10 Tips for Great Creative Briefs | Training Takeaways | All MKC Content | ANA

10 Tips for Great Creative Briefs

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Advertising legend Jane Maas shares 10 tips for crafting exemplary creative briefs, which are drawn from her ANA on-demand training course, "Inspiring Great Creative."

  1. Be selective: Don't send the agency the whole kitchen sink. Just include the information relevant to the specific project at hand.
  2. Have a clear objective: Make it both achievable and measurable.
  3. Narrow your target audience: The narrower it is, the easier its members will be to understand and to address precisely, and thereby persuade.
  4. Dig for real insights: Such insights aren't the same thing as a data point. They frequently reflect an emotional truth and are gleaned by listening to your target audience. Once upon a time, Avis began conceptualizing a campaign with the fact that it was the no. 2 company in the car rental category after Hertz. It then seized on the emotional insight that Americans root for the underdog, which inspired its classic tagline: "Avis is no. 2. We try harder."
  5. Include only one key consumer benefit: Trying to convey more than one will overtax your audience's attention. Your selection of the key benefit will depend on your target audience — and it's critical, so sweat over it.
  6. Climb the benefit tree: Whatever key benefit you focus on, it should represent the highest one that you can credibly offer the consumer. A ready-to-serve granola bar company could focus on the raw nutritiousness of its product, but it might be better off by pitching itself to mothers as a way to make more time available to spend with their children in the morning (as opposed to concentrating on a pot of oatmeal).
  7. Consider preempting a benefit for your brand: The key benefit you focus on doesn't necessarily have to be one that your competitors can't offer. You can own a shared benefit by being the first to claim it in your marketing and by conveying it memorably and repeatedly.
  8. Consider an emotional benefit: These are often the most persuasive.
  9. Avoid multiple reasons to believe: At maximum, use two. Focus on the best. It can often be effective to pair an emotional benefit with a rational reason to believe.
  10. Fiercely protect your brand personality: A single year of sharp, edgy advertising that's even just a little biting can permanently rob your brand of a reputation for old-fashioned wholesomeness that might have taken decades to cultivate.

The above represents just a morsel from the banquet of insights and best practices available in ANA's on-demand training course "Inspiring Great Creative."



"Inspiring Great Creative." Jane Maas, "one of the 100 most influential advertising women of the last 100 years," according to Advertising Age. ANA On-Demand Training Course.

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