Bryce Cannon Witcher

Marketing & Creative Director

Creative Brief

Creative Brief – What is it and why does your company need one?

Case Studies & Creative Process

Skills Demonstrated

Creative Brief
Creative Process

Your marketing department has come up with an ambitious marketing plan that includes advertising across many marketing channels. They have a list of content and advertising needs that will be deployed in order to populate the marketing funnel. It’s a huge list… but where do you begin?

Enter… The Creative Brief.

This is not to be confused with a Marketing Brief. Here’s the difference:

Marketing Brief:

This is a document that outlines what the promotional marketing campaign needs to achieve, and is effectively the directives for the team creating that campaign. It will include timelines, budget, resources (including staff) needed, and goals, and defines what success looks like by establishing KPIs along with the expected outcomes.

The Creative Brief:

This document outlines ideas and information for the promotional campaign such as the vibe each piece of content or ad needs to communicate, the look and feel, the consistent message, and the customer personas the campaign needs to communicate to. This will identify color schemes, formal vs. informal tone, graphic or visual style, and how the creative teams will work together to make the deliverables a possibility.

A good creative brief is usually written/provided by the creative director on a given agency or in-house marketing team. This document is extremely important to the success of a marketing plan or campaign in that it communicates the unified messaging in a way that the target customers will respond to, and how each deliverable will comply with the company’s brand standards.

Without a clear cut set of messaging, tone, look and vibe, marketing campaigns can lose effectiveness, and then become a waste of the marketing budget. We all want to optimize whatever we spend for marketing, right? We want our marketing pieces to command attention in a world of noise and too many choices.

Here’s a breakdown of how I tend to present my creative briefs:



  • How did this project come to life?

The problem

  • What’s the problem? Why does it matter?

Proposed solution

  • Are there any proposed solutions?


  • What are the important dates and deadlines?

Key people

  • Who’s working on the project? What are their responsibilities?

The Brand

Brand values

  • What are their brand values and mission?

Brand Personality

  • What should people feel when they come in to contact with the brand?

Brand requirements

  • Are there specific colors, logos or images that need to be used?

Advertising & Content Tone

  • Is it formal or informal?
  • Is it authoritative?

Target audience

  • Who is the target audience?
  • Is there any background research on them?
  • Customer personas


  • What do you need to create?
  • How many pieces are needed?
  • What types of items are needed?

Overall Message

  • What are you trying to communicate?
  • How will you simplify complex concepts?

Creative considerations

  • What does your content need to look like?
  • Will content look like watercolors, sketches, or highly corporate and clean?
  • Be sure to include a scrapbook of artistic references you want to emulate.


  • Do you have a color pallet defined by your brand standards?
  • Will there be accent colors?
  • Monochromatic vs. vibrant color scheme.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Get more out of your marketing campaigns by focusing your messaging consistently across multiple marketing channels.
  • Create a single document that clearly communicates to your creative team what needs to be produced, how it should look, and how it should sound to your target audience.
  • All content and advertising needs to have a unified personality so your audience doesn’t get confused about what your company represents and how it can actually help them.

For even more information than what I have presented here, I came across an excellent article the other day. It makes for great reading: