Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 29, 2010 3:16 PM

Working Towards A Better Creative Brief In A Connected World

No one is going to argue that an agency is only as good as the last piece of creative work they have done.

Everyone within the agency - but few who have never been on that side of the Marketing and Communication meridian - understand the power, relevance and importance of a good, solid and well-thought-out creative brief. Since dinosaurs roamed the earth, agencies (and brands) have grappled with this document. From what it means, to how to make the creative brief better, to having something within the document that can be unique to both the brand it will serve and the agency that is expected to implement it.

If Social Media and Web 2.0 is helping to change the face of Marketing, Communications, Advertising and PR, then isn't the time ripe to work together to create a better creative brief?

Twist Image (the company I co-own along with three other equal business partners) now employs over 100 full-time Digital Marketing professionals with two offices (Toronto and Montreal). As a full service Digital Marketing agency, we are expected to be able to lead the overall creative charge for some brands, be a part of a team of agencies for other brands and - on occasion - run our own Digital Marketing initiatives with little connectivity to the other agencies or programs running in the marketing mix. Internally, we are balancing strategy, creative, technology, marketing, media and client services teams to drive one (hopefully) perfect result for the client. A solid creative brief is the beginning, middle and end component that acts as the thread throughout the agencies' internal teams and the lighthouse back to what the brand/client has chosen as the approved direction.

Let's start a conversation about what the creative brief means to our world today and how we can make it better.

Instead of tasking our internal teams to make the creative brief better, we decided to ask people - both internal and external - about what the creative brief is and how we can create a better creative brief. The first phase of this project from the Twist Image team you can review below. It is a SlideShare deck titled, The Creative Brief - A Research Project, and it highlights some of our first-step internal thinking along with other influential Marketing thought leaders (from both mass advertising and digital marketing agencies) including Faris Yakob, Gareth Kay, Tim Brunelle, Darryl Ohrt and others.

You (me, we) are not alone.

Our hopes are that by discussing the creative brief in a broader social context and by using Social Media to share and collaborate on this content, we can all start evolving the way we each approach the brief in our own agencies and continue to share and collaborate in the discussion, debate and conversation about this pivotal and primary document. In the end, it's about great work and great results but none of that happens without a functional creative brief.

So, let's start the conversation: what do you see as the next steps? What's your take on the creative brief?

By Mitch Joel