Writing a Creative Brief

Many creative marketing projects get underway without a clear sense of expectations between the marketing folks requesting the project and the creative folks delivering upon it, resulting frequently in lost time and expensive rework. A marketing brief is the best way for the marketer to clearly lay out a framework for the creative team. The process can be driven by either side – creative or marketing – but both sides need to agree on the brief before the work can commence. Here’s the Creative Brief Template that was shared with me when I was at Apple Computers.

Please summarize this program and what you want to achieve:
How will you measure the success of this program?

Who is the Primary Audience?
What should be avoided in talking to this audience?
What do they believe before we tell them anything?
Who is the secondary audience?

What objectives are you trying to achieve?
What are the priorities of those objectives?
Can you suggest strategy or positioning to achieve the objective?

The Message
If you could get one sentence through all the clutter, what would that be?
If they asked you to prove it, how would you do that?
What other major points do you want to communicate?

The Medium
What is the best way to reach this audience?
Is there another way?
Are there existing pieces that this piece must work with?
How will this piece be delivered to the audience?

Anything Else
Any other design objectives or special circumstances?
Are there any mandatories that must be in the piece?

The Deadline
When must the message get to the audience for maximum effect? (i.e. trade shows, events, product intro dates)
When must we deliver the finished work?

How much money do you have to spend on this project?
Has this budget been approved? By whom?

The Responsible Parties
Who needs to sign off on final execution?