We are an award-winning behavioural insight and communication agency in London and Maastricht

We bring robust applied psychology to business and community communications to change behaviour – permanently


How we work



Such as…

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Bona Fides

Tests administered online

Comprehension: ▼ (Taylor, 1953)
Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.28.29First described by W.L. Taylor in 1953 (and cited by 1748 other papers since) the Cloze test is a common empirical comprehension test that uses a ‘missing words in a sentence’ structure.
Time 3+ weeks
Costs Rewrite time, +100s respondents
Good for Finance, Insurance, Product use instructions (FMCG, Car, etc), Medical labelling, etc.

In detail

Type:Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.01.53

    o Cloze test, which is a fill-in-blanks test after reading/seeing stimulus (W.L. Taylor 1953)
    o Tricky and reverse-order questions to address difficulty levels
    o Memory of image (which image was part of the document?)
    o 100’s of participants (50-1000+)


    o Take existing client text (and image combination) to rework it in one or more forms, or generate new versions of description and image


    o Measure comprehension of text
    o Measure how much of relevant information from text is retained
    o Determine whether images help or hinder text comprehension (comparative analysis of ‘with’ and ‘without’ version)


    o Push recruited target through one of version(s) online of text/text image and hold them for some minutes and force them to read it.
    o Ask Cloze, Factor, free-range questions (Text only, and following image and text examples shown)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.00.27

    o Universally recognised, robust measure (first described 1953) of the ability of a text and image to convey a message via
    – ‘Score’ for correct missing words
    – Flesch-Kincaid reading ease measure
    – Positive and negative component analysis and ‘score’ for the factors that help and hinder comprehension (through SPSS, look for statistical significance)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.00.58
Suitable for:

    i. Reducing ‘brain ache’ on reader by reducing amount of copy but STILL keeping the comprehension level the same
    ii. Making sure important information is delivered in any context e.g.
    • Medical labelling
    • Product use instructions (shampoo, glue, cooking, FMCG, new car, etc)
    • Description of product where confusion may occur such as insurance products where customer assumptions are unchecked
    iii. Making sure important information is delivered in ‘busy’ context e.g.
    • Supermarket information about products
    • Supermarket information about parking, payment, bags, signage, etc
    • Online/phone/booth e-commerce where info overload possible
    iv. Robust enough for submission to:
    • Conduct authorities, or sector-specific commissions or regulatory controllers

    • Internal boards
    • Clients and co-workers

    v. Proof of consideration to customers
    vi. Proof that the maximum amount of information is transferred to reader
    vii. and more

Attitude: ▼ Scale of Semantic Differentials (Osgood, 1953)
Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.31.52 Scale of Semantic Differentials (Osgood et al., 1953) is one of the most widely used scales to measure attitudes. The test uses bipolar adjective pairs, and these can be used for a wide variety of subjects.
Time 3+ weeks
Costs Rewrite time, +100s respondents
Good for Brand, brand changing, community change, politics.

In detail

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    o Cross-cultural declared attitudes on Likert (1932) scale of opposites asking questions with scale about:
    • Evaluation (‘good-bad’)
    • Potency (‘strong-weak’)
    • and Activity (‘active-passive’)
    o 100’s of participants (50-1000+)


    o Explore declarative attitude towards the stimulus from pre-selected polar opposites
    o Polar opposites could be adjusted to measure anything: boring-engaging, unpleasant-pleasant, redundant-useful
    o Good as a test with in-field study of context affecting behaviour to test the strength of attitude on action

Push recruited target through only one of version(s) online of, e.g.:

    o Beefeater gin as a brand
    o Beefeater in a glass bottle
    o Beefeater in a plastic bottle

To see if there’s a correlation between glass bottles and Beefeater as a brand
Screenshot 2016-04-07 19.31.42

    o A cross-cultural universal understanding of the targets’ perception around:
    • Evaluation (‘good-bad’)
    • Potency (‘strong-weak’)
    • and Activity (‘active-passive’)
    o Analysis and ‘score’ for the factors (through SPSS, look for statistical significance)

Suitable for:

    i. Product changes that might not be aspirational
    • Moving from glass bottles to plastic
    • Changing ingredients in product (food, FMCG, pet, children, etc)
    ii. Getting an up-to-date baseline on attitudes
    iii. Support for other measures, e.g. a text comprehension test
    iv. and more

Attitude: ▼ Feelings Thermometer
Screenshot 2016-04-07 20.14.07Can help get close to ‘non conscious’ descriptions (hence the name ‘feelings’ thermometer), which separates it from Likert scale-type test (and moves it closer to the next test – the implicit assessment test).
Time 3+ weeks
Costs Rewrite time, +100s respondents
Good for Brand, difficult to categorise e.g. film, fashion, politics

In detail


    o Visual scale from cold (blue) to hot (red)
    o 100’s of participants (50-1000+)


    o Explore the non-declarative attitudes towards the stimulus (e.g. document as a whole or image), without prompting to describe why
    o Explore the degree of liking the stimulus
    o Can help get close to ‘non conscious’ descriptions (hence the name ‘feelings’ thermometer), which separates it from Likert scale-type test (and moves it closer to the next test – the implicit assessment test). Because it’s more ‘feelings’ than facts, it’s used a lot in behavioural assessments of children (DSM-IV: Child and Parent Versions (ADIS-C/P; Silverman & Albano, 1996)) – they express a condition without formulating complex linguistic or other explanatory structures. E.g. ‘Mum/Dad won’t answer your question’, ‘Going somewhere you don’t want to’, ‘Throwing away some old toys’, etc.


    o Scrollable thermometer with ‘hot/stressed/panic’ state at hottest versus a ‘cool/calm’ state at the lower blue.

