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WRITING EFFECTIVE
CREATIVE BRIEFS
Devin Liddell
Principal Brand Strategist
TEAGUE
1
HELLO.
AGENDA
9:00 - 9:15
9:15 - 9:30
9:30 - 10:15
10:15 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:15
11:15 - 12:00
12:00 - 1:00
1:00 - 2:15
2:15 - 2:30
2:30 - 3:15
3:15 - 4:00
INTRODUCTIONS
WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF?
THE STATE OF THE BRIEF
BREAK
WHAT GOES IN A CREATIVE BRIEF?
FIVE WAYS TO MAKE A BRIEF LIVE OR DIE
LUNCH
EXERCISE #1: WRITE THIS BRIEF, PART 1
BREAK
EXERCISE #2: WRITE THIS BRIEF, PART 2
Q/A
GOALS FOR TODAY.
• REFRAME THE TRUE PURPOSE OF A BRIEF
• UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES A BRIEF SUCCESSFUL
• INSPIRE YOUR NEXT BRIEF
WHY THE FIRST TIME
DIDN’T GO SO WELL.
WHAT IS THE
FUNDAMENTAL TENSION
WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS?
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little
or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would
sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the
spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;
whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily
pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and
especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral
principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking
people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my
substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his
sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost
all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards
the ocean with me.
from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the
tongue taking a trip of three steps down
the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth.
Lo. Lee. Ta.
from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
MIT STUDY:
WHY DON’T POLICE
SKETCHES WORK?
BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE?
WHY ARE CARICATURES
SO RECOGNIZABLE?
THE BRAIN LOVES
BIG, EXAGGERATED
FEATURES.
NOT DETAILS.
THE FUNDAMENTAL TENSION
WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS:
COMPREHENSIVE VS. CONCISE.
PART ONE:
WHY WRITE A
CREATIVE BRIEF?
WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF?
1. YOU WANT HIGH-QUALITY, EFFECTIVE, MEASURABLE
CREATIVE WORK
2. YOU WANT TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY
3. YOU WANT FAIR PAYMENT OR COMPENSATION
4. THE PROJECT IS SUFFICIENTLY LARGE, HIGH-PROFILE,
CRITICAL, OR LONG-TERM IN NATURE
1. BETTER WORK
2. GREATER EFFICIENCY
3. OPTIMAL PRICING
PART TWO:
THE STATE OF THE
CREATIVE BRIEF
“I DON’T HAVE TIME.”
“I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH.”
“I WANTYOU TO DO IT.”
THE CREATIVE BRIEF TODAY.
1. LESS FREQUENT
2. LESS PREPARED
3. INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT
THE CREATIVE BRIEF IS NOT
A TACTICAL DOCUMENT.
THIS IS A STRATEGIC
DELIVERABLE.
600 SECONDS.
PART THREE:
5 CORE ELEMENTS
01. THE BIG PICTURE.
• HIGH-LEVEL BACKGROUND INFORMATION
• DECLARATIVE STATEMENTS; “THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING”
AND “THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO ABOUT IT”
• THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO SUCCESS
The Sonics brand is about “success
through intensity and integrity.” We still
believe in having a good work ethic on
the court, and being good citizens off the
court. But this year we want to lighten
up the communications and remind our
audience that basketball is fun, and
Sonics basketball is fun to be around.
DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS
PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
02. BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.
• ULTIMATE GOALS AND/OR CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS
(E.G., INCREASE AWARENESS, GENERATE SALES LEADS,
IMPROVE MORALE)
• WHY RIGHT NOW IS THE IDEAL TIMING
We want to increase package sales
by 20% among men 24-40.
DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS
PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
03. CREATIVE OBJECTIVES.
• CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS (E.G., EXPRESSION OF BRAND
ATTRIBUTES, DESIRED EMOTIONAL IMPACT, ALIGNMENT
WITH OTHER INITIATIVES, RELEVANT SYNERGIES, ETC.)
• MANDATORY ELEMENTS THAT INFORM THE CREATIVE
DIRECTION (E.G., PRODUCT SHOTS, USE OF SPOKESPERSON)
The creative should communicate that
nothing brings out male togetherness
better than Sonics basketball. The
environment is ideal: great basketball,
lots of noise and bright lights, pretty
people, talented dancers, and the
availability of life-sustaining food and
beverage. Essentially, everything guys
need to have fun together.
DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS
PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
04. AUDIENCE & RESPONSE.
• WHO THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS AND WHAT THEY CARE
ABOUT (E.G., DEMOGRAPHICS, MOTIVATIONS AND INSPIRATIONS,
TURNOFFS, ETC.); THE KEY AUDIENCE INSIGHT
• WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO AND WHY THEY SHOULD DO IT
• THE SINGLE-MOST-IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY FROM
THE EXPERIENCE
About 1/3 are single; 3/4 of those who are
married have kids. They do a lot of things
on the fly. Adaptability and flexibility are
key. There’s a lot of fast food involved.
