Jamming brand and mission
SCOTT OXFORD: 00:02.224 [music] Gidday, I'm Scott Oxford. Welcome to Brand Jam, the podcast where we love to jam about brand because brand is our jam. [music] I'm your regular, everyday brand evangelist. My day job's head of strategy and creative for New Word Order, an Australian brand and creative agency, so I live and breathe brand every day, and talking to people who own, manage, or empower brands is my happy place. Today we're talking mission and the way an industry, my industry in particular, can support a business with a singular mission and make a difference to people's lives. I'm jamming today with Jenni Hayward, general manager of Mood, a new tea brand that exists to fight youth suicide. [music]
JENNI HAYWARD: 00:45.903 They care about social purpose, and social issues, and they're ready to vote with their dollar and be buying brands that represent their value. [music]
SCOTT OXFORD: 00:56.018 Starting her career in London, Jenni cut her teeth in PR working with global brands including Nokia, Burger King, and Belvedere Vodka. In 2016, after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, travelling solo through South America, she landed in Australia. In search of a role with purpose, not that selling booze and burgers wasn't good for the soul, she found Unltd. Unltd, if you're looking for it online, it’s spelt U-N-L-T-D, and we're going to find out a lot more about it today. Unltd is the media industry's social purpose organisation. Jenni joined to develop its events business. Over two years she built out the portfolio from 2 to 25 events and in 2020 she was appointed GM of Unltd's new social enterprise, Little Colossus. She was tasked with launching a consumer-facing brand and starting the business from scratch. And Mood was born. Mood exists to fight the number one killer of young people in Australia, suicide. That's why 100% of profits fund mental health programs for young people. Just six months since launch and over $140,000 worth of tea sold, Mood is already saving young lives. Jenni, I'm so excited to welcome you to Brand Jam.
JENNI HAYWARD: 02:05.294 Oh, thanks, Scott. I'm excited to be here.
SCOTT OXFORD: 02:07.633 I want to start with Unltd. Because we've got a few brands that you're involved with that we were going to talk about today, but let's start with Unltd. And it's our, the media industry's, way of pulling together to tap into the generosity that exists within all of us. How did it first come to be?
JENNI HAYWARD: 02:26.041 Yeah, well, Unltd is quite a unique beast, actually. 15 years ago, one man, Kerry McCabe, he was working in the industry and decided that we're such a privileged bunch really, and really felt like he wanted to give back and to help young, underprivileged people. And so what he did was he basically got a lot of media owners together in a room, got them to donate some inventory and auctioned it off. And he raised $300,000 in that evening and gave those funds to charities working with youth at risk. So that's how it began and it's evolved and grown over those 15 years to be what it is today. We're in-- we've just launched in Brisbane, actually, where you are, Scott.
SCOTT OXFORD: 03:14.854 I know, I'm excited about that.
JENNI HAYWARD: 03:16.965 We launched this week, actually. But we are in New South Wales, in Victoria, in WA, and now in Queensland. And what we do is we really exist to bring the industry together. So media owners, agencies, creatives, techs, to come together to help youth at risks. And how that works is through donated inventory. Like in Kerry's first days, people are still donating inventory which we onsell to media agencies and then on to the likes of Telstra and Woolies. And we also run events. So we bring the industry together. We run events from sailing and surfing to big gala dinner, balls, and we're able to get the industry sort of engaged with charities who are working with youth at risk. And so that can sometimes look like creating an ad campaign for one of those charities or helping build their website and really utilising everyone's skills for good.
SCOTT OXFORD: 04:23.406 Yeah, absolutely. Such practical tools and abilities in all of our kit bags in this industry as well that these organizations would otherwise have little or no access to, and any funds spent on developing those things are funds that aren't being put to other work. And they're usually supported by a lot of other generosity, so there are a lot of great things there, and it's very empowering for an industry who, no doubt, many of our colleagues are already supporting in other ways as well. Because I know it is a generous industry, but what a great sort of inner focus as well. And an excellent title as well, because what I like about UnLtd as a name is that we spend our lives in agencyland with finite budgets and limitations, and there's something very freeing, I think, something unlimited, I think, about being able just to give the best of your ideas and your abilities and what you have on offer in this way. So it's pretty cool. Pretty cool.
JENNI HAYWARD: 05:31.501 On that, actually, Scott, we started life as the MAYDAY Trust, which was Media Assisting Youth, and we went through a rebrand as an organization. And really to your point, what we believe in is that every young person deserves unlimited possibilities and also that unlimited power that we have as an industry to help. And so that was a very long sort of rebranding process that the organization went through a few years ago.
SCOTT OXFORD: 06:01.730 Yeah. And so I'm guessing members of the industry listening can jump on the website, and we can throw those details into the show notes, as well, but it would be pretty easy to search online right now, if you've got Google open, "UnLtd" and explore the ways that they can get involved and find a way of being a part of it. And as you said, for those of us in Brisbane, there's a brand-new branch open up here, so I'm sure we're going to be hearing a lot more locally about it as well. And so from the remit of working with youth, you've taken a particular sort of focus on youth suicides as a problem to tackle. Is that considered, probably, the top challenge facing young people today?