Screenshot 2016-04-07 20.14.07

    o An understanding of the targets’ perception
    o Analysis and ‘score’ for the factors (through SPSS, look for statistical significance)

Suitable for:

    i. Challenging areas where target (consumer, constituent, recipient) finds it difficult to precisely describe their feelings or attitudes
    ii. A quick way to move beyond overt declared preferences and deeper to the more instinctive non-conscious thought e.g. for a product it may be:
    • ‘I can’t find it when I want it’ (calm-panic), ‘I trust this brand’ (show brand calm-panic), ‘There’s something wrong with it, etc.

Attitude: ▼ Implicit Association (Greenwald, Nosek & Banaji, 2003)
Screenshot 2016-04-07 20.22.32Developed at Harvard, the Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures the speed of association between a target and concepts. As such, it can be a proxy for measuring attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling, or unable, to report overtly, e.g. one may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, yet automatic associations prove otherwise.
Time 3-6 weeks
Costs Rewrite time, +100s respondents
Good for Brand, brand comparison, colleagues, customer’s ‘unspoken’ thoughts

In detail

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    o The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures the speed of association between a target (e.g. consumer) and concepts (e.g. brand, product, service). As such, it can be a proxy for measuring attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling, or unable, to report overtly. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit association that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science.

Keyboard input to stimulus on screen – words associated with image, and speed of response measured.

    o Slow response = weakly associated considered, system 2, conscious thinking most likely shaped by society and expectations.
    o Fast response = strongly associated instinctive, system 1, non-conscious thinking more likely to be a ‘true’ reading or users’ understanding and behaviour in the world

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    o Once we’ve driven a statistically valid sample through the test(s) we can interrogate the data, usually through SPSS, and look for statistical significance e.g. p value, r value, etc.
    o Map the difference in average speed between the image and text pairs in the 3rd and 5th stages of the test, and thereby show the weakly associated slow response and the strongly associated fast response.
    • Can be spider/radar diagrams (as shown), etc.

Screenshot 2016-04-07 20.22.38
Suitable for:
Many, many challenges, including:

    i. Challenging areas where target (consumer, constituent) finds it difficult to precisely describe their feelings
    ii. Testing brands versus other brands
    iii. Testing brands versus celebrity endorsement
    iv. Testing brands existing canon against audience implicit (truer) responses
    v. Understanding how constituents really think about you/r product or offering
    vi. A quick way to move beyond overt declared preferences and deeper to the more instinctive non-conscious thought

Attitude: ▼ Free-input content analysis (Maio & Haddock, 2009)
file-page13 copyMaio and Haddock (The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change, 2009), tell us that attitudes are predictors of behaviour – target is prompted to write down perceptions, feelings or opinions about the stimulus and assess their valence, without pre-designed choices.
Time 3+ weeks
Costs Rewrite time, +100s respondents
Good for Broad input for brand, large-scale community change (workforce etc)

In detail

Type:Screenshot 2016-04-07 23.22.38

    o Prompt to write down perceptions, feelings or opinions about the stimulus and assess their valence, without pre-designed choices.
    o Open-ended format in three sections:
    • Cognition (what they understand)
    • Affect (how it affects their emotions)
    • Behaviour (how it affects their action and activity)

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    o Content analysis, including phrase count (2, 3, 4, 5+ word phrases), proximal-distal language, and other behavioural indicators (norms, loss, arbitrary coherence, etc.)
    o We know that proximal words and phrases are more likely to evoke action than their distal cousins e.g. ‘imaging how’ you’re going to do something is more likely to evoke action sooner than ‘verbalising why’ you’re going to do something. With this is mind, concrete, proximal language can evoke actions sooner (e.g. ‘read article now’ (proximal, potent), versus ‘login to download’ (distal, less potent)

Suitable for:

Tests administered face-to-face

Qual groups: ▼ Factor mapping (specialised or on-site)
file-page15 copyA storytelling session group (7-10 participants in a research suite) 1.5/2 hours. It’s simply a way of asking people ‘what happens?’ when they go though a purchase/use of a product or community activity – the trick is it’s facilitated, and observed by psychologists, so we can decode verbal and non-verbal behaviour.
Time 4+ weeks prep & recruit, session 1-2 hours
Costs Prep, groups of ~10 respondents, UK/EU/USA. Rest Of World on request
Good for Any ‘journey’, brand, purchasing, infrastructure use (shopping centre, info pack, supermarket etc), new product

In detail


    • A storytelling session group (7-10 participants in a research suite) 1.5/2 hours
    • Prepared, facilitated and observed by psychologists
    • The advantage of employing psychologists over normal facilitators is our expertise and training in mapping cognitive decision-making processes, quantifying emotional experience and decoding verbal and non-verbal behaviour. All the activities are approved research methodologies used by the British Psychological Association UK (BPS).


