What Power Should Creative Have In Creative Strategy?

It’s not a trick question. It’s a question of what role should the people doing the creative have in the creative strategy. Gets asked a lot in Get Better Creative workshops. Questions such as “Who writes the Creative Brief?” “When do we share the Creative Brief with the creative team?” “Should the creative team have input in the Creative Brief?”

The answer is kind of simple – no end-user will ever see the Creative Brief. It’s an internal document. And if the Creative Brief doesn’t lead to great creative, doesn’t inspire, doesn’t give insightful direction that results in great work, it’s not a good brief.

Oh, it may be well written. Everything in its place. Everything appearing to make total sense. But if the creative people can’t find great creative from it, it isn’t so great.

Now, what does this mean? First off, I believe creative people need to be participants in the authorship of the Creative Brief. Maybe marketing writes a draft. But creative people add input and ask defining/refining questions that likely result in a stronger document. Secondly, creative people need to accept ownership of the Creative Brief. It is a sort of contract – “Yes, I agree to use this brief to develop work because I believe that what it describes will allow us to do great work.”

So marketing has the responsibility of getting input and feedback on creative direction before it is finalized. And creative has responsibility to making sure the Creative Brief will lead to great work. An equal sharing of power.

The answer to the question: creative and marketing share responsibility for a Creative Brief. Just as they share responsibility for the creative itself.