Back to basics: Creative brief workshop

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Back to basics: Creative brief workshop
Becky McOwen-Banks

Before great creative work can be done it's key to create the environment in which creative work can be produced.
In this pres we look at the processes and provide a few tips for those with a hankering for effective creative work. Skewed for the in-house relationships but applicable for anyone involved in the creative process.

Covers: structure, department relationships, Briefs, idea generation, evaluating creative work and feedback

Published in: Business

Back to basics: Creative brief workshop

  1. 1. 1 Back to basics Creative brief workshop" February 2013" ©Becky McOwen-Banks
  2. 2. 2 Why are we here?
  3. 3. Now is the time to change 3  New structure, new people – new landscape!  Greater appetite & opportunity for multi-channel briefs AND  Because we’re not getting it as right as we could do at the moment
  4. 4. Briefing workshop 1. Why are we here? 2. Identifying roles and the creative process 3. What makes a good brief? 4. The new briefing form and how to use it 5. Idea generation techniques to generate better propositions 6. Let’s have a go 7. Evaluating work and feeding back 4
  5. 5. In the past roles have not be clearly defined  Historical setting with Creative as a ‘Service’ set-up for Marketing/the business  Responsive/reactive approach  Production focus – not ideas Moving forward  Implement new thinking along a more cohesive ‘mini-agency’ model to result in more effective creative solutions
  6. 6. What can we learn from the agency model? Planning dept Evolving customer and product insight and defining opportunities [Stage 1 of brief writing] Clients - Product expertise Acc Handling - Customer knowledge - Product knowledge -! Market knowledge [Stage 2 of brief writing] Creative dept -!Coming up with solutions to briefs -! producing the best possible creative work
  7. 7. How does that translate to an ‘in-house’ set-up? Clients (Product directors) Marketing - Customer knowledge - Product knowledge -!Market knowledge -! Evolving customer & product insight and defining opportunities -! Brief writing - Product expertise Creative dept - Coming up with solutions to briefs - Producing the best possible creative work
  8. 8. The brief is the essential element that connects all of these areas to a single agreed purpose Marketing - Customer knowledge -!Market knowledge -! Evolving customer & product insight and defining opportunities -! Brief writing Clients Creative dept - Coming up with solutions to briefs - Producing the best possible creative work - Product knowledge Brief
  9. 9. With Marketing and Creative together being the experts for all communication requirements Marketing - Customer knowledge - Product knowledge -!Market knowledge -! Evolving customer & product insight and defining opportunities -! Brief writing Clients Creative dept - Coming up with solutions to briefs - Producing the best possible creative work Our ‘mini-agency’
  10. 10. Why creative solutions are important:  Same messaging again and again loses effectiveness over time  Less responsive comms = less sales = less profit  And therefore less ROI and effective use of our money! 10
  11. 11. 11 “The definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results”
  12. 12. 12 Let’s look at the creative process
  13. 13. 13 BUSINESS REQUIREMENT (marketing & biz) [Marketing & Creative] Identify and explore the problem [Marketing] Evolve ideas [Creative] Full artwork PRODUCTION Write a brief [Marketing] Marketing sign off Feedback and development [Marketing & Creative] Creative briefing [Marketing & Creative] Feedback/concept sign off [Marketing & biz] Design & full copy developement [Creative] Concepts developed [Creative] Present initial ideas [Marketing & Creative] Brief sign-off [Biz / Marketing / CD] Present to biz (w reminder of the brief) [Marketing & Creative] Present designs [Creative] Discuss & feedback (de-brief form)
  14. 14. 14 BUSINESS REQUIREMENT (marketing & biz) [Marketing & Creative] Identify and explore the problem [Marketing] Evolve ideas [Creative] Full artwork PRODUCTION Write a brief [Marketing] Marketing sign off Feedback and development [Marketing & Creative] Creative briefing [Marketing & Creative] Feedback/concept sign off [Marketing & biz] Design & full copy developement [Creative] Concepts developed [Creative] Present initial ideas [Marketing & Creative] Brief sign-off [Biz / Marketing / CD] Present to biz (w reminder of the brief) [Marketing & Creative] Present designs [Creative] Discuss & feedback (de-brief form)
  15. 15. 15 BUSINESS REQUIREMENT (marketing & biz) [Marketing & Creative] Identify and explore the problem [Marketing] Evolve ideas [Creative] Full artwork PRODUCTION Write a brief [Marketing] Marketing sign off Feedback and development [Marketing & Creative] Creative briefing [Marketing & Creative] Feedback/concept sign off [Marketing & biz] Design & full copy developement [Creative] Concepts developed [Creative] Present initial ideas [Marketing & Creative] Brief sign-off [Biz / Marketing / CD] Present to biz (w reminder of the brief) [Marketing & Creative] Present designs [Creative] Discuss & feedback (de-brief form)
  16. 16. Areas we are not quite getting it right at the moment and so need focus:  Identifying and exploring the problem  Briefing  Idea development  Presentations  Separate feedback sessions & de-briefs  Combined presentations to biz 16
