Contrabriefing – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

The contrabriefing is a document prepared by the advertising agency to correct and improve the briefing that a company sends to develop the communication campaign.

In other words, when the agency receives the briefing, it must carry out a process of analysis, assessment and expansion of the ideas put forward by the company. So, if the agency detects that some relevant information is missing, it must prepare the contrabriefing. In this document you must specify what information is needed and advise the client to make the campaign more effective.

Without a doubt, the contrabriefing is the response given by the agency that receives the briefing. Above all, what arises are the doubts that are generated based on the client’s proposal.

This document helps to improve the strategy to be used and, as a consequence, obtain better results. The usefulness of the contrabriefing is that it helps to correct errors that may occur in a marketing project, in the advertising campaign or in the design work.

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What is the purpose of preparing the contrabriefing?

It is important to mention that the main purpose of doing a contrabriefing is to establish a better communication process between the client and the agency. Thus, on some occasions the client presents an idea of ​​how he wants to sell his good or service. However, it often happens that the advertising agency often has better technical information about the business or the market. This can help improve the client’s initial idea and generate better results.

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Fundamentally, the elaboration of a contrabriefing allows the client and the agency to agree and be clear about the way of carrying out the project. In this way, this written document details everything that is going to be done and how it will be done.

A contrabriefing should be prepared to:

  • Better understand and target customer needs.
  • Specify the tasks and steps to be followed in the project.
  • Advise some modifications that should be made to obtain better results.
  • Ratify the project design.

How is a contrabriefing structured?

The structural parts that make up a contrabriefing are:


First of all, the current situation of the company or the product must be considered. That is, having knowledge of all the antecedents that have allowed reaching the current position. This implies knowing in depth the situation in question.

2. Key Facts

Second, you must have information on the key and relevant factors for the project. These key factors can be considered positive or negative for the realization of the project. The factors could have something to do with consumers, products, competitors, and/or of course, goals.

3. Threats and opportunities

Thirdly, when the key factors that we have mentioned before are already known, if they have a positive impact, they will be considered as opportunities. On the contrary, if they have a negative impact, they are considered as threats.

If opportunities are detected, we will try to make the most of them. While, if threats are found, a way will be found to face and defeat them.

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4. Affirm the communication strategy

Finally, the communication strategy to be used is stated. This strategy should answer the following questions:

  • What are we going to say?
  • Who are we going to tell?
  • What is the objective or purpose?
  • What techniques or what means will be used?
  • When will it be done?
  • What is the amount of investment required?
Counter-briefing 1 1
How is it structured?

What can be considered or recommended in a contrabriefing?

In fact, these considerations and recommendations will only be made if the agency considers that the briefing prepared by its client needs improvement. This does not apply to companies that have successfully completed their briefing.

In a contrabriefing the agency may observe or recommend the following:

  • The deficiencies that the briefing may present.
  • Require more data or information from the client.
  • Make new design and communication proposals.
  • Identify strengths that the client did not mention.
counter-briefing 2
Recommendations that can be given in a contrabriefing

In conclusion, it can be said that the contrabriefing is prepared after the client sends the agency the briefing that he has previously carried out. In this briefing, the client expresses and exposes the ideas and objectives that he hopes to achieve through his marketing project and his advertising campaign.

Therefore, the agency prepares the contrabriefing in response to all those points that cause doubt or confusion. This, in order to improve the proposed strategy that allows to successfully achieve the objectives and goals set by the client.

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