I’ll Make This Brief

When I first entered this business, our mantra was “brief is best.” We lived by the golden rule of billboard advertising, “no more than 6 words.” This miniscule word cap was maddening, and yet it forced us to produce great work. We toiled until we could convey the entire message within the sacrosanct limit. But with the introduction of digital marketing, there were suddenly no limits—our words were no longer confined to a physical space with finite measurements.

But now, just because we don’t have to be concise, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be. We should. It is a lot harder to be succinct than it is to be loquacious; as Blaise Pascal said: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Take Twitter for example, the 140 character limit has made tweets the modern billboard, challenging people to be more creative and more succinct within their specific word cap. We need to bring brevity back, dare ourselves to make our points faster and better. And to avoid being called a hypocrite, or a pot calling the kettle black, I’ve intentionally kept this post short and sweet.