    Comparing emerging themes (attitudes, emotions and decision making behaviour) such as:
    Physical clues
    • with a pharm client, when a group were discussing workload input, at one point target showed psychological reaction with a ‘flushed/blushing’ neck (despite no change in tone of voice or language) which hints at an underlying stress etc.
    • A littering client group of 10 all physically mimicked ‘dropping’ their hand every time they said ‘drop’, guiding us to realise that the instinctive, lowest cognitive load for disposal is a ‘drop’ not a ‘posting into a slot’ type activity
    Cognitive load – How quickly was the cognitive load of a complex information pack overcome
    Motivation to continue – the magnitude of barriers created
    Engagement – Is the entity engaging enough for attention to be sustained throughout? This is also linked to low cognitive load, as well as the degree of liking the document (first impressions, ease of navigation etc.)
    Comprehension – Is the information contained understood? This can be explored by asking participants to describe the process in their own words.
    hot states and cold states
    Effortlessness, Timing, Prevalence


    Example our preferred supplied The Research House’s Wimbledon facility hosting eleven 65+ year olds for an hour session for our charity client, Independent Age. One psychologist hosting, one observing, recoded session, semi-structured interview plus collateral to ‘sort’ and some cash-based experiments.

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    o We can employ the insight gained from these sessions to build a robust psychological map of the most salient points of pain, points of delight in terms of consumer experience.
    o Content analysis, including phrase count (2, 3, 4, 5+ word phrases), proximal-distal language, and other behavioural indicators (norms, loss, arbitrary coherence, etc.)
    o We can use this data to suggested improvements

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Tests administered in-field

Randomised control trials (RCT): ▼ Observation w/ eyeballs


file-page19 copyTest-set measuring revealed preferences by changing the environment in which people act, not asking people for their opinion. Under this umbrella of ‘behavioural experiments’, we can measure the outcome of an architectural intervention.

Time Logistics, distance, and on-site time
Costs Prep, UK/EU/USA/Rest Of World – English, Polish, German, French speakers on staff
Good for Community/population behaviour.
In detail


    o Data from real-world, usually unknown by target, data gathered by eyeballs on the ground (e.g. watching littering)


    o Bespoke, depending in what we’re testing in real environment


    o Measure affect of environment on behaviour (that can be real-world architectural environment, or synthetic website or letter etc. ‘environment’)


    o On-site observing footfall and disposals (littering or binning) in a defined space. Careful measurement of footfall, and disposal activity, including situational conditions (with others, walking fast/slow, raining/sunny, etc.)

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    o Interrogate data, usually through SPSS, and look for statistical significance and indicators

Suitable for:

    i. Behaviour change where target is communicated to through their ‘automatic’, non-conscious thinking
    ii. Where behaviour/action change is wanted, but might be difficult to ‘overtly’ convince people.
    iii. Where a ‘new normal’ and evidence of this behaviour can change people’s behaviour (e.g. bicycle racks out the front of building to evoke more cycling by over-representing cycling’s popularity, or cleaning and area of litter to make visitors less likely to litter, or changing the language on signs and observing actual behaviour in response rather than asking for opinion.)
    iv. In house, staff-change programmes where walking, or printing behaviour, food use and disposal, lighting, purchase, or transport use wants to be changed

RCT: ▼ Observation w/ large-scale data physical
file-page20 copyData from real-world, usually unknown by target, data gathered by data feed e.g. donations via charity donation letter re-written by us with a send-out schedule to 26,000 households of 8 test variants and pre-sends.

Time Write/design, set-up, and send-out/observation time (hours/days/weeks depending on numbers respondents/users)
Costs Prep, data mining
Good for Large scale brand trials

In detail


    o Data from real-world, usually unknown by target, data gathered by data feed (e.g. donations via charity letter), etc

Screenshot 2016-04-08 16.23.40

    o Same as Observation w/ eyeballs


    o Same as Observation w/ eyeballs


    i. In-field test of donation letter (re-written by us with a send-out schedule to 26,000 households of 8 test variants and pre-sends)


    Interrogate data, graph and chart relevant.

RCT: ▼ Observation w/ large-scale data digital
file-page21 copyData from real-world, usually unknown by target, data gathered by data feed, e.g. in-field test of website interface change, in-field test of B2B email, A/B between old and new.
Time Write/design, set-up, and send-out/upload/observation time (hours/days/weeks depending on numbers respondents/users)
Costs Prep, data mining
Good for e-commerce, ongoing performance tweaks, large scale brand trials

In detail


    o Data from real-world, usually unknown by target, data gathered by data feed (e.g. A/B changes on website/mobile/digital property), etc.


    o Same as Observation w/ eyeballs


    o Same as Observation w/ eyeballs


    i. In-field test of website interface change,
    ii. In-field test of B2B email
    iii. A/B between old and new

Screenshot 2016-04-08 16.28.44

    Interrogate data, graph and chart relevant. Shown B2B email.



