POV

Keeping it Brief: Advice from the 88 Account Team

“Give me the freedom of a tightly defined brief.”

Those are the words of creative executive and agency legend Norman Berry. For me, having worked across many clients and industries, Norman’s quote remains the principle that guides my work. He captured what our creative team needs: a brief that is brief, so it can support greater creativity and more successful campaigns for our clients. 

Here are a few more words of wisdom from our own 88 account team about crafting shorter and more effective creative briefs.

-Barbara Jurgens


“Look at the brief from an outsider’s eyes. Are you providing sufficient background and being extremely clear? A strong, concise brief upfront ensures that the work delivered is exactly what you want for your firm. Additionally, having a ‘bullseye’ target audience will help focus the creative even if the campaign will ultimately reach a wider audience.”

—Erica Pelletier


“If you can, look to market research to ensure you’re not being ambiguous in defining your target audience. Identifying their needs, motivations and lifestyle helps you narrow your focus and pinpoint details that can inform messaging. Although this step takes time, the insights you gain are crucial to strengthening your brief and executing creative that resonates.

—Emma Lally


“Clearly defined and measurable success metrics are critical to a successful brief. It allows both the client and their agency to align on the campaign’s priorities and ensures that there is one clear and succinct call to action throughout the final campaign.”

—Taylor Mackey


“The brief should clearly state what you want the audience to do. Ultimately a call to action should extend from the client’s business goals (e.g. acquire new members, grow donations). And be sure you’re tailoring your call to action to the specific media channel; we ‘engage’ much differently with a digital banner than we do with an out-of-home billboard.”

—Elizabeth Paterson