How to write a creative brief that you enjoy writing and at the same time gives a precise and valuable overview of the project?
A creative brief is a very common, yet feared word among those who work in the marketing and advertising field. Brand managers and marketing specialists find it a heavy task and on the other hand, agencies find it a maze to unravel.
In this article, you shall find out how to write an interesting brief that truly guides the reader to all the project’s aspects. Meanwhile, you’ll also learn how to read through a brief if you’re working on the agency side. Let’s dive!
Table of Contents
What Is a Creative Brief?
To answer the question of how to write a creative brief, it’s essential to take a step back to clarify what a creative brief is. A creative brief is a short, one-to-two-page document outlining the strategy for a creative project. In most cases, a client is the one who writes the brief for a creative team to execute.
The client is often an assistant brand manager, a marketing specialist, or whoever is responsible for the project in the marketing department.
The purpose of the creative brief is to educate the creative team or the agency about the project. That project mostly includes a problem, a question, or objectives that the creative team would aim to reach. The brief defines the direction for the deliverables. The creative deliverable could be anything: an email marketing campaign, a web ad banner, a billboard design, a catalogue design, market research, or even a 360 communication campaign.
Sometimes, the brief needs to be more elaborate, so it exceeds two pages. As a general rule, the bigger the project, the more elaborate the creative brief should be. However, most briefs should stick to a maximum of two pages. The creative brief also works as a contract that both sides can refer back to in case there is any disagreement about the final outcome.
Therefore, it’s a document that should be handled with care, even down to the file format.
How to Write a Creative Brief: The Other Perspective
The first thing that should pop up in your mind when asking how to write a creative brief is putting yourself in the reader’s shoes.
Mostly, we tend to only see our own perspective and forget that there’s always another side to the story. This is part of human nature. We assume that the person listening to us or reading what we wrote will naturally understand what we are trying to explain. Many “briefers” fall into that mistake when they are creating a brief. They assume that the reader has the same background information in the back of their minds about the project or the brand. This is not necessarily true in most cases.
You need to consider that a brief should start with the very basics and dive into details as it moves forward. Ask yourself, “What do I know that the reader isn’t aware of? Is this information going to effect the final outcome?”
Experts recommend that after finishing your brief, you should have someone who isn’t aware of the project details take a look at it and encourage them to ask their questions. If they have many questions, the creative team will have questions too. Your brief is neither a presentation to your manager nor a proposal to a client that you’re trying to impress. A brief is explanatory. Someone on the other side will interpret your input from their own perspective.
Therefore, always write your brief with that other perspective in mind.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Types of Briefs
A brief is categorised according to either its purpose or its length. In this article, you’ll understand both and choose what fits your end goal in mind.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Purpose-Driven Briefs
1- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Project Brief
The project brief identifies a process or product that a company needs to be completed but falls outside the scope of its usual operations.
For example, the company wants to develop an app or needs to outsource specific tasks which are out of its expertise such as market research or HR. Project briefs are usually for long term projects; typically longer than a month.
A project brief focuses on technical matters such as findings, deliverables, schedules, timeline, and logistics. All of these are key to ensuring that the project fits in smoothly with the rest of the company’s undertakings and to show the team working on the project how that is to happen.
The most critical, challenging points in a project brief are the scope of work, timeline, and budget. Therefore, your project brief should highlight how to avoid issues on these three aspects and the level of flexibility or balance that both sides should maintain.
2- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Idea Brief
The Idea Brief typically involves the creation of some art. Art could be visual such as graphic and web design, packaging, branding, or outdoor billboards. It could also be in the form of literature such as articles for magazines and blogs, social media posts, or a script for an ad. It might even be a mix of both; such as the case with flyers, leaflets, catalogues, and video creation. They all require both visual and written art.
What distinguishes an Idea Brief is that it has room for exploration. That’s why many agencies love to receive this kind of brief. The Idea Brief doesn’t have many constraints. The briefer’s only job is to provide the message, objectives, and strategy. Then, it’s up to the creative team to come up with a concept. This freedom is what allows the best ideas to be born.
However, freedom doesn’t mean that there is no objective or key message, this is the core of every communication brief. Freedom here is only freedom of execution; any brief must always provide direction and specific messages to deliver.
3- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Command Brief
A Command Brief is a restrictive version of the Idea Brief. Its outcome is typically creative, however, the client knows exactly how the creative piece should be like.
In this case, the brief includes detailed guidelines and may even include an outline or a sample that’s ready for execution. The execution of a Command brief is much faster and easier because it doesn’t involve the process of exploring ideas. Therefore, it’s critical for the agency to devote all the time and effort to create a creative outcome with the highest quality possible.
If you’re the one writing a command brief, then you should do the research and come up with the right idea for execution on behalf of the agency. You may even create the first draft.
Of course, it all depends on the nature of the campaign or what you want to execute.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Length-Driven Briefs
Now, let’s differentiate between briefs according to their length. Typically, a brief is a one or two page document. Nevertheless, sometimes a brief is longer or shorter depending on how much info needs to be delivered and what the creative team already knows about the brand.
1- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Short-Letter Brief
The short letter brief is meant to be a 3 minute read; between 400-450 words. People sometimes call it the Give Me Five Brief because it covers five important questions:
- What’s in it for the consumer?
- Why is this service/product so different from any other on the market?
- How will it improve the consumer’s life/work/ education/finances/health…?
- Why can’t the competition match it?
- What do you want the consumer to do next?
Although the short-letter brief is, indeed, short. It delivers accurate and specific insights about the goals, the campaign, and about the product itself. That keeps the agency focused; the creative team will never have to second-guess what the client wants.
2- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Straightforward Copy Brief
The straightforward copy brief falls midway between the short-letter brief and the full-letter one. Naturally, it includes more details than the previous one. It’s also the most common one; the one to two page document.
This type will be the focus of this article later on as you’ll get a full exposure on what this brief covers and how to write a creative brief of this type section by section.
3- How to Write a Creative Brief: The Full-Letter Brief
The full-letter brief is often used for bigger projects or produced by entities which are quite formal in doing business with third parties such as governmental institutions. This brief goes all the way; the whole nine yards.
Here are the points covered in this brief that the typical one wouldn’t cover. While writing the full-letter brief, you must incorporate previous campaigns and the history of your communication. You must also mention when and how often the audience had heard from you. If you find it challenging to include these elements effectively, don’t hesitate to ask CustomWritings to write your paper for valuable insights and assistance in crafting a comprehensive brief.
A SWOT analysis is an essential part of this brief. The briefer should give a 360 degree view of the product, service, or brand which the project revolves around.
In addition, the full-letter brief should identify the feeling which must be delivered to the audience through every touchpoint.
Competition is also important in that brief, you must mention your top three competitors and provide recent examples of their work.
In bigger projects, there are often a lot of restrictions. That’s why you should clarify all the guidelines and constraints especially legal ones.
Moreover, the full-letter brief focuses on the budget and the deadline. So, you should clarify when you’re expecting to receive the deliverables and whether you expect a first draft or the completed project.
Finally, you should identify the person responsible for handling communication between both parties and who the decision maker is.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Step by Step Guide for Basic Components
This is your step-by-step guide on how to write a creative brief. You’ll understand the rationale behind every section of your creative brief and how to deliver the message in the most optimal way.
Remember that every section is composed of two to four sentences; in some cases, it may even be one sentence only. The goal here is to create a one or two page document that is precise, strategic, and crystal clear.
The “How to Write It” section is quoted from a sample brief written by Graham Robertson, the author of Beloved Brands.
1- Why Are You Advertising?
There must be a clear reason why you’re advertising. Are your trying to acquire new customers to try your products? Or, are you asking loyal customers to buy more?
Maybe you’re advertising for a brand new product in a brand new market and want to build some brand awareness first. Or, maybe you’re just creating top of mind awareness as an established brand among your competitors.
There are numerous reasons why you may want to advertise or create any sort of creative communication. A common mistake is that marketers allocate a budget for communication, without clearly defining where that communication fits into the brand strategy.
Many brands “just want to be there” without a clear objective, so they end up with a campaign that fades as soon as it’s over.
How to Write It?
Why are you advertising? “To tempt consumers to try our cookies because they are the best tasting yet guilt free pleasure.”
2- To Whom Are You Advertising?
Your target audience is a must in any creative brief. However, many marketers miss the point that the purpose of a target audience is to be specific. “We target everyone” or “we target 25 to 60 year old men” doesn’t work.