Bona Fides

  • 1 Grand Prix – Revolution Awards (Cisco B2B)
  • Screenshot 2016-04-09 17.03.12
  • 18 Gold awards – Nudge Awards, Cannes Direct, Cyberlion, DMA, etc
  • +30 Silver, bronze, finalists

      DMA, Cannes Cyberlions, D&AD, Campaign Direct, Caples, BIMA, New York Festivals,
Revolution Awards, Clio, LIAA, Precision Marketing Awards, IMA Awards,
Méribel Festival, OgilvyOne Touchpoints, Cannes Lions, Creative Showcase, One Show, MARKies, MRS ‘Working with Behavioural Economics’

  • Work used as case studies in Economist, BBC, and Google, and Campaign no.3 mobile app of the year 2010

  • Judge of global work – D&AD, New York Festivals, The RSA


Copyediting ▼
Taking existing collateral (written by clients or their agents), we help reshape the structure, flow, and use of language without changing the meaning to make the comms work as frictionlessly as possible.
Time Hours – weeks
Costs Rewrite time
Good for any copy: brand, letters, online, mobile, signage, internal, consumer, safety (seriously, anything)

In detail
1. Consumer-facing financial letter re-organisation & word changes

1. Lower cognitive load.
The original letter is text-heavy, exerting high cognitive load.
2. Clearer mental structure.
The letter is highly descriptive. It needs to provide the reader with a clearer, more accessible schema (mental representation of what a given action is).
3. General ease.
The letter’s complexity implies that the action required is difficult. There is no clear specification of what is required of the reader. However, people tend to engage with an action more readily if it appears easy and the objective is clearly stated.

Screenshot 2016-04-08 17.03.19

2. Outbound phone script re-write to incorporate behavioural principles
    Creating outbound phone calling scripts in service of sign-ups for free Gov sponsored home insulation improvements. Existing re-written according to behavioural principles (with substantiation).

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3. Consumer-facing insurance ‘welcome’ letter re-organisation & word changes
    DAS wanted to revise comms across all touch-points. For consumers, knowing what legal expenses insurance products do, and that LEI products are available, is important. However, one must make sure the product is understood as well as testing how presentation of product affects salesi. To this end, the project aimed to understand the factors that aid customer comprehension & recall of LEI product.
    We re-wrote one standard letter in the new forms:
    Chunking: Short-term memory works best when information is chunked in about seven discrete sections (Miller, 1956)
    Schema: ‘highly structured, rather than… simply a list of features or properties’ (Bower, 1982) ‘Scaffolding’ for the mind
    Narrative/elaboration: Strong central facts and related facts can deliver ‘a human experience’ (Fludernik, 1996) which fulfills our ‘continuous attempt to make sense of the world’ (Kahneman, 2011)

Screenshot 2016-04-08 17.03.07

Copywriting (from scratch) ▼
After a standard brief on outcome and expectations, we conceive, write copy platforms and write highly crafted, polished professional copy, written by a combination of psychologists and advertising and Oxbridge trained writers. Many styles, engaging and fit for purpose with all the lessons of psychology embedded.
Time Hours – weeks
Costs Rewrite time
Good for any copy: brand, letters, online, mobile, signage, internal, consumer, safety (almost everything)

In detail
1. Aon Hewitt behavioural checklist for pension trustees

Writing compelling copy to describe and sell a checklist for defined benefit pension trustees. A balance between describing the product and the reason to believe why the audience should use it.

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Screenshot 2016-04-08 17.54.47

2. Donation letter for Independent Age charity
    Instigate and increase the donation amount from mailed letters to cold-prospects over the age of 70yrs, such that the ROI is greater than 1:1 (excluding book in the envelope/pack, and not mixing one-off donation with legacy donation)
    1. Behavioural audit

      a. Interview: The person
      b. Literature review: The person & The situation
      c. Competitor review

    2. Analysis & Framework I!do,!and!I!want!to!share!with!you!how!we!can!make!that!difference.!! 3. Letter, envelope design & build
    Screenshot 2016-04-08 17.53.48

    3. Phone script for Bristol County Council

    As a part of collateral for an in-field experiment we wrote a phone script for the Council’s phone operators to answer any questions should target households form our experiment phone their existing Council helpline number.
    Screenshot 2016-04-08 17.54.05

Art direction ▼
Crafting sumptuous imagery is a skill – making it conform to the needs of social psychology is another; We do both.
Time Hours – weeks
Costs Time, external print costs
Good for Many properties: brand, online, mobile, signage, internal, consumer, etc

In detail
1. Stravel: An app that tracks your travel

Visualising the combination of modes of transport concrete, proximal, and very very salient helps drive a new mental model of transport as something to measure in many modes, not just ‘I get the train’, or ‘I drive’.

