Okay, here is the first chunk of feedback. Sorry it's taken so long, judges have been rushed off their feet. I know you have day jobs also, so massively played to have stuck to the deadline while some of us took longer.
There will be three posts. This is the first half of individual responses. Then I'll post the rest. Finally, overall thoughts and a winner selected.
First, let say, this was a hard task. Think about content, think about media, think about a brand and overcome a significant challenge. It reflects the kind of brief's we're all seeing more of, and the blur of who does what in different organisations. Well done everyone for having a go. There great elements in all the responses.
I hope you find the feedback honest, constructive and useful. If you want to challenge any of it, feel free, you can even have your counter arguments published on here if you like.
So, first wave of feedback.
Don't beat me up for spelling and grammar, the objective is to get this out to everyone!!
You'll find the submissions on my slideshare. Some have asked to keep their work private, so not all will be published.
This will be a theme that occurs more than once. It’s good you’re precise, that you don’t waffle, but have a think how you might excite your reader, do some storytelling.
I like you have done some homework, that you are looking for the connection between the brand, Olympics and target…and really good you are looking at what the audience is actually interested in.
I’m waiting for you to conclude on this analysis, what’s your point. I find a killer point helps around here – ‘this brief is all about’ ‘the opportunity here is’. Is it something to do with quizes?
Really intriguing fact about the chests of tea – but the link the task in hand and the challenge of relevant Olympic content feels a little tenuous.
And you seem to be trying to do a lot with the budget. You’re competing for attention in a cluttered Olympics environment, I’m looking for one core idea the content and the media can build off.
I think this is about a Pub Quiz but you really need to provide that focus, argue for it and put in in the back of the net. You seem to be forcing beer with ‘drunk history’ and that’s the only role I really see for that ‘dropping of chests moment’. I only see a link between pub quizzes and Olympics because both are competitive….if you have talked about the history ‘good spirited competition a bit more, that would have been great.
I like you owning an occasion, the pub quiz, really efficient, but you needed to be even more single-minded about this.
I like that your plan has some phasing in, that it sort of aligns with drinking occasions in the home (pub quiz telly) and actually in pubs…but then out-door makes it feel expensive and you haven’t factored in the cost of the free beer, or the work of the small UK Sam Adams team to deliver it!!
So there are lots of interesting threads here, I just wanted some killer points, a concise summary of your strategy, a leaner plan and some theatre!
Rob really liked your intriguing ‘chests in the sea’ point, but wanted you to do more with it really make your submission more exciting.
Gareth echoed many of the points above and wondered if you might have written in longhand, to tell your story, rather than bullets. He wondered if you should have interrogated the audience more and challenge the brief….it told you young professionals, is this right? Gareth doesn’t think you found a hook that showed why they might ADOPT the brand, you only shared what they did, not what they care about!!!
Gareth pointed out that the stuff in your appendix was amazing. I agree – it really builds your argument, but it comes too late!!!
I enjoyed your catastrophising of the brief – we need to really cut through. Impact if you like (which by the way can be real challenge if you haven’t got a decent TV budget).
But then your insight feels like quite a generalisation. I love you recognise it’s tough for this generation and they’re focused on getting to where they need to be, but I question dreams, for the UK audience right now, it might have created more impact to discuss the fact that they don’t have time for dreams, they’re fighting to make sky high rents, or afford the deposit for an overpriced house.
I sort of like you go against this and tap into the human need to dream with the current pressure to think of the everyday like never before, but ‘brewing your dreams into reality’ feels like some good writing overcoming the fact you haven’t as yet linked the brand to the Olympics are the audience in meaningful way.
You get there with the Olympics making dreams a reality, but I don’t get the role for Sam Adams in this.
That said. The media thinking feels great in terms of reaching the audience. But I wonder, as this is an unfamiliar brand, in a cluttered time, if you could have planned something with more impact, but I can see how this might work, if only your content was a little more distinctive. You’re looking to build brand salience here, I think that means something unique and provocative, dreamers perhaps feels a bit like what lots of other brands might do for the Olympics.
As we said, much of the appendix stuff is quite compelling and you may have missed a trick by not building on your point about the need for craft and creativity. That quote about loving what you do is ace, and a missed opportunity. You can’t train for the Olympics if you don’t love your sport (as a former international athlete I can tell you it’s too hard otherwise), our young audience demands job satisfaction and stimulation on work…and culturally there is a wide cohort of young people in jobs they don’t like wishing for something more, as know from Nike, sport is an outlet for unfulfilled dreams. If you’d focused on this a bit more, that brand insight is brilliant, your great attempt would have been transformed into excellence!.
Rob wondered why Sam Adams has the right to talk about dreams, not realising you had a great answer in the founder!!
First off, Gareth wanted to praise you for writing, rather than bullets. Also, clearly articulating the challenges. Audience insight interesting---I really like it too…building a bridge between mainstream explorers and craft drinkers. Gareth wondered if the chain of logic to the idea was missing, but we’ll come back to that.
Rob loved the idea of ‘Chap Olympiad’ (did you know Frey Bentos once sponsored darts players) He thought American V British behaviour had potential, even though it has been done before, if you could do it in a fresh way, it could be interesting. By the way, he thought Boston was maybe the ‘England of America’ anyway.
For my money, great you get to the core challenge…folks need to ADOPT the brand., even better, you go further and show us it’s about credibility.
