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.