Case Study: Creative Brief

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

This lesson will define creative brief and outline an example of the Google Photos launch. It will also go over some questions to think about when making your own creative brief.

The Creative Brief

When Google Photos was preparing to launch, the company knew it wanted to target young, tech-savvy users. The creative brief developed centered on the best strategies to reach that particular audience.

Think of a creative brief as a blueprint for all of the creative bones of a marketing project. This document outlines information about a company's goals, style and audience to help facilitate the creative elements of a marketing campaign. These elements can include print ads, television commercials or website design.

The goal is to develop one source that everyone on the creative team can refer to, to keep the messaging on track for a company's objectives.

Let's take a look at how Google implemented a creative brief for the release of its Google Photos availability in 2015.

Google Photos

When Google decided to launch Photos, a sharing and storage system for consumers' photographs, it realized it needed a creative way to compete with the likes of Flickr, Photobucket and general storage on users' smartphones.

The company teamed with a digital agency known as Toaster, and tasked them with getting a younger, more tech-reliant generation interested in using the Google Photos site or mobile application. Specifically, they wanted this generation to become more active in using Google Photos on a daily basis.

Creative Brief Basics

This information fulfills several aspects of a creative brief:

  • an overview of what the project is about (growing traffic to the Google Photos service)
  • the objective of the campaign (getting a younger generation actively using Google Photos)
  • the target audience (Millennials and younger generations who are already tech-savvy)

The creative brief instructed Toaster to use social media and partnership with outlets and celebrities that a younger generation could relate to.

Design Campaign

To achieve its objective, Toaster developed its creative brief around the already popular concept of ''Throwback Thursday,'' or #TBT among social media users, which involves social media users sharing old memories through throwback photos.

Toaster created the #EasyThrowback campaign, which included posts on Google's Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts, inviting followers to share their own nostalgic throwback photos on the Google Photos app.

The social media component of the creative brief generated more than 43 million engagements across promoted trends and tweets.

Toaster also created partnerships with Millennial favorites Buzzfeed and Jimmy Kimmel Live. With Buzzfeed, Toaster created a throwback digital game where users could win prizes while promoting participating in Google Photos. More than 60 percent of participants returned more than once to play the game.

In conjunction with Jimmy Kimmel Live, Toaster was able to get Kimmel to post an #EasyThrowback photo every Thursday during his nighttime broadcast for a six-week period. At the end of those six weeks, Kimmel used the Google Photos app in a comedic segment on his late-night talk show.

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