A creative brief is a questionnaire a team uses to answer very specific questions about the message, ideas, budget and goals for a production. Professional organizations, businesses and video producers all rely on this one document to ensure confidence in their actions. The questions and answers provided on this simple document ensure that everyone – from client to the director to end viewer – is quite literally on the same page.
Common industries that use this tool include advertising, design, copywriting and of course, video production. But because video producing requires money, time and human effort, all finite resources, non-profit NGOs and educational institutions rely heavily on use of creative briefs too. Stated simply, to achieve success, the foundation of any creative media project with a deadline relies on the creative brief.
Why Do I Need to Use a Creative Brief?
Rest assured, creative briefs aren’t just for the full-time professionals. Students, novice and hobbyists will benefit just as much if not more by using a creative brief. And like a pencil, just because it’s simple in design it doesn’t set a limit to the flexibility and power it provides for its user. When completed, the creative brief acts as blueprint for the project as it is continually reviewed throughout production.
The Power of the Creative Brief
Creative briefs do two things really well: 1) they provide a framework and starting point for everyone involved to begin working from, and 2) creative briefs inspire all members of a creative team to come up with clever ways to reach the end goal.
Essentially, the three big questions the brief is attempting to discover are ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’. Who is the target audience, what is the message, and how is the message going to change their behavior. The questions are always left open ended (not simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions) so that the stakeholders can explain, in their words, what their assumptions and goals are, and what the proposed behavior should be as the end goal.
Which Creative Brief is For You? Persuading vs. Informing
If you are doing a promotional video or an educational video, there is a separate Creative Brief for you. Confused as to which to choose? If you are looking to persuade, choose the Promotional Video Creative Brief. If you are looking to inform and educate as main goals, choose the Educational Video Creative Brief:
Click above to download and print off the creative brief that best applies to you.
If you are working with a client and it’s their funding that will guide the project, begin with this person. Either have them fill out the answers and then review with them, or sit with them and work through it. Once the brief is completed, bring your team leads together and consult. Is it feasible? Is the goal aligned with the message? Is the timeline too conservative?
Consult with your other stakeholders, from project director, to camera operator and editor, and make sure the goals are feasible and appropriate. Meet with the client or project lead, and review and alter the brief until it’s clear and everyone on board gives it a go. Then, you may begin your project!