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Understanding culture and how to change it

WE ARE THE GOOD SIDE

The Good Side is an insight, strategy and creative studio.

We unpack cultural complexity and set fresh directions.

We give trusted guidance in changing times.

We humanise audiences and navigate issues.

We craft strategies and stories for impact.

We are plugged into change at ground level, worldwide.

We work with leading and emerging organisations to understand the world and make things happen.

Change is complicated. Culture moves in mysterious ways.
The biggest problems of our time are deep rooted, and hard to grasp.
And there’s never a single solution to a wicked problem.
Understanding cultural complexity means looking broadly and deeply, and drawing on all kinds of data to surface insight.
Real and lasting change comes from integrated strategies, influencing across the system, and lighting many fires.
Through a decade of global social and cultural change work, we have honed our toolkits for insight, strategy and storytelling, built a network of change-makers around the world, and helped all sorts of organisations effect transformations in culture.

Insight

Strategy

Creative

Impact

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Powerful insight sits at the heart of our craft. We invent bespoke approaches and use a suite of methods to get to the heart of the matter. We centre the richness of human experience to tell stories that can travel. We listen to voices and data throughout the system to understand issues in the round. We go where the action is, from the kitchen to the protest to the board room.

ETHNOGRAPHIC AUDIENCE IMMERSION
NEW MARKETS AND EMERGENT SPACES
CULTURAL TRENDS AND SOCIAL NORMS
BEHAVIOURAL DESIGN
NICHE AND HARD TO REACH AUDIENCES
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Strategic rigour is what elevates our insight towards impact. We show organisations how to respond to and influence culture. We nurture ideas with new viewpoints and emergent theory. We understand business challenges and help our clients make smart decisions. We offer accessible thinking that sparks creativity and real change.

BRAND STRATEGY
PURPOSE AND MISSION DEFINITION
BEHAVIOUR CHANGE STRATEGY
CAMPAIGN PLANNING
CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT
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Creative outputs are what bring our thinking to life. We connect organisations to audiences by telling their stories. We inspire change by building emotional connections. We design exciting and useful content that takes stakeholders on our journey. We use narrative and creativity to build shared understanding and light the way forward.

IMPACT DOCUMENTARIES
INTERACTIVE REPORTS
INSIGHT FILMS
CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT
VISUAL IDENTITY
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Our learning processes track change in real time and keep us at the forefront of culture. We collaborate with experts and change makers across geographies and subjects. We synthesise diverse data sets to stay on top of social change. We track impact and influence through inventive data solutions. It’s through understanding change and impact that our practice evolves.

CHANGEMAKERS NETWORK
SOCIAL CHANGE TRACKING
MEL INNOVATION
SOCIETAL TRENDS
METRICS AND KPIS

Movember

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The Question

How are masculinity and mental health affecting lower-income and ethnically diverse young men in the UK, Canada and Australia, and can we shift these social norms through an integrated change strategy?

The Work

We created a six-month digital research community to capture young men’s personal lives and intimate thoughts. Mining a rich seam of user generated content and survey data, we delved deeply into their behaviours and attitudes, surfacing a wealth of insight. From this deep understanding we crafted a behaviour and social change strategy, centred on harnessing the power of social media to effect change.

The Impact

Our insight and strategy drove media interventions in UK, Canada and Australia. In the UK, our briefing film mobilised top YouTube influencers to create 16 films that attracted over 10 million views and delivered proven positive behaviour change outcomes, an in award winning campaign. In Canada, almost 2.5 million men engaged with The Mental Game, a new multimedia format linking sports to mental resilience, with proven impact on self care habits. Australia campaign coming soon…

Booking.com

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The Question

How can we help LGBTQIA+ travellers in the UK, Germany and Netherlands feel safe and confident exploring the world?

The Work

Participatory qualitative research laid bare the realities of LGBTQIA+ travel experiences, and brought travellers in to co-design booking.com’s internal and external change strategies.

The Impact

Our work reshaped Booking.com’s internal strategy and Travel Proud partner community, and was featured as a keynote at the ESOMAR 2020 Client Summit.

Kays Foundation

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The Question

How can we encourage the Early Child Education and Development community to think about the caregiver as much as the child in investment and programme strategies?

The Work

A month-long ethnographic immersion and documentary film production, guided by a literature review and expert interviews and backed up with a quantitative survey. We workshopped insights and conclusions with The Kays Foundation, the Kenyan government and NGO stakeholders to ensure outputs were owned and co-created with people who could act on them. An interactive report to accompany the documentary film helped bring all of the thinking together, and live on beyond the project.

Children Playing Instruments 2.jpg

The Impact

Through a series of stakeholder sessions and workshops we secured commitments from key ECD donors to revise their funding strategies to focus on designing for caregiver’s needs - representing over $10m in investment, mainly for mothers. Our film has become a key training tool for ECD programme design workshops, and is used as a case study for the Dignified Storytelling Alliance.

UNILEVER

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The Question

How can we demonstrate the impact of applying market-based solutions to some of the world’s biggest development challenges? What impact has the unique TRANSFORM partnership between Unilever and the UK Government had on the social enterprises it supports?

The Work

We partnered with MLS to fuel a multi-channel communications strategy aimed at inspiring engagement with Unilever and UK FCDO’s TRANSFORM programme. Through place-based ethnographic research and systems mapping, we uncovered the human stories and social impact that TRANSFORM social enterprises were making across East Africa and Bangladesh, and the benefit those organisations gained from working with Unilever teams on sales and marketing strategy.

The Impact

Our storytelling, photography and evaluation content served to position TRANSFORM as a leading example of a public private partnership, encouraging and equipping other partners to replicate and invest in the model. Since the engagement strategy, many more partners have joined TRANSFORM, including Microsoft, Acumen, LinkedIn and GSMA.

