The Creative Brief Project

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A look at current perspectives on the creative brief

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  • Many good points here! Here's my take on the Brief For The Sistine Chapel that folks tasked with writing briefs may also enjoy:
    http://www.slideshare.net/stevenstark/the-brief-for-the-sistine-chapel

    www.stevenstark.net
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  • Clarity (those involved succinctly understand what they are doing), Direction (those involved understand where they are going) and Inspiration (serves as a launchpad/catalyst for creative ideas). You should be accountable in a way for your ability to steer the team towards a better/best/awesome outcome. I think we should be passed by now this notion of writing a static brief and buggering off. Maybe this is a traditional ad agency thing or are we flogging a dead horse?

    Complexity is only increasing in client problems and requests (especially when dealing with big site builds) and this necessitates the close integration of your team (which is more than just the creative department people, think tech, measurements, IA). This in turn necessitates you to always be briefing. How you do it at the start (presentation, immersion exercise, etc) and continue to do it during the life of the project doesn't really matter, just as long as it steers the team towards the best possible outcome for the customer and the client.
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  • The Creative Brief Project

    1. 1. The Creative Brief Project Thoughts on Day 2 Prepared by: Ed Cotton-BSSP/Influx- February 2010
    2. 2. Contents• The Creative Brief Project• Methodology• Recommendations• Core Beliefs
    3. 3. The Creative Brief Project• Problem: • The debate on the brief is on-going- it’s angst ridden and potentially very boring• Opportunity: • Can it be useful and constructive• Solution: • Create an on an on-going conversation about the stimulus and inspiration of creativity
    4. 4. Objective• Understand the current relevancy of the creative brief, in its physical format.
    5. 5. Methodology• Highly un-scientific• Social conversation-via-Twitter and blogs• 48 hours of feedback
    6. 6. How it Started
    7. 7. The Conversation
    8. 8. Summary• For many planners, briefs don’t seem to matter that much• The collaboration and the conversations with creatives have greater importance• However, briefs appear to still have a role- a record, something to give clients and a way to help planners to get their story straight and ask the right questions• There’s a desire to explore strategic options with creatives before finalizing and agreeing on a brief- this is a new area of pre-briefing/modular briefs/micro-briefs?• Storytelling is essential- planners need writing skills and/or creative ways to get their stories across
    9. 9. Recommendations1.Planning leaders should take a long-hard look at the briefing documents and make sure they are still relevant- change where needed2.The communication world has changed, briefs need to reflect those changes- social ideas/social media/ connectivity/cultural stimulus/WOM, etc...3.Emphasis should still be placed on ensuring that briefs are clear, well written and tell a powerful, single-minded and captivating story
    10. 10. Recommendations4. The brief codifies a single-minded story at a specific moment in time that represents a shared perspective with creatives5. That story evolves with collaborative conversations with creatives, post-brief. How these are managed and organized, documented and shared, given the broadening of creative teams, needs thought
    11. 11. Recommendations6. More emphasis needs to be given to the early pre-briefing stage to develop a collaborative “space” withcreatives to discuss possibilities/opportunities7. We spend time understanding our client’s targetaudiences- why don’t we spend time better understandingcreative needs and tailor accordingly?
    12. 12. CORE BELIEFS
    13. 13. 1. “All Planners do is debate, get on with the work..”
    14. 14. …or how to do things differently without ever pushing themselves and theirclients to actually DO ANYTHING. You know, making pushing people towards the new makes them uncomfortable and that might threaten the BOTTOM LINE. Its why Harley Davidson dumped their traditional agencies/AOR andclaimed they werent open for biz while Victor & Spoils took the Harley brandand put it into their crowdsourced creative brief model and sure enough WON THE HARLEY biz. Harley is probably just ESTATIC to meet with someone who is ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING NEW and actually FIGURING OUT how that works. Everyone else will debate "whats the future of ________" process while others JUST. DO. IT.” POSTED BY MK ON 02/09/2011 09:33 PM
    15. 15. 2. “It’s not about the brief”
    16. 16. Collaborative conversations with creatives are critical
    17. 17. “Creativity is the most essential strength of the agency, so the challenge shouldnt be passed like a football, it should be gentlycoddled like a newborn baby. After we gel together, the creative team often leaves, thinks on the challenge themselves, asks incrediblequestions, sometimes starts over - in other words, they do make it their own. POSTED BY BUD CADDELL ON 02/09/2011 05:25 PM
    18. 18. “I also think the magic is all in the briefing, more than the brief. No one really reads the brief past the briefingsession anyway (ok, creatives sometimes have to refer tothe , so it is more a creative contract/leave-behind that is agreed to by all parties at the briefing. So the plannersinfluence on the creative process is most dependent on a good, inspiring briefing session, the talks, the collaborations.” AKI SPICER
    19. 19. “I showed up to a meeting at a big soda brand where we weresupposed to begin the creative process with a few key teams - anotheragency started the meeting by pushing over their 1-page, 8-point font, clusterfuck of a brief in a "BOOM" sorta way. The conversation went nowhere for an hour. Creativity is always a process, the Brief often assumes that its simply a matter of stating objectives. Thats crucial, but it isnt creativity. If its your thing, by all means, follow your process, but dont let process rule interaction.” POSTED BY BUD CADDELL ON 02/09/2011 05:25 PM