Now, it was me, I’d have held off with the key slide about unabashed American beer. This is well written, but my immediate response is that there is nothing more ‘American’ the Budweiser. I would want to see that ‘revolutionary bit’ developed a little, the founder stuff is great, but also maybe ‘the boston tea party’.
Really, really love the solid numbers and very sensible widening of the audience, this great and chimes with the Byron Sharpe stuff about targeting the whole market.
So I was let down when your analysis of them boiled down to ‘relax and have fun’ It’s just too generic. There is a lot going on in the lives of these people, not least the fact they’re looking for outlets of fun in a more serious world, which might give your insight a little more context, but I wanted to see you relay back to that ‘Unabashly American’ core. You don’t really.
But I happen to think your point about British patriotism is really interesting in the context of the Olympics….we find celebrating success and being proud of our country hard. I think everyone was surprised how 2012 went.
So actually like that ‘let go and be a bit crazy;’ thinking, you don’t set it up with your audience, but nearly every piece of research on this audience describes the tension between their work ethic and need for escape.
So I ended up liking your strategy, even though your logic doesn’t get you there….it might well have.
My struggle is the role for the brand. It needs to have broad appeal, but unabashed excitement feels a little ‘lowbrow’ when this need to be ‘mainstream sophistication’ – I guess a modern version fo Stella with ‘reassuringly expensive’. There is something great about Sam Adams talking about a world without limits, celebrating creativity and wonder. This is very American, but more specific and might have unlocked something else...we admire Americans sense of ‘wow’ while we’re uptight as you say, I wonder if celebrating independence and doing things another way, or to simply enjoy things might have been a key…and could have been very Olympics, as my own view is that there are always upstarts in every games ,not to mention athletes who obviously love the sport rather than being robots. Maybe this could come down to ‘work hard, but make sure you love it’
Anyway, I’m going on a bit!!
Culture clash is nice thought, as Rob said, the trick is make it unique.
The media planning, role for channels and ideas I think are very good. While ‘OTT’ feels not quite right, your thinking to deliver it feels great. It’s efficient, involving and very, very well thought out.
I like the chap Olympiad, it’s the kind of lovely irony that makes the brand a little highbrow. I’m not sure it’s ‘OTT’ actually, but that might just be me.
One final thing, in your phasing, you’re ‘get people to feel like they did in 2012’ feels really rich and could have been the basis for your whole strategy!! As you say, there is a cultural whole in the UK where we rarely find social ice breaker to break our social dysfunction, while Americans live to be patriotice, and our target is searching for outlets of escapism.
Anyway, lots in here, lots of bit of gold, create analysis of the real opportunity, but it’s not quite watertight and it doesn’t feel quiet relevant to Sam Adams as BRAND, rather than relevant to America.
Gareth thought it was brave to challenge the audience in the brief, but you case doesn’t have enough evidence. Packaging a good ideas, but struggled on the partnerships. We’ll come back to this, but he wasn’t sure how smart leveraging the UK brewing link was. Rob liked the discovery of ‘Britain’s oldest brewer’ but then struggled with a limited budget having to promote two brand names.
Now, I really like your point about the Olympics being social………and very male.
I REALLY like how you’ve decided to position the audience…not enough advertising these days give people a clear idea of WHO else buys it, when so much ‘beer’ is stupid and male, this is strong.
I just wish, as Gareth says, you had some evidence, I happen to think you’re right though.
I also like how you provide a place to show up…….beer is social, so are the Olympics.
Now, with our low budget, the clutter in the market etc, I would say I wouldn’t try the ‘two brands thing’.
I would have followed through with your social thing. Great to talk about culture clash and UK v US, but you’re not the only one to do this and how would you make it unique. The fact about UK’s oldest brewer DOES make it different I think, but it doesn’t make Sam Adams authentic, and I’d venture, even a mass market craft beer needs to feel ‘real’.
That said, partnering with another brand is a nice idea, just not sure it’s ‘this brand’.
When we get to comms planning, like Buzzfeed and Youtube, packaging a great idea (if they can afford to do it, might cost more than the marketing budget) and a great mechanic. I don’t like promotions usually, they tend to attract current buyers more, but this one will build talk value and story.
I question America’s Got Talent. The context is right for your idea, but it feels a little ‘lowbrow’ for a craft beer and it’s maybe too niche to reach your audience. Media needs to reflect what the brand is about, even if all the audience watches this programme, I wonder if it will create the wrong impression.
Your overall plan holds together, but Team GB and Team USA will be well out of reach for the budget.
So great discovery about the brand in the UK, but it might get in the way of what you want to achieve. Love the ‘social’ train of thought you begin, you should have followed this through!!!
While I appreciate hard numbers and such are not available to everyone, a response as brave as yours requires some.
I like your point that this project needs sacrifice – we just can’t reach everyone with the world and his wife – but sacrifice was already in the brief, with young professionals a target a lot, lot smaller than the world and his dog. By all means, challenge the brief, but explain why.
There IS something really interesting about just ignoring all the US/UK stuff and embracing the international element of the Olympics (the coming together of the 5 continents as expressed in the rings) which could link to (at its best anyway, forget Trump!) the fact that America has always been a place that welcomed the world to its shores.
You just don’t really provide an argument for doing any of this. It would be just as efficient to target young professionals on the Google display network, or brief Unruly media to smash out an ace video campaign. It’s just not compelling.
There’s lots in this, but if you’re going to ignore the brief andf there is a better way of approaching stuff, you really need to convince folks that’s true!!!
Finally, unless I’ve missed something, you need to build a target audience that will drink an American craft beer.