BRILLIANT CREATIVE BRIEFS
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Get every project off to a flying start
If you’re a brand marketeer with responsibility for originating creative work and campaigns, then you’ll be writing creative briefs.
The brief is the linchpin in the creative process. It’s the spark that ignites and inspires the designers and copywriters. The sign-post to the direction you want to take. And it defines what success will look like.
An exciting, imaginative, inspirational brief energises everyone involved and brings the best ideas. A crap brief creates confusion, wastes time and might result in a costly re-brief.
So what makes a brilliant brief? Read on for some tips on how to nail your next one.
What’s your brand story?
Every brief should articulate your brand information upfront. Who are you? What makes you special? Why do you exist, beyond just selling stuff? What connects you with your audience? An understanding of your brand’s personality and voice is critical to nailing the right language and style for your work. It’s about the way we will communicate to ensure we always speak the audience’s language. Remember that every piece of creative is an opportunity to bring your brand story to life. Make sure that your creative team begins every brief with the juicy bigger picture info top of mind.
Bring your audience to life.
Every piece of communication starts with the customer. Who are you talking to (be specific), what influences them and how do you want them to think or feel when they see this work? What do they think of your product or brand now – how often do they buy and why? Draw parallels with other brands or products that they may use if it helps build a picture about their lifestyle. Think about their cultural influences, what they do with their friends, where they shop, how they spend their time. Avoid irrelevance, jargon and stereo-types (which kill creativity) and instead paint a vibrant, living picture of people.
Throw down a challenge.
Every brief will have its roots in either solving a problem or capitalising on an opportunity. Set this out in a way that cuts to the chase and provides a strong sense of direction.
An example problem might be: ‘How do we persuade people who are bored with Italian food to book a table at our Italian restaurants?’ or ‘How do we help to evolve the image of our estate agent brand from wheeler-dealer to customer champion?’
Opportunities might be: ‘How do we get savvy PC gamers talking about our next gen surround-sound headphones? or ‘How do we communicate that this keep-fit programme will change your appearance, 45 minutes at a time?’
Explain what you expect the creative work to do by throwing down the gauntlet. As inherent problem-solvers, a brief that is framed in this way will provoke creative minds to rise to the challenge of solving it.
And finally…keep it brief.
Getting it all onto one page can be tough but that’s the goal. Take your first draft and then edit it, removing all repetition, waffle and non-essential information. Then edit it again.
A focused brief, with singular insights, a clear message and tight objectives to a specific audience needn’t be very long.
Keeping it tight helps ensure the creative sparks fly with simple, focused intensity.
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