How to write a creative brief in 10 steps (with templates, examples, and tips)

Have your creative projects been chaotic? 

Has there been confusion among the team members about what the final product should look like? 

Maybe you wasted a lot of time making sure that everyone has all the necessary information. 

All these problems can be avoided with one simple document — a creative brief. 

In this article, we will go over:

  • What a creative brief is, 
  • What it should include, 
  • How to write a creative brief,
  • Tips for writing a high-quality creative brief, and 
  • Benefits of a creative brief.

We will also provide you with 7 different types of free creative brief templates.

So, let’s begin! 

How to write a creative brief in 10 steps - cover

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is a document that functions as a guide for creative teams, helping everyone keep in touch with the project’s objectives and guidelines.

It should be, as the name suggests — brief. Ideally, it should fit on 1 to 2 A4 pages, contain the gist of the project, and serve as a guideline for everyone involved in the project. 

What must a creative brief include?

Not all creative briefs have to look the same. 

There are many ways to organize a creative brief depending on the type of creative project it’s made for — marketing, social media, brand definition, logo creation, etc.

 Still, there are some elements of a creative brief that are always included:

  • Project title — indicates what the project is about,
  • Company background — information about the company that can be relevant to the project,
  • Objectives — what you are trying to accomplish with the project,
  • Target audience — who you are trying to reach,
  • Tone of voice — the way you speak to your target audience, 
  • Distribution — the channels by which your message will reach the target audience (such as social media or TV commercials),
  • Budget — the amount of money reserved for the project,
  • Competition — companies offering similar services or products as you, and
  • Timeline — all relevant time points in the project from the start to the due date.

Of course, you aren’t limited to just these elements. What’s important is that the creative brief contains all the relevant information for your project. 

For example, when creating a website or a logo for a business, instead of using the term “tone of voice”, “style” might be more appropriate. And you could add another element like “color scheme” since that is an important part of creating a good design.

10 Steps to writing a creative brief

In the following text, we will explain all the steps you need to go through to produce a high-quality creative brief.

Step #1: Choose the name for the project and provide a short overview 

The name of the project should be short and reflect the essence of the creative brief. 

For example, the name “Creative brief for a TastyFood restaurant marketing campaign” clearly shows the purpose of the brief and the name of the client. 

A short overview of the project should follow the title — just a sentence or two to summarize what the project is about.

Step #2: Summarize the company’s background

Outline the company background. There is no need to go into detail about the company. It’s enough to mention its core values and the information relevant to the project, such as what problems the company is currently facing and what kind of image they are trying to portray. 

What you write in this section depends on whether your company hired an external agency for the job (for example, a video production company to make a promotional video for a new product) or if the creative team is employed at the said company. 

If it’s the latter, you can omit general information about the company since it’s already known to all involved. 

Step #3: List the objectives

Take the time to precisely state the objectives of the creative project, i.e. what you are trying to achieve with this project. Some of the more general objectives can be:

  • Rise in brand awareness,
  • Increase in sales,
  • Change of company image, etc.

For example, a marketing strategy for an app may have an objective “increase the number of new sign-ups by 10% in the next 3 months”.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you want to make this step easier, learn more about objectives and key results in projects:

Step #4: Define your target audience

It’s essential to know who your marketing campaign or your advert is aimed at. Who are the people who will buy your product? You must have a clear vision of them when creating the brief.

Depending on the aim of the campaign and the company’s product, different information can be relevant. Some of the information you can include is the audience’s:

  • Age,
  • Social status,
  • Employment status,
  • Education,
  • Habits, 
  • Beliefs, and
  • Interests.

Step #5: Choose the tone of voice

After establishing your target audience, the next question is how to get through to them. 

You should determine what emotions you are trying to evoke and what picture you are conveying to the minds of the audience.

For example, a commercial for a bank should have a more serious tone that makes them look dependable and serious. 

On the other hand, a commercial for a soft drink company can have a more relaxed tone, attempting to connect the drink with the idea of having fun and being happy.

Step #6: Research the competition

If you want to conquer a market, you have to be aware of the competition. Or, in the words of Sun Tsu: “Know thy enemy”

Do thorough research on your competitors. Who is currently popular? Who offers products similar to yours? List their positive and negative traits. 

Knowing what your competitors are offering means you can find a way to offer something better. 

Step #7: Set the budget

It’s a good idea to set the budget at the very beginning of the creative project. This enables the team to organize their work accordingly. 

Instead of just defining the total budget, it’s better to allocate your funds at the beginning. 

