A while back, I was inspired by an initiative I saw in the publishing world. A collective of authors write reviews of their new books before the books have even been written. I loved their sentiment of thinking of the end at the beginning – with the end being what you hope the audience reaction will be.
I started to adopt this task into the studio’s creative process. It takes just a few minutes! When an idea is shaped enough to form a concept, I write the dream review.
It’s easy to forget the intent and ambition of a concept when you’re up to your eyeballs in troubleshooting – the feasibility, costing, value engineering, passes and so on – the inevitable perspiration of commercialising a concept. Referencing back to the dream review is my way of keeping the magic of the concept alive; of holding on to that original spark and its reason for being.
“Referencing back to the dream review is my way of keeping the magic of the concept alive; of holding on to that original spark and its reason for being.”
Is this ‘concept manifesting?’ Hmm, I’m not sure… Only the future will tell if any of the dream reviews I’ve written align with real reviews. Fingers crossed elements of them make it through to the end!
The dream review can also function as a brief. It can be an emotive driver for creative teams to support the factual brief of say: “Create a £14.99, on-the-go playset for brand A that does X, Y and Z.” It keeps the consumer reaction at the forefront of the mind.
And then there’s the pitching and selling process – be it the inventor sizzle, internal line review presentation, retailer previews, TVCs and all digital advertising content… They all need to elicit an emotional reaction to spark a response from the consumer. What do you want them to feel and think after they’ve interacted with your content and product? The dream review can be the intended outcome – the goal.
By way of example, here’s a dream review – I’ve edited out some specifics for confidentiality…
“CUTE factor overload! I’ve never seen my kids’ imaginations so alive. The play feels wholesome and open ended while still feeling fun and fresh. Day or night, the’re playing away! If you’re a fan of this brand, you need to check out the animated series… It’s captivating – l feel like I’m watching a Pixar movie! We can’t wait to expand the world – I think we know what will be on the birthday lists coming up.”
Why don’t you have a go at writing a dream review? Maybe all your dreams will come true!
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