useless.

The second problem we had been facing since inception of the net has been to chart the growth in subscribers and the services they subscribe to. With exponential growth any information regarding visitors access is rendered useless with the introduction of new services and changing tastes online due to new users. This is a challenge even more so when we think in terms of  the fact there are no geographical boundaries on the net. Thus how do we define ‘access in Pakistan’.

Third and not the least are the lack of standards and impartial definitions that still continue to create measurement problems in Pakistan e.g. just over a decade ago the standard on which audiences were measured was HITS (the number of client (browser) requests) to a ‘website’ (after all Facebook wasn’t around then). This was a reasonable method initially, since a web site than often consisted of a single HTML file. However, with the introduction of images in HTML, and web sites that spanned multiple HTML files, this count became less useful, since each client (browser) would now send hundreds of hits on every page load.

These problems are still present to date and attempts to measure audience of Pakistani online advertising campaigns or digital platforms have not been consistent or transparent enough to provide reliable standard metrics. Understanding how well your brand is doing is about more than clicks and page views. It’s about the audience and that is where the troubles start. Take the metric of ‘new visitor’ e.g. there is really no such thing as a new visitor when you are considering a web site from an ongoing perspective. If a visitor makes their first visit on a given day and then returns to the web site on the same day they are both a new visitor and a repeat visitor for that day. So if we look at them as an individual which are they? The answer has to be both, so the definition of the metric is at fault.

Online measurement methodologies in Pakistan also have a problem on how the data is gathered. One way e.g. is through reading cookies (small text files saved on computers with unique individual IDs) which gathers data on the user from site to site. This only works on ‘persistence’ basis. When the user deletes this cookie from the browser, the user will appear as a first-time visitor at their next point where the cookie is read. Without a persistent and unique visitor id, conversions, click-stream analysis, and other metrics dependent on the activities of a unique visitor over time, cannot be fully accurate. This approach also does not take into account that the user doesn’t just consume digital “cookies”. They’re a shopper, a home maker, a tweeter or a power texter, the process which misses the audience completely and looks at the trees for the forest.

With over 10 million broadband users in our country more and more people are now viewing their favorite programs, browsing information on websites, socializing via networks on digital screens & platforms such as PCs, tablets and mobile. With this growth in digital audiences, there has never been a greater need to profile and provide accurate and reliable data to clients through modern measurement techniques. Advertisers, agencies and marketers have grown used to the regulated and reliable measurement of ‘traditional’ media, and they now seek the same standards from digital media when it comes to measuring the scale and behavior of online audiences, one that provides for a consistent, reliable approach for validating their ad campaign.

Thus whatever standards we implement in our industry, at the heart of the audience measurement should be an understanding of consumer behavior which not only need to be holistic it should also analyze consumer behavior and trends, advertising effectiveness, brand advocacy, social media buzz and more to provide a 360 degree view of how consumers engage with online media.

Different approaches exist worldwide to measure audiences. The survey method is still a popular method though one can never be sure of the sample’s authenticity. Another approach followed by online research companies worldwide combines representative, people-based panels with, tag-based measurement to deliver a holistic view of the digital universe and its audience. The representative panel offers deep insights across demographic characteristics of Internet use, while data collected through tags placed on participating publishers’ pages provides measurement of the content consumed tracking their demographics, web visiting, online and offline transactions, search behavior, video consumption and ad views. The result is a Total Internet Audience metric that offers a sophisticated approach to understanding consumer behavior and provides comprehensive digital media measurement across all devices and locations, including mobile devices, tablets, secondary PCs and access points outside of home and work locations. This problem with this approach is that it completely misses niche content and is highly skewed towards what is popular.  Other approaches use a mix of impressions, unique reach, frequency (how many times a person saw the ad online), Testing of different creative and tie in with incremental sales.

The first companies to take on Internet audience measurement had been firms with an expertise in estimating computer usage (more Google Analytics) rather than mass-media consumption. However as the media permeates more in our lives and as the new forms of media become live especially mobile, so will the content consumption and behavior of our audiences change even more. Thus from a web based landscape that once required Internet users to visit specific destinations for content will evolve to one in which content is pushed directly to consumers. In order to uncover the size, growth, composition and value of these distributed multi-channel audiences, audience measurement technologies will have to keep pace. Sadly we are not even at the first phase yet.

Online Classified Market In Pakistan


Online Classified Market In PakistanPakistan has traditionally always been a nation with strong social support systems rather than institutions. Even for things as simple as schooling or buying a house, we seek after the opinions and recommendations of our own and extended family and friend networks rather than depending on external reviews or peers.

