How to create the ultimate Creative Brief (free template)

A good Creative Brief is an incredibly powerful document. Download Like No Other's free creative brief template, including examples, to give your next marketing campaign the best possible chance of success.

A good Creative Brief is the starting point for any breakthrough advertising or marketing campaign.

It outlines the strategic inputs for a creative project and provides the context of the problem at hand, acting as a guide for those responsible for crafting the required response. If the brief is what you’re hoping to do – the who, what, where and when - the creative is the how.

Given the average person is now hit with 10,000 marketing messages a day, it must inspire an original, creative solution capable of cutting through the noise.

As a marketing agency and start-up studio, Like No Other has both written and received more than its fair share of creative briefs. We’ve seen the good, the great and the downright awful. We’re happy to share with you our Creative Brief template, as used in our award-wining work.

You can download the template as a PDF or Word document here.

Or we can start at the beginning…

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a short 1-2 page document that helps the recipient - the creative team, agency or designer – to arrive at a creative solution to a business problem or opportunity. It develops a shared understanding of the company and its product vision and defines the creative outputs (e.g. an integrated marketing campaign, a new website, and so on) needed to achieve a particular objective.

The creative brief template is typically completed by an agency’s Account Manager in close consultation with the client team. Often on the back of a client campaign brief.

Why is it important?

There is always a temptation to jump straight into “solution mode”. Resist it. The Creative Brief is the first step in creative problem solving and will:

  • Ensure everyone is on the same page and reduce potential client-creative conflict
  • Set the context and expectations of what lies ahead
  • Leave enough room for original creative thought to be borne
  • Keep creative solutions on-brand whilst not acting as a straightjacket
  • Mitigate against ‘scope creep’ (where projects uncontrollable grow beyond their original brief)

In other words, the Creative Brief gives your creative project the best possible chance of success.

What is included in a Creative Brief?

In short, the main ingredients include:

  • The brand’s vision, values and positioning
  • An overview of the campaign’s background and objectives
  • Key challenges that you’re aiming to resolve
  • The target market for the campaign
  • The desired response or action you want them to take
  • Deliverables expected from the creative team
  • Budget and schedule for the campaign and its creative development
  • A link to brand guidelines and any relevant brand assets

What makes a great Creative Brief?

Behind every mediocre marketing campaign lies a bad brief. Here’s a quick checklist to ensure yours inspires the work it deserves:

  • Be succinct. Filter out filler information to focus on meaningful insights and killer propositions.
  • Be truthful. Give an accurate representation of the challenge and your ability to meet it.
  • Take your time. Don’t write it in haste. Block time out of your diary.
  • Feature a powerful insight. What is the emotional hook that can be linked to your brand that can make a consumer change their behaviour?
  • Neutralise bias. Strip out personal opinions and preferences.
  • Be media agnostic. This extends to not forcing a medium on your creative team. Focus on what’s best for the client, not your agency.
  • Involve the client. The easiest way to ensure you’re interpreting their vision and requirements.

“Give me the freedom of a tight brief”

David Ogilvy

A winning format – the Creative Brief we use

Download our template for free.

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