Writing the brief for the Sistine Chapel

1st September 2016

Getting a creative brief absolutely right is fundamental to any great campaign. Inspiring creative people to do amazing things is paramount.

Many years ago we were given a brilliant example of how to approach developing a great creative brief and it remains a guide for the team today.

Imagine the different briefs that could have been handed to Michelangelo and what a profound difference the right brief made.

Please paint the ceiling
All the decisions are left to Michelangelo. He knows what’s required of him but has no idea of what the solution might be.

Please paint the ceiling with red green and yellow paint
This is now getting worse because he still doesn’t know what to paint and he is being restricted with no justification.

We have a terrible problem with damp and cracks and want you to cover them up
This is worse still since, inherently, the brief says no one will care what Michelangelo paints and he is left with the feeling that his work is unimportant.

Please paint biblical scenes on the ceiling which include God, Adam, Angels and Saints
Better, because Michelangelo has some direction. But it doesn’t give that freedom or license required to create an original solution.

Please paint our ceiling for the greater glory of God as an inspiration and lesson to his people
Michelangelo is inspired and empowered to do extraordinary work.

 

 

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