How to write a killer creative brief


Ahhh, the creative brief. Mastering it is hard, and walking through it with the creative team is even harder. 

So you better know your stuff, or they’ll smell it from a mile away. 

Beyond being the blueprint on which every great ad or campaign is created, the creative brief is a sacred place for the creative team to keep grounded for the duration of the project. It has the who, what, when—and it’s the creative’s job is to come up with the how, where, why and “how the heck did you think of that?” 

So, here are some tips on how to absolutely crush your next creative brief:

Step 1: Eat a healthy and balanced breakfast, this is going to take some brain power and focus. 

Step 2: Keep your briefs brief. (They’re called briefs for a reason.) And try to stick to one page. If resumes can convey your entire career on one page, so can a creative brief.

Step 3: Make sure you know your client’s goals (seems obvious, but we don’t know who’s reading this).

Step 4: Know your client’s target audience. This can be tricky because some clients don’t necessarily know their target audience—that’s where all that research you did is going to pay off. 

Step 5: Review and read it from the creative team's perspective. 

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 until perfect. 

Step 7: Don’t forget to clearly outline the deliverables.

If you’re not in the industry, or if you didn’t get that, think of it like this: Let’s say you’re a quarterback—even better, think of yourself as Tom Brady (just do it). The creative team are your receivers, it’s their job to take the ball to the finish line, and it’s your job to deliver the ball (creative brief) safely into their hands so that they can run with it, and win that Super Bowl* (happy client).

And that’s pretty much what a creative brief is, in a nutshell. And hey, if you get good enough at it, that football might end up as the stepping stone to getting into a Super Bowl...commercial. 


*Tom Brady did not win his last Super Bowl, just saying.