Creative briefs are a vital cog in the brand marketing industry, but, sadly, creative briefs are a badly neglected and misused cog in the brand marketing industry.
Neglected because they are often rushed and contain little thought. Misused because their vagueness allows the author to claim that the creative agency has failed to answer the brief.
The brilliant Tom Fishburne captures the problem in the above cartoon which is based on an Ad Age article quoting marketing consultant Casey Jones as saying the average creative brief is partial, incomplete and sometimes just a phone call or text message.
“If you rated the industry on a scale from one to 10, with one being a horrifying piece of direction and 10 being optimal, I would say that companies are currently somewhere between a two or three,” Jones told Ad Age.
At Sagacite, the brand management consultancy where I work, we work hard to write detailed creative briefs that inform and inspire. Writing a brief must be as creative a process as developing the subsequent brand communication. And a brief needn’t just be words. A brief really comes to life when video and other forms of communication are used.
At the end of the day, a brief should pitch the brand requirement to the agency as hard as the agency will subsequently pitch the brand communication.