Dave Moore, creative director of Williams Helde Marketing Communications, penned a smart article on creative briefs in the November/December issue of Marketing, a Seattle-area trade newspaper.
Moore begins by mentioning the “staggering number of creative-brief formats” in his career. I can relate to that statement. Clients and ad agencies have innumerable briefs, tools and methods for identifying marketing, brand and communications issues. There are all sorts of questions, prompts and formats used to solicit the input required to address them.
As Moore points out, the answers are far more important than the questions. Then he reveals three questions that uncover the answers that matter most:
- What is the single most important thing we need to say?
- What is the key or main message?
- You (audience) should (action) because (reason).
“This is the most important information in the brief,” Moore writes. “This is its heart.”
He goes on.
“If you have a clear, single-minded, tangible product benefit, write it down. Think of it as both a product attribute and the end-user benefit. Describe the audience and why the benefit matters to them. And congratulations, your brief is now better than 95% out there.”
It sounds simple but it’s not. Things get muddled, and clients can stand in the way of this kind of clarity because, well, they know too much and have a tendency to want to emphasize everything. That’s marketing disaster.
You can read Moore’s entire article here.