JENNI HAYWARD: 06:48.076 Yeah, well, look, at UnLtd, we work with 25 charity partners who all specialise in different areas of youth at risk. But one common thread that we saw through all of the young people that we're working with here in the at-risk space, and beyond, is mental health and mental health challenges. And the fact that in this country, suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians is just something that we felt was completely unacceptable. It's a preventable cause of death, and in such a rich, privileged country, it's just devastating that that's the case. So I think when we look to-- so we're going to go on to talk about this in a moment, but when we look to focus on Little Colossus and more specifically, MOOD, we wanted to really focus on one issue or-- at this point, it's a crisis, really, that we're facing-- that we could tackle with that specific product and also something that consumers-- UnLtd is a B2B brand, really. We we exist within the media industry, but we're not consumer-facing. So when we were looking to launch a consumer-facing brand, we wanted to ensure that the issue is easy to communicate and something that people can really feel emotionally connected to. And as you've just heard from my explanation, Unlimited is a very complex organisation, and the issues with at-risk youth are very complex, as well, to communicate. But mental health and mental ill-health is a common and quite easily understood concept as well for consumers.
SCOTT OXFORD: 08:36.586 Yeah, definitely. And I think suicide is one of those things where we can all imagine losing someone to that and how horrific that would be, but especially the tragedy of that happening to someone younger, as well. But yeah, it is definitely a fantastic way to bring some light into a dark place and to be able to support that. And so, as a result, Unlimited is the media organization, but Little Colossus again, is a business unit really, isn't it, that's being set up? And you're the general manager of Little Colossus, and Mood Tea is a product of that, which-- and Mood Tea's focus and remit is on youth suicide. But that suggests to me, and I'm sure you can't tell me-- can't let me in on any secrets, but it suggests to me that maybe Little Colossus might, in future, have some other products up its sleeve, and there's some other categories that maybe you might push into down the track?
JENNI HAYWARD: 09:30.966 Yeah, that's right. I think, look, we set up Little Colossus. We've seen that the future of business and to some extent how charitable organisation can sustain into the future is this social enterprise model. And that, I'm sure your listeners are already well versed but the likes of Who Gives A Crap, Thankyou, these are social enterprises that we've really seen come shine the beacon for the rest. So that's definitely an area. And when we looked into it, we started doing a huge amount of research into what our first product would be and we landed on tea, which I'll go into in a moment, but to your question of other products, we wanted tea as the first cab off the rank really for us. We wanted to sort of prove the model. And I guess when we were looking to launch Mood, we have a lot of assumptions and things that we want to test out and we've already gained a huge amount of learnings just six months into the journey. So that stands us in good stead for other product lines that we'll be looking to bring out in the future.
SCOTT OXFORD: 10:49.516 Yeah, I find tea's a pretty fascinating category. What I love about it is that everybody either drinks it or probably knows someone who does. So it's almost like Who Gives A Crap's toilet paper or Thank you with their soaps and the like which are things that we can use every week. So we can shift our buying from a conventional business to a social purpose business. Continue to buy the products that we need knowing that the profits are going to support somewhere. So that's a brilliant reason sort of behind tea. And what I like too about tea is that my wife is a big tea drinker and she has big collections of teas but it's not like coffee beans. You can pretty much pop down the road and get coffee beans anywhere. Sort of all different varieties. There's roasters all over the place. But there are not a lot of tea shops. So I think there's something kind of inspired in that. Can you shed any more light on why tea landed for you in the end of all of the options? Because I'm sure you had a massive whiteboard session it's some great brains from our industry throwing ideas in for product lines, not just for the branding and the marketing. But tea, how did tea land?
JENNI HAYWARD: 12:10.060 Yeah we sat and we did-- it's certainly been a journey to land on tea, but I think for a number of reasons. One, the sort of synergy between what the issue is that we're tackling. In your day, if you take a moment out for yourself and for your own mental health, you might put the kettle on. Have a moment when you're brewing your tea and a moment to reflect on how you're feeling. It's also the classic, I mean, I come from England where tea is the cornerstone of our society. And if you're in any moment of crisis or panic, you would go to someone's house and the first thing they'll say is, "Let's put the kettle on." And then a cup of tea can solve everything. So, look, it really relates I think to the topic of mental health. But in terms of a product as well, we're a D2C brand, so we're selling direct to consumers from our website. We are looking and expanding into other retail options as we grow but essentially it's a very light product. It's very easy to ship. It keeps well, it doesn't have any really peculiar storage instructions. So from that perspective, it's quite an easy product for our first product to launch. It also is, like you say, it's something that everybody, every individual household, every business supplies tea so we have quite a broad market. But what we really wanted to do was find our own sort of niche within that market. And the younger generation, so that Gen Z millennial audience, doesn't really have that many tea brands talking specifically to them.