Your brand should never have the same communication for that wide range of consumers. If your target is indeed that big, you need to have a separate creative brief for every group of consumers which share some similarities.
The more specific you are, the better. And surely, the more you understand your consumer, the more efficient your creative outcome would be. So, divide your audience, put yourself in their shoes and identify the suitable message for each.
Tell your creative team about their interests, their behaviour, their likes and dislikes. Give them details about the consumer’s persona.
Even if that means creating four different briefs for different consumers. Or, if you’re tight on budget and can’t afford except one version for the message, then you could target one group this year, and target another one next year and so on.
How to Write It?
“Our cherished target: “Proactive preventers” suburban, working mums, 35-40 years old, who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay healthy. They run, workout, and eat right. For many, food can be a stress reliever and escape, even for people who watch what they eat.”
3- Consumer’s Enemy
If you truly understand how your brand offers a solution for a problem, then it’ll be easy to determine your consumer’s enemy in your brief. But, it’s always easier to talk about the products and state its benefits and features.
This is called cold selling. This technique is dead in terms of having real impact on the consumers.
To create real value for your brand, you must consider what kind of problem your product or service solves. From there, you can start imagining the real enemy your brand fights.
For instance, the consumer’s enemy for Disney’s brand is “growing up”. Meanwhile, Volvo fights off the consumer enemy of “other drivers” and Starbucks fights off the consumer enemy of a “hectic life”.
How to Write It?
“Our brand’s consumer enemy: Temptation and guilt when they cheat.”
4- Consumer’s Insights
Before launching a new communication campaign, brands with a medium to large budget usually do a qualitative and/or a quantitative market research study.
The findings of this sort of researches often include some consumer insights which marketers use to decide on the message of the next campaign.
While creating your brief, share a clear consumer insight from your findings. Choose an insight that would help the creative team understand the goal and inspire them to come up with an idea that hits home.
Consumer insights could be a story, a quote from a focus group, or even a copy-paste sentence from the full report of your research. It depends on how you want your brief to look like. Do not be afraid of your own style.
How to Write It?
“Once consumers cheat on their diet, it puts their whole willpower at risk. “Once I give in to a cookie, I can’t stop myself. They taste too good. It puts my diet at risk of collapsing. I feel so guilty.””
5- What Is the Consumer’s Existing Point of View?
This section takes history and existing positioning into consideration, which is an essential ingredient in the creative process. Even the biggest brands miss that sometimes.
Remember that Kendall Jenner ad for Pepsi which wasn’t well received by many? Take a look!
The reason why most people disliked this ad is because Pepsi ignored their long history of brand experience and the existing point of view of their consumers. The brand was tempted by “purpose-driven” campaigns that have great ROI and wanted to hijack the trend.
However, the consumer’s experience with Pepsi has nothing to do with protests or being relevant to “a cause”.
Pepsi is all about fun moments, friendships, summer time, or even events such as the World Cup. This is their consumer’s existing point of view.
Therefore, you should elaborate that to the creative team. Even if you wish to challenge the status quo. Let them know the existing status.
How to Write It?
“While our cookies have achieved a small growing base of brand fans, most consumers remain unfamiliar with the brand and have yet to try our cookies. Those few who love our brand, describe it as equally good on health and taste.”
6- Call to Action
Call to action is an abused word. All marketers know that there should be a call to action in order not to confuse the audience. On your quest to find out how to write a creative brief, you must know that there’s more than one meaning for a call to action.
A direct “buy now” or “download the app” is the common understanding of a call to action. However, that’s not the only way. A trigger is a call to action. A tease is a call to action.
So, the outcome could be as creative as the agency makes it. Your job as the marketer who writes the brief is to let the creative team know what you want consumers to do/feel after encountering this creative piece.
How to Write It?
“What do we want consumers to do? Try our Cookies. We know that we once they do, the great taste will win them over.”
7- Tone of Voice
The brand you’re working on certainly has a personality. Is it a friendly, down-to-earth brand? Or, is it authoritative and challenging?
Are your consumers wild rebels who search for freedom? Like those hardcore Harley Davidson fans. Or, do they care about the environment and look into the spiritual side of life.
