Untwist Your Briefs


A lot of things in life require a brief, it’s just that they come in different formats. Whether it’s as simple as getting the kids to bed, or as complicated as a strategically planned military operation, a brief has to be communicated clearly so it can be delivered… However, not all briefs are created equal.
At Channelzero, we receive and deliver thousands of briefs per year. In our experience, the key to building better briefs is all in the mindset - all parties need to commit to making it simple and easy in order for the team around them to do great work.
The creative brief is for the creative team and aimed exclusively at the intended audience. While we certainly need the client’s approval on the brief, the people who’ll need it and use it are your creative team and is the foundation of a campaign. From the choice of font in a print ad to the overall theme of the campaign, everything is distilled from the creative brief.
Despite its importance, its open-ended nature can mean that a brief is often misunderstood. It should consist of a short document outlining the strategy and direction for a creative project. It’s a map that guides its target audience and the creatives, on how to best reach the campaign goals. It denotes the clients wishes, context, ideas and vision for the project.
A good brief will always seek to inspire with:
  • Context: Background information and why we are involved
  • Tools & Support: Kits, tools, people, resources that are available to help succeed
  • Insight & Info: Rules of the game, inside knowledge and insights from the data that will spark creativity
  • Parameters: Time, money, environment, any sacred cows
  • Picture of success: What does a win look like specifically
Our model for briefing excellence involves recognition that good briefing involves a pitcher (presenting the brief) and a catcher (receiving the brief). Both parties have responsibilities and require a shared motto that binds them to a common goal. Both the pitchers and catchers need to hold each other accountable. Pitchers, must recognise that their brief needs to inspire, not just inform. Catchers must seek to interrogate the brief and discover new ground.
For any businesses requiring efficient and effective communications, whatever your briefing methodology may be, we recommend having a theme, and recognised standards for briefing. Ultimately this will result in the best work for all involved. So, go forth and make your briefs ‘simply awesome’.


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