  17. 17. Briefing workshop 1. Why are we here? 2. Identifying roles and the creative process 3. What makes a good brief? 4. The new briefing form and how to use it 5. Idea generation techniques to generate better propositions 6. Let’s have a go 7. Evaluating work and feeding back 17
  18. 18. 4C elleamrenittsy a re- keBye clear in what is the problem we are being asked to solve
  19. 19. 4S eilemmepntlsi acriet kye y - Use simple language to enable easy understanding
  20. 20. Accuracy - All the required information is correct and to hand
  21. 21. Creativity - An interesting brief creates interesting creative work. N.b. Creativity here means being able to look at things differently: Connecting business needs with right target audience, right message and right media.
  22. 22. Briefing workshop 1. Why are we here? 2. Identifying roles and the creative process 3. What makes a good brief? 4. An example briefing form and how to use it 5. Idea generation techniques to generate better propositions 6. Let’s have a go 7. Evaluating work and feeding back 22
  23. 23. Creative brief What is the background & objectives? 6. 5. Which strand of Saga’s brand tone of voice are we dialling up in this communication? Job number: 2. 3. Any dos or don’ts? Is there anything else important we need to know? e.g. is it a test price? a response to a crisis? Any support material that will help us out? Old ads/competitor stuff? Sales position? Market share? What’s attached in the appendix? What are we creating and where will it be seen? Who are we talking to? 4. The proposition - What is the single thought that this campaign should be about? Anything else we need to say? (Ideally not but if so please limit to maximum of 3 points.) What is the barrier? Why aren’t they doing it already? What is the key insight to overcome this? Job name: Timings Briefing: WIP: Presentation: 1. This brief was written by: Signed off by: Marketing Creative 7. 8. 9. 10.
  24. 24. Single message – multiple media !! The new briefs will collate media requirements together so we can be consistent in our communication journey across all channels DM Ad’s Email/landing Experiential BRIEF: Campaign proposition DM Ad’s Email Landing page BRIEF BRIEF BRIEF BRIEF Currently: Moving forward:
  25. 25. The proposition deserves further mention  Is NOT a headline  Is NOT a longest-sentence-in-the-world-where-we-put-everything- we-have-to-say  IS the summation of the message for the piece. Identifying what is THE most important thing we HAVE to say so needs a bit of work…
  26. 26. Briefing workshop 1. Why are we here? 2. Identifying roles and the creative process 3. What makes a good brief? 4. The new briefing form and how to use it 5. Idea generation techniques to generate better propositions 6. Let’s have a go 7. Evaluating work and feeding back 26
  27. 27. 27 Mind maps (or spider diagrams)
  28. 28. A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information.  A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.  We start at the centre with the key requirement for our brief (say X% off your Car insurance) and the nodes move out to allow exploration of what the idea means or other ways it could be expressed
  29. 29. For example
  30. 30. Mind map - example
  31. 31. Pen portraits  Are short, informative pieces written about a customer type as a specific person  This stops us thinking of our customers as an amorphous blob or number and can help highlight what messages will appeal
  32. 32. We start by looking at our recipients and their needs: Cold [never bought] Warm [bought once] Loyals [bought many times] Lapsed [bought before but not recently] What are the different mind-sets between these groups? Which of these groups are we talking to – what will that mean for their feelings about our product/company?
  33. 33. We then look at the product we are selling:  What do we know about our products that could inform our thinking?  - Average age: ??  - Predominantly booked by: M or F?  - How is it bought? ‘Boast buy’ or private?  Is there a key reason our product is better than the competition?  What feelings do our products evoke?
  34. 34. Pulling these thoughts together we can build a picture of the arena our product is working in e.g. Lapsed holiday multi-buyer: Average age of past guests – 45/47 Mostly couples, predominantly booked by the man but researched and pushed to purchase/final decision by the woman. These guys did know us inside and out and booked regularly with us (regularly = 2 holidays a year). They are aware of our offers and inclusions – indeed, we believe it was one of the reasons they used to book with us again and again. But we’ve not heard from them for three years so we can assume they are probably still travelling but with another company.
  35. 35. Which we can then use to write our single person pen portrait e.g. Lapsed holiday multi-buyer: Meet Bill and Sarah – they are a working couple around 40 years old. They have an active social life – love the company of friends and are really enjoying their freedom now the kids have grown up! They love travel and want to see as much as they can before their health gets the better of them. They used to stay with us and loved it – but then they seemed to get too expensive so Bill insisted the went with AB Competitor and restricts their bar spend to make it more manageable. They love a good dance and exotic foods and being able to pack lots into a holiday, without racing about too much. That’s why they’ve come to love all inclusive. The thing Norma hates most about going away is Bill having to drive to the airport or port – it’s always a horrid rush, up at the crack of dawn and always grumpy. Just not the way to start a break! If you asked Bill what he hates is the constant tabs that are racked up – service tips and bar prices really can be a worry. It makes him cross that you’ve already paid to be staying and yet they still charge you through the nose!
