How to Write a Creative Brief

How to Write a Creative Brief

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Marketing creative can only be as good as the creative brief that went into it. Yet creative briefs are frequently one of the more overlooked parts of the creative process. Creative briefs are often neither creative nor brief.

I like how Creative Director Howard Margulies voiced this in an AdAge article a while ago:

“Too often, the creative brief is joylessly “filled out” as if it were the worksheet to an IRS 1040 Schedule C. Values are plugged into fields. Facts substituted for insights. Data dumped in a hierarchical, unfiltered lump…

“When you write a creative brief, you’re not filling out a form. You’re crafting the story of your product and its reason to exist and thrive in the world. This is the first, and arguably the most important creative act of the entire process. And yet it’s often approached with all the delight of passing a kidney stone.

“Believe it or not, your creatives want the freedom of a tightly written brief. They’re looking to you for inspiration. Man up. Make them care.”

Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years:

“Creative Brief” May 2011

“Brand Video” September 2015

“Is It On Brand?” January 2016

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