Gary Does: One Minute Briefs (every day)

30.01.17 · Copywriting

One Minute Briefs. It’s not just a game-changer. It’s a life-changer.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a copywriter. Actually, scrub that, not true. I had no idea. I wanted to be a film script writer, or, ahem, a film studies teacher, or a primary school teacher, or….. I dunno. Jobs came and went and I still had no idea. I felt anxious that time and age was against me. 

I finally worked it out. I love writing. I love pop culture. Media. Politics. I have outspoken views. A mildly abrasive socialist streak. I’ve always been a massive cultural sponge of sometimes useful knowledge. How to apply it all?

I took the plunge after my last career (education) came to a natural end in 2014 and broke my copywriting cherry on some friends’ start-ups. They were happy. I was jubilant inside.

After that, a lot of free content for lifestyle websites, 'for the portfolio'. Some little jobs here and there, and then I lucked out after some local networking, and worked with an amazing CD at a local agency on a rebrand for a national company, for nigh on a year. A toasty baptism of fire, and to carry on the heat analogy, it lit a fire under me that continues to spur me on. And then…

In my trawling of the net for #freelance #copywriter jobs, contacts, etc. I came across a tweet by a guy called Nick. We had a bit of an offline chat. He was looking for somebody to work with. Very nice chap. Nothing happened, but yes, you guessed it. He turned me on to ONE. MINUTE. BRIEFS.

Just to contextualise, having not really been a part of The Industry via the traditional route (first career, courses, placements, junior roles), this one word, ‘creative’, monopolised everything I was seeing, learning and taking in. And here’s the rub: I didn’t know how to be 'creative'. I knew I had skills; I love wordplay, puns and writing lines, but not how to generate IDEAS. “Go on Gal! Write a book! Write this…. Write that….” Ummm. I would if I was inspired.

And this is where, after the generous pre-amble, the real focus of this piece comes in to play, and I get to the ‘write a bullet list for your readers to make it more digestible’, bit about OMB.

Here’s what One Minute Briefs has inspired me to do, get involved with and eulogise about (sorry wife, a win doesn’t mean money, not yet). It’s been a slinky fit from the start.

  • 23 OCT 2015 I won on my very first OMB (#JagerOMBs)
  • … and went to OMB Live 2
  • I knew nobody and was a Southerner in a strange land, but came away uber hyped, and chatted to some amazing people
  • After one of said chats, in 2016 I was referred by an OMBle to an agency and have had regular, paid work from the introduction
  • Now (Feb 2017), I’ve won 41 … and counting.
  • Have been on 10 shortlists (including some great campaigns)
  • 7 Oct 2016 OMB LIVE #3 - I'd made a video (but wound up giving an emotional, garbled speech instead), was first to get knocked out of the Live OMB, had a amazing adventure with a fellow OMBle and travel companion, bowed down to my OMB idols, and stood proud when I got a mention for one of my wins
  • I’ve asked for help, and collaborated with fellow OMBles 
  • I did star jumps for a minute, a la Joey from Friends (many layers of clothes on), and filmed it for a brilliant SM idea from a fellow OMBle
  • Did a book crit for two talented, lovely creative students, and got roasted myself by Father Critmass (invaluable advice which I‘m working on)
  • Have gained a lot of followers on Twitter, clocked up likes, had some very nice comments from my peers and international ‘conversations’’
  • Met fellow OMBles in the flesh at Copy Cabana and #copywritersunite nights - delightful
  • The buzz from winning and getting likes from peers is like creative crack
  • Feverishly checking and refreshing your feed is perverse fun
  • WARNING: Can create green-eyed envy, but you know, in a good way
  • Have created a body of work from scratch – a portfolio, yes, with actual conceptual ideas for products and campaigns
  • Oh, and BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT and book (you don’t get more dyed in the wool OMBle than that).

To surmise, OMB is an amazing tool for unlocking parts of you that maybe didn’t exist, were suppressed due to confidence, or have been sharpened due to its medicinal, ‘take one daily’ approach. It’s made me feel like I can tackle anything creative. 


Am utterly addicted, and am continually spurred on by other OMBles’ amazing work.  It’s an essential tool in any creative’s toolkit. 

I know my strengths (wordplay, puns, and lines) but am learning so much from being on there about visual style, what works, what doesn’t, that I genuinely believe I’m improving.

We are part of an industry that can take an understandably risk-free approach at times, and god knows we see some dross out there, but at Casa OMB you can relax knowing that every idea lives and breathes with no rules, within a fully embracing community that’s as nice in real life as they are online. NIck and all the OMBles, we salute you.

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