Screenshot 2016-04-08 18.21.29
Screenshot 2016-04-08 18.21.23

2. Ecommerce website for sustainable products

Using existing ecommerce structure and client-supplied product shots, we sourced and added quotes from well-know publications in pseudo-handwriting in order to:
1. Add proximal ‘human’ angle to the quotes – which helps target ‘over value’ the impression of the product
2. Add authority effect effortlessly by adjusting the *.css file to show graphic logos inline in text
3. Designed a ‘rubber stamp’ effect logo to make the ‘human hand’ in this more proximal

3. Art direction pack for client internal marketing department

A comprehensive re-write, re-design, and re-shape, of the Family Classic brochure so it is as fit for purpose as possible. We pulled on our competitive review, primary knowledge (from our comprehension test), literature review, and existing knowledge re-write and re-design elements of the Family Classic Policy document to increase the reader’s ability understand, and their motivation to continue in a A3 document (and companion A5 Policy document) explaining exactly how we’d changed elements, and why. This serves as a handbook for future communication writing and design, too. Graphic design and printing by our partner Draught Associates Ltd

4. Yomp (PleaseCycle) a service that encourages cycling to work

Visualising, and evidencing ‘prevalence’ is required to change mental models in favour of seeing cycling as an all encompassing activity, not one for lycra-clad men only.

TV/film, Youtube, storytelling ▼

1. Scripts for VW

Script for VW (via Tribal DDB), written and conceived as a behavioural-underpinned piece.
Time days – months
Costs Time, production co, etc
Good for Many properties: brand, online, mobile, signage, internal, consumer, etc

2. Headshot, vox pops, and presentations

Various for, and with, clients, scripted and filmed in a our preferred facilities.

Altering real-world/changing architecture ▼

We have accounted for the environment’s influence on people’s behaviour by altering architecture/furniture & re-observing, unseen on-site. See also, cycle parking, showering and changing facilities.
Time Days – months
Costs Time, production, etc
Good for Many properties: brand, online, mobile, signage, internal, consumer, etc

In detail

1. Road-side furniture: bins, cleaning, and affordance

We were able to account for environment’s influence on people’s behaviour by altering architecture/furniture & re- observe, unseen on-site, by observing littering behaviour one week and then installing extra bins and cleaning the street and re-observing behaviour on the same days at the time the following week.

2. Consumer refuse collection: Stickers on real-world bins to affect behaviour

Reducing waste and recycling in Bristol with our partner, With The Grain. Designs for bin stickers durable enough to take the weather and have a ‘rip off’ tear strip.

3. Business architecture: Cycle parking, Showering and changing facilities

Bicycle racks out the front of building
Where a ‘new normal’ and evidence of this behaviour can change people’s behaviour (e.g. bicycle racks out the front of building to evoke more cycling by over-representing cycling’s popularity, or cleaning and area of litter to make visitors less likely to litter, or changing the language on signs and observing actual behaviour in response rather than asking for opinion.)

Showering and changing facilities entrance/exit as visible as possible

Permission to ride/don’t look silly in public
Fears of cycling may also include fear of being on view, of working one’s (perhaps ‘unsightly’, perhaps ‘sightly’, certainly gendered) body in public, fear of harassment and violence from strangers (on safety fears of using cycle paths, see Harrison 2001, 23; McClintock 1992, 28, 35; Ravenscroft 2004; Ravenscroft et al 2002). Giving new cyclists the chance to shift their timings so they can slip in and out without fear of being exposed as an inferior cyclist in front of their colleagues (whether this is real of imagined, is irrelevant in evoking feelings of ineptitude) is very powerful.


Comms platforms ▼

1. Rosacea website

The key aim for the client was to encourage people to make an appointment with a doctor – and so they wanted some insights from Behavioural Economics (BE) applied to meet this requirement and persuade people to visit their HCP.

2. Asthma animation

The key aim for the client was to encourage people to make an appointment with a doctor – and so they wanted some insights from Behavioural Economics (BE) applied to meet this requirement and persuade people to visit their HCP.

Strategy & comms planning ▼

Upstream strategic work that gives direction to categories of communication, as well and more granular descriptions and reasons for executional approaches.

Comms plan 2013-2014 for half of all UK domestic water companies

15,000 word plan.

Waterwise is a not-for-profit funded by water companies focusing on water efficiency, and asked us to write a comms plan for 2013-2014 (and on to deregulation in 2015) that would reduce the amount of water consumed by domestic customers. Chaired by DEFRA, a steering group populated by the Consumer Council for Water, The Environment Agency, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Affinity Water (formerly Veolia Water), Thames Water, South East Water, WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Waterwise, Energy Saving Trust, and Kent County Council.

Digital user & direct

Digital interface ▼

From responsive sites to smartphone and tablets – we have experts on staff and specific partners and can cover all eventualities.

Comparison website – increase cross-sells

Existing live interface (image, UI, and copy)
Existing mobile interface and comparison sequence is below.

Client request to apply psychology increase cross-sells, so we redesigned components. These four quirks seemed important, and repeat throughout the following suggestions.

    Social norms
    We are strongly influenced by what other people like us do
    Progress confidence
    The closer we are to completing a goal, the faster we complete subtasks leading towards that goal
    Endowment effect
    We overvalue that which we own over that which we don’t, and can instigate this with the use of language
    Cognitive load
    Deliberative attention is a finite resource, automatic thinking is more persistent – and we can speak to the ‘automatic’ more easily with visuals

Comparison website: Redesign interface
The interface redesigned to synthetically evidence prevalence by adding lots of input in all sections – an empty restaurant is not attractive.

