Right, it’s finally time for a new APSOTW project.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about read this.
We’re going to do something that’s very relevant for lots of different kinds of agencies at the moment.
The general blur between media, creative work, comms planning and that hateful word 'content'.
First point, if you work in an ad agency, don't expect to making ads forever and perhaps expect to be working for a media owner soon.
It also means that whatever kind of planner you are (and for me there is only one - the person who identifies the task for communications and how to achieve that task using evidence based insight that should include a sweet spot between consumer, market and brand/product) you need to be thinking about a wider skill-set.
If you work in a digital agency, clients seem to expect decent channel planning, perhaps more that 'creative planning' (whatever that is...maybe the dreaded 'ad tweaking').
There are more standalone communications or brand planning shops these days where clients expect not just creative strategy etc but channel recommendations.
Then of course, there's media agencies. Long held in great suspicion by creative agencies, as they seem to want to do the creative and own more of the lead agency status.
But then again, I'd wager creative agencies lost the automatic right to the top table by forgetting to talk about business and navel gazing more and more. No one cares if a brand model should be about purpose, community or whatever, especially shareholders, they care about silly things like business growth, margin and selling things.
There's no point moaning about clients spending more money on short term, measurable stuff like PPC and search when, basically, it means youve lost the argument, or where too complacemt for too long.
I work in a media agency now and increasingly find I'm asked, at the very least, to collaborate with a creative agency in a partnership fashion when it comes to leading strategy. However, I also find more and more that clients leadership and ideas as much as plans...and this often entails ideas about content and working with all sorts of partners to deliver this, from folks who own media channels, to vloggers and even entertainers.
Now, lets be clear, a well thought out, barn-storming ad campaign is still the most efficient use of money, but as people become hard to reach on TV and the costs are going up, while more folks block digital ads great, creative thinking across the entire piece and finding a way to show in people's lives is becoming more important than ever, and in many cases, media folks get landed with more and more of the responsibility.
So this is about a brief where the thinking is about channels, media and out-smarting the competition when you haven't got the luxury of a massive budget. This is what I seem to do with my day to day more and more, and what planners in any agency have to think about now.
And to make it more current, we’re going to build it around the 2016 Olympics, the event every four years that sees an avalanche of sponsorships, ads and God knows what.
And it’s a really simple brief.
Your client is Sam Adams Beer. An authentic Craft Beer Company based in Boston (the United States) - Google it.
The UK marketing team has come direct to you, a media agency with a brief. There are no agency competitors, basically, if they like your response, you get the business.
They have come to a media agency because they believe they’ll get great communications strategy, ideas and effective channel selection- and they don’t have any creative agency and want you to sort it. This is not a rare thing these days.
The brief is as follows:
Sam Adams is looking to grow aggressively, taking advantage of the global growth in authentic craft beers. To help us with this, we have agreed a deal with to be a bottom tier sponsor of the Olympic Games. This has been a considerable investment for us and we need to extract maximum value.
The UK has been identified as a key growth market for us. We have a budget of 400,000 US dollars to spend to activate our Olympic sponsorship and build our brand.
We have good distribution in all UK large supermarkets and upmarket bars.
What we need from you
We know that 400K isn’t a lot of money in what is going to be a very cluttered environment.
We want an integrated plan from you that will give us the confidence you will make a dent in the universe. Our bottom tier status means we don't even get any visibility on perimeter boards or anything, it's just that really prized permission to use the logo.
We don’t have any credibility in the UK yet, and therefore we’re looking for a strategy built around partnerships. Who this might be we leave to you.
We also have no extra budget for any creative work and have no assets as the global assets are very US focused and, we feel, not that relevant for the UK…so partners will need to help us create content.
We don’t have any specific phasing in mind – we just want to know that by the end of September 2016 we have seen an uplift in our UK fortunes
How we will judge your response
- Show us how you will kick start brand consideration – but more importantly, how you build fame and get our brand talked about, as we are worried we won’t cut through – we don’t think we’re looking for TV spots here, especially as we haven’t any creative and we’ll get lost.If you're going to talk TV, you'll need to be creative and convince us.
- Show us you understand our brand and will activate in a way that is relevant to the Olympics and what it might mean to the UK –we’re looking to reach as much of our market as we can
- Show us how you will connect with what our target market (busy young men and women with a good level of disposable income) care about. We want them to adopt our brand, not just buy it.
- We haven’t a UK website or any digital hub and have no plans to build one. Please show us how you might get around this (we’re keen to have some sort of presence with a partner)
- We’re not looking for TV ads, but we’re keen to have a plan with video in it
- Crystal clear thinking as to the best phasing for this campaign, in terms of before, during and after the games
We’re in Boston in four weeks time with the global marketing team. We’d like a written response that not only blows out socks off, but one that we will be able to share with the rest of the global team. So it needs to be simple, concise and utterly compelling. It’s up to you if that’s powerpoint, PDF or whatever.
Don’t worry too much about the nuts and bolts in terms of frequency curves and such, what we want to see:
Clear exploration of our opportunity and what challenges we need to overcome
What your jumping off point is – some sort of insight (consumer, culture, market)
A clear idea
How your channels selection will bring it to life….and what content you and your recommended partners will create”
Some clues for you
- The budget they're giving you could get a pretty decent TV programme sponsorship, an ad funded programme with change to spare for digital, throwing the kitchen sink at something with Buzzfeed or partnering with Youtube stars….don’t worry TOO much about knowing the ins and outs of UK media costs, channel selection... integration and great ideas are a must though
- The size of an audience interested in the Olympics specifically, v something bigger that sport and the Olympics in general are relevant is an interesting thing to consider, as is the role of craft beer in the lives of the audience.
- Some links to sponsorship activation and partnerships courtesy of WARC are below, free of charge for a while:
Judges to be confirmed
Expect for now it to be:
A big hitting media person
A media owner
Deadline is 11.59 pm (UK time) Friday 20th May.
Email me at email@example.com (not the email in the menu on this blog)
Any questions just fire away.
Haven't thought about a prize yet - it's not really about a winner anyway, but I'll think of something.
Oh, and when you submit, please let me know if you DON'T want your submission published, otherwise it probably will be!