That determines the tone of voice to use for your brand, generally, as well as the one to use in your creative communication.
Choose three to four nouns or adjectives to describe the tone of voice of your brand.
How to Write It?
“A safe choice, honest, and down to earth.”
8- Brand Message
One main message? Yes, absolutely. Even if you have the best product or service in the world and there are so many benefits that you want to list to your audience.
No matter how complex your product is or how innovative it is. Stick to one main message.
One message per creative is a golden rule. In a cluttered market, one where the attention span of your audience is only eight seconds, you must do anything but confuse them.
Choose one clear message that you want to deliver about your brand in this creative outcome.
For instance, if you’re creating a post for social media, use one message for the caption and design. Make it simple and straight to the point, in addition to being memorable. The same applies to all types of communication, whether offline or online.
How to Write It?
“With our cookies, you can do what you want and stop feeling guilty over eating a damn cookie.”
Support points are the reasons to believe; aka RTB. Reasons to believe are a key part of your brand promise. Give the creative team your reasons to believe.
First, that’ll build trust between them and the brand they’re working on. If you can’t convince them, you can’t convince your audience.
Second, buyers make purchasing decisions based on a number of factors. Your team of creatives must understand these factors in order to create a solid deliverable that speaks to the mind and heart of your consumers.
RTB statements can be short, concise, to-the-point statements that serve as a sound bite to the buyer.
Or, they could simply be a rational argument or a scientific reason.
How to Write It?
“Our cookies matched the market leaders on taste, but only has 100 calories and two grams of carbs. In a 12 week study, consumers using our cookies once a night as a dessert were able to lose 2 kilograms.”
9- Brand Idea
Brand idea is the story behind your brand and what differentiates it from other competitors. It’s a brief introduction about what your product offers and how it’s presented to the consumer.
Most companies already have a ready-made document about that. So, while writing your brief, you can make your job easier by looking into that document and choose one or two sentences that represent your brand idea best.
See Also: Content Marketing Agencies
How to Write It?
“Our cookies are the best tasting yet guilt-free pleasure so you can stay in control of your health and mind.”
10- Brand Assets
Brand assets are any type of file, image, or document that showcases the brand of your business. Most commonly, branded assets include the logo (in different versions), artwork and graphics for advertisements, social media, signage, and tradeshows.
It also includes templates for videos, presentations, or emails. Brand guidelines such as color pantones and positioning of logo are all important details for the creative team to know.
These assets are often attached separately, however, you should mention the most important ones in your brief, especially if the next creative deliverable relates to one of the past ones.
How to Write It?
Brand assets: “Story of our new England family recipe, our signature stack of beautiful cookies, and tagline “More cookies. Less Guilt.”
What is it exactly that you’re looking forward to receive? What form of content? How long is it? Would you like to see more than one direction or concept?
Define your expectations in this part. This is the part where you get to be demanding (within reason, though). Be specific, without being restrictive. And definitely, do not mislead the readers.
How to Write It?
“Our Ask: Media Choices to Explore
Main creative will be a 30 sec TV ad, supported by event signage and in-store display. Carry idea into digital, social media, and build a microsite.”
How to Write a Creative Brief: Additional Components
So, now you know the essential components of evert brief. In particular, the straightforward copy brief. The upcoming components are sometimes included and sometimes not.
It depends on how well the agency is aware of your brand. It also depends on the nature of the deliverable and the type of contract that binds your brand and the agency.
Any brand or business now have more than one touchpoint to communicate with the audience. Social media alone has many platforms, for each one, communication is different.
If the creative outcome will be tailored for a specific channel, or even more than one channel, you need to state every channel.
Explain briefly how the creative will change accordingly. For example, the dimensions of Instagram designs are different than those for Facebook or Twitter. The same applies if there’s a billboard campaign.
In any case, if the outcome will be for more than one channel, you need to mention the channels and the differences you’re expecting to see.
2- Product Details
In the previous part, there was the brand idea. Sometimes, that’s not enough. What if you need to give more details about the specific product relevant to the scope of work?
This is usually the case when launching a new product.
So, you can give out more benefits, advantages, or product attributes in your brief.
Make sure that any information you give about the product in the brief is actually useful and affects the outcome. Don’t bore your reader with details that won’t affect the scope of work.
