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360 degrees education course

By The Drum, Administrator

December 18, 2003 | 9 min read

Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them,” wrote Joseph Heller in his novel Catch 22.

Well, forget Heller’s “mediocrity”, it was Shakespeare’s “greatness” that around 40 industry folk wanted thrusting upon them as they signed up to take part in the Publicity Club of Glasgow’s new education course, 360 Degrees.

The course consisted of six weekly seminars that took place at either the Moat House Hotel in Glasgow or the Daily Record’s Central Quay building each Monday evening, with different areas of the marketing mix being covered in depth by various industry experts.

These experts included Brian Crook of The Bridge, who spoke about the importance of the brief, Guy Robertson from GRP, who discussed account handling and the structure of an agency, Jonathan D’Aguilar of The Bridge and Nick Lang of Barkers, who looked at creativity, Stuart Bell from Feather Brooksbank and Graham Milne of Spirit Media Scotland, who spoke about media planning and buying, Jo Parker-Morgan who talked about preparing for a pitch and Stephen Hunter from Radiator, who discussed the internet and viral media.

On the first evening of the course, the students, who came from a varied industry background, including creative agencies, media agencies and media sales, were split up into six teams and, on that first fateful evening, were given a brief to launch a new US beer brand into Scotland. During the following six weeks students were encouraged to use the knowledge and insights that they gained during the weekly seminars to put together a winning pitch that would hypothetically earn their agency the right to launch Hero Beer into Scotland.

The presentations took place on 24 November, when all six teams met to pitch to a panel that was made up of Stuart Bell of Feather Brooksbank, GRP’s Guy Robertson, The Bridge’s Jonathan D’Aguilar, Brian McShane of Real Radio and the Publicity Club of Glasgow and Richard Draycott of the Drum.

The pressure was on and after six 20-minute presentations the judges were left to decide which “agency” would win the Hero launch campaign as well as which “agency” had come up with the best creative and which individual had been the most competent presenter on the night. After much debate the results were decided:

Winning Pitch

1. Fusion

2. Fifth Element

3. The Incumbent

Best Creative

1. Generation X

Best Presenter

1. Becky Duncan of Feather Brooksbank (and Fusion)

So, after six tough weeks, Fusion, an “agency” made up of Stephanie Lamont of Real Radio, Becky Duncan of Feather Brooksbank, Nikki Reilly of Scottish & Universal Newspapers, Clare Castell of Family, Corrine MacMillan of the Daily Record, Claire Thirkell of Keywest and GRP’s Stewart Kinnon, collected the prize.

But what did Fusion get out of the experience?

Stewart Kinnon of GRP said: “I really enjoyed the creative section of the course. It was so different from the day-to-day work I do in the office and it let me appreciate the work involved in a pitch from a creative’s perspective as well as an account handler/manager’s perspective.”

Real Radio’s Stephanie Lamont concluded: “I felt very proud of the way everyone worked together to produce the end result and I really do believe that, had we been responsible for actually launching the product, we could have made quite an impact.”

A Summary of The Hero Brief

ï Hero is the number three brand in the American premium beer/lager marketplace with a market share of 10 per cent. It is available in 330ml bottles and to a lesser extent in 330ml and 440ml cans. It operates in the premium lager sector and until now has always maintained a price that is noticeably higher than its competitors. American brewers are keen to maintain this. Research shows the following positive associations with the brand: “Reassuringly expensive”, “An inspiring brand for true Americans”, “A refreshing and enjoyable taste”, “A badge of ambition for young Americans”.

ï The marketing team for the client believe the key to a successful launch strategy is to capture the imagination of young lager drinkers with an exciting and high-profile advertising campaign. The dilemma for the marketing team and the client is that the overly patriotic advertising that currently works in the USA will be unlikely to work in the UK. The ad agency needs to find a way of toning down this overly patriotic approach while maintaining other core brand values.

ï Hero’s core target audience is 18- to 40-year-old males throughout Scotland – leaning towards the more affluent, young urbanites.

ï Your objective is to secure 3 per cent of the Scottish premium lager marketplace in Year 1, rising to 5 per cent by the end of Year 2 and to establish high brand loyalty in the premium lager sector (setting measurable targets) without resorting to wholesale price discounting.

