Reviews

Reviews

“Howard Ibach has written the essential brief for the briefers, a
simple, memorable, enjoyable book for those who need to
practice the art of strategic reduction for a living. He expounds
several oft-forgotten principles: simplicity, clarity, collaboration.”
— Steve Wehrenberg, CEO, Campbell Mithun Advertising, Minneapolis

“How many of these will end up as agency secret santa gifts
for suits?”
— Anonymous comment on campaignbrief.com

"An excellent read. An even better blueprint. Howard Ibach has
captured in less than fifty pages what some ad people don’t learn
in a lifetime."
— Jerry D’Ascoli, Creative Director

"There’s a tendency when setting out to create great ads to look
at other ads and try to emulate them. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Howard’s book hits the nail on the head, and suggests instead
we start where all great ads…do: with a great brief."
— Vaughn Davis, Creative Director, Young & Rubicam Advertising Auckland, New Zealand

“In the beginning I was told: ‘This is the product and this is what
it does. Make a good ad.’ As the years passed, I got a bit more
to go on: ‘This is the product, this is what it does, this is what
the client wants to say about it and, by the way, here’s a bunch
of research we did. Make a good ad.’

“Finally, some 30 years into my advertising career, Jay Chiat
helped introduce British-style account planning not only to his
namesake agency where I worked, but to advertising in America.
The creative brief was born and, if I was lucky, some guy or gal
from across the pond who actually knew how to write one was
there to help me…well…make a really good ad. An ad based not
simply on what the client wanted to say, but on what the
audience wanted to hear. An ad based not simply on information,
but on human insight and understanding.

“Which brings me to a book I just read entitled How to Write an
Inspired Creative Brief, by Howard Ibach. For those of you who
want to get the very best work from your creative teams without
benefit of being either British or formally trained in account
planning—for those of you, in other words, who are just good ol’
American account managers with a dream—you can’t do much
better than to dog-ear this book from cover to cover and
back again.

“One thing that makes HTWAICB (for short) unique is the fact
that it was written by a writer—one who’s seen his share of
uninspired, if not useless, creative briefs; but who’s also
benefited from briefs that helped him do the quality of work any
creative person aspires to. The fact that Howard spent most of
his 23-year career in the results-oriented world of direct
response makes this book all the more remarkable. Can you
remember the last time you received a direct-response piece
based on anything more attention-getting than an offer and a
call to action accompanied by an eclectic blend of starbursts and
exclamation points? If you can, it was probably created by
someone like Howard, if not the man himself.

“Step-by-step, chapter by chapter, illustration by illustration (yes,
there are pictures, too), Howard not only builds his case for how
absolutely indispensable an inspired creative brief is but then
proceeds to teach you exactly how to do it: simply, clearly and
logically. Making generous use of productive exercises,
memorable examples, fascinating case histories, plus the words
and deeds of some of the smartest and most insightful people
in the field.

“All of the above in a charming, personable, tongue-in-cheek
style that makes How to Write an Inspired Creative Brief not only
a pleasure to read, but a well-nigh essential foundation on which
to build a successful advertising career.”
—Dave Butler, Creative Director (retired), TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles

“Why didn’t someone show me this before I had to write my first
briefs? I didn’t have a clue. But I did have a template, and
something my boss had written for Coldwell Banker. Ha!
(Howard) nailed that.”
— Tom Lehr, EVP/Managing Director, Dailey, West Hollywood

“Howard’s book provides much needed guidance to anyone
struggling to create (a brief) in an environment of complexity
and time pressure.”
—Ramona Liberoff, Global Client Director, Kantar (WPP), London

“This is a book for those who want to believe that a well written
creative brief can make the world a better place. Both
inspirational and pragmatic, it is filled with anecdotes and tips
that will first help you appreciate the power of a great brief, then
guide you in writing one.”
—Frank Quadflieg, EVP/Creative Growth Catalyst, Bolin Marketing, Minneapolis

“As a relatively new advertising professional I’ve come to expect
that I learn something new every day, but not as often do you
get an in depth AND entertaining look at something that is so
pivotal to your profession. I found myself highlighting answers to
questions I didn’t even know I had.

“Having been through the daunting task of being an advertising
pupil I am fully aware of how it feels when a professor puts yet
ANOTHER text book in front of your face. This book is a pleasant
break from the constant dry preaching that we have all come to
expect. This narrative is insightful and witty; Howard gets to the
heart of the matter and tells a complete and engaging story
along the way.

“How to Write an Inspired Creative Brief is a MUST READ for any
aspiring ad professional, student, intern and above all those who
have entered the ad world and thirst for a way to better
understand its complexities! For me, this book will serve as a
reference guide and teaching tool as I continue my career.”
—Meghan McGregor, Assistant Account Executive, Campbell Mithun Advertising