Creative Brief

1. Business situation

What is the context of your communication? Where do you fit in the higher ed marketplace? Do you have an established presence or are you new? Is your part of the market stable or in flux? What are the internal and external forces influencing current performance and future strategies?

Example

The School of Optometry is a nationally recognized program. Each year, approximately 200 qualified applicants are admitted, 80–85 of those enroll, and the remaining available spots are filled with lower-performing students. To remain competitive—especially with the increased competition from Midwestern programs and an increasingly flat applicant pool—the school must strengthen the quality of students who enroll in the Doctor of Optometry program.

2. Marketing objective

What problem do you hope to solve with your communication? What change in your target audience are you after? To increase applications to a program? To improve yield? To drive donations?

Example

To attract greater numbers of high-quality prospective students to pursue a degree at the School of Optometry.

3. Assignment

(NOT ALL ITEMS ARE REQUIRED)

  • Marketing vehicles (e.g., web, social media, print, TV)
  • Budgets
  • Timelines

Example

Develop an effective creative campaign that will resonate with prospective students. The campaign will consist of three initial concepts, which will be narrowed down to one. Upon selection of the final concept a creative portfolio (sample digital ad, publication spread, and print ad) will be developed to show how the concept can be brought to life and leveraged across multiple mediums.

4. Consumer insight

A good insight is written in consumer language and:

  • Reflects a deep truth for your target audience.
  • Unlocks relevant opportunities.
  • Generates an attraction with your target audience.
  • Leads to a competitively differentiated idea powerful enough to change behavior and mindset.

Example

I want to earn my degree from a top-tier optometry school where I can be part of a supportive community that is committed to preparing me for and providing opportunities for professional success.

6. Single-minded communication idea

In seven words or less, what must be communicated above all else?

Example

Creating visionary leaders.

7. Brand personality

Linked to IU brand architecture and your unique traits.

Example

Passionate, supportive, confident, well-rounded, cutting-edge.

8. Mandatories

Varies, but must always include core elements of IU’s brand guidelines.

Example

Must include a strong call to action driving prospective students to connect with the School of Optometry in person—ideally through a campus visit. Must tie in closely to the IU brand.

9. Considerations

What to keep in mind when creating your materials.

Example

Message needs to be universal in its appeal to target students interested in applying to an optometry school. There are no rankings for optometry schools.

10. Approvals

Any approvals necessary in order for your materials to be considered final.

Example

Both School of Optometry and IU Studios sign-offs.