SCOTT OXFORD: 14:01.020 No.
JENNI HAYWARD: 14:01.771 Yeah. It's an interesting category where you have your sort of older tea drinkers who are sat in front of the tele drinking 10 to 20 cups a day of your Tetleys or your Bushells perhaps. And then T2 is obviously a very cool younger brand which perhaps hits that sort of older millennial boomer market. But there aren't really that many we noticed targeting the youth generation. And what we know about the youth generation, like the Gen Z's and the millennials, is they care about social purpose and social issues. And they're ready to vote with their dollar and be buying brands that represent their values. So this isn't a tea-- we always had this vision that this is a tea that's so beautiful and so cool you want to have it on display. It's not a tea for the cupboard. It's a tea to sit on your workbench. And we've designed it with that in mind. So, yeah, a long-winded answer to your-- [crosstalk]
SCOTT OXFORD: 15:00.582 No. I like it. I like it. Because it's very giftable, it's a conversation starter. Not just because it's tea but because the whole name, as you say, it has a story and I think that's one of the reasons we're talking today, Jenni, is because it's-- there are a lot of brands out there and there are a lot of products that are not differentiated by anything in particular. But you're differentiated by mission, first and foremost. But also it's more than just good tasting tea, it's more than just a purpose. It's actually that personal connection that brings it back to that, sort of, taking a moment. And while we're sort of talking I'm kind of thinking, "Yeah. If I'm going to catch up with someone I'm going to have a coffee, but if we're going to have-- talk a little bit more seriously, it's a bit more of a tea kind of thing. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon." That kind of thing. So again, whichever way you slice and dice it, it's pretty interesting. And from that perspective I I think it's a great story that people can really connect with. And you mentioned before that there's been lots of learnings in the first six months. Obviously, lots of those are in-house learnings and not things to share, but is there anything key that you've learnt so far that you'd say, as a fairly fledgling brand, that you'd sort of say would be a great piece of advice?
JENNI HAYWARD: 16:24.414 Yeah, well there have been-- I guess the learnings came for us because it's the first consumer-facing brand we've launched. It's the first FMCG product we've launched, and with that comes a whole host of sort of logistical challenges. We also launched a brand during the pandemic. So when we talk about the industry launching this brand, it really is the whole industry who've come behind us, and there are sort of 14 different partners-- actually, way more than that, but [laughter] at the moment, who we work with. And we've done that all via sort of Zoom and virtual chats, really. So I guess one of the learnings for me in launching the brand was being able to do that with a whole diverse group of people who all share the same passion and vision. So we are working with people in a pro bono capacity, in a very uncertain time, when people's workloads are high, and there's a lot of uncertainty. People are juggling homeschooling at the moment here in Sydney and in Melbourne as well as working on the project. But what's really kind of galvanised that whole team together is being really clear on, our mission with MOOD is to fight youth suicide and that 100% of our profits are going to fund mental health programs for young people. And every single one of the people in what we call the MOOD Village shares that same deep kind of passion and connection to cause. So of course it's been challenging, and there's been many a late night and many a thing that has cropped up unexpectedly, but I think having the right people for the right reasons involved with the project has been seeing us through.
SCOTT OXFORD: 18:19.227 Yeah. And it's a great model for industry collaborations, which, as you say, it's a bit of an unusual organisation and that's what's so cool about it. But if you think outside of the media space-- media advertising, communication space, which all of your partners are in, branding and like, it's a really interesting, transferable model to other industries who want to kind of come together and use what they sort of bring to the table. And there's potentially manufacturing and the like that can sort of play into that as well. But yeah, I like your point that it's about having a central mission, isn't it? There's a reason to do that. And as difficult as it's been for, certainly, certain corners of our industry, particularly if you work in retail, hospitality, or tourism - I've got some colleagues in agencies who've had just a horrific 18 months - to then turn around and jump into something meaningful knowing that at a time like this, youth at risk are struggling with even more than they ever did. So it's kind of sobering, so. One question I did have was, is there room for more partners in UnLtd?
JENNI HAYWARD: 19:33.799 Yes. So I think the way that UnLtd works is by-- the way that UnLtd and both MOOD work are through collaboration and through the partners and our network of partners who are all coming on board. There's always room for more partners and more people to be involved, and we're always sort of bowled over on a daily basis by how much generosity and care and passion there is in our industry and the individuals within it. And we always ask that people reach out. There's always a way that you can help and make a difference. And really, for me, it's about using your skills for good. I think a lot of people feel like, to do some good or to help out, they either need to quit their day job and make a really big change or they need to go and dig a well or paint a fence. And really, I mean, speaking for myself, I've never dug a well or painted a fence so I'd probably be a bit rubbish at it. But I have spent my whole career doing one thing. And so I think that the beauty of what Unlimited offers the industry is, "Don't quit your day job. You can find purpose within using the skills that you have honed and that you're an expert in." They're far more valuable to an organisation when sort of pointed in the right direction. So yeah, we have companies that work with us and our enabling team who sort of work through which charity partners they can get close with and help. And then individuals. They do things like good deeds where it might be something as simple as editing a video for one of our charity partners or creating their impact report or their annual report at the end of the year in a nice kind of visual format. So yeah, there's always something that people can help with. And from a Mood perspective, the same goes. We work with a host of people who lend their skills in all sorts of different ways.
