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How to write an effective creative brief




Video production can be a complex process, and it is essential to ensure that all members of the production team have a clear understanding of the client's requirements. This is where the need for a creative brief comes in. But what makes a creative brief 'good'?


Identify the problem


One of the most important elements of a creative brief is identifying the problem that the video needs to solve. This is where the brand's product or service can come in as a solution. It's important to consider the target audience's needs and values when formulating this problem. This way, the video can position the brand as the provider of the solution, and the audience will be more likely to engage with the content.


Pinpoint the audience

Another essential element of a creative brief is detailed information about the target audience. The more information the video production team has about the audience, the better they can tailor the message to resonate with them. This information can include values, needs, wants, things they like and don't like, and other sources of psychographic data.


Specify the theme and key message

A highly detailed brief should also include a central organizing theme and a strong key message. These elements will help the team stay focused and ensure that the video has a cohesive message. The creative brief should leave room for the video team to be creative in deciphering the brief so they can flex their creative storytelling muscles while staying on message.


Outline a rough budget


A budget can help guide the video production team's creative decisions and ensure that the final video aligns with the client's financial goals. Without a budget, the video production team may come up with ideas that are outside of the client's financial parameters, leading to delays or additional costs. By outlining a rough budget in the creative brief, the video production team can work within the client's financial constraints while still delivering a high-quality video that meets the objectives of the project.


Set project timelines and be transparent with approvals


The timeline should include key milestones and deadlines, such as the deadline for the first draft of the script, the shoot date, the deadline for the first rough cut, and the final deadline for delivery of the finished video. This will help the client to manage their expectations and plan accordingly.


Additionally, it's important to outline the approval process for the project. All parties involved should have a clear understanding of who will be responsible for approving each stage of the video production process. This will help to avoid any confusion or delays in the approval process, which can have a significant impact on the timeline and budget. Time is money!


It's important to note that the approval process should allow for enough time for revisions and changes to be made to the video, while still staying on track with the timeline.


Include relevant tech specs and distribution information

Finally, a good creative brief should include distribution channels for the final commercial and technical specifications. This will ensure that the final video is optimized for the platforms it will be used on, whether that's social media, broadcast television, or other channels.


The impact of a good creative brief: 1984 (Apple)

A great example of a highly detailed creative brief is the one used for the iconic "1984" Apple commercial. The brief included a clear problem that the audience was facing: the overwhelming presence of IBM in the computer industry. The target audience was identified as "rebels," people who wanted to challenge the status quo. The central organizing theme was "Think Different," and the key message was that Apple was the computer for rebels. The "1984" commercial is a great example of a video that was both highly creative and highly effective at delivering its message. A clear and detailed creative brief was a crucial factor in the success of the project.

A good creative brief is an essential tool for any video production project. It should include a problem that the audience wants to solve, detailed information about the target audience, a central organizing theme, a strong key message, and distribution channels and technical specifications. With a detailed brief in hand, the video production team can create content that is both creative and effective at delivering the brand's message.

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