The module coursework assessment is designed to enable you to partially demonstrate the learning outcomes required for the successful completion of the module, with particular reference to the academic and skills development outcomes presented in the course booklet.
This assessment is in the form of a simulation of a request to your through-the-line agency, and is adapted from material in the trade press. It is designed to assess your skills and knowledge to understand and apply principles of persuasive communications.
You are required to demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical and conceptual issues to a practical and realistic communications scenario utilizing a range of communications mix tools. It also requires you to apply a rigorous creative, consistent and single-minded approach to your response to the brief in terms of account and media planning and creative proposals.
You are being asked to thoroughly analyse the issues involved and then arrive at some creative solutions to achieve your identified communications objectives. Therefore you must provide sound, intelligent, realistic and creative reasoning for your proposals.
Acknowledge ideas/theories from your course: in this context a more academic slant is expected than might be the case in real life. Evidence of wide reading and the linking of theory to practice is expected. Otherwise remember that you are producing a succinct, action-orientated and professional communications response for the client, so plan its length and structure accordingly.
Gu Chocolate Puds Brand Campaign
Your agency has been awarded the Gu Chocolate Puds brand communications account following ‘chemistry' meetings involving a number of undisclosed London agencies. The process was handled by the brand's founder, James Averdieck.
Gu, which plans to substantially boost its marketing spend in the next 12 months has briefed your agency to create a communications strategy and through-the-line campaign.
Since it launched in 2003, Gu, and its sister brand Fru, have become the third most popular chilled pot dessert brands on the market, behind Cadbury and Muller.
Averdieck said: "It was an easy decision. We needed a team that specializes in creating communication that is famous, popular and cultural."
Gu launched its debut TV and poster campaign in London and the Midlands created by Mother agency as part of a multimillion-pound marketing drive in the Spring of 2010.Gu sold a majority stake to Noble Foods, a leading supplier of eggs to the major supermarket chains, in January 2010, enabling the brand to increase its marketing spend.
A recent comprehensive market research study found that 30% of respondents had eaten a Gu pudding in the last six months and 35% had not heard of the brand. 40% of respondents thought it was the perfect indulgent treat in hard times, and 10% felt it was too expensive.
Your through-the-line communications agency has been chosen because of its track record of being able to deliver ‘stand-out' campaigns and communicate with people in ways that really relate to the way they live. The campaign can feature one, some or all of the Gu products in the range.
It is planned for the fully integrated campaign to take place between February 2010 and January 2011.
The budget for above- the- line communications has yet to be decided and your recommendations are requested.
Costings for all other proposed activities are not required at this point in time.
Do not approach James Averdieck or the company.
Prepare a report covering the following:
1 Communications Opportunity Analysis
A summary both of the barriers to be overcome and opportunities which can be exploited through the use of persuasive communications which have emerged from your analysis of relevant factors in the external environment. (Cite any sources/references to add weight/conviction to your analysis but your own insights with your account planning skills are also important.)
2 Application of Theories to Practice
Client will appreciate references to a range of relevant behavioural and communications theories and concepts which underpin your thinking and approach and which link to subsequent sections of the report. This academic material from textbooks or journals should be chosen on the basis of relevant application to the campaign. General descriptive textbook material is not.
3 The Communication Strategy
This should include SMART objectives and strategies to achieve them; main messages, target audience(s); desired responses and tone of voice. (Make assumptions if necessary.) A clear structure and brevity of expression is required.
4 Creative Ideas
Provide a rationale i.e. how the creative is supposed to work and sell the idea(s) and range of executions to the client persuasively. You are not expected to be a finished artist!
Simple expression of creative ideas and their relevance to the strategy is required. These will be expected to relate mainly to the advertising campaign. They can be expressed in a variety of forms including simple illustrations and/or storyboards, scripts, mailings, press releases etc. Some further examples of creative work may be placed in an appendix.
5 Media Strategy
Persuasively argue the case for your chosen media vehicles to reach your target audience/s in particular, rather than discussing media strengths and weaknesses in general. Also provide a schedule or Gantt chart of suggested media activity and provide a rationale for it.
A total recommended budget figure for above -the-line media is also required
including your approach to budget setting, and a clear presentation of media costs citing sources of information. Make any assumptions necessary.
6 Below-the-line Communications
Specific ‘below-the-line' communications recommendations such as public
relations, sponsorship, event marketing etc are required with a justification as to why and how they ‘fit' your target audiences and with evidence of module learning. No budget figures required.
7 Direct and Digital
Demonstrate how the agency plans to use direct marketing communication tools including digital media to stimulate individual consumer interaction, involvement and positive word of mouth demonstrating module learning. No budget figures required.
8 Campaign Evaluation
Discuss in an informed, authoritative and professional way how the success of this particular communications campaign should be evaluated in the context of the current climate of ‘accountability'. Recommended research techniques are required and evidence of module learning.
Ensure that all important material can be found in the main body of the report, rather than having to be ‘discovered' in any appendices.