What are some of your favourite moments at Hunter over the last 10 years?
Matt: I’ve loved working with all of our collaborators and the chance to come up with silly ideas that work, like a double-spouted teapot. It was more an art piece than anything else, but it allowed us to work with good ceramicists and other creative people. When you get good people, the work is really fun.
It’s also been a treat to see people fly, seeing careers evolve as they grow in confidence. I love that. It’s that moment when you have complete trust in someone, when they’re thinking outside of where you are and pushing things forward.
I also love that moment when clients/partners get ‘it’. The lightbulb moment when you’re talking through strategy and you see it fall into place in the clients’ minds. The energy in the room amps up and you get the goose bump effect – that scared-but-excited feeling. It’s great.
Is it okay to say I’ve enjoyed lockdown? The chance to reset. It’s forcing people to think about how to do things differently, which is a mindset we thrive in.
Simon: I loved working with Charlie’s Drinks on their Australian launch. It was back in 2010 and we used social media activations in a way that wasn’t being done at that point. The Charlie’s management team had an entrepreneurial mindset, and as such allowed us to push the limits of creative and strategic thinking that achieved incredible results for them.
Another great memory was the chance to take Grolsch in a new direction. We helped reposition them away from being another shouty ‘premium imported beer’ into an understated-cool brand. We loved the swing-top and leveraged that because it was real and tangible.
Taking Hubbards muesli to number one is an achievement that still blows my mind to this day. It was just such a great project to be a part of, going against a brand with the size and resources of Sanitarium and watching the giant fall. It’s such a great example of value creation – just look at the Nielsen scan data and market share figures!
I’ll always be fond of the entrepreneurial spirit at Coca-Cola Amatil. Our partners at The Exchange, CCA’s premium alcohol division, were great to work with. The work we did with them went on to win them awards and they were held up as a benchmark within the industry.
More recently, working with the Vodka Soda & brand has been a highlight. It’s a relationship that grew out of our work at CCA and shows that a right fit client with the right project can achieve great results.
What has been unexpected or surprised you over that time?
Matt: The changing voice of society. Everything from the aftermath of the global financial crisis, to the rise of the climate change movement, Equality, Brexit, Covid-19. Black Lives Matter – these have all completely changed the way people talk, live, and the way they react to brands. Each movement has changed life irrevocably. There’s been negativity but it’s also shown people have huge capacity for good. We are capable of big changes and sacrifices. In this new era, we’ve seen that if a brand can talk on the level in a human way and come up with human-centric solutions, it will last the distance.
The tech and social-media evolution. It’s all moved so quickly and upended the old ways of doing business. Old world industries are having to evolve just as quickly to keep up with the pace of change. It’s really revealed how fragile they are to competition from upstarts who aren’t beholden to the old ways of doing things.
Simon: The community we’ve built has been unexpectedly rewarding. Working with great clients, especially the work we did with Grolsch, has allowed us to build a solid community of artists, musicians, videographers and innovators we can reach out to and collaborate with.
For many of the big, established brands, the onslaught of challenger brands and start-ups was hugely unexpected. Every single category is being disrupted; size and heritage are no longer a competitive advantage to protect brands from that disruption. Just look at all the companies that have closed their doors over the last 10 years.