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Killer Briefs Overview
Milwaukee AdWorkers
02 2017
Lynette Xanders
CEO | Chief Strategist, Wild Alchemy
Wild Alchemy is a
momentum company:
infusing companies and
individuals with insights and
inspiration to create
something amazing ℠.
3
Creative Research + Brand Strategies
+ Cultural Recalibration + Creative Momentum
4
clients | brands
agency clients
6
80% of my clients’
problems
[culture, sales, brand
fragmentation, etc.]
can be resolved with a
killer brief.
7
Why? Because it generates
greater efficiency and
effectiveness through
alignment, leads to
better work through clarity and
inspiration, and allows teams to
have more fun in the process
by reducing drag.
Specifically:
8
Saving creative resources
Reducing circular conversations
Establishing accountability
Igniting strategic thought-
starters
Streamlining decision making
Selling in work
WIIFM?
9
YOU will always have a job.
Some agencies make 40% of
their revenues on the thinking.
It’s All About HOW
10
It’s a good idea that doesn’t
tend to pan out in reality
because it’s a ‘throw away task’.
(Note: if clients were right, they
wouldn’t need agencies).
11
“We never seem to
have enough time to
do it right, but we
always seem to have
time to do it over.”
~Global agency head
Briefs are NOT a:
job order
set of instructions
client wish list
record of how much you know
packet of data
12
Briefs ARE:
the first creative idea
areas of heat/places to play
a springboard for ideation
inspirational > informational
both creative + brief
13
14
What do we want to have happen?
How will we know when we get there?
Why will they care? What do we do for them? Say about
them?
What do they need to believe to act and what are we asking
them to do?
What are the tools at our disposal?
What	is	on	offer? 		 	 	 	What	is	the	product	or	category?	What	are	our	‘units	of	sale’?	
	
What	is	the	assignment?		 	 	What	are	we	building?	What	is	the	output/deliverable?	
	
Why	are	we	doing	it?							 	 	What	do	we	want	to	have	happen	(that’s	measurable)?	
	
Who	are	we	talking	to?			 	 	Who	are	our	cul@sts	and	low	hanging	fruit	in	terms	of	
	 	 	 	 	 	 	their	shared	behaviors	and	aAtudes?	No	demos.	
	
What	do	they	currently	think		 	What	do	they	believe	(that	drives	their	behavior)?	
(that	helps	or	hurts	us)?	
	
What	do	they	need	to	think?		 	What	do	they	need	to	believe	to	act	(as	we	wish)?	
	
What s	is	the	ONE	thing	 	 	In	7	words,	what	is	a	(loaded)	slogan	for	the	idea?		
we	need	to	tell	them?		 	 	 	(What	do	we	do	for	them?	Say	about	them	?	What	will	mo@vate	them?)	
	
	
Why	should	they	believe	us?		 	Factual	or	anecdotal,	what	support	do	we	have?	
	
What	are	we	really	selling?		 	 	What	is	the	magne@c	virtue?	
	
What	is	our	personality?		 	 	3	words	that	define	our	aAtude	+	and	a	poster	child
What	is	on	offer? 		 	 	 		
	
	
What	is	the	assignment?		 	 		
	
	
Why	are	we	doing	it?							 	 		
	
	
Who	are	we	talking	to?			 	 		
	
	
What	do	they	currently	think		 		
	(that	helps	or	hurts	us)?	
	
	
What	do	they	need	to	think?		 		
	
	
What s	is	the	ONE	thing	 	 		
we	need	to	tell	them?		 	 	 		
	
	
Why	should	they	believe	us?		 		
	
	
What	are	we	really	selling?		 	 		
	