Comparison website: Redesign interface
Form completion was pretty good.

Comparison website: Redesign interface
Comparison lists and prices demand a high cognitive load, and as such one needs to be sympathetic to the user.

Comparison website: Redesign interface
Quote details added endowment effect to evoke loss and try to drive user to return and purchase a product from a different silo.

Email & direct digital comms ▼

Direct communication needs to be effective, and both shaping the message correctly and making sure they emails can be built is equally important.

Email: Original outline and copy platform
Solstis bikes were preparing to offer a brand new version of an electric motorbike via email to interested business leads.

Email: Behavioural rewrite and design
You can see a lot of framing in the email, as the bike on offer is flanked by two others of less and greater price/value as a way of giving the reader’s reflexive thinking some context. See the pull-out boxes for more (we wrote others to deal with running costs, and road tax).

Email: Image slice and prep
Slice images and prep for HTML build

Email: HTML write and FTP and deliver
Write HTML email, upload images to our server with absolute URLs, prepare text only version for email that won’t display HTML.

Print Direct

▼ Direct Mail

We are award-winning OOH and press writers – but that’s just proof of ability to conceive and execute ‘as per’ adland; We write and produce message that are psychologically coherent as well as to the standards most research or academic businesses cannot deliver.
We have experience of creating award winning direct mail both in traditional direct mail world and in psychologically- coherent writing and design.

Develop and build from scratch a psychologically-coherent direct mail campaign



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Want to talk to about this work, or what we can do for you?

Contact us

Who we do it for

Sustainability, charity & giving

Creating the situations that encourage co-operation, group behaviour, and working with non-consumer, often non-aspirational actions relies on some uncommon interventions. Increasing a charity’s share-of-wallet relies on some key psychological pointers.

Staff, spaces & architecture

Engaging employees can be a complex set of overt and covert ‘messaging’. Find out how we’ve done it. There are some big watch-outs for non-psychologists who try to increase staff or visitor compliance, particularly around the magnitude of request.

Special & international

Tailored projects for clients with Special Projects & International Programmes that are poorly dealt with by existing suppliers, or lack scale; Disaster relief & psychology of appearing in remote communities, geology, and exploration.

Certified for Military Strategic Effects contracts

What they say about us

Case Studies

Who we are


Oliver Payne FRSA

Founder, Director

oliver@thehuntingdynasty.com | Linkedin

A behavioural specialist, author (Routledge 2011), commentator (The Guardian, Esquire Magazine, The Telegraph, etc), ex-ad creative, & manager.


Oliver has worked in communications for a long time (LinkedIn, Personal website), and is the founder of The Hunting Dynasty.

He began working in digital startups in Liverpool, NY, and London in the mid 90’s (after a Graphic design degree), shaping digital interaction and inventing some interactive TV elements that are on EPGs today. He was Creative Director up to board between 1999–2009 at Saatchi & Saatchi, and Ogilvy in London on global advertising campaigns for some of the world’s biggest and best-known companies, including BP, P&G, Cisco, IBM, Castrol, Avis, Toyota, and Visa. He’s won lots of the world’s top global advertising awards, and sat on global judging panels.

Since the late 2000’s he’s been working with psychology specifically through The Hunting Dynasty (est. 2009) looking to find and build interventions that change behaviour.

He is author of ‘Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change’ [link on this site | link to Amazon (Routledge, 2011), which wrangles together environmental and social psychology, behavioural economics, and decision theory.

He is an advisor on the Influence Advisory Panel populated by experts from academia, politics, military, government and civil society.

A speaker on behaviour at NATO (Latvia), Gov departments (Whitehall), Start-ups (Netherlands), Science Museum (London) and others.

Co-founder of the nearly four-years-old London Behavioural Economics Network which meets monthly.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and an Affiliate of the British Psychological Society.


Davina Blake-Lawson

Client Services Director

davina@thehuntingdynasty.com | Linkedin

Davina is an exceptionally experienced Client Services Director having worked across direct, digital, and behavioural marketing.


Applied psychology for behaviour change work is useless without experienced people to make the markets, and manage the ‘apply’ bit from start to finish. With a decade of experience in client service in one of adland’s largest global networks before working with The Hunting Dynasty, Davina is the lynchpin of our client Service and new business. She has a broad experience in all types of comms including digital, social, mobile, and direct mail, on brands including The Co-Operative, IBM, BaByliss, Revlon, Sherna, Cape Promise, and others.


Lina Skora, MSc. MBPsS

Behavioural Scientist

lina@thehuntingdynasty.com | Linkedin

Lina is a Member of the British Psychological Society, has a Bachelors degree in Psychology & Management (Joint Honours), and a Masters degree in Social Cognition: Research & Applications, UCL.


Her academic achievement (with the highest dissertation score in her year), and background working in European government and well as campaign teams for the a UK political party, as well as experience running charity accounts stands her in great stead with Hunting Dynasty clients, many of whom she has worked on since she joined the company in 2015.