SCOTT OXFORD: 21:34.940 Yeah. And obviously, there's a very practical way too, to support, and that's buy some Mood Tea, hey?
JENNI HAYWARD: 21:40.164 Absolutely. Absolutely, Scott. That's the easiest way anyone can support us. And the tastiest way too.
SCOTT OXFORD: 21:47.308 Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, mine's still on its way. So I'm looking forward to tasting it. Now, aside from tea and this missional work, you had a great career before that, before sort of working in this sort of super for-purpose space as well, and we're all proud to do this other side of work too. And so I'd love to ask you a bit about some of the big brands that you've worked with from that PR perspective in your former life. Maybe what you learnt about brand for them or any stories. We talked before, Belvedere Vodka, that's a pretty amazing global brand. And what sort of stuff did you work on with them?
JENNI HAYWARD: 22:32.329 Yeah. So I worked with a number of-- I worked on many accounts as you do when you work in a PR agency. And Belvedere Vodka was one of the accounts that I worked on from a consumer perspective. They were launching a Bloody Mary flavoured vodka in London. And so I worked on it from a consumer perspective. But our agency also, at the same time, looked after the corporate relations for Belvedere Vodka. And this happened to be at the same time-- there was quite a large well-known scandal that happened. A PR crisis, I guess. So it was an interesting time to be behind the scenes on seeing that unravel. I guess, to give you a kind of snapshot of what that was if you haven't heard of it, it was back in 2012 I believe, and essentially what had happened was a social media agency working on behalf of the brand were in the US, they posted some content I think to Twitter-- I'd imagine it was probably quite a junior person on their team getting away on a Friday ready to get to the weekend, posted out some content and quickly, it sparked outrage. And to give you a bit of an idea of what it was, it was a photograph of a lady looking a bit distressed trying to get away from a man who was looking pretty happy holding onto her as she was trying to escape his grasp.
SCOTT OXFORD: 24:03.772 Ah. Ouch.
JENNI HAYWARD: 24:05.164 And they decided that it'd be a good idea to tag it with the line, "Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly."
SCOTT OXFORD: 24:15.153 Oh. Man.
JENNI HAYWARD: 24:15.630 So as you can imagine, an hour later, it had been deleted but that doesn't stop people on the internet taking screenshots and all the rest of it. So this very quickly turned into an absolute PR nightmare for the brand. And so as things unfolded, I know that the team, our side, were on sort of 40-hour long calls with the global teams trying to give some advice. And obviously, what I really learnt from that and seeing that from the back-end is you need to be human in a crisis and you need to take the blame and the fall very quickly for people not to start to really feel resentment and anger towards you. Unfortunately, obviously, that's a really big, scary move. Especially back sort of 10 years ago when--
SCOTT OXFORD: 25:12.816 Before we've learnt all of these lessons, you'd think. It was fairly early-ish days, wasn't it? I mean, still completely terrible optics and just a complete mistake and fall-down of the approvals process. All of the above. Because the brand would never stand for that. And that's the interesting thing, isn't it? A brand would never consciously put out that kind of message. Not back then. Not now. But people read it that way, don't they?
JENNI HAYWARD: 25:37.831 Yeah. And look, I think it's one of those circumstances-- and like you say, I mean, social media agencies were still quite a new thing even back then. And the idea that actually, it was a load of kind of graduates because they were young people, be like, "Oh. You do the social media because we don't know what this is all about." That was kind of the realities of what was going on. Because any sort of brand or advertising agency, the 101 of alcohol and advertising is you never, ever kind of bring sex into that relationship whatsoever. So anyway, that all span out of control. And to their credit, Belvedere did come out with a statement. Unfortunately, after the sort of two days or whatever the period of time was, there were already bars who were-- this had blown up on social media and so some bars were actually turning away their deliveries and saying, "We don't want to stock you." So this was turning--
SCOTT OXFORD: 26:35.349 Wow.
JENNI HAYWARD: 26:36.099 --into a business problem but they ended up sort of taking advice and going out with a statement-- and I'm not sure, I can't remember the person who sort of took the fall and said that he was personally very sorry for it, and they would be making a big donation to-- I think it's an anti-sexual violence organisation in the States called RAINN, R-A-I-N-N. Unfortunately, there was another sort of mess-up when one of the PR agencies had put out-- in the States, I think they had put out this with a link to the Facebook page of this organisation, but instead of linking to that page-- a lovely Chinese lady called Rainn Chan in China by accident and saying that they were going to donate this large sum of money to this random lady in China. So it was a train wreck of a PR disaster, and it's well-documented, so it's not like I'm spilling any beans here, but it was really interesting, for me, to be sort of on the knife edge of that while everyone was working to get it resolved.
