three tips on writing better creative briefs



The most important thing about a creative brief is, and always will be, a competitive and single-minded proposition. But as everyone here is sick to death of me banging on about competitive and single-minded propositions, I thought to make a change I would focus on other aspects of the briefing process in this blog.


1Make sure all those who’ll sign off the work, sign off the brief.

A brief is a contract. It’s a contract between the client and the agency and then, within the agency, it becomes a contract between the account handlers and the creative team. Of course, a contract is meaningless if it hasn’t been signed by all the interested parties, and that’s where problems can occur. If there’s someone somewhere up the line who will have the final say on the work, then it’s important that same someone has also signed off the creative brief. Otherwise, we’ll all be working on quicksand.



2Try to fit your Creative Brief into one side of A4. At HPS,

we have seven sections on our creative brief with each one asking a question that helps build up a seamless argument. We encourage our Account Handlers to strive to complete six of these sections within one side of A4. This leads to focussed thinking and encourages them to stick to the point. To make this possible, we give them carte blanche with the seventh section, ‘Helpful Stuff’. They can cut and paste to their heart’s content in this section, which prevents them from being tempted to bung stuff into a part of the brief where it really doesn’t fit.



3Ensure the proposition is as competitive and single-minded as it possibly can be.

OK, I lied about not banging on about a competitive and single-minded proposition in this blog. It is by far the most important part of a creative brief, after all.

To find out more about how to write the perfect creative brief and also how to better assess the creative work that is presented to you, sign up to our ‘Creative Briefing and Assessing Creative Work’ Masterclass on 19th June.


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Creative Director

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