They stop a lot at 7-Eleven-type stores.
They play sports. They watch even more.
They love their hometown team—even
more when they win. They don’t want to
join book clubs, host dinner parties, or
grab a lemonade after tennis.
DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS
PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
Main thought to communicate:
Sonics basketball is the perfect
catalyst for male bonding.
DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS
PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
05. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE.
• THE COMPETITORS
• WHAT THEY’RE DOING (E.G., NOTABLE MARKETING ACTIVITIES,
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, DESCRIPTION OF COMPETITIVE
PRESSURES ON BUSINESS AND CREATIVE OBJECTIVES)
PANORAMA, ANYONE?
ANIMALS IN THE TYPE!
SERIOUS ABOUT CONSERVATION?
IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
WHAT ABOUT A
DESCRIPTION OF
THE DELIVERABLES?
PART FOUR:
5 WAYS TO MAKE A
BRIEF LIVE OR DIE
01. WRITTEN & VERBAL
1. WRITING IS ABOUT BEING EXACT
2. NOT THE SAME AS A COVER SHEET
(E.G., “SEE ATTACHED POWERPOINT”)
3. A TOOL FOR AN ADVOCATE/EVANGELIST
4. A SET-UP FOR GREAT CREATIVE
02. BREVITY
1. LONGER DOES NOT MEAN BETTER; THEY’RE CALLED “BRIEFS”
2. NOT A WORK IN PROGRESS
3. A ONE-PAGER, OR A “BRIEF WITHIN A BRIEF”
100,500
Excerpted from thisisindexed.com
copyright 2006-2009, Indexed and Jessica Hagy
03. CLARITY
1. RELEVANT INFORMATION IN CONTEXT
2. NO TRIBAL LANGUAGE
QuickTime™ and a
decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
04. OPENS MORE DOORS
THAN IT CLOSES
1. LEAVES ROOM FOR THE CREATIVE TO ACHIEVE
THE OBJECTIVES IN UNEXPECTED WAYS
2. USES BRAND GUIDELINES TO SET THE STAGE FOR
BREAKING NEW GROUND (VS. BREAKING THE RULES)
05. COMPELLING LANGUAGE
1. WRITE THE MANIFESTO
2. PUT THE ENERGY INTO THE BRIEF THAT YOU’D LIKE
TO GET OUT OF THE CREATIVE
WRITE IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES.
DON’T ‘SAVE AS’ . . .
HAVE THE GUTS TO START
THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
EAT
EXERCISE #1
600 SECONDS.
EXERCISE #2
Q/A
dliddell@teague.com
THANK
YOU.

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Writing Effective Creative Briefs

  • 1. WRITING EFFECTIVE CREATIVE BRIEFS Devin Liddell Principal Brand Strategist TEAGUE 1
  • 3. AGENDA 9:00 - 9:15 9:15 - 9:30 9:30 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 11:15 11:15 - 12:00 12:00 - 1:00 1:00 - 2:15 2:15 - 2:30 2:30 - 3:15 3:15 - 4:00 INTRODUCTIONS WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF? THE STATE OF THE BRIEF BREAK WHAT GOES IN A CREATIVE BRIEF? FIVE WAYS TO MAKE A BRIEF LIVE OR DIE LUNCH EXERCISE #1: WRITE THIS BRIEF, PART 1 BREAK EXERCISE #2: WRITE THIS BRIEF, PART 2 Q/A
  • 4. GOALS FOR TODAY. • REFRAME THE TRUE PURPOSE OF A BRIEF • UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES A BRIEF SUCCESSFUL • INSPIRE YOUR NEXT BRIEF
  • 5. WHY THE FIRST TIME DIDN’T GO SO WELL.
  • 6. WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL TENSION WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS?
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • 11. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • 12. MIT STUDY: WHY DON’T POLICE SKETCHES WORK?
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  • 17. BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE?
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  • 21.
  • 22. WHY ARE CARICATURES SO RECOGNIZABLE?
  • 23. THE BRAIN LOVES BIG, EXAGGERATED FEATURES. NOT DETAILS.
  • 24. THE FUNDAMENTAL TENSION WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS: COMPREHENSIVE VS. CONCISE.
  • 25. PART ONE: WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF?
  • 26. WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF? 1. YOU WANT HIGH-QUALITY, EFFECTIVE, MEASURABLE CREATIVE WORK 2. YOU WANT TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY 3. YOU WANT FAIR PAYMENT OR COMPENSATION 4. THE PROJECT IS SUFFICIENTLY LARGE, HIGH-PROFILE, CRITICAL, OR LONG-TERM IN NATURE
  • 27. 1. BETTER WORK 2. GREATER EFFICIENCY 3. OPTIMAL PRICING
  • 28. PART TWO: THE STATE OF THE CREATIVE BRIEF
  • 29. “I DON’T HAVE TIME.”
