The quest for the optimal creative brief

Have you ever been in the situation where you have delivered a brief for your next marketing campaign and then afterwards, when the creative agency presents their solution, your first thought is: This is not according to my brief. And when you raise the question the agency can point out the section in your brief that covers just that?

Writing a good brief is an art form in it self. How much should be included before the most important part drowns in details?

ONE way of setting up a brief is to include the following sections:

  • Describing the assignment
    • Why doing it and what’s the problem
  • Today’s situation
    • A small SWOT analysis
  • Communication strategy
    • Target group(s) and messages(s)
  • Communication channels
    • Channel mix

A more simple approach is to say that a creative brief should describe today’s situation and what the wanted situation would look like. The travel from today till tomorrow is the “pain” the creative solution should help resolve.

So what is your thought here? What is the optimal brief?

Should you include wanted message or should this be left to the creative agency?

Should you include channels or should this be dependent on the creative solution?

If you use a media agency, should they be included in the brief right away or should you let the creative agency finish their part first?

Would love you feedback and comments. Maybe we could work out the optimal brief together… if such a thing exists…

Here is one agency’s idea of a good brief

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1 Response to The quest for the optimal creative brief

  1. Interesting, I addressed this same issue on a blog post a while ago:

    The problem with coming up with “the best creative brief” is that it will include so much stuff that the document itself will become useless. A good brief will tell you in a concise way what the job is about and the key assumptions and constraints (it’s almost like a project charter document for those into project management stuff), and the goals.

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