A creative brief is a unifying document that identifies the important key benefits for a campaign or launch. It tells the story and explains why it’s important to the audience, serving as a guide for the creation of new materials. It seems simple. Yet developing an effective creative brief is far more difficult that it may first seem.

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So, what makes this so hard?

First, people have varying definitions of what the one important key benefit is for a campaign or launch. You must have consensus on that one point, as well as consensus on the overall brief. That’s when the magic happens.

Alternatively, a poor creative brief can waste time and money, and creates frustration because the resulting concepts do not nail it. So how can we ensure a good creative brief? Here are a few things that are instrumental in creating one:

We already told you that a creative brief is just that… brief. It should be short, sweet and to the point. Enough said.

The key benefit should be simple, easy to understand and the one most important point you want to make with your campaign or launch.

The supporting proof points should back up the key benefit and support it.
Know to whom you are talking. Are you talking to people that are already familiar with your company? Do you need to educate people that have never heard of you? Talk to the right people and the message will resonate.
What is the call to action? What do we want people to do once they read our message? Is this an awareness activity and we want them to learn more or do we want them to take action and do something? Define those actions early on.

Finally, a creative brief should be the first document created before any copy is written, photos taken, or brainstorming begins. It’s also important that this document receives approval and consensus internally before work begins.

A well thought out creative brief is imperative no matter the scale of the project. From quick turnarounds to long drawn out projects, a solid creative brief is the one document all parties refer to throughout the life of the campaign or launch.

So, what are you going to say, and how are you going to say it? Now, get cracking, but be brief.

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