Byravee Iyer
Sep 10, 2015

A three-step guide to solving a brief in 48 hours

SPIKES ASIA - In an unusual workshop session, Abraham Abbi Asefaw attempted to demonstrate how his company, the Pop Up Agency, solves briefs in the course of just 48 hours.

Abraham Abbi Asefaw
Abraham Abbi Asefaw

The agency's process involves idea-generation methods, decision-making tools and presentation techniques, all aimed at driving creativity.

Despite the Forum session taking place on the silent stage, where attendees have to wear headphones, Asefaw attempted to run the session as a hands-on workshop.

Here’s a step by step guide to Asefaw’s creative principles:

Empty your brain: In this phase Asefaw urged the audience to write down as many ideas as they could on Post-it notes, with the aim of getting the most obvious ideas out of the brain.

Speed dating: Once the brain emptying was complete, he asked individuals to sit in front of a table and jot down one idea, after which they had to move to the next person’s idea to build on it. Participants did this thrice before ultimately picking two of their favourite concepts.

“Speed dating is my favourite because it comes down to the core of collaborating with art directors, planners and everybody contributes,” he said.

Decision-making matrix: Asefaw divided the audience into teams and asked each to evaluate ideas and place them on a grid. “Make sure everyone gets airtime,” he stressed. Placing ideas on a grid helps to identify high-impact ideas that are also easy to implement, according to Asefaw. Each team then had to present the idea like a tweet, in 140 characters using four emojis.


Campaign Asia-Pacific’s view: We don’t doubt Asefaw’s 48-hour claim, but the workshop demonstration wasn’t quite seamless. It would have been good to get more insight directly from Asefaw, with real-life examples of the challenges that come with the high-pressure approach, as well as results.


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