  36. 36. By interrogating this we can identify potential trigger messages and what our proposition needs to say:  Look what’s changed with XXXHolidays  More for you at our resorts  Lots of exciting new features for you  Have you heard about all the new extras?  Etc etc
  37. 37. Which builds in to the creative team thinking  Look what’s changed with XXX Think you know us? Think again  More for you from XXX So much more waiting for you  Lots of exciting new features for you New to you  Have you heard about all the new extras Have you heard?  Etc etc
  38. 38. Briefing workshop 1. Why are we here? 2. Identifying roles and the creative process 3. What makes a good brief? 4. The new briefing form and how to use it 5. Idea generation techniques to generate better propositions 6. Let’s have a go 7. Evaluating work and feeding back 38
  39. 39. 39 So let’s get started  Hopefully you brought a current work project with you. We’ll use these as testers to fill out the new briefs and start thinking of our propositions.
  40. 40. 40 But great briefs are only half of the story…
  41. 41. 41 For great work to happen it needs evolutionary feedback and development
  42. 42.  It is NOT subjective: I like, he likes, she likes  It is ALL related back to the original requirements on the brief 42 Evaluating creative work is a skill
  43. 43. 43 Three pointers for taking the subjectivity out of the evaluation and fairly critiquing creative work
  44. 44. 44 Does the creative work answer the problem you set out to solve?  There are endless ways to express something creatively.  While many folks judge creative work based on personal tastes and preferences, one way to remove some of the subjectivity, is to evaluate the creative work based on how well it answers the problem you set out to solve.  Regardless of whether you prefer the font, headlines or imagery, take a step back and ask yourself, “Does this solve my problem?”
  45. 45. 45 Is the style of the creative work well suited for the audience?  Once you’ve answered whether the creative work solves your problem, the next step is to look at the element of style.  But, here’s the catch. Don’t look at it from an audience of one. Rather, evaluate the style of the creative product based on its intended audience. While you may not personally prefer bold colors and loud music, it may work for a teenage audience.
  46. 46. 46 Is there something unique and memorable about the creative work?  Lastly, take a step back and evaluate the distinctiveness of the creative work.  One of the reasons you set out to do something creative was to stand out from the crowd. Don’t stop now, evaluate how unique and memorable the creative work is.
  47. 47. 47 If the creative work you’re evaluating falls short on any of the criteria, don’t throw it away. Take the time to identify what can be improved or what’s missing and feed that back to the team.
  48. 48. 48 Feedback
  49. 49. What makes good feedback?  Is relevant to the original brief requirements  Discussed with creative team at a debrief/feedback meeting (not emailed or left on desks)  Clear and understood  Decisive – identifies what is not working and why  Is summaried on a de-brief sheet 49
  50. 50. 50 What makes bad feedback? !! Dictatorial !! Comes too late to be helpful !! Appears from an unexpected source (Creative drive-bys) !! Has no relevance or changes what was originally asked
  51. 51. 51 Which in turn…  No room for creative teams’ brains to solve the problem  Removes feelings of ownership  Generally demotes creative involvement to production role
  52. 52. Examples:  “The heading should be larger and in red” OR  “The heading doesn’t have the stand-out we are looking for”  “We don’t like the wording on the headline, we think it should be “Come and see Father Christmas NOW” OR  “The urgency isn’t strong enough for us in the headline” 52
  53. 53. A tool to help: 53 creative de-brief – feedback Client: Product name Brief date: XXXXX 2013 Job number: XX Presentation date: Date Project: Project name Print date: tba Account handler: Name Creative team: tba How was the work received? General description of what happened, who you presented to and what the initial reactions were - Type in here! What’s working with the idea/piece? What’s good, what was liked/loved - Type in here! What is not working? What are the areas that still need work and what do you feel is not being communicated or communicated wrongly? Is there something we’ve missed from the brief? - Type in here!
  54. 54. 5 steps to getting the best creative work 1. Mini-agency collaboration between Marketeers and Creatives 2. Well defined briefs with interesting propositions 3. Exciting, proud presentations from Creatives 4. Clear feedback and development sessions 5. Joint presentations to the business to build understanding 54
  55. 55. 55

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