Nail your next marketing campaign with this creative brief template
No matter what type of creative project you’re working on, the first step is to create a game plan that will keep you organized while making sure you’re meeting your goals and objectives. That’s where a creative brief comes in.
A creative brief helps you organize all the details of a creative project or marketing campaign. While there are many different ways to create a brief, it’s easy to get started when you’ve got the right creative brief template.
Let’s dive into what makes an effective creative brief and look at a creative brief template and examples to inspire you to get started with yours.
What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a short document that overviews a project or campaign while summarizing any important details like the project’s challenges, goals, target audience, deliverables, and more. Creative briefs sum up an entire campaign, a smaller project, or even a singular creative asset.
Creative briefs are typically created by project managers, project leads, or marketing teams. Internal teams can create briefs for their own projects or campaigns and provide them to the internal creative team or the team to which they’re outsourcing work.
Marketing agencies or organizations that are completing the project may also give a creative brief template to their client to get all the necessary information. They may also develop a creative brief for a client and present it to any necessary stakeholders before beginning work on the project.
Here’s an example of a broad creative brief that provides the main details for Colgate’s overall marketing needs:
On the other hand, here’s an example of a creative brief that dives into the specifics of a project, including deliverables and timelines:
Creative briefs differ based on their purpose. These examples also show the differing levels of design on the brief itself (branded vs. simple).
Why you need a creative brief
No matter how smart or talented your creative team is, they will need some guidelines before getting started on a project. A creative brief ensures that everyone working on the project is aligned about its goals, deliverables, timelines, and any other important details. This can prevent miscommunication and save your team from going back and forth just to communicate the basic details of the project.
A creative brief is also vital because it clearly defines the project’s scope. Scope creep, or when the scope of the project increases over time, can be an issue for any team. In fact, according to a Project Management Institute survey, 52% of projects experience scope creep.
When you clearly define what services will be provided and which deliverables will be included in a campaign or project, you reduce scope creep. Not only does this allow you to protect your team’s energy and time, but it also ensures that your team is getting paid for everything they are doing to contribute to the outcome.
Creative brief template
While there are many approaches to creating a creative brief template, we’ve taken our favorite elements from different briefs to create the ultimate free creative brief template. Feel free to add anything that’s missing or take out anything that isn’t necessary for your particular project.
Creative Brief for [Your Brand/Name of Client]
Project/Campaign name: [Name of project or campaign]
Launch date: [Expected launch date]
Requested by: [Who has requested this project? - Include contact information if necessary.]
Project owner: [Who will be responsible for overseeing this project? Include contact information if necessary.]
[Provide some background on the company including who they are, who they serve, and what’s important to them.]
[Include a brief description of the product in 1-3 sentences that describes the business or consumer pain point and the solution you’re proposing.]
[Dive deeper into the problem that is being solved. Be sure to use data and statistics if applicable.]
[What is the objective of this project? What’s the goal? You may have more than one if the brief is for an entire campaign.]
[Give a detailed overview of the target audience for this campaign or project. In addition to demographics, include any other information that may be relevant such as behavioral or buying patterns.]
[Include any audience insights that may be important to this project or campaign. For instance, include any information you’ve discovered during market research that could inform the direction of the campaign.]
[Here is where you will list any deliverables that are needed for the project, campaign, or asset (if this is just for one piece of creative). Include any necessary details like word count, file type, etc.]
[If you or the client have a brand guidelines doc, you can include the link here. If not, be sure to include any important branding guidelines like the use of the brand’s logo, naming conventions, etc. You should also include brand voice or messaging information if the project involves written content.]
[When will each deliverable be completed? List the deadlines for drafts and approvals as well as the expected dates for finalized deliverables.]
[List all of the project costs, including the cost of each deliverable as well as any planning or consulting time you may be charging for.]
3 creative brief examples
Creative briefs will vary depending on how you plan to use them. For instance, if you’re outlining an entire campaign, you’d include a lot more (and different) details than you would if you’re creating a creative brief just for one creative asset like an infographic or blog post.
Below are three different creative brief examples that offer a few different ways to put together a great creative brief:
This creative brief example from Reebok illustrates that you don’t need a beautifully designed creative brief to get the job done. This brief is simple yet informative. It contains all the key details someone would need to understand the company and target audience before getting started on a project.
This creative brief for Quaker offers a unique and creative approach. It contains all the necessary campaign information such as the problem, objective, and facts. However, the information is organized in an infographic format, which makes it visually interesting and easier to consume the information.
Don’t let this one scare you! While designers may be drawn toward building a beautiful creative brief like this, you do not have to make your briefs aesthetically detailed, especially if you are serving a lot of different clients and don’t have time to brand each creative brief in this way.
We have seen a simple creative brief and a much more stylized example. This creative brief for PayPal falls in between the two. While it does have all the necessary information, it’s also branded and visually appealing. The information on the opportunities to reach customers is shown in a visual that helps keep the information organized and easy to read.
In the end, the best creative brief template to use or example to follow is the one that makes the most sense for your organization and the types of projects you work on. As long as you have all the important elements needed to complete the creative work, and the information is organized in a way that’s easy to read, you’re all set!
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