Over the last few years however this system has seen a gradual shift especially in the upper income segments. As technology has permeated into our lifestyle, the increased exposure and information flows has resulted in making judgements based more on the recommendations of strangers and experts than just existing peers. The increase in more and more people shifting to nuclear families as well just amplifies this trend further. To cater to this sophisticated audience, a growing plethora of classified advertisements sites are springing up in the anticipation of this growing market of the future.

Globally a $100 billion business, Classified sites are the new form of how consumers and businesses or more appropriately sellers and buyers find each other. Whether individuals or businesses are looking for a used car (pakwheels.com), a new employee (rozee.pk), a place to sell their mobile (hafeezcentre.pk) buy a plot for investment or their new home (zameen.com), or even find a partner (shaadi.com), the first stop is increasingly becoming the Internet to sites such as these and more. The appeal lies in the convenience and ease of use such sites provide with powerful search capabilities, more personalized “push” services such as automatic ad alerts, more timely and up-to-date listings and features such as photos, video, and sound clips in online ads. Best of all they are FREE!

In some aspects, the evolution of the online classifieds in Pakistan is unique from its global counter-parts. Pakistan has seen the rise of vertical sites i.e. specializing in one area such as jobs, real estate and matrimonial first unlike say US where the first and still biggest classifieds site is Craigslist, a horizontal site specializing in many categories simultaneously. Secondly, unlike the west, where online classifieds have taken business away from newspapers, online classifieds in Pakistan have grown the overall market. During this time even the print classifieds have grown substantially. This is comparable to our telecom markets where the fixed lines though have been growing gradually, whilst the mobile market has shot through the roof improving tele-density significantly. The future however is mobile and similarly, the online classifieds industry will ultimately cross the print classifieds through the sheer reach, flexibility, cost effectiveness and ease of use for both advertisers and searchers.

Classified sites are the ideal web 2.0 business for a country like Pakistan for unlike Ecommerce models based businesses such as EBay or Amazon where the transactions are completed online, users never buy directly from these classified sites thus our limited infrastructure and payment gateways do not restrict the growth of these online business. Instead, users to these sites use the service to look for best offers and get in touch, while transactions are conducted in person or by phone. The sites benefit from advertising revenue and some paid listings for ‘Featured’ ads. Whilst numbers of the size of the market and revenues are harder to come by, leading the traffic race is OLX with 2.2 million unique users every month in Pakistan. Local sites such as Pakwheels, which deal mainly with second hand cars, claim 15 Million Page views in a month and 150,000 registered users. Zameen.com claims over 180,000 unique monthly visitors and 10,000 site listings a month.
“The market is interesting because of the potential – Pakistan is a huge market in terms of sheer numbers There are roughly 20M Internet users in Pakistan today, and we believe that this number will grow substantially over the next decade. So there’s definitely a big potential in the Pakistani Internet market. We believe that a free, quality classified site like dekho.com.pk is a service that most of the Internet users in Pakistan will want to use”, said Nils Hammar, CEO at dekho.com.pk, one of the pioneers of classified sites in Pakistan.

The launch of Dekho.com.pk since November last year is interesting because this is a horizontal site, much like OLX or Locanto in Pakistan and amongst a growing number of foreign horizontal sites investing in the future of this country and this market. Even with local players, also the market is shifting from vertical category sites to horizontal category sites. Even the players who were earlier in one category have launched other verticals or their own horizontal sites e.g. Pakwheels have launched naitazi.com and tringtring.com, verticals for general goods and mobile phones in Pakistan.

The trends and the factors governing classified ads markets support their assumptions. There is a substantially large numbers of micro and small entrepreneurs who are increasingly looking at advertising options that are free or low cost to market their businesses, services or products online. Online classifieds provide them with a local as well as a national reach and like we mentioned it’s free. A site like dekho.com.pk already claims 50,000 listings in a span of few months.

Classifieds online is definitely evolving but it needs a critical mass. Pakistan’s online industry is in the nascent stages. The overall internet population in Pakistan is limited. Even though it is said to be around 20 million, a person accessing Internet at least weekly is not more than 5-8 million (estimated). Out of this, people looking for search based information would be 2-3 million. This is not a critical mass when compared to US or other developed markets. Secondly, there is a problem of information hoarding e.g. the real estate brokers thrive on their knowledge of whose buying and whose selling and would not part from this information easily. However even with these challenges, the number of classified listings and the audiences would increase substantially in the next 3-5 years because of two things:

1. Pakistan is an emerging market growth with both GDP per capita and online media consumption growing at a good pace. The increasing salaries, more disposable income (many times due to both partners working), increased choice of goods has ensured that users are changing their laptops, PCs and cars faster than before. 50% of mobile especially gets changed within 6 months of purchase. These trends are resulting in a spurt in online listings. People are selling everything – right from washing machines to laptops and even air conditioners. Currently the household in Pakistan which wants to sell items doesn’t have any option offline except the people they know. Hence, online classifieds sites are providing these solutions.