She curated the test battery, and is a vital part of upholding the psychological standards of the experimental work as well as overseeing its journey into an applied intervention.


Jamie Romain

Creative Director

jamie@thehuntingdynasty.com | Linkedin

An award-winning advertising creative with experience from some of the biggest agencies in direct, digital, and behavioural marketing, Jamie looks after all collateral that leaves the agency.


Jamie 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. 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.


George Deane, MSc.

Behavioural Scientist


George is a freelance behavioural scientist with a masters degree in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from UCL, and experience with several world-leading behavioural design agencies.

George is interested in the application of insight from the behavioural and cognitive sciences to the domains of branding, marketing and user experience. As part of his MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences, George interned at Final Mile, an internationally recognised behavioural design agency based in Mumbai. Since then, he has worked for the award–winning company The Behavioural Architects as their Behavioural Economics Intelligence Consultant, and now works freelance as a cognitive and behavioural science consultant. George conducts research, provides literature reviews, and advises on many projects for The Hunting Dynasty.


Spencer, Msc.

Behavioural Economist


Freelance and Senior Researcher in the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, with an MA Behavioural Economics from Maastricht and advisor to The Hunting Dynasty on finance and social projects.


Nathalie 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.


Alexandra Mecklenburg FRSA

Business advisor

Alex advises The Hunting Dynasty on a wide variety of business opportunities thanks to her decades of experience including Managing Director in the digital and advertising world.


Dr Simon Moore, PhD, CPsychol

Chartered Psychologist & advisor

simon@thehuntingdynasty.com | Linkedin

Chartered psychologist very experienced with organisations and brands using behavioural economics, emotional profiling and engagement.


Simon 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.

Our partners

Propriety tools

A research agency/ consultancy, made up of chartered psychologists, that has a unique approach to business solutions – building proprietary methods to uncover the underlying subconscious processes that drive customer and employee behaviour and experience. The Hunting Dynasty and InnovationBubble work together to extend each other’s offering.

Health and well-being

SystemOneSystem One is a social enterprise whose vision is to facilitate social change and improve well-being by ensuring systems work for people, not against them. The Hunting Dynasty and System One work together to bring proven social and wellbeing projects to the commercial world. Disclosure: Oliver Payne is an advisor.

Graphic design

draught_400x400Established in 1997 by Michael Lenz and Dave Gibson, Draught Associates are a London-based graphic design company offering a broad range of services, combining typography, art direction, photography and illustration. Highly experienced, Draught and The Hunting Dynasty work together on the execution of comms for our clients.

Digital design

pEggsPixeledeggs design and build digital experiences, including development (HTML, PHP, .NET, etc), web design, user experience, testing, and deployment.

“We are ancient creatures in modern times.”

The Hunting Dynasty

Media & Published

Journalist requests for comment, or background information on a topic. Editor requests for written articles. Podcast, TV, and radio requests.

It looks exactly what I wanted. No, scratch that, it’s much better, more insightful and thorough than I could have asked for.

Leah Hardy, Journalist (Cosmopolitan, and more), Broadcaster, Author

Oliver Payne’s writing is insightful, informed – but always entertaining. If you want to understand why we do what we do, he’s your man.

Daisy Buchanan, Journalist (Grazia, The Guardian, Look, The Telegraph, The Mirror, Esquire, and more), and Author of ‘Meeting Your Match”

You give good quote!

Rowland Manthorpe, Journalist, Author

Esquire magazine

‘Has Tinder Ruined The Way We Hook Up Forever?’

Economic Rockstar: Podcast

064: Oliver Payne on Transitioning from a Marketing Creative to a Behavioral Scientist

Secret Psychology of Persuasion: Podcast

The secret psychology of persuasion with Nathalie Nahai

Centre for Applied Intelligence

First of a series of interviews with thinkers and practitioners in messaging research for the CAI

The Guardian

How Candy Crush gets you hooked – six addictive tricks. From colour theory to cultural awareness, psychologist Dr Simon Moore explains the compulsion secrets hidden in mobile games like Candy Crush Saga

The Telegraph

‘Four ways your energy firm ‘nudges’ you to be more green’

Engaged Investor

It’s time to better educate people about longevity’

Science Rockstars


The Guardian

Can a change in portion size transform our bad food habits?’

The Guardian

‘Real time advertising could play role in sustainable behaviour’

Pimp My Cause

A Conversation with Oliver Payne, Founder of the Hunting Dynasty


A New Agenda on Climate Change, by Jonathan Rowson – and the four distal dimensions: “not here”, “not now”, “not me”, and “not clear”.’Direct link to page

Green Alliance think tank

‘Meh’ vs yeah: how to make the most of loss aversion’

Hyper-local, visible action is key to encouraging green living’)

“I’m perfectly happy with my current agency, thank you.”

Status Quo Bias. Endowment Effect. Loss Aversion.


Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 ways to ask for change

Why do short-term memory tasks change our behaviour? How is our worry-profile the same as an Argentinean farmer’s?

