How to Write an Effective Creative Brief

by Susan Mullin

Julie Rutherford, Senior Marketing Director of TorchLight, has taught many team members how to develop effective creative briefs for various types of marketing campaigns, websites and related projects. It’s not always easy to write a high-quality creative brief but it’s crucial to learn how to craft one. Creative briefs are fundamental to achieving your goals because they provides the crucial direction designers and copywriters need to deliver campaigns and other assets that hit your objectives and deliver successful outcomes. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write a clear, concise creative brief. Examples are provided for Financial Experts, Inc. a fictional financial services company for individual investors:

Project Overview

This is a concise summary of what the project entails.  

Example: We need online ads that communicate our value proposition to potential customers and motivate them to complete a lead form. 

Campaign/Project Goals: 

Spell out what you aim to achieve.  


  • Primary Goal: Drive inbound customer leads 
  • Secondary Goal: Position our company as experts in financial planning for individual investors 

Know Your Audience: 

Outline specifically who you’re targeting.  

Example: Target: Individuals age 40-55 with a net worth of $500k+looking to build their retirement portfolio 

Key marketing channels and platforms: 

Provide specific direction on where the campaign will run. 

Example: Meta, LinkedIn and Industry websites (provide website URLs) 

Audience Takeaway: 

Delineate the main message or feeling you want your audience to walk away with.  
Example: Financial Experts, Inc. is the leader in individual investing and will drive my success. I should act now by completing a lead form or reaching out. 

Define Your Positioning: 

This clarifies the value proposition.  

Example: Financial Experts, Inc. has individual investment experts who define and implement the best investments for me, increasing my investment portfolio and saving me time and effort in the process.   

Highlight Main Content Points: 

These are the pillars of your message and reasons for your audience to believe in your offering.  


  • Financial Experts, Inc. has a deep understanding of individual investing needs. 
  • They have exceptional knowledge of investment options and results. 
  • Their services offer flexible options to meet my personal goals. 
  • The company has a commitment to client success demonstrated through personalized, attentive service. 

Set the Tone: 

How should the content feel? Is it formal, casual, humorous?  

Example: Friendly financial experts who are attentive, understanding and genuinely care about their clients’ needs and success. 

Clarify the Call to Action (CTA): 

What action do you want your audience to take after encountering your content?

Example: Complete a lead form, call or email us. 

Additional Notes: 

Include any other specific considerations or guidelines that the creative team should be aware of during the execution phase.  


  • All communications should be in plain English – no investment jargon or complex language. 
  • Ad specs include 250×250 animated ad, 15 sec or less, max file size 2MB. 


Crafting an effective creative brief requires clarity, precision, and a deep understanding of your brand’s objectives. Remember, a well-written creative brief is the foundation for inspired and effective creative work. Whether you’re launching an ad campaign, developing a new website or a direct mail piece, take the time to distill your objectives and insights into a brief that guides and inspires your creative team.

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