2. Sellers are not online, while buyers are all over the Internet. How many apartment landlords are willing to put up their rental ads on a website? Infact how many landlords are Internet savvy in the first place? However as awareness about online classifieds increase, this will change and more people will join in the marketplace. Online classifieds currently stand to become the trade portals of all C2C transactions in Pakistan and fill in the huge gap between buyer knowledge and sellers disadvantage.

The future for these markets look bright. Internet penetration in Pakistan has been constrained because of broadband and PC penetration where as Mobile penetration has been explosive. People are beginning to realize the ease of access of Internet through their mobiles and in many cases they are having their first exposure to internet through a mobile handset. Online classifieds on Mobile are gradually gaining traction and with the rapidly growing mobile internet users, it could become the largest chunk soon.

“A great mobile service is a must as the Internet usage goes mainstream. We have a mobile site today on dekho.com.pk/m that is being used by all kind of mobile devices. As the market grows we will add more options for mobile users. The future looks promising. We have a lot of belief in Pakistan and the Pakistani Internet market and we want to be a part of the progress as the market grows. So far, the response we’ve had from our users has been great, so I really believe dekho.com.pk will bring value to the Pakistani market”, said Hammar.

One thing is for sure, no matter how the classifieds market will look like in the future, more Internet users mean better services being developed, and better services in turn attract more Internet users. Hopefully we’re in the beginning of this positive spiral where it’s hard to imagine 5 years from now a better way to sell our cars, buy our houses or even find our partners for life.

Original Post: http://auroramag.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/classified-and-online/

The Client Brief – Perfecting The Art


The creative brief is your roadmap. Your Sherpa. Your guide to the buried treasure. The creative brief is the contract between the client and the agency and between the agency account team and the creative team. It spells out in inspiring terms exactly what is that needs to be produced to solve a specific business problem.

Yet it is either treated like a piece of literature with an unending number of pages or an uninspiring piece of paper with check boxes to be filled out. There is also a problem of inconsistent understanding of how to develop and use the brief. Usually the account team does not think about adding value on top of what the client provided. The creative brief is developed in silos and this creates disconnect between the strategy, account management and creative teams. Given that the quality of the final work depends on the brief (Garbage In is Garbage Out) there needs to be a shift in the way we approach the creative brief. Creative Brief

To improve the briefing process, PAS recently hosted a one-day training workshop ‘The Client Brief – perfecting the art!’ on February 1, 2012 at Marriott Hotel, Karachi. The workshop was conducted by Sunil Gupta, a Master Trainer and a veteran of Indian advertising with 28 years of a wide range of experience across diverse brands, consumers and markets.

The new brief is a growing testament to the availability of hyper-choice in an extremely cluttered marketplace where traditional differentiation is no longer enough. The creative brief now is no longer just about the document. It’s about the thinking behind it and the ideas that comes after it. “I want to expand the definition of the brief from that piece of paper in which you put down that I want a 30 second Tvc and two print ads to this is my problem and I’m looking for a communication solution part of which can be advertising. Can you come up with ideas that create customer delight”, evangelizes Sunil Gupta. “The customer has to say WOW!” He continues, “Word of mouth now is very critical and that is created by experience. Now you have to say as your communication brief or engagement brief, what is the experience we want to create for our customers and can our systems support those experiences. Therefore internal communication and training becomes as important as communication and advertising. That is the point to create today. Your entire company has to be aligned around your brand. This is a question of willpower and discipline. You can have the best advertising and it still might not meet objectives because the product experience is damaging. Thus advertising is just one part of the strategy today”, said Sunil Gupta.

Muhammad Shoaib Baloch, Creative Director, Prestige Communication concurred with an observation of his own “A brief is a process and the agency is never made part of the actual process of what resulted in the need for advertising. Brief can be the dust or the gold, depending on how the client briefs the agency. The more exciting the brief, the more the out of the box campaign you’ll get”.

