Guest Blog Posts

Why Every Business, Big or Small, Should Run a One Minute Briefs Campaign - Guest Blog Post by Chris Bruno

A few years ago I received a message from a friend saying, “can you re-tweet my OMB entry today?” I didn’t really know what was going on, but I’m always up for supporting my friends when it comes to their efforts online. I mean, if we don’t support each other, who will, right? That’s what started this whole journey. Just a simple message.

That friend now happens to be our Head of Content here at Social INK. Gareth Alvarez, or as you might know him, @alvo_muses on Twitter, was helping us with some freelance content writing for our clients at the time. He’d been involved in OMB for some time and wouldn’t stop ranting and raving about it.

I was curious, but back then I was busy running my business and building an online TV channel. I didn’t make the time to get more involved and understand what it was really all about.

Fast forward to 2019. Gareth is now part of the team full time. We came off the back of a crazily busy 2018, and as we started the new year we decided it was time for us, as an agency, to do things differently. We had ideas, lots of ideas, but OMB was the one that stood out to us, and the one we decided to move forward with first.

After talking with Nick, and coming up with a suitable brief for ourselves as a social media marketing & content marketing agency, we set to work getting ourselves ready to run our very own One Minute Brief.

Advertise the benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses and SMEs

To say we were blown away by the response would be an understatement. We received over 120 entries from the incredible OMBles and the community at large on Twitter. It was outstanding. Conversations were happening all over the place and we had an awesome time simply engaging with this creative group of idea machines!

Picking a winner proved harder than we could have imagined. It took us hours to narrow it down, get to a final 3, and finally choose the winner. To be honest, we thought all the entries were worthy of being winners.

After the buzz died down a little, and we had recovered from a Twitter day that saw us post hundreds of tweets and replies, I decided to break down some of the numbers. This is when we realised just how powerful an OMB campaign can be for businesses. Any business.

Let’s just take a look at the overview from the stats:

  • Website traffic spiked 5X our usual daily traffic

  • The 120+ entries on Twitter had 158,000+ Impressions and more than 10,000 engagements

  • Twitter following increased by nearly 15% on the day

You can find the full stats on the Social INK blog: OMB: A Twitter Campaign Worth One Minute of Your Time

Suffice to say, we couldn’t get enough of OMB as a team, and as such, we did a couple of things:

  1. We agreed internally that, as an agency, Social INK would take part in OMB every day going forward!

    This is a great way for us to showcase our own creativity, and at the same time, flex and train our creative muscles. As an agency, being creative is imperative, but we often focus so much on our clients’ work, that we don’t often think about ourselves or our own skill set. I would say all agencies and freelancers should strongly consider doing this internally. After all, it only takes a minute.

  2. We reached out to Nick at OMB and asked if we could take over OMB for a couple of days. It ended up being 3, and we loved every second of it.

The OMBle community is made of truly great people, from all over the world, who all come together to have some fun and get creative. During our 3-day takeover, we ran a brief for Yachts, Muscle Cars and even Japan on national haiku day.

After seeing the incredible results, first hand, and after running 3 briefs for completely different products, we were left in no doubt that we needed to share this. Not just with other people to help them with their creativity, but also with our clients, to help them generate incredible content.

In May, we helped to organise the Eden Blue Sparkling Wine brief for our clients, as part of a week-long social media takeover. The results, once again, were spectacular. You can see all the Eden OMB Entries here.

We’re now more engaged with OMB than ever before. Since March, we’ve entered every day, and I’m so proud of the team. Together, we’ve had 11 OMB wins (so far) and now we’ve got our tickets booked to come and meet all the incredible OMBles in person at the OMB Live 6 event up in Manchester in October.

Needless to say, we’re sold on the idea. Our clients love the concept, and ultimately, we think every business, big or small, should run an OMB campaign, at least once. You’ll be amazed where it could all lead.

Chris Bruno

CEO & Founder of Social INK


Welcome to OMB School - Guest Blog Post by David Felton.

