HOLLYWOOD, FL: Marketers hoping for stronger creative work must look beyond a reliance on templates when crafting briefs, and instead make this process a truly collaborative exercise with their agencies.

Debra Giampoli, co-founder/partner at Stone Soup Consultants LLC, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Advertising Financial Management Conference.

“Start with a template, but don’t end with the template,” she recommended when outlining how to develop a powerful brief. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Memo to marketers: How to write a great creative brief.)

Building on this theme, she argued that marketers “have an intuitive sense” about the brands they lead, which is vital as a starting point. “Find the right direction and then sit in a room with your planners and bounce ideas around,” Giampoli said.

Planners, she continued, have the capacity to “look at data and look at words on a page and make magic happen from those words and numbers” in a way that strengthens ideas and brings them to life.

“Once that collaboration happens, then you’re ready to brief the creative teams,” Giampoli said. “Plan the party – the briefing experience for the agency creatives.”

Rather than a full-on session with creatives, it can be preferable to begin this phase informally. “Send them the white paper and then take them out for coffee to talk about it. Learn from them and teach them at the same time,” said Giampoli.

“Make it an experience, not just filling out a template or writing an assignment and sending it to the agency. Deliver the brief to the creative team in the form of a ‘briefing experience’.”

Giampoli relayed a telling illustration from Gatorade, the sports drink, which called upon creative teams to hit the basketball court so they could feel the dehydration that follows from such athletic exertion.

“The more you can do that – the more you can help your creative team walk a mile in the shoes of the consumer – the more effective the work will be,” she said.

“A great brief is a roadmap and a catalyst for creativity. Creativity is deeply personal. [A brand] has to do more than just inform a creative team; it has to be a catalyst for great work.”

Sourced from WARC