Making a good impression
Applying behavioural science insights to support social outcomes
The Behavioural Science Annual is billed as “a selection of the projects that Ogilvy Consulting’s Behavioural Science Practice have been working on over the past year, with a particular focus on those developed in partnership with brands and local government supporting social outcomes.” The practice is in the business of applying behavioural science insights to solve a wide range of challenges and problems. Notably, this annual doesn’t just focus on the ones where there is a successful outcome, but also on some that are incomplete or unsuccessful, in the belief that the experience and lessons learned are still worth sharing. The case studies are organised by sector. For the charity Christian Aid, Ogilvy managed to increase donations by focusing on the envelopes in which appeals were made. Through measures as simple as making the envelopes heavier, donors were encouraged to notice the appeal and afford it greater worth. For a mental health charity, Time to Change, the challenge was to help men to understand how to step in and have a conversation with their mates about mental health. The campaign developed, Ask Twice, sought to overcome the initial tendency to say, “I’m fine”. In the private sector, Ogilvy worked with Kimberly-Clark in the US to improve the safety of its workforce. A typically simple intervention was to change the colour of pens that employees use to mark up their work from red to purple, since purple causes less stress. And in local government, the Health Quality and Safety Commission worked with Ogilvy on a campaign to improve patients’ understanding side-effects of medications, utilising follow-up calls, prompting discussions at home and an enhanced process for discharging the patient from hospital. In each of these, and the many more cases highlighted, The Behavioural Science Annual breaks down the challenge and the approach taken as well as explaining the thinking that goes into the Ogilvy solution in such a way that it can be understood by all, not just behavioural science specialists. Taking a leaf out of their own book, the practice has produced a publication that nudges readers to turn the pages and find out more.
10 November 2020