It’s a mild Tuesday afternoon and a young man is having a panic attack in an neglected office stairwell. His breath comes in short sharp gasps as if a great weight is upon him. He grabs the banister for support, but the crushing feeling increases - it’s getting worse. Sweat is dripping off his nose steadily, and a sweaty puddle behinds to form. To any onlooker it looks bad. ‘Phone an ambulance right now’ bad. His hands are shaking, and it takes a force of will just to stand.

But we’ll come back to him later.

I’m writing this piece because my good friend Nick has asked me to say a few words about what being an OMBLE means to me. And I’ve got some in mind.

When you lose a pitch you feel devastated, don’t you? People walk around frowning, worrying about the security of their jobs. Weeks of work feel wasted. You froth with anger, burn with frustration and say every curse word under the sun. Then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and do it all again. Perhaps you’ll win the next one and it’ll be a big juicy six figure account. Perhaps not. But that’s the nature of this business. You put aside your resentments and feelings and you sit down to work, to create - afresh, anew, better.

After over 5 years of being an OMBLE it only recently occurred to me that that’s the most enduring and powerful benefit of this community. Every single day you get the opportunity to pitch your ideas and receive feedback. Like clockwork, unflinchingly, you can put your ideas out there in whatever form they come in - a scrawl on a post-it note, a Photoshop mock-up, an origami crane, and anything in between. This lets you learn fast. Three years of creative advertising becomes condensed into one year of daily challenges. Easy. Job done.

That’s only half the truth though. Because there’s another side.

In a pitch, you only ever see the work you made. The one single person who sees all the work is the client. You get a small facet of the story - a slither of truth. What if you could see all the creative work that was presented? What if you could compare yourself to others but not through the prism of resentment but that of understanding - learning what makes their ideas good.

One Minute Briefs gives you the opportunity to do just this, 5 times a week, 52 weeks a year (occasionally with a week off at Critmas). You get to pull back the curtain and compare your thinking with dozens of other successful and aspiring creatives. What made their entry so clever? Was it an inventive visual pun? A brilliant twist of language? An original insight shining out like a diamond in the rough?

That’s why I truly believe OMB is the best ad school out there. And the more that it grows, the more people who are welcomed with open arms - the better the experience of comparing, contrasting and learning from others becomes. Where else could you get real briefs from worthy charities, fast food brands and abstract objects in the same week? It’s an education. It’s formative.

And that doesn’t even touch in the community spirit of togetherness that shines through, as people encourage, collaborate and try to help each other crack the tough nut that is ads.

OMB doesn’t cost money to enter.

You don’t need to go through a gruelling series of challenges. Just jump in and get involved. Whenever you can. And no worries if you’re too busy, or you went on holiday or you just can’t be arsed that day. There will be an OMB waiting tomorrow. No pressure.

Now - who’s forgotten about the guy at the beginning, seemingly dying in the stairwell? Let’s revisit him, or me - I should say. Yep, that was me having the extreme panic attack - one that came out of nowhere and shook me up for several hours… and it was only last month. I’m mentioning it, not because I have some innate desire to show my vulnerable side, or to engender your pity, but because I want you to understand that OMB is a community that will rally to support you no matter what. Whether you’ve got health problems. Mental illness. Bereavement. Joblessness. Homelessness. There’s no one right way to answer a brief, and there’s no one right way to be an OMBLE.

In all my years of advertising, I’ve rarely found as supportive or consistently helpful bunch of people as I have here. But I’ve also discovered there’s an ugly side of advertising - one fraught with creatives battling against every woe in the book from chronic conditions to depression, anxiety, even suicidal thoughts - who receive little help.

There’s a dirty tribalism in our “Adland” where we only look out for “the people like us”. For some that means the ones who went to the same ad school as you and got the same lessons, producing a new batch of cookie-cutter creatives. For others it’s the tribalism of race, of gender, of wanting the person who is ‘the right fit’ in a world where we know difference and originality works. We need to fight against these impulses, not to champion one school, or even one gender, but to celebrate and champion everyone - that’s what it means to be inclusive.