	
What	is	our	personality?
DON’T
17
18
Make the background more than 3 lines.
“This piece is aimed at a broad audience of both consumer and
business users, as well as analysts, tech bloggers and
influencers.” or “Best Buy”
3 projects within one brief with 3 different targets
Main message: “n/a”
“Make it cool.” Proof: show product.
Back and forth Q&A with others still in the brief.
‘Make it stand out from the competition’ but no competitive
review provided.
DO
19
Simplify the complicated and
make people fall in love.
20
YOUR
BRAND
=
=
=
=
SAFETY
REBELLION
FREEDOM
21
Create A Mother Brief
Music Mobile Phones Space TravelAirplanes
22
Write longhand.
Yes, really.
23
Put words to it.
It’s in industry of taste. What’s
your philosophy of what makes
work great?
Nice Place. Endearing.
24
Remember the Creative Team
is Your Audience.
25
Seek to Inspire, not Just
Inform.
26
27
State of Being
Thinking Writing
Defrag
Revolution	is	often	a	10	degree	shift.
Collaborating
28
Think Like A Poet
Romance it. Tell me why
people love/trust/count on it.
Use juicy words that touch
hearts, not heads.
Be Clear about the Deliverable.
(Consider others but outline the
output we’re on the hook to deliver.)
29
Define the problem the
output will solve.
The magic can be in the WHY
we want it
(“We want a brand book to help educate
the influx of new salespeople on what we
offer the day they start.”)
30
Do NOT Include More Than 3
Lines of (Pertinent) Background.
Leave it for the briefing if needed.
Focus your energy on places to
play/ways to solve.
31
Avoid Client-Speak + Jargon.
32
Define Success.
What can we measure that we care
about and can affect with this piece?
(Make sure it lines up with the ask).
33
Don’t Lump Them in a Job or
Lump Them Together.
“Best Buy” (Buyer? Name?)
34
Paint a Picture
(and make them likeable).
35
80/20
Follow the Money
and the Love.
36
37
LIONS
HORSES
DOGS
FOCUS
HERE
SEEK
COMMON
THREADS
Find the Point of Stain
38
Define	the	moment	
when	your	product	or	
service	becomes	more	
important	than	any	
other.
Seek the common threads
(mindset v demos).
“Making one ad.”
39
Use Loaded Language.
40
Think in Benefits.
It’s about them, not about us.
(but we mirror each other in
terms of what we want, what
we love, what we think is cool).
41
“The difference between the right word and
almost the right word is the same as the
difference between lightning and a lightning
bug.”
Mark Twain
42
Go for goosebumps.
43
Think in Benefits.
It’s about them, not about us.
(but we mirror each other in
terms of what we want, what
we love, what we think is cool).
44
45
BELIEF BEHAVIOR
Psychology of Human Behavior
A belief will always precede (drive) a behavior.
Don’t skip over the voice.
46
Use examples.
47
48
More	This Less	That
Treat everything as if it’s vital.
49
Make it hang together.
50
Cut away everything that is
not a lion.
51
Make Sure it Passes My Tests:
Elevator
Mom
Cringe
52
The Briefing is Where the
Magic Happens
53
Do not expect music to play.
54
There is nothing in a caterpillar that
tells you it is going to be a butterfly.
55
Angel | Devil | Judge
‘Plus it’ or shut it.
56
FEEDBACK
Reduce Meetings
Increase Conversations
Talk About Creative That’s Not ‘Our’
Creative (Bowling)
57
CULTURE OF BRIEFS
Inspire yourself.
Make time to think (create wiggle.)
Write juicy words down that deliver
goosebumps.
58
RECAP
WHAT I BELIEVE
Guessing is expensive.
Guessing without a brief is lunacy.
If you follow the love, the money and the ideal, you won’t go far wrong.
Team cohesion is as critical as brand strategy. Brand strategy can create
cohesion.
Our job is to make people fall in love.
It has to be about what’s in it for them.
Consumer insights, culture, brand and expressions are inextricably intertwined.
People will tell you exactly what you need to do to be successful.
59
60
How to Write a Killer
Brief
A practical guide to writing
delicious, thoughtful briefs
(and coming up with the
insights and ideas to get
the party started).
$25.
Https://www.wildalchemy.
com/goodies
Momentum Book
An exercise-filled
workbook to Feng Shui
your life – redesigning
elements that drive or
drain your energy (and
creativity).
$45.
(because it’s printed in the States, people).
https://www.wildalchemy.
com/goodies
MOMENTUMLYNETTE XANDERS
wildalchemy.com
20 67 55 68 00

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How to Create a Killer Creative Brief with Wild Alchemy

