Spring 2020 Client Pitch -- Pandemic Edition

5/20/2020 Unknown 0 Comments

One hundred-plus video frames on Zoom. Four tenacious BIC teams. Three pitch-ready clients from Diageo. One unprecedented pandemic.

Beyond that, it was business as usual for the Class of 2020's client pitch on Thursday night, May 14th as BICsters presented integrated marketing communications campaigns to this year's corporate client Jason Chebib, VP of Consumer Planning of Diageo, Olivia Kupfer, Senior Brand Manager, and Kristina Knight, Senior Innovation Manager.

This year's client brief asked BICsters to promote Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit with zero calories and no artificial additives or sweeteners. As a new product in a relatively new beverage category, Seedlip's an ideal beverage for the health conscious individual in an upwards trending holistic and wellness world. Students instantly rose to the challenge.

But if the brief was challenging, the semester was more-so. As the coronavirus triggered a pandemic that closed the campus in mid-March, the capstone joined the virtual world and conducted the remainder of the semester online as well. Professor and Program Director Nancy R. Tag sought out new guidance on best practices in "Zoom World," including reaching out to Donna Dei-Baning, BIC '16, Associate Director of Insights at Carat, who shared advice with the team leaders about best practices for remote pitching, especially for a BIC capstone pitch. Once again, teams benefited from the insights of Javier Garcia, BIC '15, who joined May rehearsals to help coach teams in the home stretch.

As teams drilled down on the project, other issues seemed like just minor distractions, such as dealing with international time zones from China, Norway, Denmark, and Russia, video/audio lags on Zoom, and the disorientation of not being able to brainstorm in person. In the end, it was the pitch that mattered. And all four delivered...

PITCH ONE: Muv's "Seedlip Society: Master the Craft"

Team MUV's research lead them to conclude that today's convenience oriented consumer also craved complexity. Their campaign, "Seedlip Society: Master the Craft," focused on the skills, exquisite ingredients, and tools required to make sophisticated cocktails with Seedlip.

SECOND PITCH: Common Ground's "The Magic of Distillation."

Common Ground realized that what makes Seedlip uniquely magical is its distillation process. To tell that tale, their campaign allowed consumers to ponder whether Seedlip founder Ben Branson's wizardry was real magic -- or simply magical.

THIRD PITCH: Thumbprint's "Seedlip. Drink it Whenever."

Team Thumbprint believed that Seedlip's growth would be hindered if it too closely associated itself with non-alcoholic trends that have become too trendy, such as Sober Curiosity. Their multi-phase campaign to "Kill Sober Curiosity" encouraged non-conformists to drink Seedlip WHENEVER.

FOURTH PITCH: Rendezvous' "Deep Seeded Conversations."

In researching non-alcoholic drinking trends, Rendezvous realized that most people don't miss the alcohol as much as they miss the socialization. Their campaign "Deep Seeded Conversations" makes Seedlip a conversation catalyst where bonds become stronger with each sip.

Before announcing the winner and runner-up, Jason Chebib offered insightful feedback and tips to all the teams. Then the moment of truth: Runner-up went to the "The Magic of Distillation" by Common Ground. But the big winner of the night was Thumbprint's "Seedlip. Drink it Whenever" with its mission to kill Sober Curiosity. Although some aspects of the campaign were considered too risky for Diageo, Jason, Olivia, and KK noted that the emotion, research, and insight of Thumbprint's campaign demonstrated real marketing savvy.

Congrats to all the teams!! And special thanks to Diageo's Jason, Olivia, and Kristina, who created this assignment specifically for BICsters and supported us throughout the semester.

Each Spring semester, the BIC Corporate Capstone is led by BIC Professor and Program Director Nancy R. Tag who divides students into separate communications teams to fulfill the brief of a corporate client. Past clients have been Univision, Universal Music Group, and Heineken. In the Fall semester, BICsters focus on a non-profit organization. In 2018, BIC worked on behalf of Sandy Hook Promise to help stop gun violence by promoting SAVE clubs on high school campuses. Last year, the Class of 2020 helped CUNYArts increase student engagement with arts institutions throughout New York City.