• qualitative or quantitative research
• getting a client brief
• workshops with product insight team
• competitive analysis
• developing positioning statements
• testing already developed key messages
• getting client and creative to buy-in
• thinking of different ways in
• brainstorming with creative team
• making sure creative is on brief
• tweaking the brief to match the work
• sending inspiration to creative team
• writing set-up story slides for the work
• presenting work to client
• making decisions based on performance
keep this process in mind this
what models of
Carrying out a
analysis of the
ü it’s a source of clarity, inspiration and direction.
ü every planner has their own style.
ü every agency has their own template.
ü some briefs are left open while others are written tightly.
ü creative appreciates thought starters
ü client and account typically approve the brief.
ü a brief doesn’t have to be a piece of paper.
ü some people ignore briefs.
ü others edit them until the end.
“this tension between control and freedom is at the heart of
creative briefing. getting it right isn’t easy. however, i
believe that whilst you need to rigidly control and give
clarity about the problem you are asking creativity to fix,
being open-minded and giving people freedom in how
they solve it is the smartest thing any briefer can do.”
- Pete Heskett, art of the brief
ü what is the objective?
what is the problem (awareness, trial, sales)?
ü what is the real problem (price, cultural irrelevance, unclear product benefit)?
ü what category are we in?
ü who are we talking to?
ü what do we know about them demographically or psychologically?
ü are they users or non-users of our brand (retain vs. recruit)
INSIGHT AND STRATEGY
ü after looking through the lens of culture, consumer, brand and category, what is our target insight?
ü using our target insight, what is the plan we want to make for our communications?
REASONS TO BELIEVE
ü what are the brand and product truths that support our strategy?
ü after our target sees our ad, what do we want them to think, do or feel?
MANDATORIES AND CONSIDERATIONS
ü what are we making?
ü what should the creatives keep in mind when developing the work?
ü when do we go to market?
ü how much money to we have to play with?
1. write, re-write and write again.
2. running a napkin with doodles on it to a colleague
3. the words should jump off of a page.
4. the briefing moment does not have to be in a
5. know it’s the first step in the creative process and
not the last step in the strategy process.
6. client and account typically approve the brief
possible challenges with client briefs:
• no clear problem [often something like increase
awareness or sales by x%]
• unclear how success is measured [often confusion
between marketing goals and advertising goals]
• many people write them with different intentions
[maybe someone wants to please their boss,
maybe someone wants to win an award]
• sometimes there is no general direction
another truth: sometimes advertising
isn’t the solution.
the battery is dead.
the alternator is not functioning.
the alternator belt has broken.
the alternator was well beyond its useful service life and not
the vehicle was not maintained according to the
recommended service schedule.
how to go about finding the real problem.
ask many, many questions.
rephrase the problem.
challenge the assumptions that come in.
fill your brain with goodness.
you’ll have the chance to ask clients about their creative brief
and to ask consumers about their hopes, dreams and fears.
example: when an executive asked employees to brainstorm
ways to increase productivity, he got blank stares. but when
he rephrased his request as ways to make their job easier, he
couldn’t keep up with the load of suggestions.
remove bias, come up with different ways of looking at the
category and provided problem. example, if you’re working
on a restaurant brand, don’t assume they have a clear menu.
this is a great time to fill your mind with as much information
about the current category, competition, audience, historical
advertising and product.
In person interviews
c a t e g o r y
what category are we in?
what is the pricing and features of the different products?
who else is in our category?
what category could we be in?
can we re-define the category?
c o n s u m e r
what is the current behavior of our consumer?
how do we want to change their behavior?
what words do we want our consumer to use when telling
their friend about us?
what are their conflicts, passions and goals?
who are they influenced by?
c o m p a n y
what are the functional and emotional benefits?
what is your client’s goal?
what is their boss’s goal?
what is the company’s goal for this advertising campaign?
what is the company’s goal for the next five years?
1. Pick a brand or product
2. Label the end points
3. Fill it in
c u l t u r e
what is happening in the world right now?
can the product tie to a movement?
is the brand going with a cultural trend or against it?
is there a specific group of people that we can focus on?
example: if it’s known that many new yorkers are waking up
earlier than ever before, how can a brand or product fit into
the 7am time slot?
PURCHASE FUNNEL METRICS
awareness, purchase intent, consideration, loyalty
personality descriptors, product attributes,
brand archeology, current campaigns, social
congratulations! you just
opened your own advertising
agency and you landed your
first client without having to
ever meet them. you have an
initial meeting to learn about
their business. what do you ask
pretend these are your brands. what
does a successful headline in the
wall street journal look like?
now let’s get to an
prep for the big
your client is peet’s coffee.
the owner is planning on closing all stores on the west coast unless
each store increases its yearly revenue by 15%.
your assignment is to:
1. identify the problem/s [product, brand, communications,
audience, category] and articulate it back in an inspiring way
2. with the problem in mind, conduct and then present your
research plan on how you got to your problem
3. write a creative brief for your [imagine] creative team that they
would use to come up with a campaign
4 [bonus]: put a few creative ideas on paper
it’s arguably the best job in the world
five learned lessons from
being a planner.
the skills are transferable
planners aren’t needed to make work but are there to make the work better
inspiration fades. stay with it and get out there
planners don’t need the answers but need to know how to get them later
it’s time to say
and hello to the best
three months of your
The CEO found $50 million dollars in
he has 6 months to turn the brand
around and has agreed to use all of the
found money for a marketing
what would you recommend?
best strategy and creative wins.