Industry navel gazing is rife. Conferences of like-minded people talking to more like-minded people, while all around us the world contracts, and advertising becomes more insular. More difficult to break in.

One Minute Briefs bucks this trend in a way I see rarely recognised and even less rewarded. But that doesn’t matter. They’re not in it for the awards.

One rule. One minute. Create an ad.

To quote M&C Saatchi’s often quite useful tagline, if that isn’t “brutal simplicity”, then I don’t know what is.

David Felton is a Creative Copywriter at Kindred Agency in Westminster where he produces work for brands, charities and - unsurprisingly - the government.

Follow David on Twitter.


There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat - Guest blog by Gareth Alvarez

Gareth has gone on a big journey from Gibraltar as a teacher to working in the creative industry. I’m really pleased to have met him at various points on the journey and seen such amazing progression since our first introduction via One Minute Briefs. This is a very inspirational story.
— Bank of Creativity

You’ll be a doctor. An accountant. A lawyer. A teacher.

Human dissection? Spreadsheets? Money vs. Ethics?

Teacher it is then.

These were the ‘realistic’ career paths available to me at school. You see, in Gibraltar, there were only two secondary schools — the boys’ school and the girls’ school. (Coeducation in a staunchly Catholic country? Behave.)

Choices were pretty limited and the economy was hardly diverse and booming. If you wanted to go to university and return to The Rock there was a very small career pool to dive into. Doctor. Lawyer. Accountant. Teacher.

If you chose not to go to uni, a public sector job was the jewel in the crown. A government job offered security, a great pension, and very comfortable working hours. These opportunities were few and hard to come by. Kind of a “job for life” deal.

My parents were both teachers, so the illusion of choice was quickly lost. Teaching was the (only) pathway for me.

But it didn’t feel right.

The Write Stuff

I’ve always been a fan of writing and wordplay, but never really thought it could take me anywhere. Too many images of down-and-out novelists desperately trying to forge a living, staring blankly at a typewriter, whisky in one hand, cigarette dangling between pursed lips.

Copywriting and advertising were so far out of my sphere of reference, they were non-existent. As for content marketing? It actually didn’t exist!

After several years as a teacher (English and Media), I found myself between jobs. And that’s when things started to change.

In 2010, I started doing some freelance work for a boutique marketing agency, Just Consulting Ltd. (later rebranded to Social INK), run by Chris Bruno; some web content for clients, blogs for his news site, Your Gibraltar TV, articles for his print magazines, and general copy-editing work. This marketing lark was actually not bad.

Some reading and research later and I was sold.

I learned what a copywriter was. It was me.

I began exploring the possibility of a career change. From teaching to marketing and advertising.

Cue lots more research and reading.

An OMBelievable Find

And that’s when I discovered One Minute Briefs!

It quickly became the only reason to have a Twitter profile. A whole community of ad creatives, designers, copywriters, students, award-winners, happy to share ideas, share knowledge and feedback, and share a laugh.

One Minute Briefs was (and still remains) an absolute goldmine for someone looking to:

  1. Learn about advertising

  2. Practise the creative process and gain valuable, constructive feedback

  3. Build a portfolio

  4. Network with some seriously talented, friendly, and creative people

It opened a whole world of possibilities.

70% of what I’ve learned about advertising, copywriting and design has been as a direct result of my involvement with One Minute Briefs. I learnt a lot from the OMBLES.

It took me a while before winning my first OMB. But the learning curve was so steep that once I bagged my first win, the floodgates opened. I was quickly building up a collection of advertising concepts that people rated.

With points a), b) and d) covered, all I had to do was throw together a portfolio and start looking for opportunities.

I set up a website to showcase my work and started a blog — mostly exploring advertising. The original version of my site is no longer active, but you can find my current blog here (it needs sprucing up a bit).

The Third Act Twist

Now feel free to break out the world’s smallest violin.

A bit long in the tooth, somewhat educationally institutionalised, with a young family to support, getting actual industry experience to break into advertising proved more than difficult. It was impossible.

