The best of creative briefs

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‘An ad for an ad’ is one of the many descriptions of the Creative Brief. Much has been written about the importance of the Brief.  Every big agency network has a brief template, with similar sections to fill. Some like the Thompson Total Branding and Disruption have become brand names themselves.  More on what makes a good Creative Brief, later. But the hallmark of a good brief is it’s memorability long after the ad is done or mutilated, whichever happens first.

Boxer BriefImage source: Wikipedia

I remember having heard this about a one line Creative Brief for an SUV brand, positioned as a ‘City & Outdoor’ car. Apparently, the brief was:

Brute in a tuxedo.

That line has stuck in my head for eons now. I guess it’s the pithy, biting way the proposition was brought alive.  It ‘s the difference between saying, ‘The Independent – for people who want to make up their own minds’ versus ‘The Independent – not for sheep’. The latter makes it more memorable and is likely to excite the creative team.

And then there’s this apocryphal story about an agency Account Director who packed 10 of his colleagues in a car and took them to a client meeting for a brief. They cursed him for the squishy ride naturally. Mid-way through the commute, he got them to sit in a spacious new car. The briefing at the client office was for that car. From that experience, the ‘spacious car’ positioning panned itself out.

What are the Creative Briefs that have appealed to you? If you are Planner or Suit which briefs are you proud of? You can mention just the category, if mentioning brand names is iffy. Do tell.

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  1. The good ones ive heard are
    Alternate life in a bottle – Smirnoff
    Everyday spent without a Harley is another day wasted
    WIth beauty who needs brains – Lux
    With Beauty you can get away with murder – Lux
    Ive also heard that har ghar kuch kehta hai was the brief.

    The funniest was ofcourse the peugot elephant ad. It was as cliche as ‘make is aspirational’, and thats exactly what they did. The client couldnt say a thing, and he was dead against the idea of showing a taxi driver in India….it was as downmarket as it could get, but the chaps fought and confused the shit out of him.

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