Here it is...again, don't judge me on spelling etc, just want to get this out!
Submissions all here.
Gareth liked the way you built your strategy like the brewing process, along with the sheer simplicity of the challenges. However, there was a question if ‘earned media’ was really a task. Great argument for Vice as a partner – but a few questions on the proposition and creative approach. While Rob felt worried about how your plans would work against the actual budget. He liked the core idea but wondered about the execution. The US v UK thing has been done by others (great minds think alike?) but he felt your tone here was fresher (great advertising stuff sometimes does the generic in a way that no one else has!!). But he wondered if it was credible for the brand and bit ‘lager’. But, and this is something that hasn’t come through in many submissions, you can’t achieve much quietly on the budget. Is it just ‘hijacking the Olympics? Maybe, nut it feels fresh he thinks.
Now, I also like your theme – brewing a strategy. There are too many ‘bullet points’ in general in the submissions and this creates a great storytelling hook. I love the barriers and task structure..always think this works well. My only quibble is that you tasks feel like tactics rather than juicy tasks. Rather than sampling, I wonder if trial should be the tasks – or at least belief in the product. My own view is that sampling won’t reach enough folks, but peer review on the product might. Now I don’t know at this stage if sampling is part of a wider communications framework (get people to try it and then broadcast that to more people) but it’s not the right time to be so specific! Same with earned media, that feels like a very generic task, as opposed to ‘get talked about’ to Rob’s point. But consideration, or salience feels right.
Now, word on storytelling, you then go on to make three key points – authenticity/counter culture, that great part about being part of the US revolution and the UK/US thing. Now boil that down into clear guiding opportunity. There is something rich about counter culture, revolution and the US/UK thing….and a bigger jumping off point than the American beer you hate to love. You narrow things down too quickly.
BUT…I react to it, so it has talkablility. But salience is about getting talked about for the right reasons – I wonder if this is just a little too polarising and ‘advertisingy’. I want something that communicated quality and is part of the Olympics, so far the Olympics is the elephant in the room.
I agree with Rob that your Sam Adams tourist idea is fresh and suddenly transforms UK v US, but I need you to set it up a bit more. And my own view is that brand work in a passive way, there is a risk he’ll just piss people off, it would need to be really funny.
Now Vice Media is a great partner, it’s watertight and will smash this kind of thing out of the park, but I wonder if you’re trying to do too much with the money. Great media planning here though. You’ve cracked ‘scale and cut-through’ (but maybe overspent) in your thinking and plan…I just fear you might create the wrong kind of talk value, and you seem to have missed a true connection to the brand’s revolutionary history and to the Olympics.
That said, the first task of a campaign these days is to be noticed, I dare say it will do that. I just don’t think people will adopt you if you have a go at them.
Rob said this made lots of sense. But the strength was also a challenge – it’s great to show proficiency in the job, and interesting for interesting sake is a big no no. But maybe it’s a little too much what others might do. He was excited by the point that it’s one of the biggest craft brewers –which means comfort in scale – the craft beer you can’t get wrong (let’s be honest, most craft beer is obscure, over priced and tastes bloody awful!!!). But he wonders if diligence has overcome a major role for planning…..it needs to inspire others to go to interesting places, be that media owners, creatives, media buyers, digital planners or even clients!
Gareth thought there was something interesting on being on the side of the little guy…but it’s maybe tough for another little guy (in the context of the Olympics) being to do this. He also thought you could have explained your partnership idea a little better.
I like how you build a story……..you are one of the few who acknowledged the need for ‘fame building’. I like how you state what your approach was….simply understand the audience and relate the opportunity to the Olympics. Few were as crisp as this.
I personally love you look for a uniting thought that connects craft beer segments…but I did want you to say why this was important. And I love the fact you get to a real category problem – most craft beer is overpriced and tasted crap. There’s a real value in bigness and reliability – if it’s ‘counter culture’ enough.
So I really like the ‘little guy’ thought personally, that amateur thought is great. Just wonder if ‘following your heart against the flow and doing what you love’ is a richer thought that ‘the little guy’. That might give you a more memorable point of view on the Olympics, you’re on the side of the underdogs, or the folks who don’t have the funding or infrastructure, just the passion and joy.
Thought this might get you out the ‘America’ hole others have got into, and made it very Sam Adams------went with his gut and the brand is about doing what you love and being creative.
