The Creative Brief

Continued from Almost There.

Reno, Biggest Little City
Reno, Biggest Little City

Before we started concepting the campaign creative, we constructed a creative brief. The entire team met at Swill Coffee Shop on a Wednesday night in March. The brilliant Scott Mortimore read the creative brief to the group.

Creative briefs are used in marketing to give everyone involved a clear and concise framework to work within. Without a creative brief, many projects will start off in the wrong direction or different parts of the project, being worked on by different people, will be interpreted differently.

The key to a great creative brief is to think simple. It can’t be a complicated map if you want your team to find its way. It helps to avoid theoretical definitions; keep the language at the grade-school level. The information should be clear and written with declarative sentences. Finally, every fact or observation in the brief must be useful and actionable. If not, leave it out.

Here is the brief constructed for the Reno brand campaign:

Creative Brief


Reno has been the target of many negative polls and articles.

Those comments have had effects on our image and our abilities to attract new business.

There has never been a campaign to counter those opinions and shift perceptions.


Develop a campaign designed to show Reno’s various strengths, charms and unseen success stories told by those who’ve chosen to call Reno home. This includes everyone from grass roots, everyday people to those honored for excelling in business, education, innovation, etc.

Brand Reno as a great city with great people and tremendous pride.

Stir homebrewed passion about Reno.

Possibly create a rally cry of sorts to tie all elements together.

Rediscover and redefine the swagger of The Biggest Little City.

Get traffic from Reno and beyond to visit our website.

Target Audience

Renoites of all ages.

People from all walks — unknown and known alike. Teachers, kids, movers & shakers, everyday neighbors, unknown heroes in our midst.


This is an amazing place to work, play, raise a family and call home.

You should equate Reno as being a place to excel.


This claim is supported by people who are proud of things big and small that flourish in Reno — from winning a soap box derby to creating an app among brilliant coworkers by night and boarding by day.

Our claim is expressed through people with individual interpretations of what makes Reno so great.


Proud, positive, a touch quirky, elements of surprise.

Desired Response

Get people to embrace campaign and want to interact with it.

Recruit new stories to share.

The essence of a takeaway message: “You know, this is a cool place. I’m proud to say I’m from Reno.”


We will attempt to provide a means of engagement for every form of communication.


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