    20. 20. “I do not believe that Mr. Steel ever intended to suggest that the physical brief be the yardstick by which planners are measured. In "Truth, Lies & Advertising" Jon states, "I was only able to find four of those briefs. There was a simple reason I could not find the others - there was no such thing as the original brief. They had never been written...I believe that the brief could take any form, Mr. Steel seemed to prefer a creative briefing (we would call this brainstorming) although I doubt he would be closed off to the brief taking any form, so long as it answered the necessary questions.” Posted by Shaydon Armstrong on 02/09/2011 06:54 AM
    21. 21. “You produce something that inspires them toplay. It is much more about the briefing than the brief.” Posted by sam joseph on 02/09/2011 03:52 PM
    22. 22. “In terms of writing the brief Bud and Heidi Hackemer (see herslideshare "Ideas, Ideas, Ideas") have it nailed - the strategic idea comes out of good discussion and idea generation with creatives.” Posted by Mark Lewis on 02/10/2011 01:53 AM
    23. 23. 3. “It’s a dated format”
    24. 24. Many briefing formats do a poor job in representing the opportunities intoday’s communication landscape andthey also fail to challenge the writer(S)
    25. 25. “Ostensibly the brief was created so that planner and creative could work together. But, I wonder if the brief isnt a relic of architecture, when the planning department and the creativedepartment were on different floors and paper work was shuffled along in cubby holes or by a nice fellow with a rolling cart. I made it several years working in creative agencies and startups before I ever wrote a brief, or saw one, actually.” POSTED BY BUD CADDELL ON 02/09/2011 05:25 PM
    26. 26. “It’s based on an antiquated view of how communication works and how culture operates” GARETH KAY
    27. 27. “Planners are to blame for this. Weve become a species of habit. I believe if the creatives are going to be handed a physical document (read:creative brief) at the end of the day, can we at least explore different formats?... think as planners, we need to shake off ourlaziness and almost clockwork-like tendency to start typing out a brief in a Word doc - the creatives are not going to get inspired by mere Mikkomikko smart text anymore.”POSTED BY WESLEY-ANNE RODRIGUES ON 02/08/2011 04:35 PM
    28. 28. “In my experience, the actual written brief was a lot lessimportant than the idea exchange in multiple conversations between the planner and the creative team. Thats where the sparks are” jwillingpichs
    29. 29. “I believe the primary purpose of the brief and briefing is to simultaneously inspire and focus creativity. Therefore, no brief should ever look and feel the same as the last or the next. The questions andformat should be tailor made to address the different brand, audience,objective and so forth for each campaign. Keep the team involved and on their toes.” POSTED BY CAITLIN MICROBE ON 02/08/2011 07:03 PM
    30. 30. 4. “The brief is fundamental”
    31. 31. Briefs matter, but to a point
    32. 32. “A well thought out brief will pave the way for great work: Print, Digital, Social or otherwise. Anyone who sees this document as a mere from to fill out should consider a career change. A great brief inspires, aligns, sets expectations, scratches below the surface, seekstruths, dismisses fluff and works as a compass to guide a group as they collaborate to solve a problem.” POSTED BY BERNARD URBAN ON 02/09/2011 07:15 PM
    33. 33. “In fact, in all the new confusion of technology and shortening deadlines and multimedia deployments the brief is more vital than ever. The brief/briefing is meant to articulate what the heck were doing. Knowing what the heck were doing should never die. Now...as a Digital Strategist I am finding that briefs led by the old "simply said" is dead. "Simply said" is a remnant of an era when the objective was always a variation on saying what the brand wouldlike you to think, across media that people were presumed to passively watch. But amongst the vast digital media of actions, we now need a clear articulation of what the heck we want people to do with our brand ideas. We need a brief that guides brand action and user participation, we need briefs guided by verbs. We need briefs that are robust enough to address action throughout a myriad of media and communications.” AKI SPICER
    34. 34. “We love information and insight. We can alwaysfilter, we can always re-shape, but a creative who doesnt want clear direction isnt a creative” MIKKOMIKKO
    35. 35. “the (written) brief is a useful tool for gaining alignment with clients or even other agencies.” POSTED BY MARK LEWIS ON 02/10/2011 01:53 AM
    36. 36. 5. It’s all about the writing

    37. 37. How the story is presented, matters
    38. 38. “A creative brief is only ever as good as the person writing it.” ROYMURPHY
    39. 39. “Get a decent writer and people will read with passion and yearn for more.” MIKKOMIKKO
    40. 40. 6. “It’s clients, not briefs”
    41. 41. …or how to do things differently without ever pushing themselves and theirclients to actually DO ANYTHING. You know, making pushing people towards the new makes them uncomfortable and that might threaten the BOTTOM LINE. Its why Harley Davidson dumped their traditional agencies/AOR andclaimed they werent open for biz while Victor & Spoils took the Harley brandand put it into their crowdsourced creative brief model and sure enough WON THE HARLEY biz. Harley is probably just ESTATIC to meet with someone who is ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING NEW and actually FIGURING OUT how that works. Everyone else will debate "whats the future of ________" process while others JUST. DO. IT.” POSTED BY MK ON 02/09/2011 09:33 PM
    42. 42. Next1. What’s our insights on our creative’s?2. What fundamental changes do we have make to the brief?3. What does strategic collaboration with creatives look and smell like?4. How do we tell our stories? Novellas or plays? Writing or drama workshops?
    43. 43. add ideas via Twitter to #creativebriefproject

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