How to make a New Year’s resolution that will last forever – the science of habit formation

Most New Year’s resolutions have a success rate in the teens – in some studies fewer than 8% of us ever stick to our plan (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 13th…


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Your behaviour is unsuitable

It’s nothing personal. We’re good at living short and brutal lives. Indeed we’ve even codified an approach to life that ameliorates the shortness and…


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Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being…


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Inspired by clouds

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had…


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Make it clean and simple

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun…


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When you are alone

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with…


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Real time design tools

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun…


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Stumbled the concept

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had…


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Time is passing by

Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our…


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Hey DJ play that song

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being…


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Me Myself and I

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being…


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My tech travel setup

One of the easiest ways to improve travel photos is shooting in better light, and the best light is often in the hour after sunrise and before sunset. That’s…


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Learn the rules first

I was recently quoted as saying, I don't care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not…


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The new brand identity

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with…


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Sounds from the streets

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had…


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A day alone at the sea

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun…


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Some amazing buildings

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with…


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Working from your home?

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun…


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Awwwards best websites

I was recently quoted as saying, I don't care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not…


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Trust in your intuitions

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with…


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Top Deejay Headphones

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being…


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Driving the wrong point? UK Gov ‘Think!’ drink drive campaign

The UK Department for Transport’s airing it’s THINK! drink drive advert again. It’s good, but is it focusing on the right area?. Ahead of tonight’s TV airing…


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Finding your target market – lessons from the ‘Nigerian scam’ email

We've all seen them – poorly constructed sentences in long winding emails about diplomats, infrastructure projects, or legal bequeathes that promise…


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When ‘somewhat likely’ means a lot more likely – the mere exposure effect

I saw this YouGov poll graph recently. Nice clearly defined colours. Clearly labelled axis. It tells you everything you need to know. (Sort of.) [...]


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Wisdom, and crowds: bend it like Asch

If you have a jar full of marbles, you have have a lot of marbles. Also, you have an interesting phenomenon; if you ask a group of people to guess the number…


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‘Dispense With A Horse’ – the problems with a high cost-of-thought

The inestimable Maria Popova (@brainpicker) drew my attention to the very first car advert in a weekly publication, first printed in 1898, through a tweet,…


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The point of zero distance, pensions, droughts, and TV ads

A ‘tree top’ view, versus a ‘nose pressed against the tree’ view changes the way we construct our understanding of the world. This may be no surprise. However,…


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Driving habits

Habits are nasty, and nice. Nasty, because the habit cueing mechanism – which enacts the entire sequence of behaviour – does not require the original…


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Can you fake your traits? Your skills?

You are at work. You walk by a meeting room and peek inside. The voices are muffled, but it’s clear they’re shouting. A ‘he’, is shouting. You look closer.…


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The effects follow us everywhere

Rarely can you avoid the situational, group, proximal and distal influences that shape our behaviour: Our world is a spaghetti-mess of behavioural influences…


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Missing: healthy choice

The UK House of Lords Select Committee Behavioural Change Report was released on 19th July 2011. It’s an interesting read. However, more interesting is the…


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Mirror mirror on the wall

Back in the mid 1930’s Kurt Lewin described behavior as a function of the situation – as something we do based on what others’ are doing. We herd. Today, on…


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Bin recycling: communications

It’s all very well talking about how you can change recycling behaviour by adjusting the bins, but what if you’ve got only paid-for media space at your…


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Bin recycling: behaviour

Recycling paper in offices is such an old story you’d think we’d have it nailed by now. We haven’t. In my experience recycling bins in offices create only one…


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The media informs our choice in way they don’t realise. (And nor do we.)

Like you, I am a fair-minded, considerate, person. The news I read, the stories I engage with, the information I glean is considered, compared, and…


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Channel your factors

Context is important. In fact, it’s one of the big three (quasi-stationary equilibria, and construal being the others). One of the suprising things about…


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Where’s our Silicon Valley?

The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) – the father of modern anthropology – notes that Western societies constructed distal concepts such…


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Is it all about sales?

I was reading Charles K Atkin’s ‘Mass Communication Effects on Drinking and Driving’ ink to PDF download) and a paragraph jumped out. He quotes Smart (1988)…


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The Guardian Sustainable Business blog: Food for thought

I was asked to write a blog by The Guardian Sustainable Business section for World Food Day. I assumed many World Food Day blogs would focus on production,…


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Equal (not always) rights

Graham Linehan is an Irish writer most famous for the TV comedy series Father Ted, The IT Crowd, and Black Books. He has recently written a stage version of…


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We work hard to avoid loss: How to take advantage in comms and pricing

We work hard to avoid loss. Harder than we do to find gain. This discovery won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky for their Prospect…


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The height of success

BusinessWeek recently called Apple on its pricing strategy pointing out out their use of the ‘Douglas Bader’ anchor (come in high, and then dive). It’s a…


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Colwyn interviewed about The Hunting Dynasty’s philosophy by Alex Benady for Off-Grid magazine

Alex Benady witter,ournalisted,oley Porter Bell) interviewed The Hunting Dynasty’s Director of Planning & Strategy and Business


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I’m watching you (and you’ll thank me for it)

You perform better if you’re being watched. Better as in more equitably. More ‘proper’, some might say. Why? The Authority Effect: we’re sensitive to whether…


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Google: logically flawed?

When Google split their stock one staff member questioned the emotional effect on staff. An unfamiliar issue in the halls of Googleplex: logic rules (and the…


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Who will be the Ford of the 21st Century?

