At the heart of any great creative brief is a powerful communications challenge that anchors the strategy and is the springboard for a creative leap and hopefully a transformative idea.
All decent agencies around the world have caught on to the fact that modern marketing is about ‘doing, not saying’ and this is reflected in their creative briefing formats.
DDB have their new ‘behaviour change’ brief, Crispins brief is centred around the key ‘Question’ that needs to be answered, BBDO have their ‘get-who-to-by’ brief and Saatchi & Saatchi have their ‘Objective-issue-insight-challenge’ format. I’m sure there are many other great formats.
No matter which way you cut it, at the heart of the brief there should always be a statement of transformation of consumer/brand behaviour. And compared to the old days, it must move beyond brand perception shift.
Here are 10 tips for what communication challenges on a brief should do:
- Have bigness and ambition, feel expandable
- Be inspiring yet precise
- Have a juicy verb at its heart which is action oriented
- Contain a powerful truth
- Be provocative (or at least very interesting)
- Have some cultural tension embedded so it naturally gets people talking and excited about the brief
- Reframe a problem and ‘knock’ down the barrier or consumer issue
- Have the potential for a platform thought, not just a one off execution
- Stretch across media and time (Think being timely and timeless)
- Be short, punchy, simple & single minded
When crafting a creative brief/strategy, many planners think they’ve got a juicy creative challenge but in reality they’ve reworded an objective with some marketing fluff – the result here is creatives saying ‘your brief is crap’. So, if you’re starting your challenge with words like – To communicate, To say, To tell, To convince… you’re heading into messaging world.
Below are some thoughts on a Challenge vs an Objective.
|The Communications Challenge||An Objective|
|The most ambitious thing you can achieve||What you hope to achieve|
|Consumer/culture driven||Product focused|
|Consumer language||Agency suit talk|
|Overcomes a consumer issue||Meets a business number/goal|
|Resolves a cultural or human tension||Is straight up and doesn’t feel fresh|
|Drives behaviour change||Communicates a proposition|
A few examples of some cool challenges that led to great work:
To get people to aspire to a life of ‘new fashioned luxury’
To push every player to their next level
To make Hennessy irresistibly out of reach
Burger King ‘Whopper Sacrifice’
To proudly put their love of the Whopper before their friendships
To dramatise the fact that this is a diesel engine from the company that hated diesel engines. Honda used this hatred positively
Google Voice Search
To inspire Australians to ask more questions using their most natural searching tool…their voice.
To liberate country Aussies from the shackles of free to air TV
To make Sonic digital playground currency again