The Creative Brief.


Words are important. Especially to creative people.

Creative directors, art directors and copywriters all have their own way of making decisions about what constitutes good creative. Certainly, the output is mission critical. But good creative know the ability to motivate action and preference among consumers is most critical. And that means action beyond liking the ad.

One of the key stimuli for a creative team is the brief: the document that sets the stage and strategy for the execution. There are a couple of different type of words used in a brief: science words and sales words.  “Science” words are the what and the why – the evidence of the product and claim. “Sales” are the word flourishes that are supposed to excite the creative team into creating great ads.  The problem is, creative people don’t want to read briefs that are salesy.  Exposition that is anything more than a valid claim, specs, advantages and competitive superiority are bullshit to them.  Creative people know this because they are in the bullshit business. They see it and smell if before anyone.

Tell a creative person your widget is more reliable and they seize up. Tell them it has a gold-plated framis that last 10 times longer and they can get to work.  

This is why creatives prefer shorter briefs. It’s easier for them to remove the sell from the science.