SCOTT OXFORD: 27:45.177 Yeah. And look, like you say, the best advice, either in hindsight or even learned at the time, is the same advice that we've heard before on this podcast, which is a mistake happens. Just be human and take ownership of it and respond and move on. It must be a scary thing to have that much influence and rely on people that you don't have complete control over to manage your brand, but it just shows how all of that brand-- all of the brand equity is certainly short-term damaged by one tiny little mistake that was a horrific example in itself, but probably done by somebody who, even by their age, just had no idea what they were doing, or--
JENNI HAYWARD: 28:34.741 Oh, I'm sure. And I'm sure it was such an innocent mistake, really, in terms of not really thinking about any greater consequences or intent, but yeah. It's a very precarious thing, and your brand is such a precarious thing. And you're right, it must be very, very hard to put it in the hands of global companies [crosstalk]--
SCOTT OXFORD: 28:59.849 Yeah.
JENNI HAYWARD: 29:00.726 --sort of globalised world.
SCOTT OXFORD: 29:01.881 It's a bit like child stars when they grow up. I'm always curious to know where the person [laughter] who was responsible for that nine years ago has turned up now and where their career went because it's like every good teenager who makes all of their mistakes and then goes on to be president of the United States or whatever, they've usually made that mistake because they've got a lot of capability, enthusiasm and just screwed up, but yeah.
JENNI HAYWARD: 29:27.818 Yes. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD: 29:28.551 What about one more story. Burger King or Nokia, which one's your best story from working with those guys? Because there's things to be learnt. Both are very familiar brands. Nokia, obviously, not really much with us anymore; Burger King, very much still around.
JENNI HAYWARD: 29:44.384 Yeah. Nokia was great. We launched Lumia, which was sort of their last-ditch attempt to claw back some market share against the iPhone. We know how that one plays out. That was a fantastic-- that was a fantastic project. But Burger King, I think, was-- I have a fond place in my heart for that sort of campaign. I studied public relations at university, and in my placement year, I worked at an agency in London called Cow PR. Really, really creative and really pushed the boundaries of what was possible. So I remember, probably my first week or something, I sat in a brainstorm with the head of marketing at Burger King, and I was sticking a Post-it note on her head and getting her to guess who she was. It was a really out-there creative process that we went through with everything. And then, so when Burger King came to us and said, "We've got these Flame aftershave. So it's meat-flavoured aftershave. We want to get some PR around it." And so we had a lot of fun. And at the time, there were a lot of these kind of spoof kind of-- well, they weren't really spoofs. They were David Beckham and Victoria Beckham would be doing their perfume ads and looking sort of draped across some furniture with their fragrance. And in one of the brainstorms I was involved in, we came up with this idea of, "What if we get somebody who's really well known to do a spoof version for Flame?" And that involved me calling a load of agents. And as you can imagine, I'm speaking to all these celebrities' agents being like, "Yeah. It's a meat-flavoured aftershave."
SCOTT OXFORD: 31:25.070 Yeah. You got to have a sense of humour for that one.
JENNI HAYWARD: 31:27.804 No one else wanted that job, so. Yeah. I called around, and eventually, we got Piers Morgan, actually, to agree to it. And we had [crosstalk].
SCOTT OXFORD: 31:36.301 That's a good fit.
JENNI HAYWARD: 31:39.004 Yeah. He was good sport, really. And yeah, we had a body double laid out in the kind of fur rug in front of the fire, and only had to sort of super on his face. And it made national and international coverage, actually, so it was quite good, but that was a very fun brand. Although I can't say that coming up with ways to get kids into Burger Kings was one of my highlights, I can say that it was an extremely fun, out-there brand to work on, and I really love what they're doing and they're doing now as well globally and all the cool campaigns they run. I just really admire their trailblazing kind of creativity.
SCOTT OXFORD: 32:22.852 Yeah. Yeah. And it's an amazing thing to watch a brand that's just that big and that old reinvent itself and push into its quirkier corners. So I wanted to take you back to childhood. You ended up in PR, which means brand must have had some sort of meaning to you in your formative years. What's a brand, probably a UK one, I'd imagine, or something certainly from the UK, from your childhood that you remember first becoming aware of or connecting with?
JENNI HAYWARD: 32:53.137 Yeah. Well, that's an easy one for me. The first time I really realised that ads could be sort of really - what's the word? - that ads could really speak to their audience was actually a cat food brand. I used to have two cats and there was a cat food brand called Whiskas. I don't know if Whiskas is in Australia as well. [crosstalk].