This is usually the part that nobody likes; because it’s often the deal breaker. While nobody likes to talk about financial restrictions, well, someone eventually has to take matters into his/her hands.
If there’s on-going business between your company and the agency, then you don’t need to discuss budget at all. Such is the case when there’s a long term contract or something.
In your brief, you don’t have to get into financial details. Definitely, you don’t even need to be very accurate about the budget. All you need to do is give the price range that you’re capable of to manage the expectations of both sides.
This helps makes the process easier and gives the agency the right insight into how big the project is.
Sometimes, especially in a command brief, the briefer wants to include some references which act as an inspiration or an embodiment of the concept.
References could be from previous brand assets. They could also be from competitors or from any inspirational artwork.
For example, if you want the creative team to create a brand identity or a logo, you may include references for other logos and mood boards that you want the final outcome to resemble.
Remember to mention in your brief if these references are merely for inspiration or you want your deliverable to be somehow the same.
When there’s a campaign, especially one that includes a big advertising budget, both sides must agree on key performance indicators.
How would the brand measure the success of the campaign? Ever since digital marketing became a must-have platform for brands, numbers became a major part of the marketing game.
Results became measurable. You’re now able to measure how many people viewed your ad, how many engaged with it, and what they are saying about it. That’s how you measure the success of an ad nowadays.
It’s different now than in the past when it was harder to find out these numbers.
That’s why, you need to be clear about the kind of results you’re expecting.
Are you expecting a specific number of leads? Or, are you looking for direct conversions or sales? Perhaps, you just want to build awareness, so you want the biggest number of viewers.
Be clear about your KPIs, this will make it easier for both sides.
See also: Brand Storytelling Examples
How to Write a Creative Brief: Do’s and Don’ts
How to Write a Creative Brief Do: Strategy First
The brief’s function is to provide strategy and give freedom for creativity that delivers on that strategy. What usually happens is quite the opposite.
Marketers try to control the creative part and do not give a particular strategy. They end up changing the strategy when choosing between different creative directions.
If your objective is to acquire new trials, then don’t accept a creative that promotes more frequent usage, just because it looks great.
Strategy comes first. That’s your job as the creator of the brief and the brand manager.
State one objective in your brief. One clear consumer response. Force yourself to pick only one action for the consumer at a time.
How to Write a Creative Brief Don’t: A Blank Canvas
“We’re just looking for new directions and options.” That’s a line that every agency hears at least once. No designer, copywriter, or account executive wants to hear that.
Imagine if your boss came to you asking for “options” for an idea that he didn’t really elaborate. You would be confused and you would go about reading between the lines for any kind of instruction.
It’s not true that agencies don’t like instruction all together. They just don’t like too much restrictions.
However, they do need to be given the box where they can play inside, or outside. But the box needs to be there in the first place.
How to Write a Creative Brief Don’t: The Know It All Brief
Give the agency or your creative team a problem to solve. For example, let them know that your sales are declining because there’s a new competitor. Tell them that your consumers are mostly of baby boomers and you want to attract millennials.
Provide them with a real insight or problem, and let them figure out an answer by executing something inventive and original.
The “know it all” brief is the one that already claims to know the problem and its solution. It doesn’t go this way; unless you intentionally want it to be a command brief.
A brief that gives a problem, a solution, and the way to execute the solution leaves little to no role for the agency. All they would need to do is to execute. That makes their role robotic instead of creative.
If you’re looking for a breakthrough campaign, or something that would go viral, then the-know-it-all brief isn’t the right choice for you. You need to be open for new concepts and ideas. Let the agency do their part.
How to Write a Creative Brief Do: A Brief Is “Brief”
A brief is indeed just that: a brief. Do not make it too long. Long briefs are boring because they normally include more than what the agency needs. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes while writing your brief.
Agencies have a hectic environment and they’d rather receive a straight to the point brief.
Moreover, long briefs are confusing. Since they entail a bulk of information, the most important information are lost in the middle. The reader can’t really tell where the highlights are.
Long briefs are usually written by marketers with good intentions. You want to provide all the information to the agency so they can come up with the best execution. However, sometimes less is really more.
How to Write a Creative Brief Do: Consider the Context
While you’re giving any instructions, especially on the tone of voice or things that would affect the creative outcome directly, take a look at the surrounding context.
