Northumbria student wins national marketing contest for major whiskey maker
Northumbria University students won a national competition to find the country’s best marketing talent.
Hedy Pang, Alpo Usno, Nongnaphat Bousai and Yamini Singh formed the winning team Inffour to beat tough competition from across the UK to win this year’s Digital Marketing Association (DMA) Talent Challenge.
They were tasked with creating an integrated 12-month marketing campaign for global exporter and leading whiskey maker White & McKay. At the heart of this challenge was the company’s 10,000-subscriber, award-winning collection of single malts from his brand’s popular competition at his annual London Whiskey Show. It was to stand out. Successful participants were invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts from DMA, multinational software company Sage and UK independent media agency Republic of Media.
This not only gave students the opportunity to showcase their marketing prowess, but it also gave them the opportunity to work on real industry projects to supplement their academic studies.
Inffour created a campaign called ‘Whiskey of the Day’ to connect with whiskey seekers in a fun and inspiring way. The team has gamified the experience so that you can immerse yourself in tasting his single malt whiskey.
Their game features a spinning wheel that excites consumers with whiskey’s different taste profiles and serving suggestions, supporting White and Mackay’s belief that there is a “whiskey for everyone.” It showcased industry-leading London’s insightful approach to his whiskey show and consideration of its execution online through digital marketing.
This year’s DMA Talent Challenge saw another Northumbria team, Breeka, take second place, a double success. Both team members are enrolled in the MSc in Digital Marketing at Northumbria University, widely regarded as one of the UK’s most successful digital marketing programs.
Northumbria are regular finalists in the challenge, having a team on the final pitch every year for the past five years, winning twice and finishing runners-up three times.
Dr. David Hart, Associate Professor of Marketing at Northumbria University, said:
“The Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM)/DMA partnership is at the heart of the marketing degree offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Northumbria University. I am using it as a means to apply the concepts in practice.
“Each year, the challenge gives students a completely different context for creatively responding to client profiles and offers students the opportunity to develop a number of skills essential to their career readiness. From insight to idea generation, channel integration, metrics and, of course, pitching to a high-profile panel of judges.
“This is a core element of working with industry to ensure that a marketing degree is unique and that students are prepared for the job market.”
The panel included Simon Crunden, Founder and MD of the UK independent media agency Republic of Media. DMA’s Lisa McLochlan and Kate Barnett. Laura Charlton from Sage, Northumbria graduate and former winner of the Challenge. Kieran Healey Ryder, Head of Global Communications for White & McKay, who led the competition. Judging took place at the Newcastle campus in Northumbria.
Kieran Healey-Ryder said: As a whiskey maker, we are committed to encouraging careers in the industry.
“Scotch whiskey is a great product on the market. A true ‘Spirit of Scotland’. But it’s a competitive market and at White & McKay we know firsthand that it takes real creativity to stand out in this category.
“As a whiskey maker, we are entrepreneurial. We take pride in what we make and know that it takes a strong creative idea for a brand to stand out. In the midst of fierce competition, each of the three finalists showed a common sense of ingenuity: we were creative to communicate the incredible range of flavors that Scotch whiskey has to offer the consumer. We wanted to invite a candidate to demonstrate our approach.
“The panel agreed that Inffour presented a strong and compelling idea considering how to connect with consumers online and offline. It gave me great confidence that the campaign would be cost effective and efficient.
“At White and McKay, we believe there is a whiskey for everyone and this proposal demonstrates a creative approach to making that happen. That is why we chose Inffour as the winner of our competition.”
DMA Talent General Manager Kate Burnett said: The Northumbria team always delivers highly creative solutions based on their marketing savvy that always win their place on the final pitch. “
DMAs accredit multiple undergraduate and graduate programs offered by Northumbria University. This includes MSc Digital Marketing successfully deployed through distance learning at the University’s Newcastle and London campuses. This course covers a wide range of subjects including location-based marketing, user experience, customer journey mapping, mobile he marketing.