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First the basics—what does a creative brief look like? (You know, the“brief” that Peggy Olson and Don Draper sometimes ref...
Here are some general guidelines on what makes a good creative brief.❖ It turns the prosaic into the interesting. It sheds...
As for the Single Main Idea (the Big Idea, the selling point, the valueproposition—different planners may have different n...
BIG FLIP WEBSITE REDESIGN—MAY 17, 2013—V2WHAT ARE WE DOING?Create an official website for The Big Flip that can evolve and ...
If you want dive deeper into the art of brief writing, here are two moreplaces to venture.❖ The Perfect Creative Brief is ...
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Open source this 2! The art of writing a creative brief

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Continuing on our streak of inspiration from Ted Hope and the SF Film Society’s Artist-to-Entrepreneur spirit, we want to share our marketing know-how with other indie makers and entrepreneurs. Here's a guide for writing a creative brief. (What’s a creative brief? It’s the thing that Peggy Olson and Don Draper sometimes refer to in Mad Men, that helps them do their magic!) As example, we've included the creative brief we wrote for the dream website we want for the Big Flip.

Go to our website: http//BigFlipDocumentary.com to find out more!

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Transcript of "Open source this 2! The art of writing a creative brief"

  1. 1. First the basics—what does a creative brief look like? (You know, the“brief” that Peggy Olson and Don Draper sometimes refer to in Mad Men?)Different agencies, sometimes different account planners, have slightlydifferent approaches to writing a brief. But heres a list of the key topicsthat are typically covered in a brief.❖ What is the assignment? What are we asking the creatives to do?❖ Why are we doing it? Whats the problem were trying to solve?❖ Who are we talking to? What is the most relevant thing we know abouttheir lives, hopes, dreams or fears?❖ What do they think/do now about the category/brand/product?❖ What do we want them to think/do after seeing the creative work?❖ THE SINGLE MAIN IDEA: What is the one thing we can say to getthem to think/do that?❖ Why should they believe it? What are the proof points?❖ What is the brand personality, its tone of voice?THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A CREATIVE BRIEF—IZZY CHANPage 1 of 5
  2. 2. Here are some general guidelines on what makes a good creative brief.❖ It turns the prosaic into the interesting. It sheds the marketingjargon and shifts into common English. It talks about business issues inthe context of real-life situations. It respects people as human beingswith real lives and needs—and doesnt just exploit them as purchasingand consuming machines.❖ It is clear, simple, and brief. Im old-fashioned here—all the keyelements should fit on one page. Think of the "real estate" that thetypical creative output allows for—30 second TV, an online banner, abillboard on a freeway, an uncluttered and easy-to-navigate-aroundmicrosite, a magazine ad, etc. If the creatives got to get the story outwithin that limited "real estate," you better be able to get your storydown to one-page!❖ It hangs together tightly, with all the pieces flowing from one tothe other smoothly, inevitably, logically. In other words, dont justcut-and-paste from different parts of input documents and researchreports, and call it a creative brief. A good creative brief should fit like acustom-tailored suit. Only the most relevant pieces of informationshould be in there. They should all fit together into a compelling, air-tight argument. If any one part needs to be revised—to accommodateimportant new information on the business, because a client has adifferent perspective on the desired effect, discussions with creativeshave inspired you to frame the audience insight differently—everythingelse should be carefully scrutinized, revised or re-written to fit properly.THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A CREATIVE BRIEF—IZZY CHANPage 2 of 5
