Creative Agency Reverse Brief
This proforma has been used by a major creative agency for the taking of client briefs.
Anticipating the information creative agencies require will assist you in providing
appropriate information and thoughtful responses.
Note to briefer: the best briefs are brief…Take time and trouble to distil the task down
to the very few issues which are insightful, relevant and motivating. Everything else is
background, to be attached. Use the targets’ language.
1. What are the client’s objectives for the job?
If more than one, split into primary and secondary—but note: you can only have one
2. Who are we talking to?
Try to go beyond customer status and demographics—attempt to paint a relevant and
evocative picture of their lifestyle or business.
3. What do they currently think about our sector and our
Both rationally and emotionally—what really turns them on/off—focus on target
perceptions, not reality.
4. What do we want them to think?
What single thought should they take out from our communication?
5. What do we want them to do?
Enquire, visit, buy, change their behaviour?
6. What is the single most important proposition?
What is the one motivating benefit—ideally a word, at most a phrase (if a phrase,
underline the key word). This may be the same as 4 but try hard to go beyond this to
give the creative team an inspired thought—be creative, have a go at the headline.
7. Why should they believe it?
A checklist of benefits for supportive subheads—rank logically. Keep details to
attachment, not here.
8. What is the offer?
What is the special deal for responding now?
9. How should we speak to them?
Tone of voice? What is the brand character? What care, media personality, other
brand could we be?
What are the absolutely must-haves?
11. Creative guidelines
What would be smart to have?
What do we need to deliver—mailpack with leaflet, insert, etc. And to what level of
finish? Very rough, colour finished, subheads, copy outline or full copy?
Internal Review 1
Internal Review 2
Ready for Client
Budget. Photography/illustration. Simple/involved/high impact pack.
15. Background/more details
Attach these. Competitive work? Keep out of brief.