The Creative Brief

One of the interesting things, to me, about the ad industry, is the importance of the creative brief. I’ve definitely not figured out how to write a great one yet so I’m reading and researching to get all the help I can find. Therefore I was grateful to get this pointer on Quora from the President of Leo Burnett Canada, Dom Caruso:

My experience over 25+ years is that when the brief is tight, and the task is indisputably clear, creative people can put their imagination where it counts most. And most important in closing the sale, there is less subjectivity later in the process. Every gold-winning campaign I ever worked on was when the brief was so tight that the creative guys knew what success looked like, and there was no way to wiggle out of it at in the creative presentation.

The worst creative brief i ever had from a client was “I just want ‘WOW-factor’. Make people go ‘wow’ “. It was pure hell. It became an impossible-to-achieve task that was faced to new previously unstated objections of why that kind of “wow” wouldnt work. While the agency won countless awards for other clients, we couldn’t get the client to say yes to an ad.

“When forced to work within a strict framework, the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom, the work is likely to sprawl.” TS Eliot

Of course we all like brevity and simplicity. But if making it tight takes a few extra words, add the words and make it tight.


Hat tip to Paul Lin, @tribal.

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