Who is your creative brief?

I know what you're thinking: You forgot the preposition "for" at the end of your headline.

Am I right?

Yup, that's what I thought. But you're wrong. I wrote the headline exactly the way I wanted it:

Who is your creative brief?

Can you guess why?

Here's my answer: The creative brief is the voice of your consumer. That's whoit is.

In the absence of a true representative of the person or persons who buy your product or service (or your client's product or service), you need a stand in.

Often that substitute is a focus group, a survey, a data-base analysis. Or, if you're really lucky, an account planner.

All those options are expensive.

But a creative brief isn't. A well-written brief, that is.

It's designed to speak as if it were indeed channeling your most cherished buyer. The one who is brand loyal. Or the one who's on the fence. Even the one who used to like your brand and now doesn't.

A well-written brief will speak in the voice of this consumer and tell you (or your creative team) what to do to make an impression.

When the brief asks, "Who are we talking to?" let the consumer answer. Don't be a cad and list bullet points like HHI, demographic stats and other useless information. Tell a story from the first-person POV. Paint a three-dimensional word picture. Use your imagination. You work in marketing or advertising, right? Prove yourself!

When the brief asks, "What do we want our audience (or consumer) to feel when he/she sees or reads or hears this advertisement?" let that consumer tell you in his or her own words.

The creative brief should represent your consumer. It should act as if it's sitting in the chair where the consumer would sit if he or she were present and participating in the conversation.

So let me ask again:

Who is your creative brief?

If you want it to really work as hard as it can and should, there's only one answer.