For example, if you are making an advertising campaign for new sportswear, you can divide the budget between social media ads, TV commercials, and hiring a sportsperson to be the face of your brand. 

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you want to learn about different budgeting methods, take a look at this article:

Step #8: Ask for feedback

Once you have completed the brief, you should ask for feedback from project stakeholders, such as your client or company executives, as well as your project team members

You can organize a project kickoff meeting where people could express their opinions and ideas together or just send everyone a copy of the brief and have them send the feedback back to you. 

Step #9: Review and edit 

After you have received feedback, consider the suggestions and make changes if necessary. 

You can go back and forth between these 2 steps until both you and the stakeholders are satisfied with the brief.

Step #10: Distribute the brief 

Once the creative brief is finished, distribute it to everyone working on the project. 

3 Tips on how to write a creative brief 

To help you create a top-notch creative brief, we asked professionals with experience in writing them to share some tips with us. 

Here’s what they had to say.

Tip #1: Think about the aim of the project before starting on the brief

We talked to James Parkinson, Head of Marketing Content at Personnel Checks, and he emphasizes the importance of understanding the goal of the project:

James Parkinson

“You need to understand what the end goal or aim for the project or task is before you try to create a brief. Many people get this wrong and end up producing a large document with contradicting information. When, in reality, if you fully understand the desired outcome, then the brief can be very to-the-point and efficient.”

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you become better at setting goals, make sure to read our article on the topic:

Tip #2: Include success metrics

We asked Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of lawn care business GreenPal, to share his thoughts on making creative briefs. He points out you have to decide on the success metrics for your project:

Gene Caballero

“Determine in advance how you will measure the success of the campaign. We usually focus on metrics like sign-up rates, website traffic, and social media engagement.”

You use the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to collect performance data and measure the success of your project. 

Tip#3: Take your time

Don’t be tempted to just rush through the brief so you can start the project as soon as possible. Dedicate enough time to in-depth research. 

Caballero emphasizes how important it is to dedicate enough time to the creation of the creative brief:

Gene Caballero

Remember, the creative brief is a guiding document that helps ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s the roadmap for your project, so taking the time to do it well is critical.

7 Creative brief templates

There are many types of creative briefs you can make for different creative projects.

We have singled out some of the most popular ones here and created free editable templates that you can use for your projects.

Simple creative brief template

When creating your first creative brief, it’s best to start with the basics. Here’s a simple creative brief template:

🔽 Simple creative brief template

Simple creative brief template
Simple creative brief template

It has all the key elements necessary for a creative brief, and it can be edited to your preference, so you can use it for any kind of creative project, both in-house and external. 

Marketing creative brief template 

Creating a high-quality marketing campaign requires creativity. But it’s also important to stay organized and not let that creativity lead to chaos. 

According to CoSchedule’s 2022 Trend Report on Marketing Strategy, organized marketers are a whopping 674% more likely to be successful. This is why you need a well-made marketing creative brief.  

Here is a free template to help you create a creative brief for your marketing campaign.

🔽 Marketing creative brief template 

Marketing creative brief template
Marketing creative brief template

This template can be useful to anyone managing a marketing project

It presents all the elements in the form of a table. You can adjust the space dedicated to each element to fit your project’s needs. 

For example, you will probably want to describe the target audience and the tone of voice in more detail than the other elements since these 2 are crucial in organizing a good marketing campaign. 

Advertising creative brief template 

Although marketing and advertising are similar, the focus of advertising is a bit different, so the creative briefs will differ as well. You can use the template below to write a creative brief that would fit your advertising project. 

🔽 Advertising creative brief template

Advertising creative brief template
Advertising creative brief template

The most important part of this brief is deciding on the distribution model — how the ad is going to reach the audience. 

You can dedicate a substantial amount of the brief to clearly stating how you want your advertising campaign to reach your target audience. 

Video creative brief template 

The process of video production is complex, requiring people from different areas of the business to work together through 3 different phases in their video management software

  1. Pre-Production,
  2. Production, and 
  3. Post-Production. 

That’s why creating a creative brief is a step you mustn’t overlook. You can use the template below to create a well-organized creative brief for video projects without difficulty.

🔽 Video creative brief

Video creative brief template
Video creative brief template

Whether it’s a promotional video, a tutorial on how to use a product, an interview with a customer, or a commercial, creating a video is often part of a bigger project. 

But the video production team (or an agency you hired) likely won’t be familiar with the details of that project. So, the video creative brief will serve as a guide to help them create a video that meets all the requirements. 

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

Having good project management software for video production can be a great help in your work. Check out the following list of the best such tools on the market: 

Logo creative brief template 

A logo is the first thing a customer notices about your product or service. 

