Creative Brief – Why have a dog??

One of my colleagues recently wrote a very relevant blog on the importance of an effective creative brief. The emphasis was that the brief needs to set parameters for which the creative team can work within to prevent blue sky work being done which then effectively never sees the light of day, as its ‘off brief’.

Now whilst this is very true the other side of the coin is equally relevant. One of my biggest bug bears when working on client side was briefs written by brand managers that gave the creative teams in the agency no scope what so ever to be CREATIVE.

The briefs that I am referring to went along the lines of: “we require a sales generation program for brand x. The activity should be a gift with purchase promotion to be executed in store. The value of the gift should be Y% of the GM of the item”

Now what scope does this give the team to be creative – basically choose the gift and draw some pictures to communicate the offer. It just demonstrates a lazy attitude of stick to what we have done in the past, a failure to look for new solutions and a lack of trust in your agency partner, to allow them the freedom to come up with a genuinely creative solution. Failure to allow the agency to do what you pay them for i.e. be creative, is akin to having a dog, tying it up and not allowing it to bark and then just whimpering yourself in a non threatening manner!

In my opinion a good brief frames the issue and then gives plenty of scope for delivering a solution. For example:

The Issue

Our consumer insights are telling us that we have problem converting brand awareness in to trial. Once we get trial we then convert in to regular usage – so this indicates that there is positive acceptance of the product/offer post trial.

The Brief

How do we generate trial?

Target Audience is this ….

Budget is this …..

Legal & reputational Implications this….

End of story

John Dowd – Director

Why have a dog