How to Write an Inspired Creative Brief

by Howard Ibach

In an advertising agency, a creative brief is a set of instructions for the creative team, providing a clear understanding of the communication objectives and expected deliverables.  “If you get the brief wrong, the creative work you see at the end of the process, when your team presents it, will also be wrong.” Garbage in, garbage out.

Howard Ibach explains that the most important sentence in the creative brief is the single-minded proposition, also known as the core thought, key message, key selling proposition, or unique selling proposition. This should be a succinct expression of the most important idea you want to communicate about your product or service. Think of it as a “first ad” (a billboard, headline, or tagline) upon which the creative team will try to improve.

The book includes sample briefs and a template with suggested questions that can be adapted to fit the circumstances.  “It’s not the questions, it’s the answers” that matter.

The author is an advertising copywriter and it shows in the writing style and layout – short, punchy sentences broken up with lots of white space and graphics. This book is under 100 pages and can be read quickly.

Ibach, Howard. How to Write an Inspired Creative Brief. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse, 2009. Buy from