Portfolios are great, but there’s no substitute for actual agency experience and personal networking to help you crack into the industry. Placements are the expected route. Working for free.

But I got bills. I got mouths I gotta feed. There’s no way I can work for free. Especially when there isn’t even the promise of a job at the end of it.

Dream over. Back to the classroom. Back to the drawing board.

Realisation (In a Todorovian Sense)

Fast forward to January 2018 and a renewed sense of purpose.

I’d been looking at the problem all wrong.

It only took me five years to realise.

I was casting my net too wide. And into the wrong expanse of water. Up against younger, more malleable, and more ‘experienced’ fishermen/women.

I needed to switch my focus to something with lower barriers to entry, where the playing field is more level, and the opportunities are not geographically confined.

Enter digital marketing.

More specifically, content marketing and social media marketing.

I hit up Chris Bruno again. I needed to update my website, relaunch my blog, and start getting my head around the subtle nuances of the various social media platforms. Start gaining practical ‘experience’. More doing.

So I did. I started writing a weekly blog on creativity and creative thinking. Things I observed that interested me. I dusted off my Hootsuite account and got into the habit of planning and scheduling regular content across my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Lots of practice, and at the same time, raising my online profile.

It soon turned out Chris needed some blogs written for his company website — now Social INK.

And then some social media posts.

And then some proofreading for clients.


Fancy doing Social INK’s content?

Well, What Do You Know!

One thing quickly led to another and just over a year on I found myself as Head of Content for Social INK, writing for some really cool clients, devising content marketing and social media strategies, and loving life working from home as part of a larger distributed team.

You see, whilst there are established routes into certain industries, they’re not the only ones you can follow. When everyone zigs, try to zag.

Don’t accept there’s only one entrance. And even if there is, there are other buildings that might have something similar to what you’re looking for. Go knock on those doors.

But if it’s inspiration you’re looking for, or a platform to help build you up, then OMB is it.

Mine may not be the greatest OMBLE story ever told, but OMB has seen some amazing successes — check out William Baxter’s story and Ze Anwar's, perhaps the highest profile of the lot. And there are a lot!

But, all things aside. Whatever you end up doing. Wherever you plan on going. Just always keep in mind, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Follow Gareth on Twitter at: @alvo_muses

Me, My Chimp and I. And the sandpit. - Guest blog by Chris Place

Chris is an exceptional Creative Director who has a love for fun ideas that push boundaries and unleashing your creativity. In fact, I think we met at the Chip Shop Awards a few years ago, which is all about Creativity without Limits. This brilliant blog post shows how he adopts that philosophy for himself.
— Bank of Creativity

I’m hearing a lot about ‘Chimp Mode’ at the moment, Chimp Paradox, how we need to control our inner chimp, dampen the flames of instant reaction, think a little first and all that jazz… And no doubt some very, very, very, clever people will disagree with what I’m saying, but I’m saying NO! Well at least No for me.                                               

“Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be.”

Erm… am I not already who I’m meant to be? Dunno? Maybe? Maybe not?

Chimp says,  “Oi! You are doing just fine being you pal.”

I’m a bit perplexed by all this mind control stuff, I am who I am, and my personality is what makes me unique. In a creative environment it’s everyone’s individual uniqueness that comes together in the ideas melting pot that helps to make interesting ideas. That’s my understanding of it. And I think working in a playful creative environment it’s the perfect place to be a bit Chimpy? 

My chimp brain sits on my shoulder like a best mate, as said, I keep getting told and am reading that I need to harness this chimp? The chimp who part defines me. So you can see my struggle? This chimp has an active role in my work, sometimes I just blab out things without thinking too much about it, but that’s how I am and how I work and others around me who perhaps have caged their chimps (Snide feckers) take that chimp screech and think harder on it and build upon it, and I guess that’s true creativity at play.

Now I’m no Psychologist and I have no real understanding of such things, But I do think I understand myself, I might not understand all the reasons why and such, but I like to think I know who I am. Recently I was lucky enough to do some management training at work all about different learning styles and it turns I’m out I’m an ‘Activist’ and have an emotional character. Makes sense with my chimp being heavily influential in my life.