SCOTT OXFORD: 33:14.437 It certainly was when I was growing up, yes. I don't know if it still is, but it definitely was. Yeah.
JENNI HAYWARD: 33:19.114 Well, they had this advert, and it was called the first commercial made for cats. And their entire advert was all these sounds that, to a human, you're just, "Oh, there's some strange sounds on the TV," but it made the cats go absolutely wild. And they would attack the TV. And so it really drew your attention. I felt that it was just so clever that someone had thought of really targeting-- it's not the person who's going out to buy the cat food. They don't really care. That you want to speak to the cats, but how do you do that through a TV commercial? [laughter] And I just thought that was so clever. And I remember I had a little VHS, and I used to put it in and record it so we could play it. And our poor cats would just be sort of [laughter] tormented on loop going with this advert going off. But yeah, that was the first moment that I think I really noticed that advertising was a thing, I guess.
SCOTT OXFORD: 34:18.234 Yeah, but even that example of the audience, the fact that audience is not human is-- I mean, it is by proxy human, but it's-- yeah. That's a fascinating example, where you go, "Well, if they can appeal to cats, then what are they doing to us?" Wow. They're connecting with us. They're changing our thinking. They're involving us in their story.
JENNI HAYWARD: 34:39.127 Yeah. No. I think that's the one that really stands out for me. I just remember absolutely loving that and thinking it was just so clever, and I'd love to come up with clever ideas like that.to make people kind of stop and watch and be entertained, I guess.
SCOTT OXFORD: 34:54.195 Yeah. I think all of us love that moment. No one will ever take away the fact that you were the one that pretty much found Piers Morgan or connected him in with the Burger King one. And I'm the same way. It's a piece of creative that I've written and I see it out in the wild or people talking to someone at a party. And I remember once we did a Quit Smoking campaign. We did a couple of them, actually. We did the Quit account for about eight years. And I remember being at a party, and this guy, he said, "Look, I'm not your target group, but I actually quit smoking because of your ad." And I remember thinking, "Wow, it's amazing the different ways that we can make an impact, isn't it, in terms of the work we do." And I think, for me, those things just remind me, coming back to the mission or sort of focus that we've been talking about earlier, is that in certain types of work that we do, we're actually saving lives and making that kind of a difference. And every tough day at the office is, "We're not saving lives here, guys," and, "Oh actually, sometimes we are." Yeah. I love that idea that work can do that, but I also love that we bring a lot of fun to the world as well, and.
JENNI HAYWARD: 36:03.338 So what was your line? What was your sort of-- what's your proudest line that's out there in the wild still?
SCOTT OXFORD: 36:11.202 Oh, that's big question. I don't know about "still" in terms of-- and it's funny. After 20 years of running an agency, you kind of written a lot of creative in that time, but I think probably-- yeah, look. I love some of the brands we've created, some of the companies that we've named. I would say, for me, there is some special meaning to work that-- because we've done campaigns for suicide prevention, for domestic family violence prevention. And those kind of things, they have a sort of special place in your heart because usually you're working with research. And I had the privilege with working with some groups of people with lived experience of suicide as well, and it's a powerful and certainly emotional experience to spend time with people who are talking about losing loved ones and the process. And they're there because they're committed to seeing other people not. And they're actually giving you as much as they can so that you can create some creative that, placed in the right places at the right time, might be the difference between someone doing that, so. But that said, at the same time, I just love any work that we've done that's all about the big life moments. And there's opportunities where you kind of-- the big decisions that-- about the big positive decisions as well. And I love the fact that we have a certain amount of power in what we do and power to influence and power to change people's thinking. And I like the moments when that's a responsibility, not just an ability that we have, so yeah. So hence, again, why I love what you guys are doing and pretty connected to the mission of what you're after, so, what you do, so.
JENNI HAYWARD: 38:05.198 Yeah. Yeah. That sounds like you've been doing some amazing work in this space as well. We work with many charities, actually, who work in the-- obviously, day-to-day, we're talking about these topics and talking with people who have been through or are going through some really heavy issues. And I think it's really important that we shed that light and we bring those conversations out. It's a really difficult topic to talk about, and it's a bit of a taboo, but it's really important that we are shedding a light on this and smashing the stigma around mental health and mental ill health so can help more people and drive that number down.
SCOTT OXFORD: 38:41.315 Yeah. Look, I think it's a really good point, Jenni, that it's starting conversations. We talk a lot about brand salience, about making sure people are talking about your brand and what it is and we talk a lot about the fact that brand lives in the conversations that people have. And in this particular subject matter, by normalising and permissioning and modelling this kind of open conversations about mental health and suicide and there is a normalisation of it that makes us more comfortable. And I think any of these things thrive in the dark and anything you can shed light on them and bring them out to the light I think is really, really powerful. We, as an industry, have the ability to start conversations and to really sort of I guess focus and direct those conversations as well and so it is-- yeah. There is a lot more power I think sometimes than we give ourselves credit for in terms of power to do evil as well. And I just participated in an interesting conversation on LinkedIn just around a particular brand that was delivering home delivery alcohol and the particular way that they'd advertised it during certain events and during lockdown and the like was just-- the whole conversation was this is not responsible use of advertising. This is actually tapping into creating a much bigger problem than is already a thing, It's a tool that we wield both ways, isn't it, for good and for not so good at times. Which brings us interestingly to my next question, which is when it comes to brands that we connect to, trust is a big one and I wanted to ask you, Sarah, is there a brand that you would say that you really trust and how and why?
