Through DHLB, I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in the 4A’s Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies (IAAS) program, which is turning out to be an invaluable experience. Week four gave a collective feeling of inspiration and understanding when Brand Strategist Abby Kowalewitz, of A&G, taught a creative brief and strategy session that opened with asking how many people knew the importance of a creative brief. I knew it was vital but wasn’t entirely sure of its contents and the role of a brand strategist. Now, I’ve got it down.
A brand strategist needs to understand the company, the category and competition, the consumer, and the cultural context behind consumer behavior in order to write a strong creative brief.
Your creative brief should consist of the following:
Background: A brief outline of the client’s challenge and objectives along with category trends and competitive pressures.
Assignment: What are we trying to communicate? You’ll need to be clear, realistic and focus on a single goal.
Target audience: Who are we talking to? What are their attitudes, beliefs and values?
Insight: What is the key insight or tension we can leverage? Look for the opportunity to inspire, provoke, motivate, and engage.
Idea: What is the central point we want to communicate and the reason the audience needs the brand in their lives?
Reasons to believe: Three honest motivating support points that offer logical and emotional reasons for consumers to believe what you say.
Success metrics: How will you measure success? Make them as tangible as possible.
I found the most intriguing part of the creative brief to be the insight and idea, which is also the most difficult part to nail down. You need to take what you learn and find the white space. What are people missing? Where is the opportunity for people to connect? What does the brand have that no one else can talk about and connect in a way no other competitor can?
Then comes the fun part – bring the brief to life and give it that creative inspiration it needs to motivate and inspire. You can take the team on a field trip, create a war room and cover the walls with images and quotes. If you’re feeling real fancy, you can even conduct an experiment.
Take the time to get it right. After all this, your creative brief will be the bridge between the facts and creative inspiration. It will support, guide, and inspire and be an advocate for the audience.