I’m pretty lucky that the company I work for are cool with individuality and like people being who they are, as long as that’s not offensive to others or abusive to the wider world – And I’m certainly not that. My chimp is a nice chimp, he might be a bit unruly at times and instantaneous but he’s not all animal, he has a human side to him too. Or is that me, or are we both one and the same?

Anyway my human brain rambles on…


Be who you truly are in a creative environment and let your own potential shine through, its easy to fall in line with other people’s way of looking and thinking about stuff, it’s easy to be a ‘Creative Chameleon’ and copy someone else’s style. Nab inspiration from others for sure. But don’t mimic personality, or you’re already a cliché.

Embrace your chimp. Don’t stick it in a cage that is well snide. Unless you’re a Chief Financial Officer and then I guess that cage is well and truly locked up.

Follow Chris on Twitter @Placey80

Could being anxious millennials make us better creatives? - Guest blog by Ellie Hubble

Despite creating some amazing ideas and having a great talent for writing, Ellie has shared stories of imposter syndrome and anxiety. But does this actually make her an even better creative? Here Ellie shares her story and shows how she channels her ‘millennial’ anxiety.
— Bank of Creativity

I’m a millennial.


And along with the rest of the world - when I’m not monopolising avocado yields or just whingeing somewhere – I hate the term. More than that, though, I hate what comes along with it.

The always having to be ‘on’, always worrying about what’s next, always judging yourself against others because you’ve been conditioned that way. Yada yada. A recent BBC article on ‘millennial burnout’ explains that ‘it’s all about being hyper-healthy, hyper-clued-up, hyper-fashionable – and it’s exhausting.’

It sure as hell is exhausting and more than that it’s boring.

But an intriguing thought struck me recently:

Could all this ‘millennial anxiety’ be positively fuelling my creative career?

Let’s see.

The always ‘on’ mentality?

It means I’m thinking about and documenting words and ideas whenever inspiration strikes. I can work on the go and am never limited by my surrounding set-up. Texting on the night bus? How about tactics on the night bus?

The dependence on technology?

I can write for any platform or format. Twitter? Yep. Web? Yep. App? Yep. When the machines enslave us all, maybe I’ll curry favour through delightful binary.

The narcissism?

I’m obsessed with myself, so naturally that extends to my job as a creative. Being a millennial means I know my work is the only significant work going in the land. Everything I do is of crucial import and no one else could possibly get me.

The self-doubt or ‘imposter syndrome’?

It helps me to stay modest and powers me to work harder in the creative industries. I’m also constantly expecting my boss to stand up and bellow ‘get out, fiend’ in his best Ian McKellen voice.

The worry?

It adds pressure that forces me to hit deadlines and fuels me to produce the best work I possibly can. It also leads to crippling mental and physical health issues but let’s just sweep that under the rug.

The comparison with others?

It keeps me competitive, researching what others are doing and always topping up the inspiration. It also means I’m constantly coveting other people’s wondrously emerald grass.

So what do we reckon then? Could being an anxious millennial make us better creatives?

Maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Maybe the real question is: how do you be a millennial and a creative…while being content?

Avocado cover.jpg

There’s no such thing as no. - Guest blog by Lucy Gabbie

I first met Lucy a number of years ago when she was looking for advice in how to go from accounts into creative. She faced a real struggle without a typical creative background behind her, but her determination was incredible and I’m not surprised to see her doing such amazing campaigns. I’m sure she will be Creative Director soon enough.
— Bank of Creativity

Straight out of uni with an art history degree, a creative passion and no job. It’s hard to know what industry is the right one to go into. I read a lot about advertising and liked the hybrid between art/graphics combined with business - so there I was applying to advertising agencies. I managed to win a creative pioneers intern in account management at an agency in Manchester where 20 of us were picked. That intern ended up being extended to 6 months. As soon as I started I found out about what the creative department consisted of. Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Copywriters and Art Directors were partnered together and they came up with big conceptual ideas for campaigns.