So your reasons to believe are solid, but I wonder if championing other craft beers and the category in general with the craft beer Olympics will get in the way of people liking Sam Adams, v reminding them why they like smaller, cooler independents, but I might have misunderstood what you’re trying to do.
Buzzfeed seems sensible, the timeline and overall plan makes sense, video and partnerships feel sensible, really sensible, and will do great reach and frequency numbers. It just feels a little ‘native’ without that ‘fuck me that’s interesting moment’. And you don’t justify the partners enough….I know they make sense, but you’re talking to clients…they need to be know WHY they’re buying what they’re buying.
This nearly went somewhere amazing, some gold in here, just ended up a little ‘solid’. But solid is a lot better than ‘mental’!!!
Gareth thought the ‘celebrate when both countries win’ thing has legs, but he wasn’t sure the partnership brought it to life. Rob thought there was lots of good thinking, but the media strategy needed more focus…and he wasn’t sure how the ‘double win’ mechanic would work.
I thought this was maybe a bit ‘bullet pointy ‘ and could have told a story more. There was lots of great analysis, but you’re making work out lots of stuff for myself. For example, I THINK you are saying there’s a scale opportunity in national pride, but I’m not totally sure….and on this point, is this a bit too wide for a medium sized brand?
Anyway. I like that you flip what lots of people have been talking about…USvUK, and make it win/win. Clever.
The core strategy of optimising around key times is sensible, but my problem with this is, despite the fact your idea is fresh, it’s harder to cut through at a time when everyone will be celebrating and less fussed about brands!!! Pimm’s O clock is a good example, but that establishes a usage occasion ( a new one for the brand sort of) whereas you’ve picked one of the most cluttered ‘moments’ you possibly could!!
The media planning is solid and sensible around your jumping off point, but I question that jumping off point!! Overall, while the campaign is very Olympics, it doesn’t feel that ‘Sam Adams’ to establish a new brand, that’s the most important bit!!!
Now, you mention you’re totally new to planning and look forward to being torn apart. That isn’t the point of all this, it’s to provide constructive feedback.
Now Rob applauds you for saying, “This Olympics thing is a stupid idea”. You clearly explain why, but don’t really say what you would do instead. He thinks you will win respect with honest advice, but they have a real business issue that means they need to do something…the reality of global work is that it’s more important to be seen to be doing what you’re asked, than what is right. The trick is do what’s right and make it look like you’re doing what has been asked!!! To quote Rob, find the supermarket that sells the most craft beer and do an Olympics joint promotion!!. Great integrity, but you need to offer and alternative! Gareth said pretty much the same thing.
Now , from my point of view, a word on style. Delivery is everything. You are making a very grown up submission here, so maybe the Spartan nature of Word makes sense. But it needs to beautifully written and really crisp and clear, you don’t quite do that. You need your killer points to really, really land.
So, to the actual submission, style aside, your reasons not to do it are well thought out. I just don’t agree that waiting is credible, what you’re really saying to your client is ‘do nothing’. You might have said do something BEFORE. You might have said what you could have done after….but I venture that after spending a hefty chunk of money on the sponsorship and planning in distribution and God knows what they’ve promised suppliers, they HAVE to do something. To Rob’s supermarket point, you’d be amazed how slapping the 5 rings on some POS can galvanise a supermarket partner or get you noticed with passive shoppers. Even spending SOME of the money and saving it for a quieter time might have gone down well.
So full marks for your moral approach to this, but there is a world of brand politics and distributons and sales planning to get around.
Also, my own view is that there is always a way and I wouldn’t just give up. You’re right, people don’t care about sponsorships, but if you add real value and make them care, it can work, people don’t care. I agree with discernment and drinkers and not drunks………. Wonder if you had worked out what might have worked for discerning people, stuff only they would understand in a hurricane of the usual crap, where you might have got.
One the the biggest companies in the world…mostly unheard of as a brand…PandG did some great work in the last Olympics for Mums – totally fresh and unheard of before. On the budget you had I might have done a partnership with Mumsnet for example. I just think something about quality, not quality (how craft beer is drunk) would have been great and, as it happens, a great view on how athletes should train for the Olympics………and moderation is a culturally big subject in the UK at the moment.
Just to clear, as a total novice as you suggest, well played on the bravery!!