Why do you need a creative brief template?
As any animated character from Schoolhouse Rock will tell you, “Knowledge is power.” Before your clients spend a dime, you have to show them you know not only what you want to do, but also your client’s needs.
At its heart, a creative brief gives your client a clear picture about your project and what you hope to accomplish if all goes well.
While it’s easy to get bogged down in the details, a creative brief template download provides all the fields you should fill out before the big pitch meeting. We based our creative brief template on Google’s, but modified it for a video agency.
So what goes into a creative brief template download?
While you should always modify our creative brief template download to your needs, most comprise the same information.
Before we start, add your client contact information on the cover of your creative brief template download. Hyperlink wherever you can to make contact easy. It’s often a good idea to keep all of your contacts in one database as you spin off creative briefs.
By using a CRM, or software like StudioBinder, you can easily store your contacts in one safe, searchable place.
Your overview provides the ‘big picture’ for your client on your creative brief template download. Here you would mention any previous campaigns you’ve worked on that capture a similar tone (or not!).
When it comes to the overview, keep it broad. The best creative brief samples show that you should save the specifics for the later sections.
While your overview is grand and wide-sweeping, your objectives should be concrete and attainable. Here you would list the metrics to track successful your campaign is.
Will your campaign sell more products? Change a brand’s image? Promote sign ups? Introduce the company to the general public?
Your objective details the strategy behind your video.
3. Target audience
Know the product’s audience cold.
You should include demographic information (gender, age, education, ethnicity, income level) and how buyers use and feel about the brand you’re working with.
It’s always good to have one trend identified in your creative briefs. On our creative brief template download, we’ve allocated space where you can point out something your client may not have noticed.
Perhaps your client’s product skews heavy towards men of all ages, but also has traction with women over 60. I have no idea what product this is, but insights like these are ripe for pointing out and exploiting in your approach to the client.
4. Assessing the competition
What makes your clients so special? What makes them exactly the same as every other company in their world?
When comparing your client to the rest of the marketplace, be sure to also compare what the competitor’s commercials look like as well.
Study creative brief examples
It’s always a great idea to review creative brief examples. Try to find a creative brief example that matches the scope and size of your own creative brief.
Our creative brief template download was modeled for video production agencies. But feel free to adapt it for you own needs.
The best creative brief ever should have a clear, powerful message.
But this isn’t the same as a product’s benefit.
While your product may be the tastiest snack ever, the message on your creative brief template would more likely be, ‘This snack brings people together.’
Your message doesn’t have to hammered down to a sentence–you can just as easily feature scenes revolving around a loose theme.
What type of story are you going to spin around your client? Is this going to be a funny commercial? Musical?
Your tone should fit the message. In order to establish a great tone, you should first understand your client’s brand memory and personality.
Would you expect the creative briefs for your client to feature mostly humorous bits? Then you may want to think about that.
If your client is traditionally known as a family company, you can always pivot the tone of your creative brief that way you reinvigorate a brand.
Ever heard of a mood board?
A mood board is nothing more than a collage of images that shows the look of your project. For the ‘Visuals’ section of your creative brief template, feel free to post a mood board along with some storyboard slides.
With storyboard software popping up left and right, it’s easy to create a professional storyboard and/or shot list for your creative brief template. In StudioBinder, you can easily create a storyboard, shot list, and mood board while making a shooting schedule at the same time.
The scheduling section of your creative brief template sample is where you roughly sketch out the road ahead.
It’s important to note that the scheduling section includes numbers, not just dates.
Take this creative brief example. Say your creative brief’s goal is to ideate three campaigns for your client. In addition to the dates, you would also have to provide how many of the three would be available at each step.
Determine your rates and the costs associated with the timeframe for your game plan.
Always go higher than expected, so you can scale back. But don’t get too crazy. Most creative brief examples break the budget into labor, equipment, and other extraneous needs.
10. Dates and deadlines
An extension of ‘Scheduling,’ this section was added to our creative brief template specifically for video production.
Broken down into Pre-Production, Production, and Post, we’ve highlighted some major dates and milestones your client needs to know.
While most creative brief samples don’t include this section, we feel that being able to view your schedule at a glance streamlines the entire process.
11. Stray observations
Here’s a creative brief example / hypothetical / situation / just listen up.
Say you’re making a commercial that will shot entirely underwater. That’s the condition your weird client has stipulated.
In that case, you would probably want to include more information about how to shoot underwater. Will you need special cameras? Safety personnel?
Whatever the situation, use this part of the creative brief template to communicate any minute details specific to your production.
What comes after a creative brief template?
After you send out your creative brief, you’ll want to start storyboarding out your video concept for the pitch meeting.
While the creative brief is more or less the summary, the pitch meeting is your time to perform and showcase the creative minds at your video agency. Having a storyboard slideshow run alongside your preliminary script presents your vision more clearly to clients.
It gives them a clear idea of what doing business with you will look like.
While there’s tons of storyboarding software out there, StudioBinder allows you to create storyboards which can easily be sent to clients as a report or slideshow.
While you know all the information you need, it’s important to keep your writing on the creative brief template PDF short and sweet. Your creative brief template should simply and concisely state the facts and locations and dates.
Using a creative brief template download will save you time and money in the long run. Whether you need a creative brief template for a graphic design project, or a TV spot, it’s always important to communicate all the details up front.
But when filling out your PDF for your clients, it’s important to remember that the best creative brief templates are only as good as the information populating them.
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