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Sample Creative Brief

This sample creative brief includes insights into consumer behavior, and it reflects contemporary media consumption into 2015 with social, TV, and digital.

Creative Brief

Client / Client contact information:
Name, phone number and email address for the person or the team on the client side.

Example: "New campaign to test "CitiClick" for Citibank."

Prepared by:
Name, phone number and email address for the person or team members who are responsible for writing the brief.

1. Background / Overview:

What's the big picture? What's going on in the market? Anything happening on the client side that the creative team should know about? Any opportunities or problems in the market?

This is where you introduce the project to the creative team. You'll go over this again in the briefing session, but write it down as well.

For an overview, state, "Who is the ad talking to, and what is the one main thing we want to say?"

Example: This is a test campaign to a selection of Citibank customers. We want them to try Citibank's new "CitiClick" - which is available as a mobile app for all operating platforms, from iPhone to Android. This smart app makes online purchases easier and more secure - and we've got a $1 pizza offer to get them started.

2. What is the objective, the purpose of the ad?

A concise statement of the effect the ad should have on consumers. Typically expressed as an action. And frequently focused on what the ad should make the audience think, feel, or do.

Example: We want people to download the free app and use it within 10 days to buy the special offer, a $1 family size pizza from Papa John's.

> Click to read: How to write objectives

3. Target audience: who are we talking to?

The more precise and detailed the better. Go beyond age and sex to describe demographics and psychographics. Explain how the audience currently thinks, feels and behaves in relation to the product category, the client's brand, and the client's specific product or service. > See consumer involvement theory.

Example: This campaign will be aimed exclusively at existing Citibank customers in three test markets: Sacramento, CA, Houston, TX, and Washington DC.

The primary target will be segments of our customer database: male and female, 20 to 35 years old, with at least one Citibank credit card. The target will be approximately 70% married, with combined HH incomes of $85k on average.

This audience is comfortable with new technology, and quick to test new smart phone apps that leverage their time. They like to be among the first to have the latest and greatest electronics, apps and especially phones. They make multiple online purchases monthly. We will call our representative personas "Joe and Jenna".

Creative Brief set

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- An editable creative brief template in .doc, .pages, .pdf, and .rtf formats.

- All specialized creative briefs, plus samples and pro tips, on .pdf.

- You also get the multimedia slideshow, "How to write a creative brief" which includes TV commercials, video and sample ads.

4. What's the single most important thing to say?

What's the single most persuasive or most compelling statement we can make to achieve the objective?

This should be a simple sentence. No more than a few sentences if absolutely necessary. Avoid generalities.

Example: "Joe / Jenna: CitiClick will simplify and speed all of your online purchases, while providing increased security."

5. What are the supporting rational and emotional 'reasons to believe and buy?'

Explain why the consumer should believe what we say, and why they should buy.

Include all the major copy points, in order of relative importance to the consumer. In other words, 'What else can we say and show to achieve the objective?'


1) It's free, from Citibank - your trusted financial partner.

2) Get any PJ pizza for $1. Full details come with the app.

3) Backed with a 100% purchase / fraud protection guarantee.

4) It has earned rave reviews from real users. (See attached quotes.)

5) Takes just seconds to select from multiple pre-personalized download options via your online account.

6. What else will assist creative development?

Here's where you can include consumer insights, a description of the brand personality, positioning tag lines, creative thought starters, terms of the direct response offer, result expectations, and mandatory elements such as the logo and Web address.

Be sure to include sources for additional research information, customer quotes, and certainly at least one consumer insight.

- User quote: "I see. I want. I click. I get."

- More info: Call Bill in research 555 8888 for the full research report.

- Insight: "People don't like to input their credit card and shipping details over and over when making online purchases. But they also don't like feeling their credit card information is vulnerable to theft. This app is the solution."

7. Schedule: What do we need from the creative team? When do we need it?

Here you provide all details on media, including size and color - for both the initial concepts and finished art. Example:

1) Date _________initial creative review of rough pencil sketch ideas.

2) Date _________review revised creative. Half size, with color, hand or computer created.

3) Date _________final internal creative presentation. Same finish as previous round.

4) Date _________client creative & media presentation. Full size, full color. Hand or computer created.

5) Date _________ [ digital, print, video, other ] final material delivered to broadcaster / publishers.

A client services check list

[ ] Do we have sufficient reference sources: previous ads, brochures, competitor ads, books, videos or Web sites?

[ ] Do we have contact info / links to people, research or resources that can help the creative team?

[ ] Do we need a supplemental brief / info for a long format, social media, direct response, or new business pitch project?

[ ] Is it clear from the client what must be in the communication, and what might be in the communication? What are the mandatory requirements versus client preferences?

[ ] Do we represent the client's issues, concerns, wishes?

This brief assumes you have defined the brand, as well as how the product or service is positioned in the marketplace. Be sure to identify at least one consumer insight.


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