Warc has again teamed up with the APSOTW – the Advertising Planning School On The Web.

This excellent initiative, run by a team of senior planners from across the world, poses challenges for up-and-coming planners and marketers. It's a chance to show off your ideas in front of a seriously, seriously senior line-up of judges.

We're lending a hand by carrying and promoting their challenges here on the Warc Blog and hopefully highlighting some of the ideas that come out of them.

You can view the previous challenges we helped out with here, and read an introduction to this latest challenge here.

Now, over to Andrew Hovells of PHD Manchester for details of the new assignment…


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. We’re not looking for TV ads, but we’re keen to have a plan with video in it
  6. 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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Some links to sponsorship activation and partnerships courtesy of WARC  are below, free of charge for a while:

How Activation Can Make or Break a Sponsorship

Continental Tyres Case Study

Fanta Case Study

Lucozade Case Study


Judges to be confirmed

Expect for now it to be:


David Tiltman from WARC

Rob Campbell, Head of Planning, W+K

Gareth Kay, Co-Founder at Chapter SF

A big hitting media person

A media owner


Deadline is 11.59 pm (UK time) Friday 20th May.

Email me at andrew.hovells@phdmedia.com

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!

Good luck.