The Creative Brief
Requirements: e.g. New Launch, New Customer Acquisition, Loyalty/Retention Campaign, etc.
1. Background, research and product information
What product or service are we talking about and why? Provide as much information as you can about the product or service on offer.
What is the competition up to?
What is the competition doing at the moment? How does our product/service compare to the direct and indirect competitors?
2. What is the role of the communications? (Objectives & Strategies)
What are we trying to achieve with this MARCOMs campaign? Acquisition? Retention? Is awareness on its own a luxury too far? Sales push/pull?
3. What is the brand/company idea and tone of voice? (Overall Brand/Company ‘Vision’/’Aim’)
This is the core brand idea to guide the tone and messaging of any piece of communication we do for the company.
4. Who are we talking to?
Describe the audience as precisely as possible using segmentation analysis – think of the target groups and think of them as an individual person (a ‘persona’).
5. What do they think now?
What kind of problems/frustrations/challenges does our audience have now? What is their perception of the brand/product/service. Be particularly honest and critical.
6. What do we want them to think?
After they see/read/hear our work, what do we want them to think about our product/service/brand/company?
7. What do we want them to ACTUALLY DO (actions) in this campaign?
Call a number, sample, visit a store, go online to a particular site, return a coupon instore/online in eCommerce, share (WOM), Like (facebook, but is that enough?!), buy/purchase… is there a deadline to encourage quicker action(s)?
i) Proposition (BE SINGLE-MINDED on this)
What is the ONE, overall benefit that this campaign should communicate, ABOVE all else? The proposition should be a well constructed sentence, which states the over-riding opportunity, which is relevant to the target audiences’ pain/need, promises the solution, is unique/first/scarce and drives the audience into positive action.
“… ………. …….. …….. ……… …. .. ……. ….”
ii) Support to (directly first and indirectly second, supports the proposition)
What facts/stats, figures, research, quotes, etc. do we have in order to support the claim/proposition we have made above? List these first as most relevant to least relevant. If there is other information that we also need to include, list it next. You need to consider a list of at least 6-12 bullets.
i) What will we consider a success? Revert back to you objectives and
strategies and summarize what will make this campaign to be considered as a success?
ii) How will we measure it? Now that we know what will make it a success, how will we get that information? Who will gather it and how? How and when will we report it back?
Outline the campaign budget considerations, including ‘quantity’ implications, e.g. no. of sites, frequency of comms, coverage, etc. What do these figures include/exclude?
Outline key timings for the project, taking into account the campaign period, phasing, how media will work together, in parallel, is linked. Consider an excel spread sheet linked to from here to the appendices.
Is there anything we must include? Brand/company logo, tag/straplines, pack/product shots, type of photography (human face/abstract/artistic/word copy heavy, technical, etc.), ad templates (look and feel and corporate guidelines).
USE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE AND AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE for each section, WITH THE INTENTION OF KEEPING CONCISE. USE PUNCHY, ORIGINAL and economical language, supported with evidence, be it referenced findings, insights on the audience(s), directly and indirectly relevant research, facts & figures. STATE ASSUMPTIONS where absolutely necessary.
Further appendices may be added to these real industry docs, but must equally be relevant, brief and curt, showing clear benefits to help a creative team to have the time to ingest in the ‘real world’.
A world where a Creative Brief needs to be worked on, amongst a plethora of other creative duties and a deadline of no longer than 5 days to come back with ‘concepts’.
So this is NOT about writing reels and reels of wordy-word-smith-wordage, particularly as you are actually building a slides presentation of salient points.
To the brand manager, the creative team is the whole agency team. And the brand manager finds it difficult to select one focused overall benefit in the offering. Brand managers and clients businesses invest a huge amount of time, energy and money into creating as many benefits and features as possible. The creative brief is a document they work with in conjunction with the agency and must be prepared to develop, negotiate, disagree and agree in the journey to the final signed-off creative brief, in effect a ‘creative contract’.
To the agency account manager, the creative team is in the creative department. The brief would be presented to the creative team for approval and is made up of the concept team, classically consisting of an art director and copywriter, who report into a creative director. They are supported by production, designers and art buyers.
The creative brief often should remain media-neutral when first developed, but can steer creative ideas down specific media considerations the more the media is stated as a given/already decided communications channel to market.
Assessment 1 – Individual Creative Brief (TMM 40%).
Submit by : Towards the End of Wk 5 being February 24th by 11.59pm via turnitin on blackboard).
Individual preparation and submission of a real industry document.
It’s a template doc for you to think through and complete, namely, ‘The Creative Brief’; but needs to be DETAILED but BRIEF. And NO appendices. Harvard style referencing or sourcing IS necessary with at least one reference/source per section.
So NO ‘overkill’ on referencing.
Though this word count is technically 1500-1800 words, it is simply a guide and it will become apparent to you that discipline, ruthlessness of what to include vs. what not to include is the real skill deployed here.
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