  3. 3. As for the Single Main Idea (the Big Idea, the selling point, the valueproposition—different planners may have different names for this core partof the strategy), here are two key things to aim for.❖ It is focused without being overly prescriptive. This is more an artthan a science. Creatives are a great help in finding that line. TheBARATA exercise in the previous section is another tool to gaugewhether your SMI is creatively "fertile" and not too narrow.❖ It is the "evidence" that will cause the desired effect. In otherwords, its what you say to get people to believe/do what you wantthem to. But it shouldnt be confused with the effect. For example, if youwant people to think youre innocent, you dont just say youre innocent—you say you were not at the scene of the crime but at a party and youhave a picture to prove it. If you want people to think youre cool, youdont say youre cool—you show pictures of you at the Playboymansion, or talk about going backstage at the Madonna concert. Youget the picture.As an example, following is a creative brief I wrote for Tyler Young of YoungNomad Brands to help me redesign the website for a documentary projectI’m developing—the Big Flip.THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A CREATIVE BRIEF—IZZY CHANPage 3 of 5
  4. 4. BIG FLIP WEBSITE REDESIGN—MAY 17, 2013—V2WHAT ARE WE DOING?Create an official website for The Big Flip that can evolve and grow with the project as it develops.WHAT IS THE KEY ROLE OF THE WEBSITE?Be the engine and heart that drives the project forward. More than just a collection of pretty picturesand information bits, the website needs to be a dynamic and functional engine for fundraising, casting,and galvanizing a community of supporters for the project.Keywords: Dynamic. Flexible. Functional. Action-oriented.WHO ARE WE TALKING TO?1) Women of influence. Career-driven professionals who pay attention to “women in leadership” topics.Includes (but not exclusive to) breadwinner wives.2) Stay-at-home dads.3) Working parents (moms & dads).4) Creative professionals (filmmakers, designers, photographers, etc.) supportive of indie filmmaking.WHAT ARE THE KEY PAGES AND PAGE ELEMENTS? (TABS/SUB-TABS?)1. Tab 1: Home page• Prominent “sign-up” and “follow” buttons (newsletter, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr)• Rotating “feature” space where we can easily switch content to showcase what we need to (e.g.support our Indiegogo campaign, casting call for specific date & time, new video or blog post toshowcase, etc.)• Visual showcase area (for video or photo slideshow)• Gallery of families profiled (check out “Girl Rising/Girls” homepage section for example)2. Tab 2: About(i) Sub-tab: Issue: why we’re doing this(ii) Sub-tab: Creative team: team photos, bios & links(iii) Sub-tab: Approach: why film + magazine3. Tab 3: Gallery(i) Sub-tab: Videos (showcase Vimeo video collection)(ii) Sub-tab: Thought pieces/articles (like this one and like this one)(iii) Sub-tab: Families profiled (just a different way to organize and access videos & thought-pieces,based on families)4. Tab 4: Take action• Join mailing list• Tell a friend (social media share options: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+)• Donate (link to crowdfunding campaign)• Contact5. Tab 5: Blog (new blog within Wordpress platform with better conversation options? or stick withTumblr as blog?)6. Special thanks• Shout out to people who’ve helped us along the way• Creative space to thank funders visually/creatively in real timeWHAT IS THE BRAND PERSONALITY/TONE OF VOICE?Spirited, courageous, hopeful, loving, passionateEXECUTIONAL CONSIDERATION- Easy social media share functionality for all content! LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A CREATIVE BRIEF—IZZY CHANPage 4 of 5
  5. 5. If you want dive deeper into the art of brief writing, here are two moreplaces to venture.❖ The Perfect Creative Brief is a wonderful post from Russell Davies—alegendary account planner in the world of advertising. The long list ofresponses is a good look into how different planners approach this.❖ How to Plan Advertising is a very practical and classic book from theAccount Planning Group on the discipline of planning. It’s got somevery exhaustive chapters on brief writing and briefing—the examplesare getting old, however. For a beginning planner, its a super helpfulguide book. But it does look scarily dry, and unattractively like atextbook. As a planning nerd, Ill ‘fess up that Ive had it for years andactually like it. Be warned, however, that I once had a junior plannerpick it up and go "Ugh! That looks painfully boring!"ABOUT THE BIG FLIPOn another note, “The Big Flip” is a documentary film and photo-bookabout the rise of breadwinner wives, and the unexpected challenges itcreates in families.  We’ve just finished some test shoots, where we wentout to meet and profile potential families to feature in the documentary.  Come check out the videos and stories we’ve collected at:BigFlipDocumentary.comTHE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING A CREATIVE BRIEF—IZZY CHANPage 5 of 5

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