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The Myths and Realities of Creative Briefs

The Myths and Realities of Creative Briefs

Jennifer Murtell


Stop downloading creative brief templates—there’s a better, more universal approach

Any project or initiative that requires focus, inspiration and intelligence can be optimized for prolific and on-strategy creative outcomes. No matter the format—whether for marketing, design or digital campaign—the following evergreen principles can be applied, built from leading indicators, informed intelligence and explosive inspiration.

Understand and Agree Upon the Objectives

First and foremost, ensure your objectives are the right ones. This must include the immediate business objectives as well as longer-term business strategies. Understanding the business strategy beyond the immediate initiative maintains a holistic approach to problem-solving; makes your creative teams and agency partners smarter; and teaches every stakeholder to be accountable for, and engaged in, the future state of the brand. 

Assess the Future State

Ensure that the business objectives are symmetrical to what they’re asking the creative work to do. Relying on a single creative idea, design or campaign to do the heavy lifting for a brand is a way to set everyone up for failure. A packaging refresh or reinvention can’t carry the entire brand story or explain the minute details of the proposition, nor can it do the multifaceted job of a communications strategy. Similarly, a print campaign or social media strategy can’t fix outdated assets or a brand positioning that is no longer relevant in its category. 


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As vice president of strategy, Asia Pacific, at Marks, part of SGS & Co, Jennifer Murtell leverages design thinking to solve business challenges, develops brand portfolio architecture, whitespace models and positioning for a variety of leading consumer packaged goods brands.