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Writing Effective Creative Briefs

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From the SVC workshop of the same name led by Devin Liddell, Principal Brand Strategist for Teague.

Published in: Business, Education

Writing Effective Creative Briefs

  1. 1. WRITING EFFECTIVE CREATIVE BRIEFS Devin Liddell Principal Brand Strategist TEAGUE 1
  2. 2. HELLO.
  3. 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. 4. GOALS FOR TODAY. • REFRAME THE TRUE PURPOSE OF A BRIEF • UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES A BRIEF SUCCESSFUL • INSPIRE YOUR NEXT BRIEF
  5. 5. WHY THE FIRST TIME DIDN’T GO SO WELL.
  6. 6. WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL TENSION WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS?
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. MIT STUDY: WHY DON’T POLICE SKETCHES WORK?
  10. 10. BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE?
  11. 11. WHY ARE CARICATURES SO RECOGNIZABLE?
  12. 12. THE BRAIN LOVES BIG, EXAGGERATED FEATURES. NOT DETAILS.
  13. 13. THE FUNDAMENTAL TENSION WITHIN CREATIVE BRIEFS: COMPREHENSIVE VS. CONCISE.
  14. 14. PART ONE: WHY WRITE A CREATIVE BRIEF?
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 1. BETTER WORK 2. GREATER EFFICIENCY 3. OPTIMAL PRICING
  17. 17. PART TWO: THE STATE OF THE CREATIVE BRIEF
  18. 18. “I DON’T HAVE TIME.”
  19. 19. “I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH.”
  20. 20. “I WANTYOU TO DO IT.”
  21. 21. THE CREATIVE BRIEF TODAY. 1. LESS FREQUENT 2. LESS PREPARED 3. INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT
  22. 22. THE CREATIVE BRIEF IS NOT A TACTICAL DOCUMENT.
  23. 23. THIS IS A STRATEGIC DELIVERABLE.
  24. 24. 600 SECONDS.
  25. 25. PART THREE: 5 CORE ELEMENTS
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. We want to increase package sales by 20% among men 24-40. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  30. 30. 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)
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. Main thought to communicate: Sonics basketball is the perfect catalyst for male bonding. DDB CREATIVE BRIEF FOR 2004/2005 SEATTLE SONICS PACKAGE SALES CAMPAIGN
  35. 35. 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)
  36. 36. PANORAMA, ANYONE?
  37. 37. ANIMALS IN THE TYPE!
  38. 38. SERIOUS ABOUT CONSERVATION?
  39. 39. IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
  40. 40. IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
  41. 41. IMAGINE THE CO-BRANDING
  42. 42. WHAT ABOUT A DESCRIPTION OF THE DELIVERABLES?
  43. 43. PART FOUR: 5 WAYS TO MAKE A BRIEF LIVE OR DIE
  44. 44. 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
  45. 45. 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”
  46. 46. 100,500
  47. 47. Excerpted from thisisindexed.com copyright 2006-2009, Indexed and Jessica Hagy
  48. 48. 03. CLARITY 1. RELEVANT INFORMATION IN CONTEXT 2. NO TRIBAL LANGUAGE
  49. 49. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  50. 50. 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)
  51. 51. 05. COMPELLING LANGUAGE 1. WRITE THE MANIFESTO 2. PUT THE ENERGY INTO THE BRIEF THAT YOU’D LIKE TO GET OUT OF THE CREATIVE
  52. 52. WRITE IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES.
  53. 53. DON’T ‘SAVE AS’ . . .
  54. 54. HAVE THE GUTS TO START THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
  55. 55. EAT
  56. 56. EXERCISE #1
  57. 57. 600 SECONDS.
  58. 58. EXERCISE #2
  59. 59. Q/A
  60. 60. dliddell@teague.com
  61. 61. THANK YOU.

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