I want that, I thought. But I knew the road ahead was going to be tricky.

After asking for a weeks work experience in the creative department, I knew I had to do this. On I went to peruse my day job in account management. My night job became building up a portfolio full of ideas and meeting as many people as I could, to get advice and feedback. I enrolled on a creative advertising short course at St Martins which helped me build up my skills and gave me the confidence that I could do this. I also managed to reach out to Nick, who worked in the creative department at my agency. Throughout the couple of years, he helped me massively. Giving me briefs on the side and guiding me in the right direction. I tried to move into the creative department but because I hadn’t gone down the traditional route of a creative advertising degree, I wasn’t taken seriously. I needed a partner. A book. Software skills.

Doors were shut. I was told no.

But one of the creative directors I reached out to for advice saw something in me and wanted to meet with me. He ended up taking me under my wing as he saw big ideas. I quit my job in accounts and went to pursue the start of my creative journey. I got trained in adobe suite, got to work on big projects and embraced my first role as a creative. I will always remember the kindness and belief that CD saw in me. I always had a dream to move to London; to go to the best and learn from those better than me. After getting a job offer at BBH, off I went to the capital as an art director. There I got partnered up with a copywriter. Together, we worked on big briefs for British Airways and Tesco. It was tough and brutal - but I’m so glad I had my time there.

Then, I decided to go freelance for a while and gained good experience at Oliver (and won a Chip Shop Award along the way), before going permanent at Wunderman with my fellow copywriter Georgie. We were bold, passionate and came up with fun and unusual ideas. We won a couple of awards along the way, and people seemed to love what we do. After a couple of years, I decided I wanted to go solo and explore working for a brand, rather than an agency. I wanted to work for a brand that I could understand like the back of my hand, a brand I believed in. I had had enough of insurance and supermarket brands that didn’t stand for anything.

Then came Heist. Heist is one of those brands that once you know, you know. It’s bold and challenging the status quo. for those that haven't heard of Heist, we’re disrupting the underwear industry, making woman’s underwear that's comfortable and actually works. After three intense interviews, I got offered the role and began my journey at London’s top start up and I love it. It's challenging, a rollercoaster at times, but super exciting. I’ve just come up with an idea for an OOH campaign we’re running at the moment called "Rip It Off." Shapewear is so uncomfortable, many women can't wait to take it off. The campaign allows people to psychically rip off an image of uncomfortable shapewear to reveal Heist's shapewear that you won't want to rip off. Hopefully this campaign will remind people to rip off their actual shapewear and replace it with Heist's shapewear that actually works.

Persistence and passion got me where i am today in my career. Don't let “no” put you off. It's not going to be an easy ride - you'll get knock backs, you'll get people telling you to pick a different career - all sorts. But if this is a career you truly want and believe in - go for it. You can do whatever you want to do. My dad once said to me, wherever there's a will there's a way, and that's what I live by. It may be an element of luck and timing so far for me, but mainly not taking no for an answer.

Last Night a Creative Saved my Life - Guest blog by Ze Anwar

Ze has been a huge inspiration to many people including myself. He has fought through mental health issues and become one of the most consistent creatives of the OMB community. His ideas have improved massively and he always encourages others to do well. This has seen him win awards and force his way into the industry whilst fighting for diversity and inclusion within the creative world. This post is a privilege to be able to share.
— Bank of Creativity

I remember when I first came across One Minute Briefs on Twitter about 3 years ago, when OMB were running a brief for the NHS choir. At that time I was a NHS whistleblower and I was campaigning vigorously on social media for justice for myself and other whistleblowers. Being a NHS whistleblower really destroyed my life, I had just recovered from a suicide attempt after losing my job and I was battling PTSD every day.

Finding One Minute Briefs really saved my life, it was like a beacon for me to try something new. I was really finding it hard to find a job as I was blacklisted from working in the NHS where I had a solid 5 years of experience within NHS procurement.

