Monday, September 15, 2014

New Idea: Ban Everything Except Post-It Notes

We all wang on about the importance of simplicity.

But our actions do not back up our words.

Not by a long shot.

Clients say they want 'simple, powerful, effective advertising.' But too many of them (not talking about mine, who are lovely!)  feel they will get to this by presenting the agency with 54 pages of Powerpoint charts and brand architecture diagrams.
Planners want Creatives to deliver great work that's on-brief... but there's often various possible briefs within the several pages they hand over.

And Creatives - yes, we must own up to our own failings too - write elaborate TV scripts, and lengthy descriptions of activations or interactive ideas... whose verbiage often obscures the fact they don't actually have an idea in them.

Anyway, I'm not here to complain. I'm here to suggest an answer.

We simply ban all presentation materials (Powerpoint, Keynote etc) and indeed all forms of stationery, except for the post-it note.

And I'm not talking about the rectangular ones. I reckon we go hardcore - limit ourselves to just the square ones.

If a Client wants 'simple, powerful, effective advertising' wouldn't they be better off stating their problem on a single post-it note?

If a Planner wants great work wouldn't he/she be best advised to write their proposed strategy for tackling the Client's problem on a single post-it note?

And if Creatives have come up with a great idea, shouldn't they be able to write it on, yes, you guessed, a post-it?




Pretty cool, huh? What do you say? Who's with me?


Zac Martin said...

In addition to this, use a "Textas only" rule. Stops people from writing a paragraph in pen.

Anonymous said...

Preaching to the converted here, Simon.
The problem I see time and again is people have trouble PAYING for simplicity. If something looks simple, people don't see it as valuable. The more widgets and switches a thing has, the easier it is to assign value to (even if we don't even use or require the widgets and switches).
So, often these elaborate presentations and hyperbolic practices are simply to give evidence of industry and try and justify an invoice.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Scamp.

Old CD Guy said...

Yes, yes, yes.

Spencer Silver said...

Great idea! I just don't think it will stick.

Thanks said...

Thank you,

I have been thinking I was going mad, thank god you agree with me.

Simplicity has gone out the window. Jargon rules. Planners think they're doing their job by making things more complicated and 'intellectual'.

All a planner's job is, is to tell the creatives what the planner wants them to say.

Then creatives find an engaging way of saying it.

Chris Ogunlowo said...


Groucho said...

Surely every good planner knows if the brief can be interpreted in many ways then they can't be blamed for the outcome?

Anonymous said...

Surely the more complicated a thing is and the more time it takes to do, the more money the agency makes. Complicated makes money. Therefore things are more complicated.

Anonymous said...

Can I come and work for you? Spot on.

john p. woods said...

Why does this seem a revelation? Has Advertising disappeared up it's own jacksie? Surely keeping it simple, whereby 'it', means everything, should always be a prerequisite.

George said...

Backwards. You left out that the trucks are driving BACKWARDS, and for me, that's way more impressive than someone doing the splits on the wing mirrors. THE TRUCKS ARE FREAKIN' REVERSING!!!

Sell! Sell! said...

I'm with you Scampy.

And John P Woods for that matter.

And George, you're right.


Sell! Sell! said...

I've never agreed with so many people in one comment, that felt weird.

Scamp, John, if you're interested, here's something wot I rit a while back on the unsimplifying of advertising…

Stumped said...

"In the age of distraction, (brand) reveals the artistry behind beauty worth paying attention to."

Is the actual proposition on my current brief. Anyone got any idea what that means?

Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa said...

Love your blog! Had to laugh though when we realised we used this clip you're referring to in this years Fartbomb campaign. Check out the link for a laugh

Anonymous said...


you want these mate

i designed the greek edition. good fun. ;-)

Rock oN FX

Anonymous said...

If you start with a bad, or inexperienced, planer/AM. You'll just get a Post-It Note with paragraphs of very, very, very small writing.