Many years ago I worked on the McDonald’s business inMexico. My creative team was made up of two 26 year old men. They were not married and had no kids. To them McDonald’s was a place to get fast, fairly cheap hamburgers at lunchtime.

I tried hard to explain that McDonald’s was about kids and magic and fun but it was  tough to convince them.  I decided to take a different approach. I called my Client and asked him to please arrange that my Creative Team work at a Play-land. They were to spend a long weekend helping to arrange and manage birthday parties.

While they were not very happy about this, they finally agreed to do it. And after three grueling days, their view of McDonald’s changed completely. They had experienced the bond that the Brand has with kids, one that goes way beyond hamburgers.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Whenever you are trying to brief your team on a project, go where the action is. Try to experience the product. Watch how real people interact with it. Understand what they really think and feel, beyond the clichés and the motherhood statements.

If you are working on the Mercedes 560 account, have everyone drive one on a test track. Or better yet, work in showroom and observe how people actually feel about the Brand.

If you are working on the Lifetime Fitness Gym account, go and spend time in the aerobics or weightlifting classes. Or go through a training bootcamp.

Go where the action happens on your Brand. It will help fuel a kickass brief.

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