Essential Elements Of A CREATIVE BRIEF

Essential Elements Of A CREATIVE BRIEF

What we have today are a few thoughts on Essential Elements Of A CREATIVE BRIEF

But before we get to that, two essentials in the words of Dave Trott

Planning is about what to say and do, the direction of thought and action

Creative is about how to bring that to life, it worries about impact, effectiveness and creating the needed drama / exaggeration

“Planning should simplify the complicated problem down to a single, powerful thought and creative should exaggerate this single thought into a powerful message that dominates the environment”

The brief then becomes the confluence where the clarity of planning, acts as a springboard for the creative.


​1. Who are we speaking to

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– Who are they, what do they do in context of the category

– How does our product fit into their lives, how do they use it / experience it, interact with it

– How are they coping without it, what are their alternatives

2. How do they currently think and behave

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– What is their struggle today or the unfulfilled aspiration

– The ‘I would but….’, ‘If only…..’

– What is the gap or opportunity you see that will shape the brief forward

– What current reality must the communication correct

3. How do we want them to think, behave, live after receiving our communication

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– What change do we want them to make in their minds or acts

– What will our solution really do that will make them behave, think, live differently

– ‘Because of this atlast…..’

4. What immediate action do we want them to take after receiving our communication

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– The call to action that we have in waiting

– How do we want them to act, visit the store, go online, visit the website, scan a code etc.

– What do we want them to remember, feel, notice, file away in their minds

5. What is our single minded offer / promise that will solve their problem

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– What is the benefit in as simple and clear a language as possible

6. What information might help persuade them

(Questions to ask ourselves)

– What proof can we offer that the promise made will be delivered

– Proof that is relevant to the promise, benefit only, NOTHING ELSE

7. The tone of voice and language we would want, keeping the brand’s personality in mind

Lastly, where many might find the above points simple at face value, try answering these for your next campaign and you will discover that the simplicity is what makes it difficult and challenging.

“Its very easy to be verbose and hide behind data, it’s when you don’t have anywhere to hide the real challenge emerges”

​Also, a completely different way to think about the brief is to reframe the business problem that needs solving

– Eg. Instead of find a way to sell our walking shoes – make people appreciate slowing down and fight against the twin peddlers provoking constant movement

– Eg. Instead of proving our computers are nicer or better – make people want to screw the establishment and corporatisation of life

Hope this helps streamline your thinking and adds power to your next brief

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