A creative brief is essential to the advertising process. Planners and strategists use research and insight to produce the brief which acts as a catalyst for creative thought. An effective brief is inspiring, and acts as a spark for the creative team to come up with a campaign. In short, it explains why we’re here, who we want to reach, what we want them to do, what our key ideas are, and how we want to sound. It should be unifying, aligning business, consumer information, and creative inspiration. It should show a point of view.
In preparation for this post, I had a hard time coming across a creative brief to analyze. I assume this is because so much time and effort goes into making them that ad agencies aren’t willing to put them out into the universe for just anyone to see. However, I eventually came across several brief templates from advertising giants like BBDO, JWT and Oglivy & Mather. These briefs varied a bit, but they all were neatly organized onto one page.
Ogilvy & Mather Creative Brief:
THE PRODUCT IS:
This section provides a brief explanation of the product to be advertised and its main feature.
THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY IS:
This explains what the client is trying to achieve in business terms.
WHY ARE WE ADVERTISING IN THIS INSTANCE?:
This is the basis of the strategy.
WHO ARE WE TALKING TO AND WHAT RELEVANT THINGS ARE GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES?
This gives a detailed description of the audience. This should go beyond what their demographic is and helps the creative team get into their heads.
WHAT DO THEY THINK/FEEL ABOUT?
A) THE CATEGORY – What characterises use in the category and what makes these people different
B) THE MAIN COMPETITION – How do they feel about it and is there a weakness you can leverage
C) OUR BRAND – Truthfully, how do they feel about it?
WHAT RESPONSE DO WE WANT? (WHAT DO WE WANT THEM TO THINK/FEEL AS A RESULT OF SEEING/HEARING THE ADVERTISING?)
This should explain what message you want to leave in people’s head about the product or the brand and what will change as a result of the advertising.
WHAT IS OUR KEY PROPOSITION?
This should describe what the main point of the advertising must be.
WHY SHOULD THEY BELIEVE IT?
This should be information to support the advertising
The creative brief should include all of this information in one form or another so that the creative team can know what to include in the advertising. Additionally, the briefing must be done in a creative manner so as to inspire the creative team further. The more creative the brief and briefing, the more inspiration the creative team has to pull from.