  • 30. “I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH.”
  • 31. “I WANTYOU TO DO IT.”
  • 32. THE CREATIVE BRIEF TODAY. 1. LESS FREQUENT 2. LESS PREPARED 3. INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT
  • 33. THE CREATIVE BRIEF IS NOT A TACTICAL DOCUMENT.
  • 34. THIS IS A STRATEGIC DELIVERABLE.
  • 35.
  • 37. PART THREE: 5 CORE ELEMENTS
  • 38. 01. THE BIG PICTURE. • HIGH-LEVEL BACKGROUND INFORMATION • DECLARATIVE STATEMENTS; “THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING” AND “THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO ABOUT IT” • THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO SUCCESS
  • 39. The Sonics brand is about “success through intensity and integrity.” We still believe in having a good work ethic on the court, and being good citizens off the court. But this year we want to lighten up the communications and remind our audience that basketball is fun, and Sonics basketball is fun to be around. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  • 40. 02. BUSINESS OBJECTIVES. • ULTIMATE GOALS AND/OR CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS (E.G., INCREASE AWARENESS, GENERATE SALES LEADS, IMPROVE MORALE) • WHY RIGHT NOW IS THE IDEAL TIMING
  • 41. We want to increase package sales by 20% among men 24-40. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  • 42. 03. CREATIVE OBJECTIVES. • CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS (E.G., EXPRESSION OF BRAND ATTRIBUTES, DESIRED EMOTIONAL IMPACT, ALIGNMENT WITH OTHER INITIATIVES, RELEVANT SYNERGIES, ETC.) • MANDATORY ELEMENTS THAT INFORM THE CREATIVE DIRECTION (E.G., PRODUCT SHOTS, USE OF SPOKESPERSON)
  • 43. The creative should communicate that nothing brings out male togetherness better than Sonics basketball. The environment is ideal: great basketball, lots of noise and bright lights, pretty people, talented dancers, and the availability of life-sustaining food and beverage. Essentially, everything guys need to have fun together. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  • 44. 04. AUDIENCE & RESPONSE. • WHO THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS AND WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT (E.G., DEMOGRAPHICS, MOTIVATIONS AND INSPIRATIONS, TURNOFFS, ETC.); THE KEY AUDIENCE INSIGHT • WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO AND WHY THEY SHOULD DO IT • THE SINGLE-MOST-IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE
  • 45. About 1/3 are single; 3/4 of those who are married have kids. They do a lot of things on the fly. Adaptability and flexibility are key. There’s a lot of fast food involved. They stop a lot at 7-Eleven-type stores. They play sports. They watch even more. They love their hometown team—even more when they win. They don’t want to join book clubs, host dinner parties, or grab a lemonade after tennis. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  • 46. Main thought to communicate: Sonics basketball is the perfect catalyst for male bonding. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  • 47. 05. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE. • THE COMPETITORS • WHAT THEY’RE DOING (E.G., NOTABLE MARKETING ACTIVITIES, STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, DESCRIPTION OF COMPETITIVE PRESSURES ON BUSINESS AND CREATIVE OBJECTIVES)
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  • 51. ANIMALS IN THE TYPE!
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  • 58. WHAT ABOUT A DESCRIPTION OF THE DELIVERABLES?
  • 59.
  • 60. PART FOUR: 5 WAYS TO MAKE A BRIEF LIVE OR DIE
  • 61. 01. WRITTEN & VERBAL 1. WRITING IS ABOUT BEING EXACT 2. NOT THE SAME AS A COVER SHEET (E.G., “SEE ATTACHED POWERPOINT”) 3. A TOOL FOR AN ADVOCATE/EVANGELIST 4. A SET-UP FOR GREAT CREATIVE
  • 62. 02. BREVITY 1. LONGER DOES NOT MEAN BETTER; THEY’RE CALLED “BRIEFS” 2. NOT A WORK IN PROGRESS 3. A ONE-PAGER, OR A “BRIEF WITHIN A BRIEF”
  • 64. Excerpted from thisisindexed.com copyright 2006-2009, Indexed and Jessica Hagy
  • 65. 03. CLARITY 1. RELEVANT INFORMATION IN CONTEXT 2. NO TRIBAL LANGUAGE
  • 66. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 67. 04. OPENS MORE DOORS THAN IT CLOSES 1. LEAVES ROOM FOR THE CREATIVE TO ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES IN UNEXPECTED WAYS 2. USES BRAND GUIDELINES TO SET THE STAGE FOR BREAKING NEW GROUND (VS. BREAKING THE RULES)
  • 68.
  • 69. 05. COMPELLING LANGUAGE 1. WRITE THE MANIFESTO 2. PUT THE ENERGY INTO THE BRIEF THAT YOU’D LIKE TO GET OUT OF THE CREATIVE
  • 72. HAVE THE GUTS TO START THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
  • 73. EAT
  • 77. Q/A