Jumping out of a window in a plastic bag filled with water, or feigning death in order to be flushed down a toilet doesn’t seem like much of a choice.
But desperate times call for desperate measures and, if you are a wild fish trapped in a tank in a dentist’s surgery, either option might seem more attractive than the status quo.
This scenario played out “for real” in the Disney Pixar film Finding Nemo.
Bags out of the window was a very funny and epic fail.
Down the toilet (which actually ended up as down the plughole) actually worked.
We can learn from this.
“Now what?” is what happens when you latch onto a specific solution without properly defining the problem that you’re trying to solve.
Brief as specified solution.
“We want you to help us jump out of the window in water filled bags.”
This kind of brief can get you into all kinds of trouble.
“We want you to set our brand up on Facebook.”
“We want a branded mobile app.”
We’ve all seen plenty of pointless digital and social media activity, behind which there must be a bunch of hapless clients and slightly shifty agency folk asking themselves “Now what?”
Brief as shared problem.
“How can we get to swim wild in the ocean again?”
This is the kind of brief that sends you down the plughole to freedom.
“How can we increase average purchase value by x%?”
“How can we reduce our cost per acquisition by y%?”
“How can we warm up these three specific buyers before the big trade show?”
Next time you brief your agency make sure you’re sharing a problem (How can we [insert commercial issue that keeps you awake]?) rather than specifying a solution (We want a [insert latest digital/social fad].)