The Hunting Dynasty | Psychologically informed communication that changes behaviour – forever

Why us

The problem

Humans are mostly reflexive, rather than reflective. Our deliberative thinking is overwhelmed by our automatic responses
(if you’ve read a bit of behavioural economics you will be familiar with the same described as system 1 and system 2).

Devolving decision-making to the reflexive is a good thing – for hundreds of thousands of years we lived on the margins of survival and ‘easy’ automatic decisions saved us from silly mistakes, leaving the best of our attention free to look out for enemies and animals. But today? We’ve a built a world around us we no longer recognise – we’ve farmed, mechanised, and medicalised our way into fabulous world that our instincts just don’t match; we’re ancient creatures in modern times.

Understanding how this affects our decisions – today – is the way to create predictable and permanent responses, and that’s what we do. Even in this disrupted and disintermediated world where individuals consume media from many channels, the automatic responses remain consistent.

The Hunting Dynasty use this knowledge to create communications that change behaviour – forever.

Our solution



You have (or want to avoid) a problem that involves human behaviour and decision-making. Tell us.

It could be ‘I want to stop prisoners rioting’ , or ‘I want more people to buy my most expensive item in the range’, ‘I want less litter’, ‘…more recycling’, anything. If you’re attached to an execution that’s okay too because narrowing the opportunity to apply levers can be a benefit. You might say ‘I want to increase sales on my website’, or ‘I want to stop littering with my marketing budget for TV’.



Straight away we’ll give you some well informed reasons for, and ways to change, behaviour.


After a bit more time, we’ll work out better, cleaner, and more precise levers to create the behaviour you want.


Then, together, we trial the interventions in the real-world. And tweak, and expand.

Optimisation in-use, you might say.



And that’s it. Behaviour changed — forever.

  Tell us your problem


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Our work


Who are we

what, who
Who we are

Oliver Payne

Founder, Manager

has worked in communications for a long time (LinkedIn, Personal website), and is the founder of The Hunting Dynasty. He is the point of contact for clients, author of ‘Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change’ (Routledge), speaks on behavioural comms, and organises London (UK) behavioural communications monthly informal drinks.

Previously he spent over a decade at Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy as a Creative Director up to board level on global advertising campaigns for some of the world’s best-known companies, including BP, P&G, Cisco, IBM, Castrol, Avis, Toyota, and Visa. He’s won over thirty of the world’s top global advertising awards, including Grand Prix, DMA, Cannes, D&AD, and sat on global judging panels for digital and integrated advertising. He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the Influence Advisory Panel populated by experts from academia, politics, military, government and civil society.


Jamie Romain

Creative Director

is an advertising creative with experience in direct, digital, and behavioural marketing and is a creative director for The Hunting Dynasty.

He’s spent the last decade creating campaigns for global clients including IBM, American Express, Yahoo, Cisco, Dove, and more at Ogilvy » London, UK, as well as behavioural marketing

for The Hunting Dynasty. He has won many industry awards – D&AD, Cyberlion, Campaign, and many DMAs – and his IBM Seer for the Wimbledon tennis tournament was the first augmented reality app to use live data, was featured in the Economist magazine, and is still used as a case study by both Google and the BBC. Drawn to the way cognitive-behavioural theories can create more efficient and effective advertising, Jamie works with the The Hunting Dynasty to combine the two.


Nathalie Spencer

Associate, Behavioural Economist

is a freelance researcher, and a Senior Researcher in the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, based in London. With a Masters degree in Behavioural Economics from Maastricht University, and a Bachelors degree in Commerce from McGill University, she is well-placed to join the dots between the academic literature on behavioural studies and actual business practice. Her Masters thesis investigated the determinants of

non-strategic punishment, an important aspect of the maintenance of cooperative behaviour, with a particular focus on the role of emotions, time, and social norms. In addition to her ongoing research and experiments at the Behavioural and Experimental Economics Lab at Maastricht University, she has worked with think-tanks and consultancies in London. Nathalie’s work with The Hunting Dynasty involved looking at cognitive-behavioural and infrastructural interventions to address the high Green House Gas emissions embodied in consumer use of products from the world’s leading FMCG, to co-writing large behavioural workshops for major financial firms, and everything in-between.


Dr Simon Moore

Associate, Psychologist

is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. He works with organisations and brands in the areas of behavioural economics, emotion profiling and engagement for InnovationBubble, The Hunting Dynasty, and others.

He has specialist knowledge of customer-brand personas. He is trained in

psychometrics and statistical analysis. Simon is an author and regularly presents papers at academic and business conferences. He often appears in the media providing psychological insight into organizational and consumer matters, and has worked with such companies as Sony, Bupa, Pukka Pies, Universal Film Studios, providing them with professional academic advice and research support. He has also provided scientific support in the form of media comment for launch campaigns, PR and branding projects He has a wealth of experience of working with businesses and brands conducting ‘Health-Checks’ and delivering innovative and insightful solutions. Recent work includes the development of a Recommendation Index (BRI) to measure the potential WOM reach of Brands.

