A creative brief is a document used by creative professionals and agencies to develop creative deliverables: visual design, copy, advertising, web sites, etc. The document is usually developed by the requestor (in most cases a marketing team member) and approved by the creative team of designers, writers, and project managers. In Some cases, the project’s creative brief May need creative director approval before work will begin.
In advertising agencies, creative briefs are written after the client briefs the agency. After receiving the customer brief, the account manager is responsible for getting a creative brief.
The creative brief, consisting of a series of simple questions asked by the creative team and answered by the requestor, becomes the guidepost for the development of the creative deliverable. As with many strategy documents, the project goes off track to this divergence.
Creative briefs can come in many flavors and are usually tailored to the organization or to the creative deliverable. They know which questions (and answers) are of paramount importance in order to deliver a high-quality creative execution.
A creative brief may contain:
- Background – what is the background of the project? Why is it being done?
- Target audience – what do they already think about this subject? Is there anything that should be avoided?
- Objectives – what is to be accomplished? How will this be measured and success understood?
- Single message – what is the one thing to tell the audience? What is the single thing they should remember about the offering? How will they believe what we say?
- desired behavior?
- tone of voice
- Mandatory elements – mandatory elements such as the customer’s logo, address, phone number and so forth.
- Deliverables – what is the message? What is the best way to reach this audience?
- Timeline – how soon is this needed? When is it expected to be done? How many rounds (revisions) will this project undergo?
- Budget – how much can you get this? Is there any budget needed to publish / flight the creative?
- Approvals – who needs to give the “okay”?
A creative brief must be directional and inspirational. Directional elements refer to marketing elements (target market, objective, message, etc.). 
- Jump up^ Butterfield, Leslie Butterfield (1999). Excellence in advertising . UK: Routledge. p. 304. ISBN 978-0750644792 .