How to write a clear and inspiring video brief

Guides & Inspiration • Written by Catherine Graves, Marketing Director

Working with us to create video content has never been easier, but to get a great response from our global creative network it’s important to have a clear and well written brief. To make sure you’re engaging our creators and getting the best concepts and treatments, we’ve put together a few tips on how to write a great video brief.

Tip: Before you get started, make sure you gather all the information you need, including brand details, your objectives and any reference materials that will help the creative community understand the requirements of the job.

Step 1: Key Details

In this first part of the brief form, make sure you carefully fill out the key details to explain what your top line requirements are. Here are a few tips for this section:

  • Timelines: We can work with any production timeline and get responses from our creative network within a few days, but for the best result we recommend allowing at least 7 to 14 days for treatment submissions and 14 to 30 days for production, depending on the brief. The higher the budget and the longer the brief is open the more likely you are to get a strong selection of ideas.
  • Be realistic about your dates: If you have multiple people involved in the feedback process or if client approval is required you may need to extend your video delivery date to allow for a longer production period. Unrealistic deadlines will deter creators from pitching.
  • Widen your production locations if possible: Unless you need a creator based in a specific location, widening your production location or allowing all creators globally to pitch will increase the diversity of ideas.
  • Understanding usage rights: Unless your content is for TV / broadcast, usage rights for all other media are included in the budget you set, in perpetuity and in all territories. Chat to us if you have any questions about TV and broadcast usage rights.
  • Be realistic with your budget: Yep, that old chestnut. Be wary of having champagne taste on a beer budget! Do you need live action, or might animation work? The number of deliverables, locations and talent you’re after will also have an impact.
  • Share as much as possible: Have an idea, reference or certain style you like? Share them in your brief! Share previous work, guidelines and learnings. Remember, the more you put into a brief the more you’ll get out of it.
  • Be clear about your deliverables: Make sure you think about all the assets you’ll need delivered for your campaign. If you need different ratios for different platforms, still images as well as video, shorter versions or adaptations with different messages – list these all in the brief. 

Step 2: The Brief

The key to a good video brief is making sure you balance providing enough information that creators can provide a great idea which is on brand and on brief, with providing so much information that they find it difficult to find the key details. Try to be clear and succinct about the most important aspects of your brief.

A great way to start is with a short intro that includes these three key pieces of information:

  1. A summary about your brand / music artist
  2. A quick description of the content you need and what you’re trying to achieve with it
  3. If there are any location or creator type specifications

Here’s an example:

“Tetley Tea is looking for a creator based in India to create a series of 10 short videos for Facebook. The content should __capture warm and authentic stories about our farmers and tea production processes in India, and will be used to promote our ‘Farmers First Hand’ social initiative, which connects Tetley consumers with the farmers who make their tea so special.”

From there, provide the details relevant to your brief such as the purpose and objectives of the content, the intended platforms and formats required, what your key messages are, who you’re trying to reach, list out your deliverables and provide creative direction. It’s also helpful at this stage to upload any relevant files such as your brand guidelines, product details, a mood board or links to reference videos / images. These are a great way inspire creators and make it really clear what you’re looking for.

Here are some additional tips for this section of the brief form:

  • Audience: Keep the audience in mind. Creators may not always understand business or marketing terms (including jargon and acronyms) so be clear and simple with your writing, and explain brand or industry terms as required.
  • Location: Do you need to restrict your video brief to certain creators? If you’re not leaving it open globally, make sure you say whether you’re looking for someone from a specific country, or whether creatives can travel to the production location.
  • Animation vs Live action: Are you open to animation or motion graphics? We have really talented animators on the platform, so it’s useful to include whether you’re open to different styles of content, or live action only in the brief.
  • Formatting: Keep things clean and easy to read with simple formatting. If you want to include a new heading, you can format one by including ## in front of a title (ie. ##Casting Requirements). Use **this will be bold** to bold your text.
  • Need more help? We are here to assist! Just reach out if you need some more help writing your video brief, we know what works and what doesn’t.

Step 3: Design

Once you’ve nailed the video brief, it’s time to make it look great.

  • Brief image: Upload a high quality thumbnail image for your brief, which will be used across the Genero platform and for promotion of your job. The optimal size for the image is 600 x 338 pixels. Try to avoid text or logos in this image as it may be too small to read across different devices, but do choose an image that is relevant to the brief and will stand out.
  • Vertical banner: Upload a vibrant or emotive vertical banner to use on the title card of your brief. High quality images with no text will work best, and the image will be cropped for best fit.  If you don’t have any suitable images to use, we’d suggest searching for a relevant creative commons image on a site like Unsplash.
  • Strapline: Think of a catchy strapline that explains the brief in less than 50 characters. It should be short, sweet and informative. For example: ‘Make a 30 second stop-motion video for Instagram’.

That’s it! Ready? You can submit a brief here.

Remember, we always check briefs before they go live and will let you know if there are any ways your brief can be improved. We’re here to help, so just get in touch with your regional team if you have any questions.

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