ï The launch budget is £1m in Year 1, including all aspects of creative design and production, as well as media costs.

Brief Summary of Fusion’s Winning Presentation

We believe that the lager-drinking market, the target for Hero Beer, can be broken down into two distinct attitudes: young drinkers and older drinkers.

ï Young drinkers are young at heart, at an early stage in their chosen careers and are not looking to settle down yet. They work hard and play hard and they spend their money as quickly as they earn it. They use brands and labels as a demonstration of their success and they feel that it is very important to keep up with all the latest trends. They are highly sociable and dislike spending time alone.

ï Older drinkers have been there and done that. They are sociable, but have an established group of friends that they socialise with. They prefer mainstream brands, but will buy an own label brand if they believe it is as good as a premium brand. They like the idea of treating and indulging themselves, but only after taking care of their responsibilities. They are more likely to drink at home and drink to relax, get over their day and to experience the taste.

Media Strategy

Advertisers are turning to more varied opportunities – traditional media spend has begun to fall, while below-the-line activity in on- and off-trade grows, as does sponsorship of TV programmes, music and sports events.

ï TV drives awareness, and regular sharp, witty, high-quality executions will create brand affinity. Rise in the use of C4, C5 and satellite stations, chases the audience in their appointments to view. Radio is used primarily to promote events/sponsorships or on and around dance shows at the weekends. Cinema tends to add longevity to campaigns and an aspirational element. Press is rarely used and, when it is, is normally to promote special offers or announce news of upcoming sponsored events. Larger outdoor formats offer branding opportunities while smaller street sizes surround the consumer in their everyday environments, providing frequency and prompt to purchase. Bars and clubs give the ultimate stage for a booze brand’s message.

Creative Strategy

The single key point in this is the brand’s name – Hero. It is distinctive in our marketplace and a dying notion in our cynical age. Our proposition is – everyone loves a Hero – this one won’t let you down. We will aim for a jokey tone of voice as amusing ads will become memorable and give the advertising/brand talkability.

TV Script:

INT: TRENDY BAR/CLUB; NIGHT

Centre shot of three youthful (twenty-something) men at a circular table near the bar. We pan up to see the fourth man enter the shot from left carrying four bottles of Hero Premium Lager. He looks excited as we follow him handing out the drinks, we settle on the three taking small sips while he places his at the fore of the table, label clearly facing front, and takes his seat.

CUT TO: Double shot of MAN 1 and MAN 2, who sit alongside each other.

MAN 1: You’ll never guess who I just saw at the bar!

MAN 2: Who?

MAN 1: Alan Hansen.

CUT TO: Wide-angle table shot

MAN 3: What a legend! He was my childhood hero...

All three take a large swig of Hero, labels clearly showing

CUT TO: The clip of Hansen in the Spain 1978 World Cup. When Hanson collides with Miller we ...

CUT TO: The Hero bottle on a black background, “Time to try a new Hero?” fades in above the bottle.

Radio Promotions

There will be a combination of advertising and sponsorship and promotions activity across Scotland and a range of stations will be used to maximise the target audience: Real Radio Scotland, Radio Clyde, Forth, Beat 106, Northsound, Tay, Borders and MFR. By December, the brand will be already recognised, due to the TV advertising across Scotland. We will look to tie in the TV/outdoor advertising and marketing theme and we will invite listeners to nominate their own favourite “sporting blooper”. This will be very much a male-orientated competition airing on all SRH stations plus Beat 106.

The prizes could include your “blooper” being featured on the next batch of Hero advertising, plus tickets to the next Scotland match, a case of Hero and cash. There is scope for tie-in with beer mats in pubs – filling in a form of the back of the beer mats with your “sporting blooper” nomination.

Also we will launch “Real Heros” around the early summer, when the campaign first launches. This promotion is designed to raise and create immediate impact across Central Scotland – the activity will air on Real Radio. Cracks are starting to show in the celebrity culture as we recognise the true heroes of today: firemen, doctors, nurses, policemen, and so on. Listeners must nominate a “Real Hero” that they know, and compete for the chance to win a family holiday to California,

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