JENNI HAYWARD: 40:38.951 Yeah, I'd say there are two brands that spring to mind immediately. And it really falls into what we were talking about earlier in terms of when things stuff up that you just have to be human and own it in a crisis and that will build trust, and that's Virgin. So Richard Branson really famously-- I think it was 2007 and one of the Virgin trains came off the tracks in the UK in a place called Cumbria, and Richard Branson was the first person on the scene. Well, he wasn't the first person on the scene, obviously, but he got down to the scene and he held the press conference from there and he was all about talking about the person who had lost their life and the train driver and how brave he had been.
JENNI HAYWARD: 41:32.372 And then again, probably, I don't know 10 years later, the Virgin Galactic, there was a crash and there was also loss of life there. And he, again, was just so human, just admitted that something had gone wrong and that the main focus should be on the lives lost and the families there. And as he works in transport, really, there's thousands of flights and trains and all those sorts of things, it's something that you need to feel like you really trust the brand. To be stepping foot on a flight, you don't want to think that it's going to come down or getting on a train and thinking that something's going to happen. So I feel like I've always loved Virgin. I think they really-- they've got a really fun brand. They're really a huge brand in the UK, obviously, as well. Even on the Virgin trains, I think in the toilets they have some really funny audio clips that go on while you're sort of locked in the cubicle. So they've really thought through every part of the kind of customer journey and customer experience, and they've really used that customer service and human humour, I guess, throughout their brand. So yeah, I love Virgin and feel like they do very little wrong, in my eyes.
JENNI HAYWARD: 42:52.100 And the other one's Airbnb. I think they have done such an incredible job at building trust again and being so authentic, to the point that you will go and stay in an absolute stranger's house and not think anything of it. And that is all based on this incredible brand that they've created and that they stand by. I mean, whenever there's a crisis or something that happens, they're the first ones to come in and make a statement or ensure that all of their hosts have to sign up to be-- they can't be discriminating against anybody, and when there's housing crisises-- and even when they had to lay off all of their staff, they made a sort of place on their website where people could come and find their staff members to hire them. So it was almost like a reverse job kind of board, and it was with all of these people who they'd had to lay off due to the pandemic, to try and help them find work. So yeah, I think that's another example of a brand that I really admire and trust.
SCOTT OXFORD: 43:59.883 Yeah, it's interesting. I've heard a lot of similar things around Airbnb, and it's not commonplace in alumni of that sort of era of business either. There's a lot of others-- a lot alongside where you hear nothing about it. You don't really, sort of-- you don't hear a lot, but yeah, they're really quite transparent, aren't they. And yeah, I just listened to a podcast of one of the founders of MailChimp, and the bulk of it was him talking through mistakes he'd made as a leader and that they'd made as an organisation and the lessons that they'd learned and how they'd responded to it. It was, at times, sort of a tough conversation, but he was just-- he was just incredibly humble, and I think it's definitely-- leadership needs to be strong and powerful, but it absolutely has to have that humility, and they need to empower their organisation, don't they, to be able to do the same. And that's such a big indicator on the brand, as you say, in terms of building trust with people. What about a brand that's broken your trust, or a category? Sometimes we don't like to name brands that-- but sometimes we do as well. [laughter]. Is there a brand you want to name in shame that's broken trust with you?
JENNI HAYWARD: 45:16.500 Oh, look, it's more of a-- it's more of a long-term one, I guess. A brand that probably broke my trust without me even really thinking of that, but has probably earned it back over the years as well, would be Nike, because when I was at school, and there was sort of Nike sweatshops scandals-- you don't really know that much when you're a teenager. You just kind of hear their sound bites, I guess. But I spend probably 15 years never buying anything from Nike because I just had in my mind, oh no, they uncovered all their sort of child labour and sweatshops, and no, I'm never going to be associated with that brand. And it wasn't something that I consciously really investigated or thought about. It was just something that I decided from quite a young age. However, more recently, especially through the Black Lives Matter movement, they've really, I think, found their voice and found their place and their power, to your point, in society.
SCOTT OXFORD: 46:22.894 And put their money where their mouth is. Absolutely.
JENNI HAYWARD: 46:25.803 Yeah, they really have. And they've made some really, sort of, I guess, risky moves as a brand to really stand behind what they're kind of espousing as their values. So they've earnt back some of my trust and respect.
