Corporate explainer video creative brief is a plan; it’s the map for your animated explainer video. It helps you and your creative team to understand where to start and which direction to go.
In this article we’ll help you understand how a creative plan works and you’ll have the knowledge to help you create an effective explainer video.
You’ll learn what we know! The big difference is that you get to learn it in one article, while we spent more than 10 years of trial and error with a lot of mistakes that you won’t have to make.
What is a Creative Brief and Why Do I Need It?
A creative brief is an overview that allows you to pinpoint the needs of your client and execute the best possible solution.
An explainer video creative brief should include:
•The client’s product/service/brand info
• Business overview
• Marketing goals and objectives
• Video target audience (can often be different from the broader target audience of the company as a whole)
• The problem
• The solution
• The main benefits of the product
• Main message
• Production style
• Role of explainer video in the client’s campaign and sales funnel
• Main CTA
• Media and communication channels the video will live
Why does my explainer video need a creative brief?
Think about it this way. Would a contractor build a house without a blueprint? No way! And the more details that can be ironed out ahead of time, the stronger chance you’ll have for a successful final result (and the easier it will be along the way).
With an explainer video, it’s best to make sure that you have enough information gathered before you start. Here are several reasons why that’s crucial:
• The main message will be clear for you.
• Your creative team will have the information and a document map to brainstorm with.
• This document can always be referred to if the client asks to change the concept (for example, the client asked to explain a service and now wants to explain the company).
• The production quality level can be agreed upon by all parties.
• Main creative approaches are set and documented (message, target audience, style).
The main pillars of an animated explainer video creative brief
What I love about a creative brief is that it simplifies everything; it makes the entire project easier. For creating an effective brief you need to break down 7 main things.
1. The Product
Any creative brief should be focused on a product/service because that’s what you’re selling at the end of the day. So you need to know the product better than the creator does. For this you need to ask questions.
- What product or service you should explain?
- What problems does the product solve?
- Is this product something new, or a better version of something already out there?
- Does the product have unique features?
- What are the main advantages and benefits?
- Why do their customers love this product?
- Does this product has a USP(unique sales proposition)?
- What are the disadvantages? Where does the product lose to the competition?
How it is sold? Online, by a salesperson, re-seller, etc.
- What is the positioning of the product in its industry?
- How the product is advertised? Which media channels?
Once those questions are answered, promote additional conversations. Try to find new advantages. Here are some expanded questions:
• Which laws of nature does the product obey?
• Does the product have a special or interesting history?
• How has it been made? Is it green? Are there special materials or elements?
• What kind of emotions do customers feel when they use the product?
Look at the product through the customer’s eyes. Find new interesting advantages to utilize in your message.
2. The Company
To create a successful explainer video you need to dig deeper than just what’s on the surface. You should also understand who the company is behind the product. Try to understand and include that in your brief, even if the more detailed information doesn’t make it into the video.
Here are some aspects to consider:
• If the company is trying to build a specific brand.
• If there is a history behind the company.
• What the brand image is, or what kind of image they would like to have.
• What the visual style and communication style is in their marketing.
• The brand tone of voice (for example, luxury brands do not ask you to buy. Instead they are a bit aloof, making you expend effort to get them like a prize).
3. The Market
Some explainer video companies ignore this, and it’s a mistake. They think, “this is not a commercial, we’ll leave it out. All I need to do is to explain the business.” But the reality is, every marketing video is trying to sell something. And for selling a product you need to understand the market reality and the product’s position in it. To understand it better, check these points:
• Who are the main competitors?
• What are the main advantages and disadvantages?
• What are your winning points that you can use?
• What are the main things that potential clients do not like in your competitors and does the product have it solved?
• The pricing and policy.
• What kind of tone others use.
• The main channels competitors use and do they have strong positions there?
5. Usage Insight
• How customers accept the product; is it something they need or for fun?
• Is the product luxury or utility?
• How does the market see the product’s role?
• Do the customers know about this category, or do we need to inform them? (imagine introducing the first corporate chat as an alternative to lots of emails. Explanation is required).
6. The Customers
Customers are the most important thing here. We solve their problems or make them happy and take their money to keep their business. So to understand the target audience you need to know:
• Who they are? (age, sex, nationality, income etc.)
• What they like? (interests, hobbies, lifestyles, habits)
• What kind of problems they have that your product can solve?
• What value the product can bring to them?
• What your customer gains. What benefits they appreciate more (saving money or time, having fun).
• What values do they share (simplicity, concern about nature, etc.)
• Their fears or bad experience they had with a similar product.
• Their ultimate goals you can address (ego, self satisfaction, status, safety, fulfillment, health, image, happiness).
For example, people usually spend a lot of time to find a handyman. Sometimes they put it off even with a small issue because they know finding good help can be such a pain. This app video addresses that main pain point and suggests the solution. Sub-points include that it answers objections on how much time will it take, what happens if the handyman does bad work, will I be able to rate them, etc. (Varpet app)
7. The Marketing Strategy
And the final pillar is how the client is going to use the video. Your challenge here is to understand all the info you’ve gathered and plan accordingly. The goal being to save your customer’s money and create an effective explainer video that will help them to achieve the marketing goals. In this case you need to understand:
• What is the main goal of the explainer video – start a conversation, drive traffic to your website, increase sales, just educating?
• Call to action – What should the viewer do after watching your video? Contact, book a demo, register on the website, buy the product?
• What tone describes what you are doing?
• What are the distribution channels – website, social media, mobile app stores, expo etc.
• What is the role of the explainer video in the marketing funnel?
Every one of these points is important and can affect the final result. For example, if you’re going to upload the video on the App Store too then you should plan a short version of the video as well. On top of that, the video should fit the App Store video general requirements. And all the points should checked and fit each other at the same time.
How Long Should My Explainer Video Be?
What information helps the creative team and vice versa
Before you hand the animated video creative brief to your team you should filter some information. This is because there are some info that can help, but also some that can distract. Distracting information can steal the focus away from the main goal and hinder idea generation. Here are some examples of such ideas:
- The maximum budget (important, but most people don’t need to worry about that part).
- The client’s wishes if they are contradictory.
- Style boundaries.
- Old concepts that have not been approved.
- Previous ideas that have already been changed.
Of course when you have a lot of ideas generated, then you can check if the ideas work in our limitations listed above. But the idea is to get as streamlined as possible without “roadblocks” that throw a hitch into the creative process.
As a creative video explainer agency, we live by the creative brief. We’ve refined ours to the point where we have a much smoother production process from start to finish because we leave no room for unwelcome surprises. We highly recommend that you do the same; you’ll notice a world of difference in your outcomes! If you’d like to chat with us about it further, feel free to reach out at any time.
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