The fallacy of Brand Owners

What does our client say often? “I want a logo that’s serious but fun, detailed but simple, but looks hand-drawn, and looks expensive but costs very little”, What goes into our mind when we hear such things? “How do I convey it to the creative team? Does it make any sense in the first place” Developing a creative brief is a grilling session, yet the moment of truth, which can make or break the campaign.

Creative Brief

A creative brief is a one-page document that puts in writing all the key information and perspectives you want the creative team to know before working on the creative campaign, beginning with the positioning of the brand, its promise/s to the customers, and the purpose of the campaign in hand. It is the foundation of any advertising or marketing campaign. It helps to bridge strategic thinking and creative execution and is the key tool with which the client relations managers can unlock the imagination of creative people and give them a direction for execution.

The role of the creative brief is to emulate the treasure map for the creative team, which will tell them where to start digging for those golden ideas. It should liberate the creative process and become a springboard for ideation. And of course, not control them.

The Golden Big Idea

In summary, a creative brief is an interpretation of the client’s wishes and the brand’s promise/s. As a good client relations manager, it becomes important to extract everything you can from the client and condense it. You want to know as much as you can about the product or service. So sit down and ask every conceivable question.

In fact, the delivery of the creative brief to the creative department marks the beginning of the advertising creative process, in which the creative team develops a message strategy and the search for the BIG IDEA, the idea that encapsulates the brand positioning, its promise and purpose of the campaign.

Every creative brief is different, but here are the most common sections of a creative brief as discussed below:

a) Background:

What’s the big picture? What’s going on in the market? Is there anything very significant happening on the client-side that the creative team should know about? Are there any opportunities or problems in the market? Example: We want existing Bank of Kathmandu customers to try a new “Mobile App” – which is available for all operating platforms, from iPhone to Android. With this smart app, they are able to immediately check their weekly transaction statement.

b) Objectives:

What is the marketing or communication problem of the client that we need to solve? What do we want to achieve as a result of this communication? It is a concise statement of the effect the ad should have on consumers, typically expressed as an action. And frequently focused on what the ad should make the audience think, feel, or do. Example: The purpose of this campaign is to position Yasuda Home Appliances as a less expensive, equally effective alternative to other international brands.

c) Single-Minded Proposition:

The saying goes, “Throw someone a tennis ball and he will catch it. Throw five and he will drop them all”. Therefore, you should focus all your energy on one thing that you want to convey. It is the strategy behind the campaign. It is the arrow that points your creative team in the right direction. Example: Avis, a car rental company has cracked a famous single-minded proposition which says’ “We are No.2, we try harder”. Or a classic example of Rolls-Royce which says, “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock”.

d) Target Audiences:

Who are we trying to influence? What s/he would be doing right now? What is their behavior towards the brand? The more precise you can be, the better. Go beyond age and sex to describe demographics and psychographics. Explain how the audience currently thinks, feels, and behaves in relation to the product category. Example: Nike will be targeting audiences who aspire to become “the hero” while Harley Davidson will be targeting audiences with a rebellious character so we can characterize them as “the outlaw”.

e) Consumer Insight:

It is an intrinsic need, desire, or hidden truth of the consumers which is not always obvious but helps understand their buying behavior. These consumer insights can be derived from classical market research, understanding, or from psychological knowledge about emotions and behavior in relation to the brand. Example: Surf Excel campaign, which is inspired by the consumer insights that children love to play with dirt and “Dirt is good”.

f) Reasons to believe:

Explain why the consumer should believe what we say, and why they should buy. Include all the major copy points, in order of relative importance to the consumer. In other words, what else can we say and show to achieve the objective?

g) Mandatories:

Explain all the mandatory elements to follow as brand guidelines, for Example Logo position, Font uses, Brand Color, Brand Template, Offer period, etc

Know Further:

About the Book

Ujaya Shakya’s Brandsutra is a collection of inclusive & incisive thoughts on Nepal’s marketing & advertising field. This book tries to introduce all of the 360-degree communication touch-points, elucidating the Integrated Marketing Communication model, or convergent branding.

Published by FinePrint

Ujaya Shakya is the founder and managing director of Outreach Nepal based in Kathmandu and the author of ‘Brandsutra’.

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