Where portfolio students talk.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Argument for 3

At Brainco, because of the lack of AD's at a senior student level we've increasingly been working in teams of 3 people (typically 2 writers and an art director).

I've started to think that there is a definate advantage in the 3-person team, and that perhaps overall its a better system than the classic one Writer, one AD model. Here's why I think this:

  • Weakside Action- While 2 people discuss/concept, the third person can do the sort of alone-time momentary thinking that can bear new fruit. She/he has the option of thinking deeper, or straying onto a tangent inside their own head while the momentum of the conversation between two other people doesn't stop. With only two people, a momentary divergence from the current flow of ideas brings the concepting to a halt, because of course it takes two to tango.
  • The Point Guard Effect- If and when concepting takes a drastic turn for the wild (not that that's a bad thing) a third party can steer the momentum of ideas back into a place more conducive towards executable ideas.
  • Organic Conversation- Sitting down with people and coming up with ideas doesn't have to be (and in my opinion shouldn't be) any different than sitting down with a group of friends and shooting the shit. When people are comfortable, and less forced to let the conversation go, you're bound to talk about more things, and in theory, more ideas. It's easy for a 2-person group to become a very contrived, forced session--rather than a natural, not-worrying about saying something stupid gathering of natural human interaction. This (generally speaking) is eaiser to do in a group of three I think. Think about first dates often being group excercises, there's a reason for it.
  • Checks and Balances- With three people, there's less of a chance of a dominant personality taking too much power and completely controling the creative agenda. Less single-tracked ideas, and a greater diversity (or a greater chance of diversity) of ideas makes it eaiser to explore the metaphorical room.
So this is my hypothesis. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us about the 3- person team over a 2-person one. Do you prefer one over the other, or does it completey rely on the people and the assignment?


mplsminx said...

I love my three-person team. Everything you said about three-person teams being great is absolutely true. It's just such a great filter.

At the same time, I'm grooming one of the younger copywriters to be my go-to guy after my three-team graduates. I definitely feel that it's a strong alliance and that there's a lot of possibility, but it's missing something...

Maybe another CW. Maybe just some time. We'll see.

R. Falch said...

Ideally the 3 person team would kick all sorts of ass. And sometimes it does.

But usually it just makes things harder—scheduling, sometimes one doesn't work as hard as the other two and ideas seem to get lost easier this way.

As a writer, I would never put copy into my book that I didn't write either.

arthur said...

I've only done it once, but I've actually co-written a headline.

The Cohen Bros write this way. But I agree mostly.