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How To Write A Creative Brief

Let's start with a definition:

"A creative brief is a written document that specifies the objective of a communication and provides information to achieve that objective."

A creative brief is like a road map. A great brief is clear and specific. It leads to imaginative and persuasive ads, Websites or videos. And gets you there quickly.

A bad brief is incomplete or confusing. It starts you off in the wrong direction. So you have to stop, figure out where the heck you're going, and start again. Or worse, you follow that brief to Trash Town, a total waste of time.

Creative Brief Slideshow

> Click for slideshow: How to Write a Creative Brief

Creative brief information and insights

The first part of the creative process - for new clients, new products or services - involves collecting information and capturing insights.

A consumer insight is like a whispered confession between best friends. it's a simple truth that applies to a significant set of your target audience.

Consumer insights help you understand why people buy, why they don't buy, or some other aspect of the way they think, they feel or behave.

Example: Many people in the affluent 50+ market are reluctant to buy a high-end HD TV because they believe the technology is complex, difficult to setup and to hard to master.

Example: The majority of women buy the same cooking oil their mothers used, simply grabbing a familiar bottle off the shelf.

You can see how consumer insights help you understand the target audience, and how that understanding can help sell the client's products or services.

Some companies spend zillions of dollars on consumer research to get insights. But you can get excellent results in a few hours or a few days with the three tools on every
> Creative Director multimedia set.

How to write the objective for a creative brief.

The creative brief objective should always be clear and specific. Never ambiguous or overloaded.

A beautiful objective looks like this:

"The purpose of this campaign is to position ElectroQuick as a less expensive, equally effective alternative to BigBrand."

An ugly objective looks something like this:

"The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness, generate social media buzz - especially among bloggers / influencers - and to create consumer excitement for the new ElectroQuick by positioning the client as a leader in innovative global technology with a uniquely humanistic, professional and sophisticated brand image that compares favorably to BigBrand."

One way - not the only way - to write a lovely objective is to specify what the audience should think, feel or do.

Here are some examples that demonstrate how 'Think, Feel, Do' objectives can be expressed on the creative brief, then translated into ads. The slideshow, above, includes more examples.




Do: The objective of this ad is to get viewers to switch to AT&T with the offer of a free iPhone. And like many well crafted ads, AT&T's brand identity and personality shine throughout.


Creative Brief example

Think: The objective of this ad is for the audience to understand that GE is an innovative company creating new technology to saves lives.




Feel: The objective in the ad above is to to trigger an emotional response that motivates a click or visit to Debenhams to shop for Mother's day gifts.


Creative Brief set

> Every Creative Director set includes:

- 3 Quick and clever ways to get consumer insights.

- 9 Specialized creative briefs, each in multiple file formats.

- 4 DIY workshops with activity book and instructional slideshows that include TV commercials, video and sample ads.

- Plus sample briefs, pro tips, and the extended slideshow:
How to write a creative brief.