STARBUCKS

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The Question

Which behavioural levers could we pull to inspire and enable reusable coffee cup use?

The Work

We used our behavioural design process to explore consumer attitudes and behaviours around sustainability, informing campaign strategies to promote reusable coffee cup use. Through ethnography, user diaries, industry interviews, cultural and social media analysis we unpacked the contemporary sustainability movement, and identified narratives and intervention sites to help shift behaviours.

The Impact

Adopting decision science levers and user personas from our research, we wrote creative briefs for agencies tasked with developing campaign ideas. Regional trial campaigns were launched in Manchester, Bristol and Leeds based on our behavioural insights.

Water Aid

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The Question

How can we encourage the UK Government to invest in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in the face of significant aid budget cuts?

The Work

WaterAid asked us to explore ways to influence the Johnson administration in order to achieve maximum impact. We designed a systems mapping approach to understand contemporary political influence and workshop strategic solutions. Through interviews with high level decision makers, political strategists, media linchpins and opinion leaders, an analysis of successful influencing campaigns and a network mapping process we were able to identify key opportunities and relationships for WaterAid, and propose narrative and strategic approaches to reach the heart of government.

The Impact

Our network mapping and communications strategy has kick-started a new organisational approach to building influencing strategies within WaterAid.

V&A

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The Question

How can we create inspiring campaigns that go beyond marketing to build lasting and meaningful relationships with the Black community and improve creative access?

The Work

This six-week engagement brought together some influential Ambassadors from the community and a group of energised and enthusiastic V&A staff for an immersive workshop to get a better understanding of this exciting and underserved audience. We used the rich insight surfaced from the difficult conversations on the night to craft a creative strategy that could spark change for the museum; mapping out a journey towards becoming a more inclusive and welcoming space for non-white audiences starting with the campaign for its upcoming Africa Fashion exhibit.

The Impact

The work is currently being fed into the campaign strategy for the Africa Fashion exhibit; with a second phase with the Ambassadors being planned to continue to build on the insight and continue the museum’s change journey.

Aid Alliance

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The Question

How can we tell a new story about international aid, to reverse the decline in UK donations?

The Work

We identified a core British audience who have disengaged from supporting international development – a group we labelled Conscientious Cynics – to robustly understand their misgivings and stay myopically audience-focused with our campaign output.

Uniting a core group of specialist partner agencies across branding, creative, media and PR, we co-created a sector-wide brand and narrative, campaign film and **website **- reframing aid as help.

The Impact

Set up as a live ‘test and learn’ experiment in cultural innovation, we delivered a full campaign analysis with clear sector recommendations to deepen the story further and reverse the decades of decline in public support.

  • 5.3m unique users, massively exceeding target reach
  • 11% of the total audience recalled the campaign, exceeding Facebook EMEA norm for non-profits by 69%, and the overall norm by 175%
  • Strong qual engagement: “There is hope out there even though we might not realise it, there are people constantly helping and looking out for people.
  • 66% of target audience liked or loved the campaign

And, crucially, we saw a significant uplift in positive views of international aid and aid organisations.

Celebration Day

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The Question

How can we kick start a movement to encourage death positivity through celebratory remembrance?

The Work

We designed a cultural strategy process to surface fresh insight and drive creative development. We immersed ourselves in memorial behaviours, learned from lived experience and explored existing social practices around death. We convened a creative community to help us invent new rituals and kick start a movement.

We discovered a rich and growing seam of death positivity at the margins of culture. From death cafés to immersive artwork, from memorial skate parks to nature therapy, death is having a moment in popular culture - and the time felt right to build a wider movement.

We soaked up a raft of inspiration from the diverse people we met as part of our research journey, and brought this to life in an insight film - telling stories of love, loss, acts of death positivity and remembrance. The film became a tool to engage partners as we crafted cultural strategy.

We collaborated with inspiring people across the UK who had experienced loss and turned it into a sense of purpose. The beautiful films, 1 hero and 7 personal stories, showed a diverse range of people and experiences, capturing the bittersweet nature of remembrance and driving social and PR engagement.

The Impact

We created a new moment in the cultural calendar, instilling a new behaviour in the public consciousness. Our campaign invited people to make time to pause, reflect and celebrate someone they’ve loved and lost. We modelled ways in which they invokes their memories of loved ones, in a way that resonated personally, and to share those actions.

  • 13.7m impressions across platforms
  • 511,626 TikTok views
  • 40k website page events
  • PR across print, online + broadcast

We helped make death more approachable by shifting the energy from loss and grief to embrace celebration and joy and we look forward to watching this important day grow in strength and support.

  • Saul Parker

    Co-Founder
  • James Lewis

    Co-Founder and Head of Studio
  • Liz Cheesbrough

    Business Director
  • Sophie Solly

    Strategy & Insight Director
  • Ellie Mulcahy

    Insight Director
  • Kymberly Loeb

    Insight Director
  • Eva Didier

    Insight Director
  • Bessie Pike

    Associate Director
  • Odette Schwartz

    Senior Research Manager
  • Laura Gafforio

    Research Manager and Edit Producer
  • Ed Moon-Little

    Research Manager
  • Ticiana Riveiro

    Finance Executive
  • Darius Lacey

    Researcher
  • Dearbhla Young

    Team and Office Coordinator
  • Ewan Marsden

    Researcher
  • Maanya Vij

    Research Assistant
  • Otto

    Puplick Relations

Stories show us what we share in common and what makes us unique. Through emotional connection we can shift beliefs and find pathways to change. From award-winning impact documentaries to explainers, here are a few of our films.

Questions we're asking

CONTACT