  • 2. Lynette Xanders CEO | Chief Strategist, Wild Alchemy
  • 3. Wild Alchemy is a momentum company: infusing companies and individuals with insights and inspiration to create something amazing ℠. 3 Creative Research + Brand Strategies + Cultural Recalibration + Creative Momentum
  • 6. 6 80% of my clients’ problems [culture, sales, brand fragmentation, etc.] can be resolved with a killer brief.
  • 7. 7 Why? Because it generates greater efficiency and effectiveness through alignment, leads to better work through clarity and inspiration, and allows teams to have more fun in the process by reducing drag.
  • 8. Specifically: 8 Saving creative resources Reducing circular conversations Establishing accountability Igniting strategic thought- starters Streamlining decision making Selling in work
  • 9. WIIFM? 9 YOU will always have a job. Some agencies make 40% of their revenues on the thinking.
  • 10. It’s All About HOW 10 It’s a good idea that doesn’t tend to pan out in reality because it’s a ‘throw away task’. (Note: if clients were right, they wouldn’t need agencies).
  • 11. 11 “We never seem to have enough time to do it right, but we always seem to have time to do it over.” ~Global agency head
  • 12. Briefs are NOT a: job order set of instructions client wish list record of how much you know packet of data 12
  • 13. Briefs ARE: the first creative idea areas of heat/places to play a springboard for ideation inspirational > informational both creative + brief 13
  • 14. 14 What do we want to have happen? How will we know when we get there? Why will they care? What do we do for them? Say about them? What do they need to believe to act and what are we asking them to do? What are the tools at our disposal?
  • 15. What is on offer? What is the product or category? What are our ‘units of sale’? What is the assignment? What are we building? What is the output/deliverable? Why are we doing it? What do we want to have happen (that’s measurable)? Who are we talking to? Who are our cul@sts and low hanging fruit in terms of their shared behaviors and aAtudes? No demos. What do they currently think What do they believe (that drives their behavior)? (that helps or hurts us)? What do they need to think? What do they need to believe to act (as we wish)? What s is the ONE thing In 7 words, what is a (loaded) slogan for the idea? we need to tell them? (What do we do for them? Say about them ? What will mo@vate them?) Why should they believe us? Factual or anecdotal, what support do we have? What are we really selling? What is the magne@c virtue? What is our personality? 3 words that define our aAtude + and a poster child
  • 16. What is on offer? What is the assignment? Why are we doing it? Who are we talking to? What do they currently think (that helps or hurts us)? What do they need to think? What s is the ONE thing we need to tell them? Why should they believe us? What are we really selling? What is our personality?
  • 18. 18 Make the background more than 3 lines. “This piece is aimed at a broad audience of both consumer and business users, as well as analysts, tech bloggers and influencers.” or “Best Buy” 3 projects within one brief with 3 different targets Main message: “n/a” “Make it cool.” Proof: show product. Back and forth Q&A with others still in the brief. ‘Make it stand out from the competition’ but no competitive review provided.
  • 19. DO 19
  • 20. Simplify the complicated and make people fall in love. 20
  • 22. Create A Mother Brief Music Mobile Phones Space TravelAirplanes 22
  • 24. Put words to it. It’s in industry of taste. What’s your philosophy of what makes work great? Nice Place. Endearing. 24
  • 25. Remember the Creative Team is Your Audience. 25
  • 26. Seek to Inspire, not Just Inform. 26
  • 27. 27 State of Being Thinking Writing Defrag Revolution is often a 10 degree shift. Collaborating
  • 28. 28 Think Like A Poet Romance it. Tell me why people love/trust/count on it. Use juicy words that touch hearts, not heads.
  • 29. Be Clear about the Deliverable. (Consider others but outline the output we’re on the hook to deliver.) 29
  • 30. Define the problem the output will solve. The magic can be in the WHY we want it (“We want a brand book to help educate the influx of new salespeople on what we offer the day they start.”) 30
  • 31. Do NOT Include More Than 3 Lines of (Pertinent) Background. Leave it for the briefing if needed. Focus your energy on places to play/ways to solve. 31
  • 32. Avoid Client-Speak + Jargon. 32
  • 33. Define Success. What can we measure that we care about and can affect with this piece? (Make sure it lines up with the ask). 33
  • 34. Don’t Lump Them in a Job or Lump Them Together. “Best Buy” (Buyer? Name?) 34
  • 35. Paint a Picture (and make them likeable). 35
  • 38. Find the Point of Stain 38 Define the moment when your product or service becomes more important than any other.
  • 39. Seek the common threads (mindset v demos). “Making one ad.” 39
  • 41. Think in Benefits. It’s about them, not about us. (but we mirror each other in terms of what we want, what we love, what we think is cool). 41
  • 42. “The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the same as the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Mark Twain 42
  • 44. Think in Benefits. It’s about them, not about us. (but we mirror each other in terms of what we want, what we love, what we think is cool). 44
  • 45. 45 BELIEF BEHAVIOR Psychology of Human Behavior A belief will always precede (drive) a behavior.
  • 46. Don’t skip over the voice. 46
  • 49. Treat everything as if it’s vital. 49
  • 50. Make it hang together. 50
  • 51. Cut away everything that is not a lion. 51
  • 52. Make Sure it Passes My Tests: Elevator Mom Cringe 52
  • 53. The Briefing is Where the Magic Happens 53
  • 54. Do not expect music to play. 54
  • 55. There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly. 55
  • 56. Angel | Devil | Judge ‘Plus it’ or shut it. 56 FEEDBACK
  • 57. Reduce Meetings Increase Conversations Talk About Creative That’s Not ‘Our’ Creative (Bowling) 57 CULTURE OF BRIEFS
  • 58. Inspire yourself. Make time to think (create wiggle.) Write juicy words down that deliver goosebumps. 58 RECAP
  • 59. WHAT I BELIEVE Guessing is expensive. Guessing without a brief is lunacy. If you follow the love, the money and the ideal, you won’t go far wrong. Team cohesion is as critical as brand strategy. Brand strategy can create cohesion. Our job is to make people fall in love. It has to be about what’s in it for them. Consumer insights, culture, brand and expressions are inextricably intertwined. People will tell you exactly what you need to do to be successful. 59
  • 60. 60
  • 61. How to Write a Killer Brief A practical guide to writing delicious, thoughtful briefs (and coming up with the insights and ideas to get the party started). $25. Https://www.wildalchemy. com/goodies
  • 62. Momentum Book An exercise-filled workbook to Feng Shui your life – redesigning elements that drive or drain your energy (and creativity). $45. (because it’s printed in the States, people). https://www.wildalchemy. com/goodies MOMENTUMLYNETTE XANDERS