BRand Cup: Mastering Strategies One Shot At A Time

by | Mar 17, 2024 | BR Insider | 0 comments

BRand Cup lowkey sounds straight out of Harry Potter. 

But for Brand Republic (BR), it’s a celebration of the creativity, camaraderie, and hard work that define the advertising industry. It’s not just a competition – it’s a gathering that lets people maximize their strengths, put their knowledge & skills to use, and discover things about themselves that they never knew.

It was an initiative of Chief Accounts Officer Anthony Manalo to push the creativity and critical thinking skills of BR employees. He was inspired by Facebook’s Hackathon, but then wanted to put his own twist to it. So he added liquor. 😳 ‘Cos for him, quick on-the-spot brainstorming + alcohol is the perfect blend for something uniquely BR.

So how did the past BRand Cups go? Here’s a quick rundown.

The first-ever BRand Cup

Of course, everyone was excited for the first BRand Cup. No one knew what was going to happen and that made it even more thrilling. 

To start, the team was randomly split into two, equally dividing the different departments so each team had the same number of members with their own specialization. After all, this was going to be a bloodbath from conceptualization all the way to creative execution. 

After, the mechanics were discussed. Each team had to pitch to a brand and come up with a marketing campaign for them. And who was the client, you ask? Well, it was none other than Brand Republic itself.

Now, that comes with pros and cons. On the positive side, you already know who BR is and what it has to offer. You just basically have to digest and put into words what happens everyday in the office. However, the flip side of this is that you already know who BR is and what it has to offer. To stand out and impress the judges, you have to come up with something completely unique, pushing the boundaries of what everyone already knows.

And so, with limited time, the team had to design a pitch for BR. And to spice things up, the organizers decided to add a little twist: pitching while drinking! Whenever the buzzer rang, everyone took a shot! 

So after a few hazy and intoxicated minutes, everyone had to present whatever they came up with. And yes, it was indeed a bloodbath.🩸

The Sequel Usually Flops (or Not)

For the second time, BRand Cup was here again to rattle the employees (and get them wasted 😈). As with the first, this one also divided teams into two and they were asked to create a marketing map for a brand. 

So what happened?

Initially, the organizers’ challenge was how to make this one unique from the first one. After all, it’s difficult to follow something that’s been done successfully the first time.

And so, as a course of action, they decided to invite actual clients for the teams to pitch a marketing campaign to! That definitely added a twist to the narrative as the teams had to make sure they didn’t mess up because real clients were there to evaluate them. 

Now, apart from the invited guests, the mechanics remained the same. The teams were still divided into groups and were asked to pitch a campaign to the clients. And, of course, the alcohol was still there. And, of course, people still got wasted.

The Verdict? BRand Cup 2 wasn’t a flop. But we did realize (after many side ganaps) that the drinking shouldn’t be nonstop. 🤮

@brandrepublicph

It’s time for Season 2 of BRand Cup! Here’s a little peek of what went down. 👀 #brandrepublicph #breakaway #agencylife #agencytiktok

♬ BEE GEES VS 50 cent – Ez

The Third Time’s A Charm

BRand Cup season 3 was definitely a wild one. 

This time, the teams were tasked to create a concept board for a client that Brand Republic was going to pitch to. Chills, right? But that’s not the whole challenge. The hardest part was that the output should fit in JUST. ONE. SLIDE.

Now, aside from this, other bumps in the road were that there was a shorter time given and the presentation format. Since the two previous BRand Cups required the groups to create a full pitch, the time to prepare was longer. However, for this one, since the whole visual plan and approach should fit into one board, the prep time was slashed immensely.

Then, for the presentation, the teams had to draw lots a few seconds before presenting to know which of them would be the presenter. That means any one in the team could be tasked to present – even those who usually shy away from the spotlight.

Wild, right? Of course! Especially if you match those mechanics with alcohol. 😵‍💫

The Fourth is With Us All

By this time, BR had gotten used to having BRand Cups. The team already knew what to expect and how to handle any aftermath. 

But since it’s Brand Republic, things would always be extra. And so the fourth time that this event was held, the organizers came up with something different. 

For the first time in BRand Cup history, there were no teams. Each of the employees had to fight for themselves. Each had to find a way to shine brighter than the others. 

Now, this event started off by checking the employees’ house brands knowledge with a simple 4 pics word game. It was definitely an easy and straight-forward way to warm things up.

After that, the second part was called a nonsense pitch. And quite literally, too! This part of the competition – basically an on-the-spot elevator pitch challenge – pushed employees to think outside the box. Each person had to think quickly and make sure that every word coming out of their mouth would catch the client’s attention.

Then, for the last portion, each challenger was asked a function-related question. This revealed how much they know about their personal contributions to the company. After all, it’s not just the account leads that face the clients and give them content, it’s the whole team that makes brands come alive. In this part, each participant showed off what they were made of.

Overall, the Fourth BRand Cup (yes, still with alcohol) was sith… (sick..got it? got it? 🙃). Ktnxbye.

5 is a Pretty Odd Number

Still fresh from the fifth BRand Cup, BR employees continued to learn from this initiative that aims to foster teamwork and strategic thinking. 

2024’s first BRand Cup kicked off with a fun “tumpakners” portion, where employees were paired to play the infamous game. The winners of this segment got the advantage when choosing their teammates for the next part of the event. Plus, they got 500 pesos each. 💸

The teams (four in total) were then tasked to create a Moving Forward Plan (MFP) for none other than Brand Republic’s biggest special project to date – Miss Universe Philippines – Quezon City. Given 1 hour, each team had to analyze backend data from the previous initiatives, come up with a new (or not) campaign, and create a winning game plan for a successful MUPhQC 2025. 

Like before, the teams presented their works to the panel of judges and were scored based on the usual pitch criteria. In the end, one team reigned supreme and won the 5K grand prize. 💰

But with BRand Cup, winning is not just about your score. It’s also about fun, learning, and respect. After all, who gets to make a complete sentence after a series of tequila shots, right?

An End Of An Era?

*Interview with a 5-time panelist and a 5-time participant: 

What did you learn from the previous BRand Cups?

Panelist: “I got a better understanding of the people here, not just the old BR members but also the new ones. During the BRand Cup, you will see how competitive most of the employees are, but you will also see how professionalism works.”

Participant: “I learned how to wing it during the presentation. Even if lasing ka na or ‘di mo talaga alam kung anong ginagawa mo, dapat may sasabihin ka pa rin in front of the people kasi kailangan eh. At ayaw mo rin ipahiya ‘yung mga team mates mo.”

Will the BRand Cup continue?

Panelist: “Yes, kasi required. (laughs)”

Participant: “I think yes kasi may pa-prize. Parang gusto ko ulit ng additional VL.”

Is BRand Cup Up For Renewal?

So what’s going to happen next? Will there be another BRand Cup to look out for? Or is Brand Republic done with this? 

After 5 BRand Cups, it seems like there’s nothing new to make. But because we’re Brand Republic, for sure there will be something. 

But then again, who knows? Guess you’ll just have to be there to find out. 

Still, one question remains. 

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Meron ka bang lemon? 🍋Gusto ko _______  😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫

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