Supermarket C-Suite Challenge

Our Supermarket C-Suite Challenge enlisted top retail Boards to save a fictional department store using Google Workspace tools. 


As a long-term partner to Google, Man Bites Dog was tasked with creating an innovative campaign that would engage hard-to-reach senior business decision-makers in the retail sector. Man Bites Dog’s strategy took the C-suite and Executive Teams of the UK’s largest retailers back to the shop floor with an immersive event concept which enabled retail leaders to discover how Google Workspace could work for them.  

Man Bites Dog built a fictional department store, branded ‘Merchants’, that was failing to keep pace with the demands of modern retail. We created a competition for retailers based on the format of an escape room, with CEOs, CIOs and other board members from each retailer taken literally back to the shop floor: as Merchants’ staff, working in teams to solve their company’s problems using Google productivity tools.


This immersive experience put retail leaders in the shoes of their frontline staff, with challenges such as dressing mannequins in the latest fashions and implementing new product regulations. Executives were then ‘promoted’ to regional managers, solving group-wide challenges including stock allocation and rotas to manage staff sickness. Finally, participants headed to the boardroom for an in-depth brainstorm – instantly applying key learnings and innovations to their own business.

This highly topical challenge brought together business and technology leaders from the UK’s largest retailers and gave them a whirlwind tour of Google Workspace’s applicability to retail. Armed with just their uniforms, mobile access to Google tools and forty minutes to make a difference, C-suite executives discovered for themselves how Google Workspace could benefit their own organisation, today.

SABRE EMEA Awards 2017

Best Special Event

Drum B2B Brave Awards 2017

Highly Commended: Best Use of Content in a Live or Virtual Event

CorpComms Awards 2017

Best Live Event 


This innovative experience enabled Google Workspace’s senior team to engage in more than 50 hours of face-to-face discussion with more than 150 senior executives from 50 of the UK’s largest retailers, including Vodafone, Aldi and Ikea. 

The event encouraged CEOs and CIOs from prospect companies to explain how Google tools would benefit the business to each other and generated rich conversations with Google’s leaders about how their products could be improved to fit retailers’ practical business needs. 

Top journalists from the Financial Times, The Grocer, Drapers and Retail Week attended the event media day to experience the challenge for themselves, leading to exclusive coverage in our leading business and sector media targets.

We delivered 15x ROI for Google in just two weeks, plus four direct RFPs. The experience continued for almost a month – far longer than planned – and smashed Google’s three month pipeline target by 313%. 

As a result of the campaign’s success, Google and Man Bites Dog collaborated with PwC to create a global rollout programme in a box called “The Concept Store” in order to scale the Supermarket C-suite Challenge experience into every Google market. 

“Man Bites Dog’s Supermarket C-Suite Challenge concept really cracked our strategic problem – it enabled retail leaders to discover for themselves what Google can do for them as well as bringing a truly unique and memorable Google vibe which translated into multiple millions in sales.”
Barnaby Voss, Marketing Lead UK&I, Google Workspace

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