How To Write A Creative Brief? The Problem Statement.


One of the most important elements in writing and creative brief is a rock-solid problem statement. Albert Einstein famously said if I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.

Hi, I’m Julian Cole. And along with Charlie Quirk, we want to show you how a clear problem statement is a key to a creative brief.

With the examples from Chrysler and planet fitness, without bringing rigor to codify your key challenges, a project can waste a lot of creativity, money, and most importantly time. A problem statement describes the unfavorable conditions that prevents the goal or objective from being achieved.

Today. You look at how a scene from the movie Moneyball can help us distinguish a good problem statement from a bad one. The context, this is the same with Brad Pitt’s character, Billy Bean is meeting with the team scouting stuff to discuss how to replace players that have left for other teams.

My beans arguments are so effective. How did he bring a sense of gravity to the task of assessing baseball talent? First, let’s consider the arguments of the other Scouts in the scene. Well, each scout described a real challenge that we’re focused only on the trivial details of their own situation. Bean’s argument contained several elements that made it more engaging.

It was externally focused. It evoked an emotional response. It was crystal clear and it felt meaningful.

Taking this model to the ad world. Some of the best campaigns have broken through by playing off worthwhile problems.

Category, they thought the problem was that people preferred imported cars because they were cheap. Chrysler’s imported from Detroit campaign came in response to the strategy, understanding the problem that people thinking that anything comes from Detroit is not worth buying.

For the gym category, a lot of marketers assumed that the problem for gyms was that people are too lazy to go to gyms. They needed to motivate them. However, planet fitness understood the people feel self-conscious about the environment of gym, which led to the problem of gymtimidation, repels those who can benefit from going to the gym the most.

We hope this was helpful in helping you identify and solve meaty creative problems. Here’s a checklist for writing problem statements.

A good problem statement is externally focused. A problem of the world. Not yours alone. It’s clear, it cuts through the extraneous. Evocative, it evokes an emotional response. Meaningful overcoming it will create positive change in the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about strategy, subscribe to my channel.

If you’re interested in more on creative, brief writing, you can check out the video where I break down the brief for Seamless.

Sign up to my fortnightly Planning Dirty Newsletter. I share tools, resources and brain bombs for your strategy comms for planners.