Advertising and Video Brief Templates

On this page, we’ll explain how to write a brief for video or advertising. To save time, download the video briefing templates below.

Use the buttons below to access our briefing templates for advertising briefs, a video production brief template and a briefing template for animated explainer videos. Click one of the buttons below, enter your email address, and we’ll send you a link to download the briefing template.


If you’d like Toast to have a look at your project, email your completed brief to Toast and we will get back to you.

How to write a brief?

Writing a brief is the best way to convey your thoughts to a creative team.

It doesn’t need to be an in-depth exploration of everything about your company, the more focused on the current project, the better. The brief can include more extensive information but should always be related to the current project.

Getting everyone to focus

The process of writing a video brief forces people to focus. It can be painful to boil down ideas into a single document. Focusing on what needs to be in a video and what doesn’t is vital.


A single point of contact

Knowing who to talk to is one of the most critical elements of effective communication. Pick a primary point of contact and add them to the video briefing template. Being sent feedback from a group can lead to unnecessary delays and duplication of work.

Include the deadline

Add the deadline or any milestones to the brief. If it’s a rushed job with a short timeframe, it’s best to know it early.

video brief template word format
video brief template

What’s the intended outcome after watching?

This is an important part of our video brief template. What do you want the viewer to do or feel after watching the video? It can be as simple as clicking a button or visiting a website. Or it could involve thinking differently about a company or subject. It’s worth spending time considering this element. Committing to producing any type of video is a large undertaking, and getting the required outcome is crucial.

A concise outcome will drive the creative and distribution strategy, so needs to be thought through.

Who is it aimed at – the audience

Picking a target audience and defining a voice. Some messages need to appeal to a broader audience. If yours doesn’t, you have the freedom to target a tighter demographic. We have a section of the video briefing document where the audience can be listed.

Here’s some options for the kind of audiences listed in briefs. We’ve added some detail to each.

  • We’re looking to advertise our new product on TV for the first time. – You’ll need a broad message that stands out.
  • Our audience is C-suite investors. – We’re used to making videos for a high performing target audience.
  • An explainer video for a new medical device. – We’ll need a very tight brief, medical devices are strictly regulated.
  • We need to boost our app’s users numbers. – TV advertising can help widen your audience.
  • We need a video to promote our school to parents and children. – Enter this detail into the video brief template.

The tone of Voice – Your brand’s personality

Your brand is more significant than just your product. Think about how your brand should come across to the public. Describe the tone of voice to be used in your messaging precisely.

Single-minded message

Condense your message into a concise nugget of thought. The single-minded message will help focus the creatives to make sure this message comes across.

Is there a call to action?

How will the viewer interact with your video? If it’s a DRTV commercial, are you including a toll-free number or URL? If you’re using interactive video, the CTA can be more involved and may lead to further user interactions.

Are there mandatories

Do you have to use a branded endframe or a specific typeface? They might feel like constraints, but a great creative team will find ways to get the best from your assets. If you have brand guidelines it’s a good idea to send them over with the video production brief.

Please add a budget, even a ballpark

Knowing a ballpark budget when creating ideas is very useful. It’s tempting to ask creatives to “ignore the budget and give me your best ideas”. They will, and every script will start with “open on a palm-fringed beach”. There’s a place to add your ball-park budget in our video brief template, please do add something, it will prevent a lot of wheel spinning.

Trying to shoehorn those ideas into a realistic budget will lead to compromise and disappointment. Starting with a ballpark budget or budget ranges will mean you’ll receive the best ideas which will get the most from your budget.


Who are your competitors

When completing the video production brief, include info on your competitors. It might not always be apparent who they are to those outside your industry. It’s useful to see what your competitors are doing in their marketing.

Is there any research to include

If you have market research, stats from your website or data from your marketing, please add it. Having stats to construct a campaign around gives you the certainty that the ideas are heading in the right direction.

What deliverables are required

Including all the delivery formats in the video briefing helps the agency deliver useful content. It also makes sure the idea has been built to work across multiple platforms. Sometimes, delivery constraints can throw up unusual or surprising ideas that elevate the concept.

Our deliverables lists are ever-evolving. Here are a few options we’re regularly asked for.

  • Main 30-second TV advert, with 15 seconds and 10-second cutdowns.
  • Social media versions of the main video, usually in 1:1 aspect ratio, 9:16 aspect ratio for platforms like Instagram.
  • Specially formatted screen sizes for DOOH (digital out of home) screens. These can range from HD screens to Jumbotrons.
  • Some projects require videos to be played on tablets like iPads. Sometimes these videos have an added interactive element.
  • Often, we’re briefed to provide still photography alongside video projects. These can be listed in the video brief template.

Campaign Measurements

How will the campaign be measured? It’s good to let the agency know. In the TV advertising world, the days of buying media packages and hoping for the best are over. Software that correlates TV adverts running with website visits means media spending success can be measured and optimised. Tracking of social media campaigns happens in real time.

How many companies to brief?

Now that you’ve used our video brief template and produced a wonderful brief, it’s time to involve others. The number of companies to work with is tricky and probably depends on the project size. If you’re creating the next round of Olympic pitch films, you’ll want to see ideas from all the talent in the country.

If you’re creating an advert for a new product and are busy, do you want to spend days meeting ten creative teams?

The chances are you’ll start to see similar themes crop up anyway. A good rule of thumb is: massive project – go wild, ask everyone. Not so large project – aim for about three or four creative agencies.

Need help with our video brief template?

If you need help completing our video production brief template, do get in touch we can walk you through the process.

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