Pinion Ink

A great campaign comes from a well written brief

Within the brief and powerful insights, each word finds its power and meaning. To last. To impress. To sale.

The first time I saw a brief was back in 2016 when I was interviewed for a position as a Senior Copywriter.

Having a background in Journalism, not in Advertising or PR, words such as brief, concept, tagline, call to action, body text copy, or even copywriting were unfamiliar to me. 

So, yes, when seeing that brief, I was terrified, especially because I had to write some ads, one lead generation newsletter (including the headline, sub-headline, call to action, and a form) for OLX, Dacia-Renault, and ING Bank.

I found it so hard for me to understand it, but even though I was a newbie in the world of briefs, I had the feeling that it was not the best brief ever written.

Nevertheless, I won the position and shortly after started to work as a Senior Copywriter in a creative team with 2 Graphic Designers and an Art Director.

The following months together with a very talented Art Director I have crafted several successful campaigns and different ads for Otter, Alpha Bank, OLX, Skoda, and many others.

I have learned a lot of things in that agency, but what stuck with me until I was in the position of writing my brief it was precisely this: the bad the brief, the worse the concept, thus the campaign.

So, after 8 years of working on huge accounts from various industries, I can say to all of you that 3 things are very important when crafting a marcomm or advertising campaign.

But, this article addresses the 1st one: the brief!

Why is so important to write a good creative brief for the agency or for your inhouse team?

Having a brief it’s exactly like when you go to a tailor to take your measures. One cannot expect to wear a suit or dress without knowing its measures, right?

This being said, let’s move forward:

  1. It put’s everyone on the same page by setting the expectations and capabilities
  2. It’s a great starting point for the research process
  3. Gives context to the situation
  4. Defines the workflow, timing, budget and draws each responsible person for creative or strategic tasks
  5. It’s like its name says it: a brief document explaining important things about your brand (company or product)
  6. It is a great tool not just to say what you want and like, but especially for what you DO NOT LIKE AND WANT

What should a creative brief include?

Well, a creative brief should include some mandatory elements, no matter the type of creative project. Some are specific and can be changed based on the project.

Here’s a template everyone can use.


Brand name/company: 

Brand/company background: 

  • History/background & values:  
  • Customer needs (what makes customer buy the products/services)  
  • Barriers to purchase (What makes it difficult to decide/buy?):  
  • Value proposition:  
  • Competitors and industry bodies:  
  • Alternatives:  
  • USP & POD (unique selling proposition & point of difference):  
  • Testimonials:  
  • Brand personality (in 5 words):  
  • Existing marketing material to help us better understand the brand: 
  • Clubs, industry memberships & awards 


  • what type of deliverable are we making? (brand video, product video, brochure, social media campaign etc) 
  • 1st draft deadline:
  • 1st feedback integration deadline:
  • final deadline
  • Project background:  
  • Scope: 
  • Objectives:  
  • Features: 
  • Benefits: 
  • Why choose your product/service: 
  • Target:  
  • Secondary target: 
  • Key Message: 
  • Call to action:  
  • Tone / style:  
  • Constraints:  
  • Keywords:  
  • Media Strategy:
  • Creative Strategy:
  • Mandatory to use:  
  • Necessary, but not mandatory:  
  • Budget:

Depending on the type of project: naming, graphic design, copywriting, Social Media campaign, video spot, PPC campaign, branding, PR, website development, creative strategy, you have to adapt the brief.

One recipe does not work for everyone and don’t forget: do use the brief as a pinion making things flow, but keep in mind that the best work is tandem teamwork!

See you,


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