I once gave a creative brief template to an account manager who took it to a meeting at Adelphi University where he sat with the marketing lead and, together, tried to fill it out. In the midst of the meeting they called me to clarify one of the points – probably brand essence or core desire or some such. I was flabbergasted. Fruitcake. Not him, me; for not explaining the briefing process well enough.
A brief is a framework to get to an idea. I’ve lived with mine for years and it’s not too much different than it was when purloined from Peter Kim and McCann Erickson in the 90s. It has a nice linearity to it and helps me down the road to a selling idea.
There are often many sparks for the idea within the brief, but it is the planner who himself or herself understands which one is going to birth the idea. There is always one insight that just hits the brain like a freight train.
Some planners eschew frameworks so they can be more fluid. That’s okay. If it works — to each his own. We gather, we learn, we think, formulate, test and finally decide.
Getting there is all the fun.