Drinkaware’s CEO Chris Sorek Talks About Oystercatchers

Chris SorekChris Sorek: Well, one of the reasons why we called Oystercatchers was because of the great reputation that you have in the industry, about being able to help people find the right kind of agency for the type of work that we wanted to do. So that was the first reason why we decided to go with Oystercatchers. The second thing was that we also had a real need to get a third-party perspective on our needs, so not just us looking at a bunch of different agencies, but for somebody else to actually do all that work for us, so that by the time we got to it, it had shortened down the time it took for us to make the decision making process, so by the time it got to us we had a very short, short list to take a look at.

Chris Sorek: One of the things about Oystercatchers’ process is the fact that it gives you a system to go through. First of all, we had a great account person – Angus was fantastic at being able to take us through the entire process. He understood our needs and took our brief, took what we needed to do and then said ‘okay, fine, let me start taking a look around.’ And so it was done in a very systematic approach. Then there was the hand holding that went through the entire process which I thought was great because it is, to myself and my team through the entire process and looking at different agencies. I think we started off with eight and ended up with four and then heard of those pitches.

Chris Sorek: Why we also hired Oystercatchers was to help us out in doing an evaluation of what we had done in the past. Now one of the things that we recognised is that you had a wide group of people that you might potentially be able to call on and take a look at how campaigns should be evaluated; and then not how they were going to be evaluated but the end results and what that actually meant. We were lucky enough to be able to tap into two of your contacts that came into our operation and then starting taking a look backwards at all the work that we had done, figure out whether or not we had done what we were supposed to do, delivered on what we were supposed to deliver, and eventually come up with what we now think of as really green shoots of behaviour change within consumers and the consuming of alcohol.

Chris Sorek: Well what it has done is given us literally a baseline for all the work that we are going to do. So it gave us not only working with our logic models also allowed us to take a look at how we were going to go forward with the evaluations that we were going to be doing, how we should set up our campaigns to be evaluated properly, all of that is all literally inside our organisation. So it is part of our DNA. So now we take a look at everything, before we start we do an evaluation and then after we finish would you post evaluation. We know how much behaviour change has happened in that period of time and then we were able to then go forward and start planning our campaigns.

Chris Sorek: I think one of the biggest things about looking at how an agency and client works together is whether or not the agency comes up with the right people, the right talent, the right type of feel and fit for that type of organisation. We are a very small organisation, we are not large. Because we are a small organisation what we need from my perspective is a bit of hand holding to get us through that starting off phase and what we were looking for was an agency that was actually going to work with us and in a very collaborative way. And working with us to help develop what we were going to do as we went down the road. The other thing that we are really interested in is finding an agency who had experience in behaviour change. This is really, really critical for us because a lot of people do advertising or they might do communications. But what we were looking for was somebody who had potentially that type of background or experience, and looked directly at behaviour change, taking not just the people looking at consumer awareness or attitudes, but getting them to switch from one thing to another. More interestingly, we needed to find somebody who really understood in doing it digitally, because we are doing something that no one else that I think is doing anywhere any place in the world which is taking people’s good behaviour and trying to change it, basically only using digital. And its social media, website and those types of things. And so we were lucky enough to find an agency could do that, and that’s OgilvyOne.

Chris Sorek: The real challenge for Drinkaware as we start going forward is to make sure the what we started off with those green shoots that I’ve mentioned just a few minutes ago actually take off and start becoming something that is really more important and have more impact on the marketplace. We are seeing already some people started to say “Jesus if this works so well doing this do you think if you were just making it a little bit larger or you have more reach, more frequency using advertising terms to talk about that?” but really getting into the marketplace a little bit deeper, which can potentially have the more impact. Right now we are not hitting the size and the numbers that we need to hit so maybe because of the size of our budgets.

Chris Sorek: Would I recommend Oystercatchers to other people? The answer is absolutely. There are a couple of reasons why we would probably want to do that. Number one: Oystercatchers is extremely professional. They are very professional in terms of taking a brief from us, but also in terms of how they also work with other agencies. I think that this number one. They have a breadth of understanding of the marketplace which we didn’t see virtually anybody else and was “Do they know the agencies? And what those agencies that can offer to somebody like Drinkaware?” That was very important. I think the third thing was that the talent that you had on board that was able to help us out and the kind of a relationship that was built up over a very short period of time. I think the last thing is trust. I think I mean you trust somebody to actually help you to get your job done faster and easier. And as the head of a small organisation, I needed that help and Oystercatchers gave up to us.