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Six Tricks for Creating Brand-Building, Sales-Ripping Creative Briefs

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Note: In this follow-up to a MarketingProfs Classic—and one of our most popular articles ever—Steve McNamara shares his experiences at some of the world's leading ad agencies.

Want to make your ads more effective? Project a stronger brand personality? A well-written creative brief is the road map that will lead the way. Here's how.

1. Write it down, right from the start

When I was a new Creative Director at Capital One, a marketing manager called me and said, "Can't I just give you a brain-dump over the phone? I don't have time to write a brief."

Sound familiar? If so, you should explain that a written brief will save time in the long run and get the project off to a focused start.


Long experience has taught me that starting creative work based on verbal input alone will burn kilos of cash. Typically, you get ideas that don't reflect the brand personality, don't talk to the target audience, and neglect important details.


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Steve McNamara is a freelance ad guy and the publisher of AdCracker.com. He has been a creative director and copywriter at JWT, BBDO, and, on the client side, at Capital One. Reach him at adcracker@gmail.com.

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