Writing good creative briefs

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In its simplest term Creative Brief is the bridge between smart strategic thinking and great advertising (advertising that involves consumers on both – rational and emotional level, and which is capable of affecting a change in both their thoughts and behavior) and is the key tool with which planners and their account management partners can unlock the talents and imagination of their agency’s creative people.

Transcript of Writing good creative briefs

  • 1. Creative Briefs and BriefingBlack Pencil Academy, Toronto

2. Agenda1. What is a Brief?2. Filling in the Boxes3. The Briefing4. A Case Study5. Conclusion2 3. 1. What is a Brief? 4. What is a Brief? A creative brief is the most important piece ofpaper an account team produces It is a demonstration of how good you are Therefore, it is how a creative teamjudges/curses you4 5. What is a brief? A distillation of everything you have learned All the information that must be conveyed bythe advertising A contract for you, the Creatives and theClient A team effort5 6. What it isnt ... Set in stone Sole property of the planner A place to copy out the client brief A place to show off every fact you know ormarketing term you have learned Primarily for placating the client The same as the strategy or the advertising6 7. The Advertising ProcessDevelop the Strategy Write the Brief Write the Ads 7 8. The Advertising Process Advertising tries to get the consumer to dosomething that will benefit the client The Strategy is the plan for achieving thisgoal Who do we want to talk to? What do we want them to do? What can we tell them about the brand so they will do it? We develop the Strategy andthe Creatives carry it out 8 9. The Advertising Process The Brief is their road mapIf the directions arent good, theyll get lost9 10. What Makes a Good Brief? Direction + Inspiration 10 11. Direction What is the one thing you want theadvertising to say? If you cant explain it to your friends in onesentence, start again 11 12. Inspiration The most powerful advertising containsinsights that truly resonate with theconsumer One important insight should be at the heartof your brief 12 13. What makes a good brief? Direction + InspirationOne clear and compelling thought about the brand 13 14. Why Briefs Go Astray I didnt have time The Client made me write it this way There was nothing to say There were too many things to say We didnt have enough information The Account Team couldnt agree Make No Excuses! 14 15. Believe in the possibility of every assignment 15 16. Every new campaign is anopportunity to reinvent advertising16 17. The GoalThe best briefs are so good you cant wait for the account team to leave your office so you can get startedUnidentified Creative17 18. Some General Advice Get your story straight beforehand Take your time Keep it focused Be concrete, not abstract Speak EnglishRemember the goal is always great advertising! 18 19. 2. Filling in the Boxes 20. Filling in The Boxes These can be confusing What goes where? What are they for? Just remember, they all have to lead to onemain thought - the proposition Include only what is both necessary andilluminating20 21. 1. Whats the reason for this brief?What you need to explain: What is the background/context for what we aredoing? Why the heck are we advertising this brandanyway? What do we need the advertising to do for it? 21 22. 1. Whats the reason for this brief? Objectives must be realistic Advertising objectives, not businessobjectives Keep it to the point 22 23. 1. Whats the reason for this brief?The product has a severe saliency deficiency so it does not get into the targets consideration set. The leading brand sets the category values and our brand is seen as a me-too because of these dominant associations.Alternatively, a proportion of the target segment have a dissociated perceptual set with respect to the brand.The campaign objective is to increase saliency and tocommunicate a brand identity which is motivating andmore appropriate to the products experientialmanifestation23 24. 1. Whats the reason for this brief? Cheers main benefit is to keep colours bright, but most people dont know this. We need to make them understand so that they choose it for its own merits and not as a second best to Tide. 24 25. 2. Who are we talking to? Be as specific and vivid as you can Women 18-45 not very helpful Neither is laundry list of meaninglessadjectives and media cliches Try to describe a real person But, dont tell whole life story Include only what will help Creatives totalk to them 25 26. 2. Who are we talking to?Young adults 18-25. Someone self-assured, activeand energetic, self-reliant, positive, optimistic,individualistic, self-centred, not superficial, irreverent,somewhat cynical, skeptical, savvy, fashion-conscious,honest, straight-forward, computer-literate,entrepreneurial, self-indulgent, hedonistic, likes havingnew things, doesnt change opinions to please others,doesnt change behaviour in order to be liked, thinks ofhim/herself as an individual but has a powerful need tofit into a group, preoccupied with sex/gender-relatedissues, has short attention span, wants instantgratification AND likes chocolate bars26 27. 