There’s always more space at the edge: when Henry Ford perfected the construction line (not the first moving conveyor belt as many believe – that was Sandvik…


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How do you use behavioural economics to increase desire for electric cars and bikes?

It’s easy to get someone to want a sexy Tesla. It’s sexy, for a start. (What? you need more?!@?). But with a price tag of £100k it’s a lot harder to turn…


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The dinner party kit: a bluffer’s guide to behavioural economics

Now that Cameron and Obama are talking about behavioural economics you need an opinion on it. And one that’s better than ‘I read a bit of.. ermmm, that book,…


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THD Exclusive: 100% discount to startups for BASE conference – expires today

100% discount to startup companies for the BASE conference expires today. The conference examines where business meets sustainability over 2 days next week at…


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How marketing agencies get sustainability communications wrong

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. The AIDA model. Been around forever. Since 1925 in fact. And it works. Well, half of it works. And the half...


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How Obama, Cameron, Marks & Spencer, and B&Q are making sustainability normal

At The Hunting Dynasty we use all our communication chops to make our client’s sustainable products and lifestyles mainstream...


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New presentation to the Institute for Sustainability

We presented an exploration of how to use behavioural quirks to the Institute for Sustainability.


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5 incentives that create sustainable behaviour

The coming Carbon Reduction Commitment measures and demands business pay for any increase in carbon output. Most businesses see technological advance as the…


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Death and taxes: Why your decisions kill you and cost you money

Make hay while the sun shines; Eat, drink, and be merry; A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: Our language is peppered with injunctions to live in the…


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ƃuıʞuıɥʇ uʍop-ǝpısdn: I can change your answer by reversing the order of the question

By reversing the order of the question I can change your answer. Did you see what I did there? Well, yes, of course you did – you Hunter...


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How do governments finance sustainable initiatives without raising taxes?

If you assume we live in a perfectly rational world that has little systemic friction you'd be excused for thinking that the tax-take is efficient. It's not.…


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Talks | TED Partner Series | Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking)…


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Incentives: Why parachutes never fail, trains are overcrowded, and you never meet an incompetent fugu chef

The framework in which you ask people to perform has as much bearing on the...


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The best recycling ad I’ve ever seen. (Is it?)

Lots of communications asking for lifestyle change use emotional blackmail to inspire change: Polar Bears on ice are a good example. Our previous post about…


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The best recycling ad I’ve (n)ever seen

The American photographer Chris Jordan is most famous for his large format prints that depict arresting views of Western culture: An image of a wave created…


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While you’re selling the product, they’re buying the life-cycle

You sell a 'thing'. But that's not what your customers buy - they buy the whole life-cycle. A life-cycle measured by the energy use of the raw material…


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I love you because you’re predictable – I hate you because you’re irrational. The list, Part 2

If you read Part 1, you’ll know that modern societies are organised around the assumption that we all think rationally. Sometimes we do – but we do not behave…


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I love you because you’re predictable – I hate you because you’re irrational. The list, Part 1

Modern societies are organised around the assumption that we all think rationally. And it’s true to an extent: We can all think rationally - but we do not…


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“All the world’s a stage”: The best way to get your point across

Anyone with children will know that ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is a hollow remark – as bemusing for a child as it is unconvincing for an adult. And it’s not…


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Why advertising will save the planet

Most people can’t swallow that title whole. You’re probably thinking that we don’t need a new dog food, or we don’t need another toothpaste. Or another…


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Don’t sweat the small stuff (no really, don’t)

We all love these facts: If mobile phones chargers were left plugged in and switched on they would consume enough electricity to power 66,000 homes for a year.…


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A blunderbuss is a strategy when your target is an elephant – meet the environmental elephant

Safari trips in the Victorian era evoke potent imagery: Trips to Africa with a coterie of servants; tents erected ahead of the main party...


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Your daily routine is defined socially – so why should I appeal to you as an individual?

You are wonderful. Your friends and family – I’m sure - would say you’re an individual. Unique, even. Except you’re not. You’re a routine


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10 words that save 7 trillion gallons of water

The psychology industry knows that our ability to understand the factors that affect our behavior is surprisingly poor – we simply can’t explain the decisions…


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Access without ownership – 3 revolutionary ideas that lighten the carbon burden

Access without ownership sounds like consultant-speak: it's simply renting. So what can you rent - instead of own - to lighten your carbon burden?


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Advertising ostentatious economy – Ad Age’s best ad of all time

In 1959, Bill Bernbach oversaw Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone’s immortal ‘Think Small’ VW ad. They had single-handily taken...


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Over-complicated solutions, Word

Dutch creative agency Spranq developed a new font called the Ecofont – designed to reduce ink usage by 20% and so...


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Twitter means business: products that give you feedback

If you're on Twitter you'll see a lot of the get-rich-quick '7 ways to maximise your business potential on Twitter, forever'...


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Carpet Bomb: The first carbon-free carpet company

Ray Anderson is the founder of Interface, the company that makes Flor carpet tiles (as well as lots of less whizzy but equally useful flooring and fabric). He…


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Call for entries: The Annual Green Awards for Creativity in Sustainability

You haven’t got long to get your entries in to the Annual Green Awards for Creativity in Sustainability – the excellent awards...


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Increase customers to reduce energy use

The ‘Tesco Value Range’ of energy reduction products uses The Hunting Dynasty to manage their email marketing. The strategic is simple to write about energy…


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