“This is such a small/simple/basic project, we don’t need a creative brief for this, right?
Every day, this question gets asked in meeting rooms across America. And, when a creative person answers, “Nah, it seems pretty straightforward” the table has been set for a buffet of “I’ll know it when I see it” revisions and rework.
There are so many reasons why it makes sense to always call for and follow a creative brief. And we’ll hit on some of those in just a second. But, from a creative person’s perspective, none might be more important than this:
You’ll never know if you hit the mark if you don’t know what you are aiming for.
A good, basic creative brief should tell you, in specific detail:
- The audience you are targeting. That’s right, specific. Not just “People, 25-65 years of age”
- The problem you are solving for this audience. What does the product/service/offer provide that is directly relevant and immediately beneficial?
- The media you are creating for. Yes, you need to know how many banner ads you are creating and their specific sizes, for example.
- The timeline you must meet. Not just the end deadline, but interim dates including check-ins, concept presentations, etc.
- The criteria that will be used to determine success. Make sure everyone knows and agrees upon which Key Performance Indicators are in play.
And that just covers the basic tactics. You’ll also want to know if you are connecting this work to a higher-level communications or brand strategy.
We’re all team players, and we all want to be seen as accommodating. However, allowing a project to start without agreement on the destination is a recipe for frustration, missed deadlines, and needless rework.
Make sure your team avoids that, and insist on at least a basic creative brief up front. Call it something else if that makes it easier for everyone to live with … but make sure you have it, and use it.