This book uses robust, peer-reviewed psychological insights to show how to change behaviour. It will teach you how to ask for persistent, pervasive, invisible – and in some cases near-costless – change by using our hidden quirks, judgmental biases, and apparent irrationalities.

It’s of great value to policymakers and professionals in marketing and communications departments dealing with issues of resource-stress.

Elsewhere on Amazon: UK | US | Canada | France | Germany | Japan

There are several reasons to recommend this book… it is written in a frank, conversational style that most readers will find appealing… the author covers a great deal of ground and effectively summarizes the technical literature in an easily digestible format. The book also includes a glossary of terms, making it easy for the reader…

Adam Mayer, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 2, June 2014

Advocates of environmental issues come on strong… Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour turns this on its head… Payne’s book is like an industrial loom for the synapses; it weaves in strands from contemporary psychology, cutting-edge marketing and cognitive behavioural techniques to show us how… ultimately… this can be used to our planet’s benefit.

Elite Business Magazine

The most passionate and articulate hymn to sustainability since ‘An inconvenient Truth’

Mark Wnek, U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education, ex-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Lowe (NY), EuroRSCG (UK)

Nudging can be used for good or for evil. For far too long, the evil-doers have known about the tools for influencing behavior. Thanks to efforts like Oliver Payne’s, that is all changing. Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour will help create more good in the world, while bringing more fun and happiness to those who lead the charge.

Dr John Balz, Marketing Strategist, former editor of Nudge blog associated with New York Times bestseller Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health Wealth and Happiness

. . . Oliver Payne masterfully brings together insights from a wide range
of psychological research, weaving them into a coherent guide for communications for change.

Dan Lockton, University of Warwick, author of Design with Intent: 101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design

. . . If you want to join the fight against this insane, mechanistic view of human nature, you will find Oliver’s book an essential and often-used part of your armoury.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman Ogilvy & Mather UK, author of The Wiki Man, Spectator columnist

. . . an eminently accessible guide to understanding people’s behaviour and what you can do to influence them . . . Beyond its importance to the topic of sustainability, whatever the concept or product, you will sell it more effectively once you have read this book

Philip Graves, author of Consumer.ology

We assume big problems need big solutions . . . Yet, what Oliver Payne shows, is how intelligent small changes . . . can be hugely effective even in the face of a global problem. This creative engagement with human understanding will change your mind and might just save the planet

Dr Nick Southgate, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Behavioural Economics Consultant

“We do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see.”

Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, Filiquarian Publishing 2007

Speaking & workshops

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


“Great talk by Oliver Payne about persuasion and user behaviour theory. #gup” @AlWightman

“Fascinating presentation from Oliver Payne…” @AlderandAlder

“Thank you! Really enjoyed (and learnt and benefited from) your presentation at #gup The awesome power of a : – )” @Carboncoach

“…Great talk today very interesting, many thanks…” @drulawson

“…Highlights were Becky Willan and Oliver Payne. #gup” @resonatespr

“Fantastic. Spoke clearly and confidently, cramming an awful lot into just 40 mins or so.”
>Tom Bowden-Green

“Good talk by a person that seem to know a lot about what he’s talking about. Nice chat afterwards.”
>Jonas Hjalmar Blom

“great night at the #danacentre y’day with @matt_prescott & @oliverpayne on an amazing panel talking about promoting #climatechange behaviour.”
Peter Harrison, Brainjuicer

“…a huge ‘Thank you’ for your contributions… Afterwards I had an unprecedented number of people commenting and complimenting… each of you individually… the session earned a nomination for… the ‘Best Contribution to Conference’ category …that’s a high compliment.”

“I’d like to say thank you for a brilliant talk yesterday. Thanks are due for so many different reasons… You came up with a fantastic intro to BE. You delivered a great show. The client loved it (won’t stop going on about it, in fact). It really energised the ideas we generated afterwards. You made us look good. I could go on.”

“Environmentalists struggle to craft messages to anyone except environmentalists (he [Oliver] showed us how).”

Sustainable Future workshop, LSE, Oct 2009


A ready-to-go behavioural workshop for marketing and business staff

After an engaging 20-30 min presentation, the audience are split into groups and most are designing useful comms and real-world interventions after ten minutes. After group-by-group spoken presentation of solutions, the room has solved problem of changing behaviour effortlessly.

  1. - A ~thirty minute presentation
  2. - Split into groups, discuss, and present answers (~twenty minutes)
  3. - Content includes examples of ‘overt’ comms and design, as well as ‘covert’/’the situation’ environment change
  4. - Complete with a workshop topic: converting coffee shop visitors from paper cups to sippy-cups/flasks

Also includes a worksheet for the ‘see it, do it’ session, based on our bespoke ‘Damn F.A.S.T.’ model of behaviour change.





Have a problem to solve? Not sure if you have a problem we can solve?
Want to say hello? Want to know more about us?
Give us a call or drop us an email and we will get back to you.
All messages will be read.

(UK) 0843 289 2901



Head office

The Hunting Dynasty
ClubWorkspace, The Leather Market
Weston St
London SE1 3ER



European hub

The Hunting Dynasty
Collective Workspace Maastricht
Minckelersstraat 18
6211 GX Maastricht



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