Five Foolproof Tips for Creating an Exceptional Creative Brief

Posted by Nef Gayola - April 12, 2017 • 5-minute read

Five Foolproof Tips for Creating an Exceptional Creative Brief

If there’s one document need when working on a creative a project, it’s the creative brief. It is the foundation and the framework of the whole project, which will lead your team toward addressing its client’s problem. That is why making a creative brief that will not only guide, but also inspire your creatives, is of great importance. Here are five tips  on how to draft an exceptional creative brief:

Make time for your creative brief

This is not the type of document that you rush a few minutes before a meeting with your creative team. The process of crafting a creative brief is as important as the brief itself. Writing the creative brief gives you more time to think about the ideas for, and delivery of your project. It can reveal problems you might otherwise encounter along the way. For example, while writing your brief you may have realized that your campaign might require more budget or you discovered that your materials may not resonate with your audience. You can allot a minimum of a day to ensure that your strategy is solid and in line with the client’s goals.

Be thorough but only include what’s necessary

The brief should be easy and quick to read, bearing only the information relevant to your creatives for them to successfully finish the project. Start with the basics: client’s name, title of the project, deliverables, overview, timeline, success metrics and budget. Your team will thank you if they know what that specific document is about, especially when your team is working on several projects.

Include only a few objectives to ensure that the project and the team are led to one specific outcome. Another important part of the brief is your target audience. Try including a short description of target audience, including demographics and the psychographics.

Lastly, you should discuss the insight and the primary message of your project. Whether it’s an infographic, a video, a poster or a TV ad, these two will guide your team when it comes to the tone and the language of your creative project. Think of the insight as your target audience’s deepest, darkest secret, which you have unfolded. This will then direct you to the primary message. Knowing the insight means you know your audience enough to know what message you should tell them to make them buy your service or product.

Not everything stated during meetings with the different parties involved should be written in the brief. For instance, your intensive research, interviews, transcripts and the contents of your intensive research need not be included in the brief itself. These can be provided in the supporting documents, instead. 

Be specific

Take the word ‘brief’ literally and make your creative brief short, clear, and precise. Make it easy to read and understand for everyone on the team. With just a few minutes, a team member should be able to identify the important information needed for the project. Remember, the creative brief is the one document that should answer all the team member’s questions, telling them exactly what the client needs from them.

Always make sure the brief is aligned with the client’s needs

I cannot stress this enough. You should always double check the content of your creative brief with your client to make sure that your project is going in the right direction. Your team should revisit the creative brief at every step of the process to make sure that you have the same vision of the project as your client.

You might also use a brief when you outsource creative services, in which case you should be as clear about your needs, standards, and branding as possible; take no assumptions for granted. For more information on outsourcing creative services, schedule a call with our team by clicking the button below.

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Some agencies give the creative brief templates to the clients for them to fill in to ensure that the specific requests and expectations are stated. If your team wants to collaborate with the client or create your own creative briefs to ensure you’re aligned with your company’s processes, include your client in every step of the project to ensure you are both on the same page.  

If, at the end of the project, either party is dissatisfied, the creative brief, approved by both sides, provides a common reference. Having a client-approved brief also protects your company because not only will a new request from a client give you more time, it also ensures that the hours you’ve put on your work is billable.

Inspire your creatives

This is one of the most important tips you’ll need when it comes to writing a creative brief. No matter how complete and precise your creative brief is, if it doesn’t inspire the team, you won’t be able to come up with the best outputs. Make sure the language you use will create a spark in the creativity of your team and this will show their work.

Take a look at this creative brief for TOMS Shoes:

creative brief sample

In the brief, they used words and phrases that evoke an emotion, helping the team visualize the project better. Their message, “Buying from TOMS shoes helps you put shoes on your feet, as well as those less fortunate” created an emotional connection with the creative team, which inspired them to do their best work.

Remember that not everyone in the team has the same vision of the project. Thus, this creative brief should lead them to that single idea shared by the marketing team and the client. It should everyone on the same page in every step of the creative process ensuring there will be no wasted time, effort, energy and money. Download our creative brief template and use it to guide your team on your next creative project.

Creative Brief Template

Topics: Content Development

Written By

Nef Gayola

Nef Gayola

Nef is a content writer at Straightarrow. When she's not binge-watching TV series, she's probably reading articles on subjects ranging from makeup to exobiology. In a love-hate relationship with the arts and humanities.

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