Let’s be honest. Everyone struggles with the creative brief.
Even 30-year veteran account planners get frustrated. They often go through multiple drafts before they’re satisfied. I know because they’ve told me as much.
I’ve been teaching creative-brief-writing workshops for 19 years. I’ve written two books on how to write creative briefs. I started blogging about briefs in 2008. In 2017 I joined the faculty of the world’s largest client-side marketing organization, the Association of National Advertisers. And since 2021, I’ve been co-hosting a weekly videocast called The Brief Bros. with an account planner who has 26 years under his belt. We love to talk about the nuts and bolts of brief writing.
You could say I know a thing or two about briefs and brief writing. I also know about the headaches everyone encounters when they sit down to write a brief.
So, if you’re among the legions of brief writers who want to get better, who want to learn the inside-out of great briefs—whether you already know a lot or maybe you’re a complete beginner—you’ve found the right place.
I teach a small-group, interactive, hands-on workshop:
But here’s something that may surprise you: Brief writing is not easy, but I can show you how to make it easier.
The number of people who wrestle with writing briefs far outnumbers those who don’t. In fact, there are two types of creative brief writers in this world: Those who stress about briefs, and those who are liars.
If you write briefs, of course you care about how well you’ve put them together. There’s no doubt you stress about the quality of your briefs. That’s no lie!
Across the board, the pressure to get it right is tremendous.
As it should be, because the creative brief is the first step of the creative process. And the single-minded proposition is the backbone of the creative brief. Get them wrong and the work will miss the mark. It becomes a classic “Garbage in, garbage out” mess.
Think about it. Good creative briefs have an energy all their own. They provide a focused roadmap that keeps the creative train on the track all the way to the destination. That’s good for everyone involved. Clients are happy, the workplace is filled with energized marketers and creatives, and there’s a boost to the company reputation—all leading to savings in both time—for you personally and for the team–and expenses.
Look at it another way. If you give the members of your creative team an inspired creative brief, they will not only return inspired results, but they’ll achieve those results in fewer rounds.
Seriously? Fewer rounds?
When I do creative-brief training, I hear so many people tell me that they need four, sometimes five or more rounds of creative presentations before they get to the work everyone loves. They actually plan for that many rounds because experience tells them they won’t get great work any sooner.
That tells me their creative brief process is broken.
So, what if you could cut the number of rounds by 20%, maybe even 25%? Five rounds down to four. Four rounds down to three. Impossible? I don’t think so.
David Ogilvy, the famed founder of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, once said, “Give me the freedom of a tight creative brief.” He meant that a well-written brief gives creatives a clear and inspiring path to follow. They’ll get to their desired destination sooner with a tight creative brief.
A tight brief translates into better work in fewer rounds. And more than that, it’s measurable. You will save time and money with a focused, inspiring creative brief.
First a confession. I’m not a strategist. I’m not an account planner. I was a copywriter and creative director for 26 years. I worked at legacy agencies like Ogilvy, DDB, Team One, RPA, Wunderman, Campbell Mithun. I’ve also taught college-level writing and literature.
I teach brief writing from the perspective of the men and women who read and work from creative briefs: fellow creatives.
But I’ve also studied what the best strategists and planners have written about creative briefs. People like Ogilvy, Jon Steel, Russel Davies, Sir John Hegarty, Dave Trott, Paul Feldwick. And I’ve had in-depth conversations with working planners and strategists who have taught me what they know.
One reviewer of my book on the creative brief called me a “creative brief whisperer.” That’s quite flattering. I became a creative-brief expert not by any plan, but because I got sick and tired of reading bad briefs for so many years.
So sick and tired that I decided to do something. I created the workshops I’m offering you today.
I’m no stranger to leading small groups of dedicated folks like you in “active learning” settings like my workshops. I don’t lecture. We work together. We do small-group exercises and then compare notes. It’s incredibly interactive, and the workshop time goes by in a flash.
I’m now in my 5th year on the faculty of the Marketing Development and Training Center of the Association of National Advertisers, the nation’s largest client-side trade group. Before the pandemic, I conducted nearly 100 live, in-person workshops for the ANA. Since 2020, I’ve led dozens of virtual workshops.
Yes, of course! I’ve read and reviewed more creative briefs than any sane individual probably should, but I’m a creative on a mission.
Look at it this way: I will pull back the curtain on the inner workings of a creative brief. I have examples of industry-acknowledged great briefs. Together, we will dissect these briefs and discover, you and me, what makes them work, why they work so well, what they have in common, and how you too can write briefs like the ones I’ll show you.
And that’s just the start.
How To Write An Inspired Creative Brief is for client-side marketers, brand managers, product and sales specialists, along with ad agency account directors and managers, strategists and account planners, and creatives who want to:
My focus is very interactive. My workshops are about doing, discussing, bouncing ideas off one another, arguing, agreeing, collaborating—and perceiving the mechanics of inspired creative briefs, unpacking their essential elements, and recognizing the sins of creative brief mistakes that result in endless critiques and seemingly endless turnovers.
Creative Director/copywriter TJ Bennett offers his praise for How To Write An Inspired Creative Brief workshop.
Author/creative director/copywriter Cameron Day and art director Marcia Loots-Serna reflect on their workshop experience.
You’ll be glad you did. This workshop will help you become more proficient at writing creative briefs in just a few hours. You’ll enjoy interacting with me and your fellow professionals. You’ll also appreciate the feeling of renewed confidence in your own abilities that will resolve the overwhelming pressure to get it right, and lead you to more success…and satisfaction…in your job. Don’t wait. Register today!
My workshops are purposefully designed to be small, so you have time to think, talk, and write out your ideas—and practice brief writing.
That means I’m limiting available seats to only 12 per workshop.