This is a personal rant.
This is a personal rant.
Back in the days before digital cameras, photography buffs used a thing called 35mm film. Anyone remember it?
This point is a sub-set of the "who should write the brief" issue.
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."
I'm a bit biased, but I have to wonder if Mr. Wanamaker gave a well-written creative brief to his advertising people. If he had, he might not have gone down in ad lore the way we remember him today.
The clearer the instructions you give to the people you hire to create your advertising, the more likely your budget will be spent wisely.
Let me re-phrase that: If your objectives are clear, if you can tell your ad agency or creative consultants what you want before you spend a nickel you'll get what you want a whole lot sooner with fewer misunderstandings and misdirection. And you'll have advertising whose results you can measure.
You'll have ROI you can count on.
From one piece of paper?
Yes, if it's written with authority and inspiration, backed by research and consumer insights, and benefits that are relevant to the audience you're selling to.
Look at it this way: If you take a trip across the country and the map you use to make your way is inaccurate and out of date, what happens? You get lost.
Why would you expect anything different if the instructions you give (or allow to be given in your name) to your ad people are just as faulty? Or don't align with your brand?
A well-written creative brief is your insurance policy.
A well-written creative brief puts you in control of the trip you're sending your advertising people on.
A well-written creative brief puts your advertising budget on a more direct path to being spent wisely.
It's your money. Start by spending it on a finely honed document that gives crystal-clear instructions.
With the New Year just under way, it's time to make a few resolutions to keep your brief writing skills honed.
First, resolve to collaborate whenever you can. Two heads are better than one. And if you enlist your creative team for ideas and feedback, you'll build team rapport not to mention instant buy-in on your brief.
Second, resolve to always have a point of view. A creative brief is a tactical document, so it must be focused. Think of it as an actual ad that you prepare for your creative team to make their job easier.
Third, resolve to be creative yourself when you write the brief. Which means you can't wait until five minutes before the meeting with your creative team to whip out a brief. You know more than you think. Believe it and your briefs will reflect it.
Fourth, resolve to be the creative brief's advocate in your company. It tends to be the Rodney Dangerfield of business documents. It deserves better.
Fifth, resolve to find someone in the creative department (whether it's inside your company or an outside contractor such as a freelancer or an agency) to be your partner as the creative brief's advocate. This kind of alliance shows how serious you and your creatives view the brief. People will take notice.
Sixth, resolve to get someone in upper management to join you and your creative partner to be the creative brief's advocate as well. A three-legged stool has stability. It's a great insurance policy against one of the oldest truisms in the business: "There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over."
Good luck and happy brief writing.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts and insights on the creative brief in 2009.