ANALYSIS: HOW TO SELL TO ... Tracey Darwen - Starcom Motive’s head of development knows her booze, notes Jonah Bloom

Granted, she doesn’t look like your average beer monster, but Tracey Darwen knows alcoholic beverages like Howard Marks knows dope.

Granted, she doesn’t look like your average beer monster, but

Tracey Darwen knows alcoholic beverages like Howard Marks knows

dope.



It’s not that she’s a big drinker - although she reveals she has a taste

for ’anything alcoholic’ - but Darwen spent the early years of her

career working as a marketer on big beverage brands such as Carlsberg,

Boddingtons, Heineken and Stella Artois.



More recently, in her role as head of development at Starcom Motive, she

has masterminded deals such as Vodka Source’s sponsorship of Channel 4’s

Slave, and Stella Artois’s award-winning sponsorship of Film on

Four.



With all this alcohol-related marketing experience, she admits that she

has to avoid the subject of beverages when she’s in the pub - ’there’s

nothing worse than a beer bore’ - so it is perhaps fortunate that her

role at Starcom Motive allows her to work with a whole range of

clients.



Darwen’s job is to ’sit outside the groups’ at the agency and come up

with ’non-traditional media solutions’ and ’new routes to the

consumer’.



As well as cleverly constructed sponsorship deals, this means coming up

with ways in which companies can set themselves up as media owners, as

Levi’s has with its radio station Global Sound Kitchen.



Until now, her work with media owners has revolved around developing

several long-lasting relationships, which she says is necessary ’given

that these projects can take months to reach fruition’.



Now she is keen to meet more media owners. But be warned, Darwen is not

easily impressed: ’I have yet to be bowled over by a single idea from a

media owner,’ she says. ’They talk the talk, but they often promise

things they can’t deliver and then end up falling back on traditional

ideas.’



When not thinking media, Darwen is a bit of a traveller and although she

admits a traditional beach holiday can be tempting, she always seems to

end up sopping wet and covered in leeches. She is off to walk the Inca

trail later this year.



She’s also a mad keen Liverpool fan - she’s from the Wirral - although

you’d best offer her a seat in your box rather than a spot on the

terraces.



’My dad worked for Candy when it used to sponsor the team, so I got

rather used to the good life - I find it hard to slum it.’



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