A Copywriter’s View of Complexity


By now I'm sure that most readers of IF! are familiar with the simplicity vs complex debate. We've covered it here and here. It's a concept that has been born in the mind of Russell Davies and is at the heart of W+K London.

Henry Lambert
  • 9 october 2006

By now I’m sure that most readers of IF! are familiar with the simplicity vs complex debate. We’ve covered it here and here. It’s a concept that has been born in the mind of Russell Davies and is at the heart of W+K London.

After Russell posted his ‘Schtick’ some interesting debate ensued including a rather thoughtful post from Scamp, a copywriter at BBH London.

Scamp says:

“Speaking personally, the (admittedly very few) good ideas I’ve ever had came from a simple brief.

“Creatives spend ages sitting around discussing briefs. And all the creatives I know prefer simple ones. Our number one complaint about briefs is that they are confused, unclear or complicated.

“The bit I do understand (I think) is the bit about how ideas happen, since it’s my job to have ideas and I’ve been doing it every day for 12 years now. (Okay, I don’t have them every day… but often enough not to get fired… at least not recently…)

“So how do ideas happen?

“They happen when one individual (n.b. that’s one individual, not a team or a committee) makes a connection in his brain. A connection between two ideas or things that were not hitherto generally thought to be connected.”


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