So I thought let me focus on something away from the toxic environment of whistleblowing, I had a family to support and wanted to start a new career path. I always felt I was a creative type of person, So on the next brief I entered, and from there I haven’t stopped entering and I don’t think I ever missed a brief since I joined.

The OMB community was really supportive of my work and I gained so much respect for every member of the community, who are a talented bunch and very competitive, which is a good thing as this pushes you to reach your potential and beyond.

In my first Year I won ‘Most Prolific Omble’ award at the OMB awards which was held in Manchester, and the following year I won OMB Omble of the year and just last year I won that award again, which was such a life changing experience for me as I also won a chance to work in a creative agency for 3 weeks, I had so many ideas and I was involved in some TV and Radio work, which was created by the wonderfully talented David Felton, and I had one of my ideas chosen for a car advertising campaign. Unfortunately this did not lead to a full time job, but I learnt so much I was thankful for the experience and plan to carry on fighting for a chance to express myself in the industry, which is crying out for diversity.

I would say OMB saved my life and I am eternally grateful to Nick, who I class as a very good friend/brother, who is supportive of all the Ombles and goes out of his way to help and nurture every aspect of Ombles creative learning experience.

My favourite brief I worked on was for Isabella, a young child who has neuroblastoma Cancer. As I had worked for the NHS, it made me feel like I was helping people again. My poster was chosen for a short video, which got over 30 million views and featured on TV raising a lot of money in the process.

I treat every OMB as a serious brief and at the same time have fun with my creative learning, which you don’t get to do at an agency. I recommend anyone who is creative to enter One Minute Briefs, no matter your level, as, by entering, not only do you get to enter briefs from world famous clients but you get to train your brain. We are no different to athletes and we have to train to stay on top of our game.

My final two points which are very close to my heart is to do with my mental health. I find writing traumatic (more so with my whistleblower experience). I was at very low point, I had lost all hope on life, my dad had just died and I had a new baby which I could not support financially. I did do art and design at college a long time ago and I found that exploring my creativity helped with my mental health, and One Minute Brief is a great tool to help, and I recommend anyone with mental health to give a go!

My last point about one minute briefs is about diversity, in all my time in the creative field I have found the whole advertising industry very negative towards black and ethnic minorities, but I never found this with One Minute Briefs as it is the most welcoming and diverse communities in UK advertising bar none.

Once again I would like to thank the following who have helped me along my journey Louise Chorley, Richard Bayley, Gary Lewis, David Fenton, Matthew Wyatt and many many more, and a big thank you to Nick Entwistle who has created such a vibrant community.

To all the newbies who are thinking of joining in OMB, have no fear and go create….

Follow Ze on Twitter.


How One Minute Briefs' brilliance gave me resilience - Guest blog by Gary Lewis

Gary has been a huge advocate of One Minute Briefs over the last few years and in this post he shares his story about how the community gave him something back when he needed it the most.
— Bank of Creativity

I’ve well documented my creative love affair with OMB. And yes, it’s still a life-changer and a game changer. But last year there was a new layer of depth revealed beyond the puns and banter, creativity and personal development. Some of the community I was part of and vociferously supported, gave it back in a time of confidence shaking personal uncertainty.

What? Why? Where? When? Who? Questions, questions. Well, let’s start with the why. Professionally, it was a rocky year, and as a freelancer you soon get to intimately know what the much proclaimed ‘feast or famine’ effect is like.

Like a resting actor, I was ‘between’ jobs, but my confidence had taken an absolute battering and the ‘between’ was stretching on. The daily LinkedIn trawl was starting to chip away at the soul. Leads stayed cold and recruiters were largely ineffective or unresponsive.

I doubted my ability as a writer. I reflected on certain situations that led me to that point in time, and wondered if I’d made the right life choices? (classic imposter syndrome).

Here’s the rub. I’ve met a fair few OMBles in real life now, and had plenty of conversations offline with them. I’ve offered advice and support. I’ve got some back, collaborated and simply shot the breeze with many. But it was one that came back to me and asked me to join her on a new venture.