2. Who are we talking to?A 19 year-old guy who likes to think hes the life of theparty. Hes into South Park, Mike Meyers, etc. and isconstantly repeating comic catch-phases like he wrotethem himself. Hes a little too mainstream to be trulyhip, but hes still very concerned with his image. 27 28. 3. What do they currently think? This is not about their life in general Rather, their relationship with the brand, thecategory, the advertising 28 29. 3. What do they currently think? How interested are they in the product? How often do they use it? When do they use it? How do they feel about it? How do they feel about our brand vs. the competition? What do they ultimately want the product or brand to do forthem?Dont go overboard: only include what is truly relevantto the problem the advertising must solve29 30. 3. What do they currently think?PMB 99If I work hard enough I will get to where I want, I dontlike taking orders, What brands I buy says a lot aboutme, I hate anything that is hype and smacks ofphoniness, If its too perfect, it cant be trusted 30 31. 3. What do they currently think?They chew gum all the time but its notsomething they think about much. As far astheyre concerned, all gum is pretty much thesame. Whats more, theyre completely turnedoff by gum advertising which they see ascheesy and trying too hard. Still, they might bepersuaded that one gum was superior if it madeits point convincingly and actually managed tobe entertaining. 31 32. 4. Whats single message should thiscommunication convey? Many Creatives dont look at anything else! 32 33. 4. Whats single message should thiscommunication convey? The most crucial to get right and the easiest to goastray Remember, the box says single-minded Be concrete, not abstract Err on the side of simplicity Distinguish between what you tell them and what youwant them to thinkOne clear and compelling thought about the brand!33 34. Single Minded vs. Double-headedMr. Big is the Mr. Big is the big barbiggest bar, that wont slow youbar none down, now available in new Peanut Ripple flavour34 35. Concrete vs. abstract Abstract ideas are much harder todemonstrate Abstract language can make you sound likeyoure saying something important, evenwhen you arent Concrete language makes your point for you,and doesnt let you hide behind it35 36. Abstract vs. ConcreteBrand X is a totallyBrand X is speciallydifferent kind of car designed for womendriversThe Second Cup is Second Cup coffee isthe Ultimate Coffee the strongest coffee youexperiencecan buy 36 37. Deep Thoughts vs. Simple Thoughts These days, its fashionable for advertising tomake Profound Statements About Life It makes us feel better about selling things topeople It can also lead to cliched and genericadvertisingMore important to be pertinent than to be profound37 38. Deep Thoughts vs. Simple Thoughts Dont be afraid that a simple idea is too dull,just because it is simple A simple idea is easier for the Creatives towork with Its their job to make it interesting38 39. Deep Thoughts vs. Simple ThoughtsExtra is the gum thatExtras flavour lastswill stick by you in a long, long timetodays hectic lifestyle 39 40. Proposition vs. Desired Response Often confused Distinction between what you tell them andwhat you want them to think Desired response ultimately more importantto brand But proposition more relevant to creativeteam as a starting point 40 41. Proposition vs. Desired ResponseHeinz is the thickest, Heinz is the bestrichest ketchuptasting ketchupPizza Pops havePizza Pops willa lot of stuff in them really fill me up 41 42. The Final TestWrite it out on a blank sheet of paper and askyourself: Can I write an ad from this and thisalone?If you cant, probably no one else can either.42 43. 5. Kick start! For proposition to be credible, it must bebacked by evidence Should be one of most inspirational elementsof brief Give Creatives ideas they can dramatize Try to unearth interesting nuggets that mightinspire43 44. Proposition: Cadbury Milk Chocolate is thecreamiest milk chocolateSupport: Only Cadbury Milk Chocolate containsa glass and a half of fresh milk in every 225gHoly Shit Factor: All the milk in Cadbury MilkChocolate comes from Cadburys very ownherd of Irish dairy cows 44 45. Brand Voice How you say it, not what you say Most well known brands have an establishedtone - an essential part of their equity Dont list contradictions: energetic, peaceful Try and do it in one perfect word 45 46. Creative Considerations Executional mandatories Media ideas and opportunities46 47. When you think youre done: Re-read it Sleep on it Show it to someone older and wiser (not yourDad) Get agreement from the Creatives Sell it to the client And finally, be sure you havent used any ofthe following words... 47 48. Jerk-Off Words to Avoid Ultimate Savvy Experience Modern life Virtual Empower Aspirational Proactive Contemporary Self-actualizing Edgy Hectic Synergy Extreme Breakthrough Clever48 49. The more we use language rooted in the real,ordinary world, the better equipped the creative team will be to communicatewith it in the advertising 49 50. Briefing 51. Paper plus Personality Both parts of the briefing should inspire a