How to Make an Effective Creative Brief

If you’ve begun working with a marketing agency, you may have been introduced to the term creative brief. For most, this is something they have never heard of before. This article will introduce you to the term creative brief and tell you how to create an effective brief.

writing a creative brief

What is a Creative Brief?

A creative brief provides the framework for a successful creative campaign. Essentially, it is a short 1-2 page document that informs a corporation’s creative strategy which will be implemented in their marketing and advertising campaigns. Creative briefs demonstrate how the creative approach connects with the larger and more complex business goals of the company by providing feasible campaign strategies.

They also help those who are working on the project to understand what the goals, audience, and deliverables are. Simply put, creative briefs allow the creative team to get a better sense of the brain and its vision. There are many important parts of an effective brief. They include:

  • A short and concise brand statement
  • An overview of the brand’s goals
  • Challenges facing the brand that the creative team is looking to resolve
  • The target audience for the campaign
  • Key brand competitors
  • A statement describing brand values
  • The campaign’s main communication channels

Who Creates a Creative Brief?

Typically, the person responsible for creating the creative brief is the account or project manager. It could also be whoever is responsible for managing the client relationship. This individual will work closely with the client so they have a clear understanding of the requirements of the project, the current status of the project, and what the desired outcome or goals for the project are. Oftentimes, the manager will work alongside a variety of different teams of people to get this done.

The creative team helps analyze whether the client’s vision is attainable and helps them choose their options. The marketing team will help in the logistical side of the creative project by gathering customer data, analyzing the campaigns of their competitors, and developing an effective media strategy. Finally, an accounting team will weigh in on the budget and determine what areas of the campaign need the most funds. As you can see, collaboration is an important factor in creating a cohesive creative brief.

creative brief

Who is the Creative Brief Made For?

The client is the main recipient of the document since they are the ones that provide final approval. However, it is the creative team that will end up using the creative brief. So when writing a creative brief, you need to think about how to most clearly articulate a client’s vision to your creative team. This requires the brief to be straightforward, easily understood, and appealing. The brief by no means needs to have answers to every single question a client may have or an answer to every possible challenge or problem they face. Instead, it is a starting point to get the ball rolling and allows your client to find inspiration. Thus, the creative brief should be created with the client in mind but with the creative team as the focus.

Why Should You Make a Creative Brief?

You might be wondering if a creative brief is truly necessary and the bottom line is that it absolutely is. Let’s discuss some of the top reasons why.

Provides Structure to a Creative Project

The majority of us can agree that creative projects often have a  multitude of different moving parts to keep track of. From goal outlines, deadlines, and budgeting, it is important to make sure that all of these parts are clearly laid out in one central place. Creating a brief allows for everything to be organized and clearly formatted.

Documentation of Ideas

During the brainstorming process of a creative project, it is easy to get carried away with ideas and forget to write things down. That is why having a creative brief is so important. It allows for all your important and essential ideas to be documented so that you have an organized and easy to refer back to record.

what is a creative brief

Capture Clear Deliverables

Creative briefs also allow for the creative team to get a sense of what the goals for the project are. Without deliverables, it can be hard to determine where to begin the work. By writing a creative brief, you provide the creative team and the client with something tangible that they can expect to see created by the project’s end.

What Should Be Included in a Creative Brief?

Now that we have covered the benefits of creating a creative brief, let’s now discuss what components are included in good creative brief examples.


Every creative brief needs to highlight the objective of the project. You need to ask yourself questions such as “What are the overall goals of the project?” and “What do we want to accomplish?” Think about both qualitative and quantifiable goals and be sure to be as specific about your objectives as possible. The more specific your goals are, the better of a plan you will be able to create.


It is crucial to include a detailed timeline of events with deadlines to the different facets of your project. Without a timeline, your project will lose efficiency and you might end up over or underestimating your workload which will cause you to lose momentum, focus, and money.


A creative brief must be clear about the audience it is trying to target. Get specific on their demographic information such as gender, age, income, location. Then hone in on their wants and needs, their likes and dislikes, and what the best ways to market to them are.

creative brief examples

Key Messages

The next thing you will need to include in your creative brief is an outline of key messages that you are trying to get across to your audience. Think about what your creative campaign is trying to achieve, in other words. Refer back to the goals and objectives that you highlighted at the start and work through how to effectively communicate to your audience with these goals in mind.

Brand Voice

Brand voice refers to your brand’s unique characteristics that allow it to stand out amongst competitors and be easily identifiable. Your brand voice hones in on what makes your brand special and this is important to discuss in your creative brief. Your brand’s voice can very well be what makes its creative approach unique from all the rest.


As stated earlier, a great benefit of a creative brief is that it allows for you to outline the key deliverables that your brand should manifest as a result of the campaign. Deliverables can take a multitude of different forms such as radio ads, social media collaborations with influencers, billboard ads, etc. Whatever your deliverables may be, make sure they are as clear and specific as possible because these are what the creative team will try to create.


KPIs refer to how you aim to measure the results of your campaign. These are often determined by your deliverables. If your deliverables are centered around social media, perhaps you are going to measure how many of the accounts that viewed your post ended up sharing it. If you were running a radio ad, you could measure how often people who heard your ad ended up looking up the brand’s website or contacting the phone number given in the ad. In any case, it is important to find out what data you are trying to track and by what means you are going to track it.

effective creative brief

Creative Briefs Lead Your Campaign

Creative briefs are essential to the creation of any marketing campaign. The primary reason is that it is a standard practice between clients and marketing agencies. In the eyes of a client, an organized and clear creative brief shows that an agency understands what is expected. Creative briefs also aid the agency in being the best help they possibly can to their client. Creative briefs are important for a variety of other reasons as well. They help ensure that the creative direction is in line with the client’s vision, articulates to the agency and any third party contributor more information about the brand’s background, keeps clients and agencies on the same page, and aligns the budget with the media strategy.

When writing a creative brief, you need to be clear on your objectives, deliverables, and KPI measurements. You also need to accurately pinpoint your audience’s viewpoints along with their wants and needs, be able to come up with stand-out key messages that are rooted in your brand voice, and be prepared to provide reasonable and specific deadlines and budget estimates if necessary. If you are struggling with writing your own brief, it is helpful to look at creative brief examples. Some of the biggest brands have creative brief examples you can easily find online.


  • What is a creative brief?
  • What goes into a creative brief?
  • Why should you make a creative brief?
  • Why are KPIs important?
  • Who is a creative brief written for?

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