Massive shout-out to Kate Crawford. She’s an inspirational figure – a fantastic creative, highly respected and skilled marketer, and having talked to her, a tirelessly devoted mum who’s seemingly managing to juggle everything.

Cutting to the chase (I do get there, eventually) she asked me to become an affiliate of her new company. She’d seen my OMB work and was looking to gather a crack team of copywriters (self-christened C-Team) from around the country to work with her.

I jumped at the chance. Not only was it a great opportunity when the wolf was taking a battering ram to the door, but because (after a fantastic hour long personal conversation) she ‘got’ me. And, I was soon to be in very esteemed company.

Dave Harland? Liverpudlian copy legend. Clare Jennings? From OMB copy ingénue to carving out a tasty career (Clare, you need to write about your career jump into copywriting for the BOC blog).

I worked with the C-Team on several projects over the summer of 2018, was referred to new clients along the way by the team, and we continue to support and inspire each other as a group (there’s still not a collective noun for copywriters!).

Yes. I’m proud to be a copywriter. But any creative role will be tough at times. The trick is not to give up on yourself. Resilience can come from unlikely quarters. 

Use OMB to learn and be social. Be the best you and you’ll find the support you need when you need it. Just look at what happened to @ZedTrafficker last year… 

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How to conquer your fears & write your first ever blog post in the process - Guest Blog Post by Louise Chorley

Through our talks, workshops and One Minute Briefs platform, we like to encourage people to share their ideas, thoughts and fears and encourage others to help build their confidence and yours. This post by Louise Chorley shows how she defeats her fears & we hope it will inspire you to too.
— Bank of Creativity

Shut up Elsie 

Mistakes. Been there, done that, analysed them, I’m over it. Most of my mistakes involve third parties - I wasn't in complete control, so it’s easy to let them go.

Missed opportunities due to the paralysing fear that I’ll make myself look like an idiot, well, they’re a different story altogether. It's with them that my biggest regrets lie. Those opportunities were missed solely by me, listening to me, when I told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I listened to fear and I let fear win. 

I am quite often on the receiving end of kind words, endorsements, and words of encouragement, and yet fear barely remembers any of them, but you can be sure that bitch can recite every single negative comment, criticism and put-down, word for word, dating back to my days of morning milk and knee high socks, with added venomous tone of voice for dramatic effect. It can be hard to ignore the voice of fear when she’s so bloody convincing.

As someone who works in the creative industry where stand out is the holy grail, and fortune most certainly favours the brave, I need to shut this voice up, or at least turn down her volume. So, in an attempt to disarm her I’ve named her Elsie, because for all intents and purposes she’s an inferior, lesser version of me (full marks if you get that link). I’ve visualised Elsie too; she wears a yellow velour tracksuit and blue Tesco trainers, with a high pony tail and far too much hairspray.

Confidence is Elsie's nemesis so I do whatever I can to keep my confidence up. I remember the good stuff, the compliments and good feedback. I make mental notes, write them down, screenshot them, I even share them on social media. I know it's in Elsie's interest for me to be humble, so I do the opposite - I celebrate the good stuff. I also challenge my creativity by entering One Minute Briefs every day. Some days, OMB acts as a warm-up, it greases the mind which helps the ideas come quicker for the day job. Other days, it's a much needed boost, a little reminder that whatever the challenge, I will find an answer and most of the time it'll be a good one.

Elsie has been pretty active today. Snide comments. "You are not a writer, why are you writing a blog post?" "What could you possibly have to say that anyone would want to read" "You are NOT a writer" "You are NOT A WRITER" "YOU. ARE. NOT. A. WRITER." She's been doing her best to get in my way, but I've succeeded in getting her to pipe down. I mean, she's a teenager with dreadful attire and the attitude to match - and I refuse to be beaten by an under-ripe, velvet banana wearing blue shoes.

So, Elsie, this one’s for you. My first ever blog post. I am a writer. 



Has anyone seen Elsie?

Follow Louise on Twitter.