What is a good creative brief?

This is from a book published privately in 1998 entitled, What’s A Good Brief? The Leo Burnett Way.

A good creative brief…

…is brief and single minded
…is logical and rooted in a compelling truth
…incorporates a powerful human insight
…is compatible with the overall brand strategy
…is the result of hard work and team work

This definition is a brilliant starting point for any discussion on the “how” of writing a good creative brief. As you can see, the Burnett Way assumes you already possess an “overall brand strategy” before you even put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

No strategy? No brief. Get the strategy nailed down before you write a brief.

No brief? Don’t even think about asking your creative team to start the job of developing creative ideas. It’s a waste of their time and your money.

Let me repeat that: Starting a project without a creative brief is a waste of your creative team’s time and your money.

If you’re a creative, stand your ground and insist on a brief.

If you’re an agency account person, do the right thing. Write a creative brief, and ask for assistance and input.

If you’re the client, set an example and give your agency, in-house department or freelance team a well-written brief.

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