Building Communication between Research and the Creative


Communication is key in any relationship, and that is no different when it comes to the relationship between the research team and the creative team. Every client has different goals and problems we are trying to solve as advertisers, as well as different approaches to achieve success for the client. As brand strategists, it is our job not only to understand the clients’ needs and develop a strategy around them, but to be able to communicate this information in a way that creative teams can understand and use. This communication happens through the form of a creative brief. While this document is one of the most essential-yet-vague parts of any advertising strategy, there is a process to finding what works best for not only the brand strategist, but for the creative team as well.

Find a Starting Template

The search for the perfect creative brief is like searching for Big Foot. Some claim to have found it, there are blurry images out there of what it might look like, but ultimately, we accept that it doesn’t exist. Much how Ragu found that the perfect spaghetti sauce is described differently depending on the person, the perfect creative brief varies based on the creative team. In my search for the perfect creative brief I needed to find a starting place, so I found a template from a former professor to start.

Figure out what works on the Brand Strategist Side

When writing the creative brief, you want to make sure that all the necessary information is included and that it is communicated in a way to inspire creativity. The creative team needs to understand the strategy without the brand strategist acting as the micro manager. While objectives, executional mandatories and understanding of the current market are important, I always find myself stressing to perfect the description of the target audience. Many times, the parts that are easiest to write, end up being the most important information, and the parts that are harder to write, are the least important parts of the brief.

Consult the Creative Team

“Was the creative brief helpful? Do you have any questions? Does anything need to be clarified or added?” While the creative brief helps consolidate research for brand strategists, it is really made to help guide creatives to think strategically and give purpose to their work. Figuring out how to write a creative brief in a way that inspires, as well as informs the creative team is a true test of trial and error. I found that just stating demographics is no longer enough for the creative to get a feel of what the client wants to do. Creative briefs should answer the whats and whys. What is the core purpose for this project? Why does this strategy make sense for the client? Why does this audience make sense for the client’s goals? And what insights are we trying to tap into? If the creative brief doesn’t efficiently answer these questions for creative, it is not an effective creative brief. It is worth it to get the creative team’s input on what is easy for them to read and understand, and what isn’t. A creative briefing may be helpful as well, especially for brainstorming purposes.

Tailor and Repeat

As projects and creative teams change, it is important to keep updating the creative brief template. What worked for one kind of project, may not be as effective for another. Creative teams are also often different for each project or client. Knowing what kinds of information that the creatives want to know as well as delivering it in a way that will be useful for them is crucial when creating a deliverable that the client will like.

As any relationship, communication between the researchers and creatives is essential for a successful campaign. With technology and creative becoming increasingly more intertwined, researchers are able to give both audience and creative insights that will help the team build more useful work.

How does one increase Millennial Bone Marrow Donors? Snapchat.

From the article, This Nonprofit is Searching for Millennial Bone Marrow Donors on Snapchat: Be The Match targets young men with social blitz by Lauren Johnson

Be The Match is a nonprofit bone marrow registry to help blood cancer patients. They were looking to recruit new, young, healthy donors through popular medias. They targeted 18-24 year old men who are all able to join the registry at no cost. “Be the Guy” is a vertical video campaign that will play between Live Stories. In the Discover section, Be The Match will have ads that you can swipe up and have links to their website and instructions on how to register to be a donor.

The videos themselves are what adds to the audience’s Snapchat experience. They are entertaining and good-humored while reminding the audience that they could be heroes in one simple step: signing up to be  donor. This makes sense for the brand to do because they aren’t well known, and Snapchat is a great platform to make an impression on a younger audience who they would benefit more from.

Success might be measured through an increase of donors or how many consumers interacted with the brand on their website.

Racy Billboard Brings Big Ratings for Bull

With the land of billboard advertising getting more and more cluttered, the only way for any campaign to get noticed it has to seriously break through the clutter. CBS managed to do just that with their new racy billboards located in New York and Los Angeles. CBS Marketing Group was trying to tap into the Fifty Shades of Grey audience by offering them a provocative and unexpected preview for their new television series, Bull, which stars the former NCIS star, Michael Weatherly. The timing for this ad was notably executed right around the premiere of the new, Fifty Shades Darker, film. These billboards, while being considered provocative, help solve CBS’s problem with releasing another television program in the highly saturated crime-drama genre.

This ad makes sense for the show because Michael Weatherly, the star of this series, just recently left another crime-drama program, NCIS. Weatherly was loved by much of the female audiences for his good looks and charm, as well as the male audience because of his witty banter and extensive movie references. This ad is also in line with the release of the next installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

The value this billboard creates is purely entertainment, from the message’s content to the actual program it is advertising, people are meant to be entertained. The benefits for using billboards are that they are highly mobile. Billboards are able to catch people’s attention as they drive home from work. With CBS choosing to use a racy slogan, also helps cut through the clutter, becoming memorable and creating conversation. Overall, CBS should be able to measure the success of this campaign based on an increase or decrease in viewership of their new program.

Pinterest meets the Super Bowl

From the article: Pinterest Makes First Push in Targeting Super Bowl Viewers With Personalized Microsite: With Sargento ads by Lauren Johnson

With Super Bowl around the corner, viewers will be looking to Facebook and Twitter to supplement the events on the television. But now there is a new player, Pinterest. Partnering with Sargento, Pinterest is creating custom microsites to help current ‘Pinners’ throw the ultimate Super Bowl party.

But why would Sargento help make this possible? Well, Pinterest is a popular site for cooking connoisseurs and food is an essential part for any Super Bowl party and Sargento tomato sauce is an essential ingredient to many party favorites. Sargento is using data from Pinterest; they look at things you have liked and ‘repinned’ and creates a microsite with recipes and other party planning tips so that you can throw your own greatest Super Bowl party ever. The major insight that led to the creation of these personalized microsites comes from their findings that people tend to start going to Pinterest a week before throwing any knd of sporting event party. This year especially, they found that people were on Pinterest looking for football-related recipes three times as much as previous years and this microsite really adds to the consumer experience.

The success of this owned media campaign will be measured by how many visits they receive to the microsites. These links will be provided via promoted pin on various pages that are often searched for during the time of planning a Super Bowl party.

Smoking PSA gets a little Passive-Aggressive

Nothing says passive-aggressive like someone coughing around someone who is smoking, but what happens when it is actually a billboard doing the coughing? Well in an effort made by Swedish pharmaceutical company, Apoteket Hjärtat, and the agency, Åkestam Holst, they believe it will bring just the right amount of shame to smokers in order for them to think about quitting their life-threatening habit.

The billboards targets smokers with smoke sensing technology, when it senses that a smoker is near by the screen will show someone coughing as well as a sound effect as well. This campaign urges people to quit smoking, not sending the traditional messages about hot it is bad for your health, but by the creating an experience that makes them socially aware of how non smokers feel when they around people who smoke. From a business standpoint, the Swedish company is trying to get people to buy their product to help them quit smoking.

This campaign makes sense for the company, because many companies focus on the medical benefits of quitting smoking, but there is also a social stigma as well. The value it adds is incentive. Nobody wants to be the person that causes others t be uncomfortable, and with making smokers aware that they are making people uncomfortable, it gives the smoker social incentive to quit.

The benefit for using a billboard for this campaign is that it reaches a mass amount of people, the benefit of placing it in large urban areas is that it reaches a large amount of smokers, making it a personal experience. A way that Apoteket Hjärtat can measure the success of this campaign is with the amount of sales received from medicine that helps smokers quit.

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