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How To Write An Advertising Brief: Contents, Features & All You Need To Know

What is an Advertising Brief?

An ad brief is a document which contains the history, philosophy, goals and objective of a firms or an organization in respect of a product or service. Before writing an advertising brief, a good ad brief must supply answers to the following eight questions which constitute the 6Ws and 2Hs of the ad brief:

  1. What product or service do you want to advertise?
  2. What is your annual production?
  3. Who buys the product?
  4. Where does he/she buy your product?
  5. What is the selling proposition or point of your product?
  6. What location does your product sell the most?
  7. How is the product used?
  8. How much is the client willing to spend in advertising the product?

How To Write An Advertising Brief: Contents, Features & All You Need To Know 1

The Nature of an Advertising Brief

The ad brief is a formal (Business) request usually made to a professional advertising agency to develop sustainable advertising proposal(s) for a brand service, idea, person, or thing, for the purpose of achieving some predetermined objectives.

The typical advertising brief is very detailed, well articulated and lucid, most especially, a commercial brief to facilitate agency understanding as well as task or work to be accomplished.

The brief “is usually Issued by the client (brand/marketing manager/executive) to the agency (MD/client service director/account director/manager).

How To Write A Good Advertising Brief

The content of an ad brief are determined by the goals/objectives as well as the nature or history of the product/service and the desired media. Writing an ad brief involves a careful selection of key contents that must be on the brief as this can help in finally writing a winning ads proposal.

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Contents of a Typical and Detailed Advertising Brief

Source (Client and client contact).

Agency (agency contact).

Issuing date

Agency response date.

Project/brief title/caption.

Introduction/Background: A brief but concise description of the circumstances and conditions of the client and the brand in focus, in the competitive environment and the reason the brief has to be issued or that advertising is deemed necessary. The background addresses the question “why are you writing/sending this brief?” and also “sets the scene for the detailed elements of the brief.

Brand Mission/Role: This provides the agency with a better understanding of the brand in the clients portfolio/brand mix.

Market Situation/Analysis: This describes the profile of competition in terms of product volume, product range, packaging pricing, distribution and general business environment.

Objectives – Brand and Advertising (marketing objectives and brand image positioning)

Brand Positioning Strategy – market segment, target market, consumer benefit, justification and brand character/world.

Consumer insights: This refers to consumer expectation(s), perception and interpretation or brand elements/issues.

Tone-Mood: The ambiance surrounding the advertising which usually communicates something about the brand character or brand world e.g. Serious, credible, excitement, discomfort, pain, pleasure and relaxation.

Mandatory: The product’s qualities or features that must not be skipped

Slogan/tag line (if any): An encapsulation of brand benefit e.g DHL – We keep your promises; Super Blue Omo – washes brighter… and it shows, Sterling Winthrop – live life to the full.

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Budget (if known): This refers to the amount of money earmarked for the ad project.

Agency Task: A “statement of what the agency should do with the brief.
Presentation: The format of agency reporting on their proposal, which includes formal presentation and/or formal report.

Signature & Endorsement: Signing of the brief to approval for action.

Dimensions: These o ad more, depending on the goals/objectives, as well as te

These elements and more depending on the goals/objective as well as the dimensions of the brief, point up the way forward towards efficient service delivery to the client by the agency..

Why You Need an Advertising Brief?

The ad brief:

(a) Signals the commencement of advertising development for the brand

(b) Ensures that the agency’s proposal is consistent with brand overall strategy

(c) Saves client and agency time spent in the course of developing advertising for the brand; and

(d) Provides a sound basis for assessing agency’s creative proposal

Outline of an Advertising Brief

An advertising brief, first and foremost, is a “mine” of information Noughton, Asemota and Alao, 1998). For this reason, it must be prepared in such a way as to provide comprehensive information about the product or service.

Below is an outline of an advertising brief:

  1. Product/Product Group to be advertised
  • Brand name
  • Description
  • Uses
  • Characteristics
  • Superiority over competition
  • Prices

2) Distribution

  • Scope
  • Method

3) Target Consumers

  • Socio-economic groupings (income bracket)
  • Gender
  • Age bracket
  • Occupation
  • Religion
  • Regional/National
  • Urban/Rural
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4) Target Image

5) Marketing Objectives

6) Market Position/Share

7) Sales History

  • By units or value
  • Limiting factors
  1. Competition
  • Who are they?
  • What are they doing

9) Advertising Objectives

  • What must the advertising achieve?

10) Timing/Phasing for the Advertising

11) Budget

12) Who does what?

When discussing about how to write an advertising brief, the above are the contents that must be contained in the brief sent to the ad agency. It must be carefully analyzed before presented. With the information provided, you can never go wrong in preparing an ad brief for whoever it may concern.

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