So, making a logo that will stand out and attract the attention of your target audience is a crucial part of getting your product recognized.

That’s why the creation of the logo is a separate project that requires its own creative brief. You can find a well-designed logo creative brief template on this link:  

🔽 Logo creative brief template

Logo creative brief template
Logo creative brief template

Unlike some other creative briefs, the logo creative brief doesn’t include “tone of voice”, but instead has elements such as:

  • “Color scheme”, 
  • “Logo style” and
  • “Font type”. 

This is because the visual element is highly important when creating a logo, so it deserves to be divided into several categories. 

Social media creative brief template

According to Kepios’ 2023 report on global Internet use, there are 4.80 billion social media user identities in the world. So the quality of your social media campaign can be the difference between a successful product and an unsuccessful one. 

Make sure to use a creative brief to guarantee a well-organized social media campaign. You can use the template below to make your first social media creative brief.

🔽 Social media creative brief template 

Social media creative brief template
Social media creative brief template

Aside from the basic categories a creative brief should have, you should also specify which social media channels you are focusing on in the social media brief. 

For example, if your target audience are teenagers and people in their early 20s, you will probably focus on TikTok and Instagram. But if you are targeting business people in their 30s and 40s, your main focus should be LinkedIn. 

💡 Plaky Pro Tip 

If you want to learn how to create a social media calendar, check out the links below: 

Website creative brief template 

Since designing a website often involves a web design company and an external client, a well-written creative brief is a necessary part of the project. 

Make sure to try the website creative brief template we created for you. 

🔽 Website creative brief template 

Website creative brief template
Website creative brief template

Almost any business today needs a website, so it’s very common for various businesses to employ a web design company to create it for them. 

This brief helps companies and web designers be on the same page and work together without problems.

7 Creative brief examples 

To help you see what a filled-out creative brief looks like, we have prepared an example for each type of the above-presented types. 

Simple creative brief example

In this simple creative brief, a construction company needs a marketing strategy for their new estates. 

Since their target audience are upper-class and business people, the tone they’re aiming for is confident. They want to look exclusive so their customers should feel privileged to own the property they’re selling. 


Paradise Estate needs to develop a marketing strategy for their new project “Sky Building”

Company background

Paradise Estate is a company building modern and exclusive buildings on the outskirts of cities. They have recently started a new project called “Sky Building”, which will have 48 apartments (12 stories with 4 apartments each). 


  • Sell 50% of apartments before the building is completely built.
  • Confirm Paradise Estate apartments as high-quality and exclusive housing.

Target audience

  • Upper-middle and upper class
  • Business people in their 40s and 50s 
  • People with families

Tone of voice

Confident tone with an air of exclusivity, making people feel privileged to own apartments in this building. 


Company CEO: Michael S.

Sales Director: George N.

Marketing Team Director: Diana C.

Design Team Director: Priya K.


Social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook)

TV commercials


Social media advertising: $10,000

TV commercials: $25,000


Project start: July 7, 2023

Advertisement due date: July 28, 2023

Social media campaign: From August 4, 2023, to October 13, 2023

TV campaign: From August 11, 2023, to October 13, 2023

Simple creative brief example
Simple creative brief example

Marketing creative brief example

In this example, a restaurant owner hired a marketing agency to organize their marketing campaign for their restaurant in a new location. 



TastyFood restaurant 

Company background

TastyFood is a family restaurant on the outskirts of town. They are opening a restaurant in a new location. Their customers are mostly people in their 50s and 60s from the same neighborhood. 


  • Show that TastyFood is a good restaurant for families with children.
  • Have a full restaurant on the day of the opening.

Target audience

  • Middle-class people in their 30s and 40s who go to restaurants for late lunch or dinner after work
  • Young families with children 

Tone of voice

Friendly tone to paint a picture of a warm atmosphere: happy families enjoying their time together, friends eating dinner and laughing, etc. 


  • Italian restaurant on the same street
  • Two other small family restaurants in the neighborhood


Restaurant owner: John R.

Marketing agency owner: Tom A.

Marketing team lead: Dev C.


Project start: August 1, 2023 

Project due date: September 19, 2023 

Website launch: September 25, 2023


Billboards in the neighborhood

Youtube ads

Facebook and Instagram ads


Total: $20,000

Marketing agency: $7,000

Billboards: $5,000

Social media ads: 7,500

Additional expenses: $500

Marketing creative brief example
Marketing creative brief example

Advertising creative brief example

Here, a chocolate factory wants to increase sales numbers of their hot chocolate drink. They want to reach children and adults through TV commercials and YouTube ads. 


