This sample creative brief includes insights into consumer behavior - and it reflects contemporary media consumption with social, TV, print and digital.
Client / Client contact information:
Name, phone number and email address for the person or the team on the client side.
Project name and description:
Example: "O Earth: New brand / new product pitch for P&G."
Name, phone number and email address for the person or team members who are responsible for 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.
Example: P&G is launching a new line of household cleaning products under the brand name, "O Earth". The marketing problem is the rapid rise of brands like Method that are capturing a younger market. Our business goal, therefore, is to create a product line that will appeal to this generation of new consumers.
Our creative team has been assigned the lead product, "O Earth laundry detergent." This is a rare opportunity to build a new brand from scratch.
2. Objective: what is the goal of the ad or campaign?
Write 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: The primary objective is to persuade the audience to buy and use O Earth laundry detergent, as well as to create and characterize this new brand.
> Slideshow: Example creative brief insights, objectives
and resulting ads
3. Target audience: who are we talking to?
An audience profile is more about how real people think, feel and behave than it is about numbers and percentages. The aim here is to paint a portrait of the audience - a verbal picture that the creative team can talk to and visualize.
Start with a few basics:
- Who are they?
- Where are they?
- How will we communicate with them?
- What else do we need to know about them?
Go beyond basic age, location and gender data to humanize demographic details with insights and lifestyle information.
One way to do that is to explain how the audience currently thinks, feels and behaves in relation to the product category, to competitors, as well as to the client. For example:
We are looking primarily at urban women, 18 - 34, with household incomes over 50K per year. But the most important fact about this audience is that it is evolving, with race and ethnicity reflecting the increasing diversity of the US population. The magic word is "multicultural." We are not talking to white suburban housewives.
Psychographically we call this audience PRACTICAL ROMANTICS. They understand that climate change is real, caused by humans, and that the chemicals they use directly impact the environment. They understand the risks to future generations, and they will alter their behavior to help the environment.
At the same time, they buy cleaning products to clean. They won't use weak or expensive products just because they are labeled environmentally friendly. Keep in mind this audience does not have strong opinions or feelings about the product category (laundry detergents) and tend to use the same products as their parents.
- 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.
4. Focus: what's the most important thing to say or show?
Here you want to identify the single most persuasive statement, or compelling visual, you can present to achieve the objective. Keep it simple. Avoid generalities.
Example: O Earth liquid laundry detergent uses a new, plant based chemistry that aggressively targets and removes dirt, stains and grease - with zero harm to the environment.
In this TVC we see both rational and emotional motives for the action. Notice, no words. Just a visual story and music.
5. Reasons why: what are the most compelling reasons to believe, to try, to buy?
List the rational and emotional reasons for consumers to believe what you say, to try the product, to buy the service. Include all major copy points and visual evidence listed in order of relative importance to the consumer.
1) Dirt killer. New, scientifically advanced formula, aggressively targets and removes wide variety of dirt, stains and grease.
2) Earth lover. New plant based chemistry breaks down completely and naturally in the environment leaving no harmful chemicals.
3) Dollar deal. Get a full size container of new O Earth liquid laundry detergent for $1. This limited time, introductory offer will be via coupon affixed to the package.
4) Money saver. Save hundreds of dollars long-term with convenient, bulk refill companion products.
5) Waste eliminator. Exclusive "Select & Pull" dispenser trigger delivers the perfect amount of liquid for the load size.
This brief assumes you understand how to capture consumer insights, how to create a brand and how to position a company, product or service in the marketplace.
6. Also: what else might help the creative team?
Here's where you can include consumer insights, memorable quotes, 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 website address.
Oh, and be sure to include sources for additional research.
- Consumer insight: The psychographic profile revealed that this audience finds the TV personalities Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart highly credible sources of news and information. Also, many watch The Big Bang Theory and are captivated by the quirky personality and intellect they see in Dr. Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons.
- Expert quote: "I've never seen a stronger, greener, plant-based cleaner." Richard Rothman, Professor of Chemical Engineering, U.C. Berkeley.
- More info: Call Bill in research for the complete psychographic profile, which includes a few personas that represent this audience.
- The client would like us to develop at least one brand idea based on a real person playing a role. Think Flo of Progressive Insurance. Not Ronald McDonald. You will get a box of promo reels of comedians / actors. Consider a celebrity.
7. Schedule: What do we need from the creative team, and when do we need it?
Here you can provide details on media, sizes, client presentation requirements even production specs - all depending on the project.
Our goal is the client presentation, scheduled in 10 weeks. At that presentation we want to show two or three full campaigns to the client. The first step is to create concept boards for 4 to 6 campaign ideas for internal review.
Each concept board must include 1) the brand idea, and 2) the promotional offer. Additionally, you must show how the creative concept can work on Facebook, TV / video, print (newspaper, magazines, direct mail) and a selection of 4 to 6 online ads with landing pages.
Date: mm/dd - Initial creative review. 6 to 8 concept boards, from which we will select 3 or 4 for refinement.
Date: mm/dd - Review revised concepts expressed in 1) TV / story boards, 2) print, 3) Facebook and 4) online ads. Review with full team: client services, strategic planning and senior management. Select creative approaches.
Date: mm/dd - Formal internal creative presentation with concepts shown in all major media. Digital or boards. Tweak as necessary.
Date: mm/dd - Begin formal rehearsals for client creative presentation. Creative should be in final presentation format, full size, digital and boards or handouts.
Date: mm/dd - Client presentation.
Can you identify the strategy in this digital ad for the Mayo Clinic?
A client services check list
[ ] Do we have sufficient reference sources: previous ads, brochures, competitor ads, videos or websites?
[ ] Do we have contact info / links to people, research or resources that can help the creative team?
[ ] Do we need a supplement to the brief with information on media production requirements or perhaps a content outline for a website or brochure or video.
[ ] Is it clear from the client what must be in the communication, and what might be in the communication? What are the client requirements versus client preferences?
[ ] Do we represent the client's issues, concerns, wishes?
- The client wants to treat O Earth as a challenger brand in the category, including a challenge to its own products. This is a bold experiment for P&G that will be conducted by a specially recruited team outside their regular management and marketing structure.
- OE will NOT be shelved with other P&G products.
- All O Earth products will feature new, contemporary and functional designs. The design firm is FROG design in San Francisco.