Saoirse Connor Desai

Associate, Cognitive Psychologist

Is a freelance cognitive psychologist primarily interested in the application of the cognitive and behavioural sciences in the design, testing and implementation of

programmes between provider and client, particularly in policy, market research and branding. As a graduate of the MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London as well as a BSc in Psychology, she has a deep understanding of the field. Her academic background as well as several months experience with two research placements in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit at City University London and at the Institute of Education in London has instilled an uncompromising scientific rigour much needed in the field. She is particularly interested in how people update their beliefs in the face of new evidence, and how time and emotions affect how people make decisions. For her Masters thesis she focused on how this works within a legal context, looking at the role of previous conviction evidence in juror decision-making. Currently she is working with the Institute of Criminology at University of Cambridge on a project that uses randomised control trials to test behavioural interventions for young people at risk of exclusion from school.

Sruthi Chandrasekaran

Associate Social Policy, Economics

is a Masters graduate of social policy at the University of Oxford, and Felix Scholar, following her Masters degree in economics (minor in marketing) in India.

She has worked on projects with the Oxford Student Consultancy, Kenya Education Partnerships, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) where she received Cornell University certification to conduct work on human subjects, and the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development amongst others.

Patrick Fagan

Associate, Decision Scientist

is a decision scientist with both academic and practical experience in using behavioural insights for competitive advantage. He has worked with household name brands to gain traditional

marketing experience and thus has a deep understanding of what insight and strategy professionals currently do; but his behavioural economics nous means he knows what they should be doing. He’s acted as a psychology consultant for a number of clients – work which has included conducting literature reviews, producing workshops and running in-vivo controlled experiments to, say, increase sales in-store using emotional POS materials. He has been published in academic journals and he contributed significantly to an influential paper for the OFT on price psychology. He also runs, a site used by businesses and academics alike for psychological experiments.


workshop, expert commentary, book

Ask for commentary on consumer behaviour, or sustainable behaviour, and covert and overt ways of creating change.


Expert commentary

For commentary on communication, behaviour, and how presentation affects outcomes The Hunting Dynasty happily consider requests from news outlets, production companies, and TV/radio shows. We provide commentary on consumer behaviour, sustainable behaviour, covert and overt ways of creating change, for desirable and non-desirable actions.

• The Guardian

- ‘Can a change in portion size transform our bad food habits?‘)

• Pimp My Cause:

- A Conversation with Oliver Payne, Founder of the Hunting Dynasty

• Corporates, such as Diageo, (behavioural insights for spirit consumption in the home)


We have a ready-to-go behavioural workshop for marketing and business staff

- A ~thirty minute presentation

- Split into groups, discuss, re-group and present answers (twenty minutes, depending on group)


- Content includes examples of ‘overt’ comms and design, as well as ‘covert’ environment change

- Complete with a workshop topic: converting coffee shop visitors from paper cups to sippy-cups/flasks

The presentation segues with worksheet for a seamless ‘see it, do it’ session.

Within ten minutes or so most of the audience are designing comms and real-world interventions founded on peer-reviewed experiments.




Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 ways to ask for change (PDF sample)


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Domestic energy efficiency, and the leaking externality

Governments want you to be considerate with your Energy use.
It’s not (just/only) for the dolphins and the planet (and the manifesto pledge that is always there) – they don’t want to deal with the nightmare of brownouts or enforced closures for business because of lack of energy production. If you think that’s a little unlikely there are plans in place to do that this year (2014) from Ofgem (FT, Telegraph).

How do you message your way to reducing power demand?

It depends who you position the incentive. For instance, many years ago, when a Toyota executive asked employees to brainstorm ‘ways to increase their productivity’ all he got back were blank stares and lacadisical attitudes. When he rephrased his request to ask them ‘ways to make their jobs easier’ he could barely keep up with the number of suggestions.

As well as explicit meaning, words carry strong implicit meaning and, as such, play a major role in how we perceive a problem. In the example above, ‘be productive’ might seem to be a sacrifice you’re making for the company, while ‘make your job easier’ is more like something you’re doing for your own benefit – it is a happy accident that the company benefits also. In the end, the problem is still the same, but the feelings — and the points of view — associated with each of them are vastly different. Why?


As an (ex) ad man I can see how a brief that asks people to be considerate with energy use would end up with a ‘reason to believe’ (oh how I don’t miss those!) something along the lines of ‘United to save energy’. Linguistically it includes the power generators and resellers and much as the customers; Yay! you might think. But, psychologically it highlights externalities with the implicit ‘all in this together’ to save energy; leading to questions such as ‘who are ‘we’?', and ‘who gets the most benefit?’. Not only does it *not* neutralise (or better yet, reverse) the Tragedy Of The Commons externally problem, it actively highlights it. You couldn’t get it more wrong if you tried.

How do you get it right?

If you find a way to line the effort up with the reward you stop the externality leak; it needs a ‘by me, for me’ angle. So with energy conservation instead of saying ‘upgrades so we all use less’, one might say ‘upgrades so you can make your cold house feel warm’. Even out of category, with road or rail upgrades that cause jams you’d want to say ‘upgrades now so you can have quicker journeys forever’, rather than ‘upgrades now so the traffic system can carry more vehicles/trains’. All descriptions are true, but only some put individual effort in lock-step with individual gain.

It’s a shame lots of people get it wrong. The only upside is they are rarely doing it on purpose. Even so, every time I see an leaking externality I just wish they’d asked us for help.

Hours after posting I noticed this from Boing Boing about the fragility of the power grid

Oliver Payne is author of the behavioural communication book Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change published by Routledge, available in most countries.
Also, Join the London Behavioural Economics Network on Facebook
and the London Meetup group for notifications, too.

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Message! – all will be read (promise).