Project overview

A chocolate company wants to make a Christmas advertisement for their hot chocolate drink.

Company name


Company background

The company produces chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, and hot chocolate drinks. While bars and cookies have high sales numbers, chocolate drinks are not as popular. They want to advertise their product as an indulgent treat customers would want to buy.


  • Connect this brand of hot chocolate with feelings of contentment and happiness during Christmas time in the minds of the customer. 
  • Increase the sales of hot chocolate by 20% by the end of 2023. 

Target audience

  • Children aged 5-14
  • Adults feeling nostalgic about their childhood

Tone of voice

Happy, relaxed tone of voice that paints a picture of an idyllic family atmosphere during the Christmas holidays. 


  • TV commercials on children’s channels, and on regular channels in the evenings
  • Youtube ads 


Total budget: $45,000

Advertisement creation: $25,000

Advertising on TV: $20,000

Youtube ads: $5,000

Advertising creative brief example
Advertising creative brief example

Video creative brief example

This video creative brief is created by a supermarket working with a video production company to create a video that will promote online shopping.


Video production project name

“How to order online” tutorial video creation

Company name

Easy Shop Supermarket

Company background

The popularity of the supermarket is increasing constantly. There are too many customers for the supermarket’s facilities to handle, and the rows at the cash register are long. The supermarket launched online shopping on their site, but the majority of the customers are not using it. This is why they hired a video production company to create a video that would promote online orders. 


  • Increase online sales by 40% in the next 4 months.
  • Decrease the time people have to wait at the cash register.
  • Eliminate crowds in the supermarkets.

Target audience

  • Busy people with full-time jobs and families with children
  • People who are struggling to achieve everything and who have too many errands in a day

Tone of voice

The tone should be informative and friendly, with simple explanations, without unnecessary tech jargon to confuse the customers. 


The video will be posted on the supermarket’s homepage.

There will be a post on all the supermarket’s social media accounts, notifying customers there is a new tutorial video.

There will be a TV at the entrance to the supermarket playing the video. 


Video production team: $3,000

Speaker for the video: $400


Pre-production due date: July 17, 2023

Production due date: August 28, 2023

Post-production due date: October 9, 2023


Video production company, represented by: Andrew C.

Supermarket’s marketing manager: Christina L.

Supermarket’s IT department head: Fiona N.

Video creative brief example
Video creative brief example

Logo creative brief example

In this example, a design agency is hired by a soft drink company to create a logo for their new drink. 


Company name 

Sparkle Inc. 


A soft drink company wants a new logo to represent their new cherry-flavored fizzy drink.

Company background

They produce soft drinks which are sold in most supermarkets and stores in the country. But the sales are quite low. They want to attract young customers.  


Create a logo that would appeal to a young audience. 

Target audience

Pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults with the average income 

Logo style

Vibrant and modern style that looks fun and lively. 

Color scheme

Cherry Red #D2042D

Cadmium Red #D22B2B

Jet Black #343434

Almond #EADDCA




Indie Flower



Soft drink companies:

  • Fanta 
  • 7UP
  • Sprite


Client: Sparkle, Inc.

Represented by: Andrew R.

Design team leader: Jessica B.

Design team members: Ben H, Kate E, Lee J. 


Start of the project: June 16, 2023 

First draft due: August 16, 2023 

Final version due: September 9, 2023 

Logo creative brief example
Logo creative brief example

Social media creative brief example

Here, a company making face masks wants to raise brand awareness by promoting its products on social media.


Company name

Force of Nature

Company background

Force of Nature is a small business that produces organic face masks with minimal impact on the climate. They are a new company on the market, and they are trying to raise brand awareness with social media campaigns.


The campaign will cover 3 social media platforms:

  • Instagram 
  • TikTok 
  • Facebook 


Raising brand awareness with: 

  • Short videos with skincare tips,
  • Articles offering free gift cards to new subscribers, and 
  • Stories with satisfied customers.

Target audience

Women in their 20s and 30s in college or working with busy schedules who don’t have time for long and complex skincare routines. 

People who pay attention to the environment and try to make eco-friendly decisions 

Tone of voice

Bright and joyful  


First posts on Instagram and Facebook: July 3, 2023

Videos on TikTok: July 5, 2023

Youtube ads: July 10, 2023 


$15,000 ($5,000 each for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok)


Company CEO: Sarrah C.

Social media team: Jenny L. (Instagram and Facebook), Mark A. (TikTok) 

Design team: Kate R, Lisa N, 

Video production team: Ben T, Taylor E.

