Just how important is a creative proposition?

Written by Tracey Henry, Creative Director of Grace Communications

But more importantly do you know why?

I was at a networking meeting the other day, where a marketing director wanted to talk about a meeting they’d had with their new creative agency.

This was the first ‘creative’ meeting since the client briefing and everyone was very excited about what they were going to be shown.

We quite liked it but…

The marketing director talked about the dynamics of the team; they liked the account manager and the creative director had some good ideas and suggestions about positioning but… she wasn’t sure about the proposition!

Are alarm bells ringing?

I was quite surprised and a little alarmed by this comment, as I’ve always believed you can’t have work on brief if there’s no agreement on the proposition.

So I asked the question, do you know the difference between a proposition and a positioning?

I received a blank expression in return.

Which got me thinking, how often is this miscommunication happening and is this something we, as the agency and creators of the creative proposition, don’t explain enough and take its understanding for granted?

So what is a creative proposition and why is it so important?

From a creative point of view it’s normally the first and last thing that’s read and is the most important sentence in the creative brief.

It is the sentence that should be amended again and again until it’s clear, coherent and inspiring! It needs to be creative in its own right. It needs to bridge insight with the brand truth so it’s relevant to the challenge. And ideally needs to be agreed before any creative work is started.

It will also be used as a barometer to check the creative is on strategy. So the important question consistently being asked is does the creative idea answer the proposition?

It’s such an important part of the creative brief because if it is wrong, weak or uninspiring, then the creative will be too!

So without an insightful creative proposition you won’t get great, challenging creative ideas that everyone can engage with.

Let me know what you think or feel free to ask any questions.

Tracey Henry, Creative Director www.gracecomms.co.uk

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