‘Distill the brief’: The Mill’s Phil Crowe on what it takes to be a great creative

Are there bad briefs? That’s likely up for all kinds of debate but, to Phil Crowe, ECD of The Mill in Los Angeles, it’s less about the brief and more about the interpretation of the brief.

To become a great creative, Crowe feels as though it is vital to distill the brief down to its essence. Then, it’s up to creatives to actually celebrate its constraints, something he learned early on, even before he made his way into the world of marketing.

From there, great creatives must then take the constraint, “turn it on its head” and work hard to stretch and break those walls down into something that can become magical — certainly something that The Mill has scads of experience, judging by the amount of industry-changing and award-winning work the company has been involved with over the years.

Sure, there may be bad briefs, but it is certainly in the eye of the creative beholder — and its interpretation can be what engenders great creative thinking.

See what other creative pros think it takes to be a great creative, including Sarah Bates, CD at RPA in Los Angeles.

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Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

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