Social media creative brief example
Social media creative brief example

Website creative brief example 

In this website creative brief, a company selling organic vegetables hired a website design company to create a website where their customers can place orders and have the vegetables delivered to them.  


Organic Food needs a functional easy-to-use website for their customers to place orders

Company background

Organic Food has been selling their products to supermarkets and stores for 6 years. Now, they are looking to expand and enable their customers to buy directly from them instead of going to the store. 


  • Create a functional website for people to place orders and book deliveries. 
  • Expand to a new market. 
  • Increase overall sales by 15% by the end of November.

Target audience

Middle and upper-middle-class people who pay attention to their health and want supreme-quality produce. 

People in their 20s to 50s who are used to ordering online.  


  • Simplistic and modern style
  • Website should look professional without any unnecessary bling


  • All Organic Food — offer a great variety of fruit and vegetables to order online, but the prices are quite high
  • Natural Food — affordable organic vegetables, but they don’t offer delivery 
  • Sunny Valley — the most serious competitor. They offer organic vegetables to order online, and if you spend more than $100 the delivery is free. 




Website design company 

Head of web design: Claire A. 

Organic Food CEO: Mark S.

Organic Food sales team leader: Helen L.


Introductory meeting: June 30, 2023 

Website idea presentation: July 14, 2023

Project due date: July 31, 2023

Website launch: August 3, 2023

Website creative brief example
Website creative brief example

Why do you need a creative brief?

Composing a creative brief at the beginning of your project is something you should never skip.

Some of the biggest benefits of having a creative brief include:

  • Eliminating confusion and saving time,
  • Saving money, and
  • Encouraging creative thinking.

Benefit #1: Eliminates confusion and saves time

Caballero explains how the creative brief helps his team be on the same page and save time:

Gene Caballero

“We all know what it feels like to be lost in a swirl of emails and meetings. The brief keeps everyone aligned, cutting through the confusion. We’ve all got our copy, and it’s like we’re singing from the same hymn sheet. It’s a real time-saver.”

Benefit #2: Saves money

Creating a brief with everything planned at the very beginning of the project will save you money in the long run. 

Having a creative brief means that everyone will know the objectives and expectations right at the start of the project, so there is a higher chance that the creative team will succeed in creating what the stakeholders want. 

This way, the project resources won’t be wasted on the trial-and-error stage of the project. 

Benefit #3: Encourages creative thinking 

Caballero points out how having a creative brief actually helps boost creativity:

Gene Caballero

“A clear brief sets boundaries but also grants the freedom to explore within those boundaries. It’s like having a sandbox where our creatives can build the most magnificent castles, resulting in unique and effective solutions.”

When should you use a creative brief?

The easy answer is — whenever you have to manage a creative project. No matter the type of creative project, having a creative brief can come in handy.

But, specifically, you should never skip a creative brief when you are working on a complex project that has a large number of stakeholders and requires smooth cross-team collaboration. 

For example, an advertising campaign that includes the sales team, the marketing team, and the video production team would definitely benefit from having a creative brief. 

All of these teams probably work on several different projects simultaneously and aren’t familiar with the details of the advertising campaign, so it’s important to have a document with all the information in one place.

Who can fill out a creative brief?

Who will fill out a creative brief depends on whether it’s an in-house project or if a company hired an external contractor.

If it’s an in-house project, the creative brief will most likely be written by the team manager. 

If a company is working with an agency, the creative brief can be written by someone from the company who is familiar with the project, like a marketing manager or a product manager. The brief would then be delivered to the agency. Of course, the people in the agency can give their input and the brief can be revised if necessary. 

The creative brief might also be written by someone from the creative agency who would work closely with the representative of the company to understand all their demands and wishes. 

Conclusion: Creative briefs eliminate confusion and save time

No matter the type of your creative project, a creative brief is a must. 

Hopefully, after reading this article you have come to appreciate how significant creative briefs are and how much of a difference they can make. 

If you haven’t yet, make sure to incorporate them into your future projects.

After all, as Caballero says:

Gene Caballero

 “A creative brief is the unsung hero behind every successful project”.

✉️ Do you have any experience creating or using a creative brief? Do you have any other tips for writing them? Contact us at and let us know, and we may include your answers in this or some future post. If you found this post useful, share it with someone you think will be interested in it. 

GalinaVasiljcuk Galina  Vasiljcuk

Galina is a project management author and researcher at Plaky. She combines her interest in team collaboration and her natural knack for organization into writing informative and engaging texts that help people better understand project management. When she is not working, she can be found relaxing with a cup of coffee and a TV series or trying out new recipes from Asian cuisine.