These are some questions that you should consider:
- How does the market currently see the product or its category?
- Is there a cultural moment you can tap into to promote the product?
- What cultural values, ideas, or events can you align the product with?
- How is the economy doing? Is it a time for optimism? Or are people concerned with saving?
There are many brands that were truly successful by connecting their product to the daily pop culture. Two of the brands that were truly successful at that are Oreo and Durex.
How to Write a Creative Brief VS How to Read Through a Creative Brief
Learning how to write a creative brief is no easy task. Similarly, reading through a brief is also a skill to develop. Now, let’s look at things from the other side.
“Off-brief” is the most dreaded feedback an agency gets after the creative team delivers its execution. To avoid these dreaded words. Creative teams need to understand how to read through a creative brief.
#1: No Skimming Through
It goes without saying. Yet, still some agencies just don’t do it. In the jazz of tasks, many creative teams just skim through the brief and then they give the client a call or ask for a debriefing meeting.
One can’t stress how huge this mistake is.
Your client is the one who had written the brief, or at least, he/she is the one who approved it. So, they can easily tell if you’ve read it or not. And whether they wrote it or not, your clients aren’t looking forward to repeating themselves.
Asking your client for information that was mentioned in the brief makes you look very unprofessional and unreliable. If you can’t spend some time reading about the project requirements, you probably don’t have time to work on the project itself.
#2: Take Notes and Write down Questions
Read the brief carefully. Prepare your cup of coffee, have your pen and notebook by your side. Read between the lines and write down any notes that you need to write.
While reading the brief, write down all your questions. You will need those for later.
Keep asking questions as you read on. Does the brief state the deliverables? Are the full technical specifications stated?
Does it supply the various delivery dates that you’ll be required to work to? And, of course, does it provide budget details? You need to get all these things nailed down and agreed before anything else.
As a designer, a copywriter, or someone on the agency side, you need to know what a good brief must include. That’s how you realise what is missing. It teaches you to ask the right questions.
#3: There’s a Human behind the Brief
Agencies read the brief with the perspective of “here are the tasks that we’ll be working on for the next few weeks.” Wrong attitude to approach a brief.
It’s true that this brief is the project you’ll be working on, but do not read it as if it’s an order.
There’s a human behind the brief; a living human being with thoughts, prejudices, fears, and concerns.
That’s why you need to read a brief with the same mindset of meeting a new person.
Ignoring a person you just met is the road to failure of communication. On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that you share the exact same opinions with a stranger. Differences between perspectives is an expected part of the deal.
In the haste to get work in the door, it’s easy to forget that there’s a human behind the brief.
Therefore, never ignore the brief and its requirements. However, don’t follow the rules of the brief slavishly.
Learn how to evaluate a brief, and maybe challenge it if you need to. Then, you would have a chance of producing work that has conceptual depth, and does the job it’s supposed to do with flair and originality.
#4: Discuss It with the Team
If there’s a team that will be working on the project, then they should participate in the process. They must read the brief and interpret the requirements according to their understanding.
Their questions and comments should also be taken into consideration. Add them to the list to be able to discuss them with client during debriefing.
#5: Debriefing Meeting/Call
Now, you have read the brief carefully. You have your questions, comments, and suggestions prepared. Schedule a debriefing call or a meeting with your client.
It’s important for the team that’ll be working on the project to attend that debriefing call. It’s better if they hear from the client directly and not through someone who has heard from the client.
You can’t interrogate a brief, and it’s only by speaking to the brief’s creator that you will squeeze out additional information, which is the catalyst for great work.
Debriefing aligns both sides on the requirements and on the best way to approach the project.
If there are any amends that need to be done to the deliverables, the timeline, the budget, the concept, or any of the brief components, this is the right time.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Examples
Let’s now take a look at these great examples and see how the greats do it.
How to Write a Creative Brief Example #1: Main Message from Reebok
“Reebok EasyTones are for men who don’t have enough time to exercise.”
In this great example of a creative brief, Reebok excels at presenting their goals, target audience, and main message in the most concise, yet informational, manner.
Notice how clear the main message is? Even though this target audience doesn’t represent Reebok’s target in its entirety. The message is tailor-made to fit this target in particular.
