A creative brief.


I found this case study for Best Buy featuring a creative brief by what looks like a couple of aspiring copywriters and art directors.  So it’s only appropriate that an aspiring account planner analyze it, right?

I spent about 45 minutes browsing the internet for a brief I liked, and I found a few interesting formats, but this is the one I really liked.

It starts by outlining the problem and brand landscape, and what challenge Best Buy is facing– because of its high prices and low customer service, it has essentially become a showroom for products available on Amazon. To me, this is the most appropriate way to start, as broad as possible. It touches on a challenge a lot of big box retailers face, the showrooming phenomenon. It is also framed specifically around Best Buy and how its lack of customer service compounds the showrooming effect. I believe this is the best way to start the brief because those reading it will be in a problem-solving state of mind when they read the rest of it.

Next is the challenge, that they want Best Buy to be relevant to millennials again. Again, this is perfect to follow the problem and brand landscape because the problem should be presented immediately after putting people in a problem-solving state of mind. From here on out, they’ll be ready to forming solutions and just waiting to find out the details.

Following the challenge is the target market. So now that creatives are in a problem solving state of mind and aware of their objectives, they have the “who.” Just putting together the pieces. In this particular brief though, what I like about it so much is that it says more than “males age 16-25.” It says “Confident with technology,” “Think it’s cool to be smart,” and “Share everything: what they’re doing, where they are, who they’re with.” I love this for a few reasons. They’re pointing out the psychographics, because that’s what will matter more than the demographics for this particular brand. It also hints at a few ways to approach the problem– think it’s cool to be smart combined with sharing everything– that easily sets up the platform from which creatives can jump to a great idea.

Now, the juicy part of the brief: the insight. The insight reads, “Now the geeks get the girls.” Now the wheels are really rolling and I can imagine a slew of ideas flying through a creative’s head at super speed. The body part of the insight isn’t even necessary; just icing on the cake. It talks about how people are proud to be nerdy– seen in Glee, Big Bang Theory and the Office. Geeky styles have become mainstream, and Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs are seen as heroes. From reading the headlines, creative minds are running full steam ahead and the description is just to spark a few ideas.

Next is strategy. I see this part as a refining of the insight. It says, “achieve personal fame by embracing your inner geek.” This is where the brief reels in the creatives who might get off track, or makes sure they’re heading in the right direction. It’s the part where 10,000 okay ideas is sorted through to find the 5 potentially great ones.

I think the creative executions were good- not revolutionary, but I like the direction they were going in with the copy “we have the swag of McLovin with the brain power of Steve Jobs.” There is definitely a lot that can be tapped into with the geeky audience, and I think if they were able to really study how target millenials interact with each other and their products, they could have come up with something even more awesome and appealing.

Anyway, not here to critique the creative, just the brief. If I were writing the brief, I think I would’ve included two things: tone of voice and what is the single most convincing idea we are trying to convey? I would have put tone of voice right after the strategy. It, too, is important for refining ideas, and even sparking ideas that might not have originally come to mind. It helps with understanding the target and connecting different parts of the brief. I would have put single most important idea immediately after insight. The reason why I choose to have insight and single most important idea together is because the insight is the research, and the single most important idea is how to make it work for the brand. They go hand in hand, but are entirely different. Additionally, I would have probably taken out the strategy section to leave the creatives more freedom to come up with something entirely new. However, the brief I found online may have been an assignment for how to engage specifically via crowdsourcing, so they might have been required to include that information.

If I was writing the brief, I would have taken the description in each section, and tried to say it as if I was the target. I have a feeling that the geeky millennial wouldn’t say verbatim “Our heroes: Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. These guys are cool!” I think they were along the right lines when they were saying “Even Walter White, the lead character in the hit series Breaking Bad, is a complete badass.” I’m not sure if the description totally aligns with the insight itself, “Now the geeks get the girls.” If that was the insight they wanted to portray, they should have focused more on how geekiness plays into relationships and attracting women/appearing cool. The brief wasn’t totally connected. If they had found a really strong insight with the idea “now the geeks get the girls,” then the whole thing should have led up to it, step by step, and their execution should have reflected it at least a little bit. I would have done it more like:

– Problem: [same]
– Challenge: [same]
– Target market: [same] + Behind all the social media tailoring and trying to play it cool, they’re romantics at heart.
– The insight: Now the geeks get the girls. Which Glee character has the most fans on Facebook? It isn’t Finn, the stereotypical football jock. It’s Artie. He knows what he wants. He knows what he’s good at. He’s confident. Girls like confidence. They are Gleeks just for him.

Just an idea. It would be more aligned with the insight. Can you see how this as the brief would make for an entirely different creative execution? Overall though, I really liked this brief because it works the same way my mind does. Start broad, work your way to specific. Make sure you don’t get too off track. It’s simple; it works.


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