Thus it can be said that the brief is not a form to be filled out but the beginning of the creative process, the first creative thinking, the first imaginative leap and the first ad of the campaign and if it’s not written in the format that gets into the agency people’s minds, than they will not measure their work against it – one reason why despite bad briefing, the agency still produces great work…They simply ignore the brief.

Creative BriefYet advertisers cannot afford to take this aspect of communication lightly. With the pace of business quickening and as the number of brands multiplies, increasingly it is not companies but the customer who will decide which brand lives and which brands die and to do that it is now highly important to stand out in the market place. This means finding something, anything which can separate your brand from the clutter. To start this process ask yourself “Are you Asking The Right Questions”. The brief in 1992 which the agencies used to send to their clients included questions like:
• What is the problem or opportunity?
• Who are we talking to?
• What should the advertising achieve?
• What thought do we want to leave with others?
• What will make them believe this?
• What is required?
• Anything else?

Come 2012 and for most part agencies still follow the same brief format namely a problem to be solved by advertising, consumers’ to ‘target’, a message to say AT them, reasons to believe, tone of voice and what media the client needs. This is despite of the fact that the consumer and the media both have changed dramatically in the last decade. A more relevant method of questioning now is What’s the real problem?, Who is this among?, How might we best approach solving this?, Why might they talk about this idea?, How do they get involved? and What will keep the conversation going?

The brief also needs to follow some guidelines amongst which are:
Marketingese / jargon has no place in a brief. Speak with personality (ideally that of a consumer), and immediately you’ll use far more evocative inspiring language and not hide behind generic marketing nothingness.
A briefing is not a dictation. Make a brief closed or directional, and you’ll know what the creatives will produce even before they go away to work on it. A brief should be a platform from which they can launch off from. Not a means for you to force your ideas on a team. Always double check – can you think of two or three ideas from the brief you’ve written immediately? Are any of them your pet ideas? If yes, your agency will produce more or less the same.
A brief should not be written in exclusion of others. Whilst the planner should own the final document, but it is absolutely imperative to go to speak with the creative teams when writing it. Take some options, get their point of view.

If the creative brief is not itself creative, if it does not suggest solutions to problems, present information in an expansive and interesting way, and interpret the information with imagination and flair, then its authors and presenters have no right to expect anything different from the creative agency. To check whether it’s an engaging proposition or not, it helps to ask questions like Is it instantly clear and does it communicate exactly what you want to say?, Does it contain a fact about the product you didn’t know before you started writing? Is it surprising or thought-provoking?, Does it contain a strategic insight?, Does it contain a benefit to the consumer?, Do you yourself believe it? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these, it isn’t an engaging proposition e.g. we can say Dawn Newspaper is the paper of choice of the upper income segment of the population of Pakistan which are the core decision makers of the country, which in all likelihood will produce a typical ad. However a better brief would be Dawn Newspaper is for people who like to make up their own minds and a great brief would be Dawn Newspaper – not written for sheep. Thus when writing a brief, these are the top tips.

Consistent – The brief is brief for a reason. There is no space for tangents and multiple ideas. Pick your core theme, and trail it through EVERY element. If it is as fertile a thought as it should be, this will be easy.
Get the right info in the right boxes – Often boxes are mixed up in which Insights are passed off as objectives and the audiences are often found in mandatories. There are no “dull, functional” boxes. Everything should inspire and stick to your theme.

Language – Work hard to avoid the mundane. Let your vocabulary flow and inspire. Rewrite it. Rewrite it again. Every word is sacred. Make them all work hard. Remember, if you leave a loose word or loose thought, what’s to stop the creative picking up on this and basing their idea on it.

Follow The Template – It is a fixed template for a reason – to stop everyone going on for pages. If you need to shrink text or expand boxes, you are writing too much. Edit yourself, not the template.

How To Advertisement

Find your trueline – Marty Neumeier in his book ‘Zag’ says that all brand communication should emanate from your trueline. A trueline is the one statement you can make about your brand which is the reason why your brand matters to customers. It can’t be reduced, refuted or easily dismissed. The key to crafting a trueline is to focus on a single proposition. If you find yourself using commas or ‘Ands’, you may need more focus e.g. Avis – Because We’re Number Two, We Try Harder or for a insurance company don’t let your illness cripple your family.
With the wealth of increasing clutter of products, features, media, advertising and messages creating a poverty of attention in our world today, we need to ensure that we create emotions, aesthetics and experience that excite our audiences and creates vibrancy again in an increasingly dull and similar advertising landscape. To do that kind of magic requires crafting a magical brief.

Published: Dawn, Aurora Magazine, April, 2012.