Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Grab your chance to pitch to Diageo, Missguided, Schuh & Not On The High Street

MAD//Fest has announced Diageo, Missguided, Schuh & Not On The High Street as brand challenge partners for its next event.

The brands will be looking for innovative ideas and solutions to marketing and brand challenges in a series of live challenges at MAD//Picnic on 10 July at The Old Truman Brewery.

They have all provided briefs for the event, covering brand experience, content marketing and storytelling, digital technology and data.

Any business can apply to be part of the challenges, including start-ups, tech firms, agencies and publishers. Five entrants will be shortlisted to pitch their idea to Diageo, Schuh, Not On The High Street and Missguided at MAD//Picnic.

The challenges will be presented by Nick Bamber, Digital Media Director, Missguided, Sean McKee, Marketing + Ecommerce Director, Schuh, Penny Parnell, Leader Of All Things Creative, Not On The High Street, Will Harvey, Digital Innovation Manager, Diageo and Co:Cubed founder Jeremy Basset, who previously headed up The Unilever Foundry.

The live pitches will feature audience interaction and the brands will select a winner for each challenge, who they will meet one-to-one immediately afterwards.

“In addition to killer keynotes and the fun you’d expect at an event called MAD//Picnic, we wanted to try something different with our content and create a live, interactive and inclusive format that provides actionable solutions to challenges faced by many brands,” said Dan Brain, MAD//Fest Co-founder + Content Director.

“Understanding how other brands are approaching key challenges provides relevant and tangible insight for marketers who are looking for fresh perspectives by attending MAD//Picnic. They also provide a brilliant opportunity for talent, agencies, start-ups and global innovators to connect with forward-thinking brands and show what they can do.

Aside from the challenges, attendees can also hear from speakers including Not On The High Street + Holly & Co Founder Holly Tucker MBE, Google Head of Conversation Design Wally Brill and Müller Global CMO Michael Inpong.

The briefs are detailed below and applications are open here until 9 June. There is no cost to enter.

Click here to request a VIP pass (brands and agencies only) or here to purchase a networker pass.


1. How can Diageo drive more engaging and effective interactions with consumers?

Increasingly blurred lines between physical and digital add a new dimension to traditional definitions of brand experience and ensure that global brands such as Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys or Bulleit need to constantly strive for more engaging and effective interactions with consumers. In this MAD//Picnic brand challenge, Diageo is exploring three key areas where it sees potential to create better consumer experiences through its brands:

 Hospitality tech — How can Diageo help bar, restaurant and hotel operators embrace changing consumer and technology trends to improve the performance of their businesses? Covering authentication, personalisation and premium experiences.

– Retail experiences — How can Diageo enhance and better understand how consumers are engaging and experiencing our brands in the off trade space ( e.g. supermarkets, corner shops, specialty retailers). This could focus on customer loyalty, advanced point of sale displays or smart packaging.

– Physical brand worlds (e.g. music festivals, distilleries, stadium sponsorships, pop-ups, brand stores )  — With a range of Diageo’s brands creating physical brand experiences both in the short and long term, how can Diageo create a more seamless user experience by bridging physical and digital spaces?  This could focus on pre, during or after someone has interacted with a Diageo brand experience.

2. Schuh: using technology and data to drive the online brand/retail experience

How can Schuh better leverage its strengths of live, shoppable local inventory, fluid delivery options, great store staff, and customer location data on its website to give customers the best overall Schuh experience?

Schuh has:

– Real time company-wide inventory tracking including individual store stock checking

– Web analytics from GA premium (includes actual store visits)

– Location data for customers who have opted in to sharing

– Push notification functionality

– Engagement metrics for proximity related advertising and experience in products, such as Google LIAs.

– Multi-channel visit indicators

– Product feeds to 3rd parties, with in-store information refresh hourly

– Highly proficient presence management system which updates store information across 6125 individual listings weekly

– In-house digital marketing capability


– Solutions should be web only

3. Not On The High Street: content marketing + storytelling at scale

How can Not On The High Street tell the brilliant stories of its 5,000 small creative businesses in an engaging, cost-effective way at scale?

Not On The High Street is particularly interested in:

– Using new channels, platforms and tech to tell more compelling stories

– Making stories relevant through personalisation

– Delivering authentic, unique stories whilst retaining our brand style

4. Missguided: driving customer loyalty and orders in fast fashion

Missguided has established a successful and quickly growing fast fashion business by providing on-trend products to its youthful customer base. But 18-24 year-olds are increasingly promiscuous in their shopping habits. Missguided is looking for innovative ways to drive loyalty, 2nd order rates within 12 months, and average order frequency.

Your solution could focus on mobile, rewards, data, personalisation, contextual advertising, social media or any other platform, channel or technology that will increase drive loyalty and orders.