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What is a Creative Brief/Creative

A creative brief is the very foundation of any advertising / marketing campaign. Making a

simple (but relatable) analogy, the briefing is the metaphorical treasure map that creatives

follow. The brief shows the creative professionals not only where to start digging to find

the golden ideas but also how to open the treasure chest.

By definition, a creative brief (or creative briefing) is a document produced by the

requesting party (the customer) with the goal of establishing the defining aspects of a

creative piece of work, such as a print ad or website banner. The term is often heard in the

advertising market where it represents the first step in the journey of producing all sorts

of material such as promotional videos, websites, etc.

Is a blueprint, a guide, even a source of inspiration. It details the objectives,

audience/community, message or utility, the context in which the brand wants to engage,

timing and budged. In short, the what, who, where, when.

Boches continues by explaining that the briefing defines what we’re doing while the

creative aspect defines the how.

Thinking about a broader concept, a creative brief can also be defined as a relat ively short

written document used by project managers and/or creative professionals with the goal

of guiding the development of creative materials to be used in marketing/communication

A well developed, compelling briefing will normally have und er two pages in length and is

enough to outline the goal of the piece, establish the direction and defines the audience

and the message while showing that are the desired results.

If we were to compartmentalize the communication process we’d be likely to position the

creative brief at (or before) the design phase. A good briefing clearly states the

communication strategy and context in order to ensure all creative deliverables will be

produced in alignment with said strategy.

Why should I develop a Creative


As stated above, the creative brief’s main function serves as a guide written by the person

requesting a creative service (the customer) to the responsible for the activity in order

to clearly define what’s expected of the deliverables as well as the communication

strategy it should be aligned with.

Great creative briefs have one primary function — to inspire your creative team to come

up with the most brilliant and effective communications response to solve a particular

problem. While a collection of facts, the brief should put your creative team in the right

frame of mind to come up an innovative and creative solution.

Having a well written, compelling briefing is essential for guiding creative professionals

towards developing messages and materials that not only fit within the company’s

communication strategy but also make it as successful as it could possibly be.

It’s safe to say that normally, under the usual circumstances, developing a creative brief is

not a one man job. It takes a small team of professionals from various fields to thoroughly

explain the message the creative piece should convey.

The reason why it’s so important to have more than one person from different work areas

working on a creative briefing is that it ensures it won’t convey a single person’s point of

view and, consequently, be less accurate. It also ensures that the definitions and concepts

within are clear enough for the receiving team to understand.

If there’s only one person responsible for writing a creative brief, his or her personal

opinions can get into the way and make the briefing less clear and detailed as it should be.

All creative briefs must be developed after a thorough situation and audience analysis.

The reason why it’s so important to analyze the context for the campaigns is simple: as

cliché as it may sound, knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have, the more

specific you can be about what’s expected from the service provider.
What is BIG Idea?
Big Idea in marketing and advertising is a term used to symbolize the foundation
for a major undertaking in these areas - an attempt to communicate a brand,
product, or concept to the general public, by creating a strong message that
pushes brand boundaries and resonates with the consumers.

Cultivating A “Big Idea”

The fact is that the role of creative agencies — in uncovering an insight, birthing
a “Big Idea” and expressing this in a series of executions as a campaign — has
never been more important.

In the old days of analog media, an agency was responsible for the entire
communications supply chain, the sequence of processes involved in the
creation, production and distribution of advertising. Agencies controlled not only
the creation of the campaign idea, but also all of its manifestations and often the
media delivery to the end consumer.

In today’s digital world, the brand marketers and their agencies control a much
smaller piece of the communications supply chain. Digital advertising has
enabled a level of interaction and dialogue between marketers, consumers and
the media whereby the three are becoming equal partners in the advertising
experience — often as co-creators.

While there is no one-size-fits-all scenario, today the brand and its agency
typically control the first part of the communications supply chain, the media the
second and the consumer the third.

Specifically, the brand and agency will create a Big Idea and a handful of
executions that bring this idea to life in paid advertising; more and more, media
owners will then create additional content (often “native”) for the brand, building
on the agency’s work; and finally, consumers will respond and share their
interpretations, creating “earned” media for the brand.
While some brands lament this loss of control, the majority realize the potential
for nearly limitless amplification of their core media spend. At the same time, they
recognize that the chance for outsized rewards doesn’t come without risks, and
rarely does a week go by without a story of a digital campaign going wrong,
usually because the creative idea was weak or absent.

Nor does the potential for outsized rewards come without more and harder work.
While the brand and agency only control the first part of the communications
supply chain, this is the most important one, as their contribution provides the
foundational communication platform — the Big Idea at the center of the
advertising experience, upon which all creative, paid, owned or earned, is

When the communications platform, the Big Idea, is done right, it is natural for
the media and consumer to create and share compelling, relevant, “on-strategy”
content that lifts the brand and its sales.
Brands and their agencies invest mightily to create Big Ideas, and they should, as
these can become incredibly valuable assets. In today’s digital media world, in
which the brand and agency no longer control the entirety of the communications
supply chain, of equal if not greater importance is codifying and communicating
the Big Idea so that other creators farther down the chain can accurately express

This is easier said than done. Agencies, after all, are not used to handing off their
Big Ideas to others, as for the majority of their existence, they controlled all
executions and did not need to brief outsiders.

This is no longer the case, and today’s leading marketers are insisting that their
agencies succinctly capture each Big Idea in an easily transferable, i.e., written,

Successful big ideas are composed of three fundamental elements. Without

these, few campaigns can pierce the barrage of competitive activity and the
onslaught of multimedia message manipulation and be effective:

1. Piercing Insight

A piercing insight engages consumers because it is an unequivocal truth for

them and is typically one they need solving. Insights are at any brand’s core, and
a piercing one will harbor enough power to capture consumer attention and
imagination and cleverly set up the brand to provide a solution.

These insights tap into an aspiring or inspiring truth (emotionally and/or

rationally), and, when expressed succinctly in consumers’ language, can be
easily retold by them.
2. Brand Connection
If the insight does its job, the brand can deliver a heroic solution to that challenge
or need. As the brand is in the category already (either tangibly or conceptually),
it can naturally connect to the insight, solving it, meeting it, even exceeding the
need for the consumer.

How that connection or role is told is up to the agency and its creative prowess,
but there will be a higher chance of success if the insight-connection paradigm is
established first.

3. Succinct Expression
And finally, you need a one-line phrase that captures the insight and brand
connection and can trigger recall of the brand moment for the consumer. It could
even, further down the creative line, provide inspiration for a tagline or sub-tag.

Here is how this format might work for Snickers.

And for Puma.

It is brutally hard to create one that will not only start the communications supply
chain well but will also drive success through to the very last creative

For this reason, many smart marketers and agencies are adopting the discipline
of succinctly capturing their Big Ideas in an easily understandable and shareable
fashion as a litmus test; if it can’t be done, it’s not a distinct, clear or powerful
enough idea to drive success through today’s modern communications supply
Done well, brands and agencies will find themselves continuously surprised and
delighted by how their intellectual property, the Big Idea, is appropriated (not
misappropriated) by others and expressed in new and different creative ways that
they never could have imagined.