The case of the impossible brief

By , agencyfaqs!, na | In Advertising | September 28, 2002
AF is looking for an agency to handle a special project. The brief is simple

agencyfaqs! NEWS BUREAU,

"Chako," yelled the boss. "Do you know what day it is?"

"September 27, 2002," I muttered, trying to figure out what was coming.

"Yes … and tomorrow is…" he paused with arched eyebrows.

"September 28?" I answered helpfully.

"Yes dodo, but what happened on September 28?" By now there was trace of impatience in his normally calm voice.

"What boss?" I asked.

"It is the 3rd anniversary of AF tomorrow. And have you worked out the copy of that special ad we decided on to mark the day? You know about the deadline for over a week now… it has to go tomorrow…"

It had slipped by mind. There are so many deadlines to meet…

"Well, what ideas do you have?" he asked. "It has to be something special," he added, before I could give my first, singularly prosaic idea that we simply create a copy-heavy ad announcing AF's birthday, with the brand name in big bold typeface.

Without waiting for an answer, he called in the marketing people and the research guys.

"Ideas everyone!" he bawled.

Ideas - well there were plenty.

The first one - write a short, cheeky history of the brand - all to fit in that one ad.

The only problem with that one was, the history of the brand wasn't all that funny - AF had slogged rather hard all its short life. And there was nothing particularly funny about hard work.

It was not funny the way the product started its life in a garage with three people, three chairs (Rs 325 each), two computers and one telephone.

It was not funny the way the product was conceived and produced in a 10 x 10 room often without electricity and always without power backup.

It was not funny how AF had to economise and scrimp its way for the first one year until it found acceptance with its audience - and investors.

So being funny was out…

The second idea came from the marketing department.

"We should create a full list of AF's achievements over the past three years - and set them out in bold copy in that one ad we have a budget for."

Well, what did you expect?

And anyway… there was a problem.

"Doesn't it sound too much of self-praise given that AF has always preferred to eschew hype?" I ventured tentatively.

"Meeting over," shouted the boss. "It is obvious that Chacko has the write - oops - right idea about what kind of copy to create."

"Okay Chako - it is your baby now," he said, and left for the day to plan what he would wear for AF's 3rd anniversary bash.

So here I am - I have no brief, and yet I have to think up funny and discreetly boastful copy celebrating the 3rd birthday of AF.

I am sorry but I have no ideas. I am off to prepare for the birthday party myself.

Do me a favour. My job may be on the line. You are a whole bunch of advertising types out there. Why don't you write some nice copy (refer to brief above) for that ad on's 3rd birthday today? When it's done, mail it to

And could I pass it off as my own? © 2002 agencyfaqs!

© 2002 agencyfaqs!