A Re-imagined Creative Brief

I don’t want to come off as a presumptuous know-it-all Internet planner jerk-off, but these are just my thoughts on creative briefs.

I was talking to a friend a while ago about a brief I’d like to write and a brief he’d like to work off of. The way I’d describe it would be problem/success. The planner would identify the business problem and what success would look like. And then the planner would be responsible for finding multiple insights (like 3-4) into how they could go from point A to point B. So maybe for example on Gatorade:

Problem: Losing market share to not only athletic drinks, but also other lifestyle drinks that have become popular.

Success: Gatorade increasing market share by x% while increasing brand awareness and perceptions.

Then the planner would go in and fill out the insights:

Sports and culture go hand in hand – the celebrities hang out with each other, fashion sense overlaps and the top guys in both groups share the same swagger about them. Maybe its time we give Gatorade a life outside of sports.

People drink Gatorade because they believe its the best drink to have while/after intense exercise. This is an undeniable truth and equity we’ve built into our brand. Don’t change it – change them. Is there a way to may people exercise more and stimulate demand for Gatorade?

I only have two here since its just an example. But the insights should have enough research and focus in them to be good strategic directions.

But overall I think those insights can work for creatives. It gives them multiple options (which implies that there’s more than one way to fix the problem – something a single-minded brief ignores) and focused on the same goal. If the insights are too thin, the planner can do a deep dive on each of them to provide more stimuli.

I also think that if you set it up like this, planners won’t pitch a fit about ideas being off brief. Because everyone knows if you’re off-brief, the ideas won’t get you to the success scenario you laid out.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve got on briefs – let me know what you think. It could be totally wrong and useless for all I know. But I tend to think that briefs are too limiting and that we should never forget that we are problem solvers first and foremost.

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One response to “A Re-imagined Creative Brief”

  1. girlgeum says :

    First we have to know what the problem(s) is/are, and how do we pinpoint it/them. People might see a drop in sales, but really don’t know why it happened. Then they might cover it with a band aid, only deterring for awhile the inevitable. Not actually solving the problem.

    The environment in which a product is to be sold is important. By that, I don’t mean location, but marketability. Is it something that people would want to have, or rather, feel that they need to have. And if there are competitions, how does it stack up against them?

    You mentioned Gatorade. I thought about Evian water, which is naive spelled backwards. It was the “it” water. Is it still, even though there are numerous competing water out there. People had to have that branded water. Why?

    Where are the advertising top dollars going? On the internet? TV? Billboards? Is the way of doing this still the same? Another issue.

    Word of mouth is still free. How big a factor is that?

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