SCOTT OXFORD: 46:40.609 Yeah. That is good. And that is interesting, isn't it, that there is a way back. It's not the end for organisations, and obviously, back in the day, Belvedere Vodka-- they're still around and still a major brand, so they survived their experience as well but probably they had to earn their way back. And that's interesting. Cautionary advice, hey, for a brand, which is, if at all possible, don't undo what you've worked so hard to build, but if you do, fess up. Be human and solve it that kind of way. Any other big sort of, I guess, misconceptions or even advice around brand? Is there a piece of Jenni Hayward advice that you've always stood by or you would always give that listeners might walk away with?
JENNI HAYWARD: 47:31.898 So I think we've already covered quite a lot. Being human in a crisis, but being human every day, not just when there's a crisis. I think that's really what consumers want now more than ever. I think people can smell a rat, they can smell a lie, a mile off and so I think a lot of people try to be a bit too polished and a bit too perfect and sometimes that works to your detriment. So just being honest and being open even though it's the harder way to go sometimes I think will pay off in the long term.
SCOTT OXFORD: 48:09.802 Yeah. I like that. I like that a lot. And there's a lot of weight behind that, again because of your experience from a PR perspective in terms of working with brands to look after their reputations and to understand how those brand conversations outside of them are going. So great piece of advice. My last question is around a dream brand that you've never worked on but would absolutely love to.
JENNI HAYWARD: 48:38.350 Dream brand. I don't know if it's a dream brand. It's one of the brands that you've had on your show, actually, but it's a brand that I really admire and respect at the moment which is Who Gives a Crap and I love what those guys are doing. I love how they've really been an inspiration on our MOOD journey, for sure, and I've really been just so impressed with how they've taken this category to a next level. And I know thank you really did kind of set the foundations for that to happen, but yeah, I love the way they run their business, and the more I read and hear about the way they operate, it would probably be somewhere I'd love to experience at some point.
SCOTT OXFORD: 49:30.443 Yeah. Yeah, I'm the same. I enjoy unwrapping every roll because there's just such great copy on every one, but also I follow the founders on LinkedIn as well and they live and breathe it. Even today, Danny Alexander posted a little-- someone had created a sewer out of LEGO and it's one of those ones where fans create it and if LEGO like it, they build it. I don't know if this one's going to be built. He was sort of lobbying for it to be built but yeah, they stay true to their voice and their theme and such a sense of humour in a unique way in everything that they do. So yeah, I'm a big fan as well. So just before we go, where can we buy MOOD tea?
JENNI HAYWARD: 50:17.483 It's available at mood.org.au.
SCOTT OXFORD: 50:21.180 Awesome. And who are some of the charities that you've been supporting, just so that listeners can get a handle on where their support's going?
JENNI HAYWARD: 50:29.916 Yeah, so as I mentioned, MOOD funds mental health programs for young people. We fund charities including Backtrack and Batyr. One of the programs we've funded last month from the profits we made from MOOD is a program that runs in school. Batyr go out to the schools and they talk to young people around smashing the stigma about talking about their mental health, about reaching out for help when they need it and they really encourage young people to not feel ashamed or shy or have negative connotations to talking about mental health, and they see a huge success rate with those programs that they run in schools throughout the country.
SCOTT OXFORD: 51:12.601 Yeah. That's awesome because one thing I do know for a fact is that the state of mental health in a teenager can degrade far more quickly than it can in an adult and so suddenly a massive drop can happen. And yeah, if kids don't know how to identify that, don't know how to talk about it, don't know how to reach out for help, this is why we're doing this, because that can only lead to difficulty, whereas the work you guys are doing is sending out a lifeline and yeah, it's really exciting. It's great to be able to support you and I'm sure you're going to be selling a whole lot of packs like hotcakes on every listen of this episode.
JENNI HAYWARD: 51:56.143 Thanks, Scott.
SCOTT OXFORD: 51:57.129 Yeah. Well, Jenni, it's been incredible to chat with you. Like I said, UnLtd is amazing for members of our organisation to get behind and support and for anyone listening to jump on, search and buy some MOOD tea. Beautiful packaging, lovely branding and I'm told we'll experience soon fabulous tea as well. Yeah, I'm sure this is only the beginning because the future, as the name of the head organisation says, is unlimited. So that's pretty exciting. So thanks for joining me, Jenni.
JENNI HAYWARD: 52:32.477 Thanks, Scott. It's been great.
SCOTT OXFORD: 52:37.031 [music] I'm going to finish off with a quote that Jenni's sent me. It's one that she feels rings true in life and advertising. Wonderful poet, T.S. Eliot says, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go," and I think they're doing some cool exploration in the right directions. My studio producer and editor is Zane Weber. Music is by Phil Slade and brand and art direction by Andrew McGuckin and my team at New Word Order. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast if you haven't already. I'm Scott Oxford. Thanks for joining Jenni and I today on Brand Jam. [music]