Forget The Box is not a bad book, at all. ‘Useful’ is the word I would use to describe it.
Eminently readable and beautifully illustrated, Kate and Stephen Page’s central – and unarguable - premise is that in order to develop a stimulating creative brief, one needs to free one’s mind.
They’ve done some research which shows, perhaps unsurprisingly, that most briefs simply don’t excite. The solution, as far as this book is concerned, is a collaborative process that builds a ‘bridge’ between business and creativity.
Replete with exercises and tips for building this ‘bridge’, and notwithstanding the diagrammatic pseudo-science and long quotes from supposedly worthy thinkers, the book will make an excellent companion to junior planners, client-side professionals who are new to marketing and, that increasingly rare breed, intellectually curious creatives.
Whilst one might take issue with the length and detail of the model brief that the authors suggest (sacrifice being the essence of strategy, and all), they are bang on when it comes to the importance of courage, of diversity of thought and the ability, or necessity, for brands to show leadership to consumers as opposed to pure followership.
In an age where so much of our world is dominated by beige conservatism, the book’s clarion call to jam briefs with conviction, and to avoid the insipid, is very welcome, as is the constant urge to include rather than exclude.
Grounded in 2014 reality (“We can no longer push messages to [audiences]. We must pull them into our brand.”), the Pages also demonstrate a sound understanding of the need to connect on both a rational and emotional level. As Coco Chanel said, “It’s not the brief; it’s the feeling”.
Perhaps most impressively, the whole book is an essay in the overarching importance for brands of ensuring seamless integration and authenticity in “every promotional breath” they take.
More Sting than Diddy; an ideal guide for those too young to get the reference to either.
To find out more about Forget The Box head to their website http://forgetthebox.co.uk/the-book.
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