How to Write a Creative Brief Example #2: Quaker Oatmeal’s Consumer Insights
“93% of Americans believe that breakfast is important. But, 56% skip breakfast every day!”
Consumer insights can be a powerful turning-point for a creative brief. It can truly inspire a groundbreaking idea because of how shocking the insight is.
The main problem here is lack of time. A universal problem of the twenty first century that resonates with people all over the world.
They interpreted how such problem affects their sales. That’s how they’ve given the agency the problem and the capacity to offer a solution.
A good remark here is that Quaker shared a real problem backed up by real consumer insights and numbers that prove that the problem of “lack of time” actually exists among their consumers.
How to Write a Creative Brief Example #3: Red Bull’s Brand Idea
“With its wing-enabling powers, Red Bull is considered a “youthful drink” that speaks solely to the youth…until now.”
Wow! What a way to introduce your target audience. Red Bull’s briefer(s) managed to weave the objective and target audience of their next campaign with the history of the brand and its overview.
From the moment you read “until now”, you know that there’s a challenge coming up.
The challenge is a complete switch of the target audience. How to make that consumer’s persona relevant to a brand which has been perceived as “youthful” since 1996?
Quite a challenge. Brilliantly written.
How to Write a Creative Brief Example #4: Nike’s Competitors
Nike didn’t just throw the names of the competitors. They gave a valuable overview of their competitors and their target audience. They mentioned the similarities and differences between Nike and those other brands.
They also related that to the business problem they have.
Notice how even a brand as big as Nike recognises its competitors and they actually study their offering carefully.
How to Write a Creative Brief Example #5: Monopoly’s Reasons to Believe
“Monopoly has many distribution channels and offers several different versions of the game, appealing to audiences of all lifestyles.”
Monopoly’s reasons to believe, or supporting evidence, is a great example to showcase how RTBs are important. They make the creative team trust your brand, and consequently, transfer that trust through their execution.
Monopoly showcased availability and versatility that appeals to different lifestyles. They also stressed that in the world of video games and mobile apps, Monopoly is still able to stay relevant.
Finally, they stated the added value which the game provides to children: stimulating real life responsibilities and the importance of managing money.
The Nitty Gritty of How to Write a Creative Brief
How to Write a Creative Brief: Overview
So, now that you’re here. You’ve understood what a creative brief is. You know that there’s also the right mentality to write a brief. The mentality involves seeing things from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know about the brand.
That means that you need to act as a guide to the creative team.
Take them through an overview of the brand idea and supporting evidence or reasons to believe.
Next, provide them with a clear objective or two. Then, a clear target audience with consumer insights that relate to the problem presented in the brief.
A must-have ingredient is a clear main message and a direct call to action for the consumer.
Give your creative team a problem to solve. Do not restrict their creativity, however you should restrict them on strategy. You provide strategy and they provide creativity. Not the other way around.
How to Write a Creative Brief: The Type of Brief
Moreover, you’ve understood that there are many typed of briefs. They differ in length and purpose. The project you’re working on is what defines the type of brief you should choose.
You can always add or omit some sections according to the previous knowledge the agency you’re dealing with has.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Review
After you write the brief, have someone else review your brief. It’s better if that person doesn’t have previous knowledge on the project. Urge them to ask questions and share what they understood from your brief.
You will always benefit a fresh pair of eyes reviewing the brief.
How to Write a Creative Brief: Enjoy the Process
Writing a brief should be fun! Also, like any other skill, practice makes perfect. The more briefs you write, the better you’ll become. You will know how to write a creative brief; the parts that you need to focus on and the unnecessary details you should omit.
You will also understand the agency’s perspective better.
Meanwhile, if you’re on the agency side, approach the brief with a fresh and open-minded perspective. Read it, challenge it, and solve the problem seamlessly.
How to Write a Creative Brief in a Nutshell
In conclusion, mastering the art of crafting a creative brief is essential for ensuring that your project’s vision is communicated effectively and efficiently. Whether you’re creating a Project Brief, an Idea Brief, or a Command Brief, the importance of clarity and conciseness cannot be overstated. By carefully considering the basic components—from understanding the ‘why’ behind your advertising, identifying your audience, and addressing the consumer’s enemy to pinpointing consumer insights and establishing a compelling call to action—you lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.