Dan Carlton - The Inspired Creative Brief

Dan Carlton - The Inspired Creative BriefThe Inspired Creative Brief How to write a creative brief that creates clarity, generates excitement and sparks creat...
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Dan Carlton - The Inspired Creative Brief

Dan Carlton - The Inspired Creative Brief

The Inspired Creative Brief
How to write a creative brief that creates clarity, generates excitement and sparks creativity.

You’ve seen creative briefs and probably written your fair share. After defining the role of the creative brief and providing tried-and-true brief templates, this course will quickly move beyond the basics and reveal frameworks and models for generating compelling proposition statements as well as writing tips and tricks for authoring a brief that ignites a fire in the bellies of creative teams.


The creative brief often represents the culmination of a strategist’s thinking. While it needs to be comprehensive and thorough, it also needs to be succinct and inspiring. In this course, we’ll cover all aspects of creative briefs and the creative briefing process with an emphasis on specific tools, templates and frameworks that can dramatically improve anyone’s brief writing skills immediately.


You’ve looked at every Slideshare presentation you can find on brief writing but still have unanswered questions.

You’ve found there’s tons of information about what a good brief is but are still struggling to understand exactly how to write killer briefs more consistently.

You’ve downloaded dozens of creative brief templates from other agencies but are interested in how to best fill out all those boxes.

You’ve overhauled your agency’s briefing template but still aren’t getting consistently great briefs.

You’ve found examples of good briefs online but not bad briefs and how to turn them into good briefs.

You’ve gotten to a good place with your brief writing skills but you’re looking for tricks and shortcuts that can help you generate better ideas more quickly and easily.


There are five sessions within this course, each providing detailed instruction on an important part of the brief writing process.

I. THE ROLE OF THE CREATIVE BRIEF: The three primary functions of a creative brief / What creative teams want in a brief / What a brief should and shouldn’t be / The five sins of brief writing

II. DEFINING THE BUSINESS PROBLEM: The art of defining a business problem / The 20 questions to ask when ing a project / Tapping into free resources to gather background information / Conducting a gap analysis / Pulling apart the symptom from the disease / Prioritizing which business problem to solve first

III. DEVELOPING A PROPOSITION: Using a Proposition Wheel to brainstorm potential proposition statements / Developing a Creative Brief Prototypes / Evaluating the merits of the proposition statement

IV. WRITING THE BRIEF: Understanding the 7 most important brief questions / The difference among a descriptive, promissory and invitational key idea statement / When to use a literal versus a figurative key idea statement

V. ORCHESTRATING THE BRIEFING: How to establish rapport with creative teams / Designing the briefing to align with your creative team’s unique learning style / Using DIY design and animation tools to bring the brief to life / How to provide creative feedback without destroying trust

Format: Video course

Structure: Five video sessions over the course of five days

Time Commitment: 20-30 minutes per day


Anyone - a current student or a prospective one - is invited to set up a 15-minute phone call if there is a question about course material; an inquiry for custom, on-site training for your company; or a desire to discuss and work through a project you’re currently working on. So let’s talk! Click here to find and book a time.

Your Instructor

Dan Carlton

Dan Carlton is the founder of The PARAGRAPH Project. Founded in 2005 to provide marketers an alternative to market research and brand strategy that is either uninspired or over-intellectualized, PARAGRAPH has become recognized as a leader in infusing research with creativity and developing fresh marketing approaches for clients mired in fiercely competitive industries. Over the years, PARAGRAPH has partnered with companies such as Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, Dropbox, Fruit of the Loom, Habitat for Humanity, Land O’Lakes, Google, and Coca-Cola, among others. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

Course Curriculum

The Role of the Creative Brief

Course Introduction

Session 1: The Role of the Creative Brief (20:45)

Download: Examples of Bad Briefs
Defining the Business Problem

Session 2: Defining the Business Problem (21:13)

Download: List of Kickoff Questions
Download: Sleuthing Tips
Download: The 5 Whys Worksheet
Developing a Proposition

Session 3: Developing a Proposition (17:56)

Download: Proposition Wheel Worksheet
Download: Creative Brief Prototype Worksheet

Writing the Brief

Session 4: Writing the Brief (22:01)

Orchestrating the Briefing Session 5: Orchestrating the Briefing (12:05)

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