The seven stages of adstorming

1: Briefing
The creatives are sat down around a central-access focal point, or table. On a whiteboard, the stratagems, targets, and engagement action points are listed. A watermelon is placed in the middle to stimulate the creative process.

2: Medium
Once this is agreed, the team will know how much space they have for words and pictures. Popular media include:

  • Website
  • Flag
  • Side of London taxi
  • Side of Bristol taxi
  • USB stick(s)
  • Catwalk model’s face
  • Cornfield
  • Cornflake

Often, a medium will be brought in to help choose the medium by consulting the spirit realm.

3: Colour
The colour psychology wheel is consulted. Whether it’s Tabasco, Manila, Dark Sky, or Lake Of Ice Fire, the chosen colour determines the mood of the message, so it’s crucial to pick the right one.

If there’s more than one potential colour in the running, the colour wheel is pinned to the wall and tacks are thrown to determine the winning shade.

4: Words
How many words should be used, and what those words should be, are now discussed. A dictionary is usually passed around, with on-brand words highlighted. Nouns are decided on first, followed by verbs, and finally, adjectives. Word counts are determined by strict pay-per-letter budgets, and can be restrictive.

5: Pictures
The team must now choose: photo, or drawing? A photo is more real, a drawing is more artistic, so they decide whether being real or being artistic is more important to the brand at this stage.

6: Action point-fulfilment
Up to thirteen subtly different designs are shown to several ethnically-balanced focus groups, who tick off a list of brand fulfilment aims according to the success of the communication.

If it fails, the whole process resets to stage one.

7: Approval
The creatives are let out of the meeting room for up to one hour before being fed and put to sleep for the night.

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