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The best idea I ever had: Nick Worthington

"If you can’t take your mate to the pub, take the pub to your mate."

It started, as all the best ideas do, with a few beers.

I’d recently moved to New Zealand, working as Editorial Creative Director at Publicis Mojo, and we had just signed Speight’s as our first beer account. A Kiwi institution since 1876, the brewery had recently been knocked off the top spot by another beer. Of course, they wanted to be number one again.

We met with the Chief Marketing Officer and toured some of the pubs in the South Island, finishing at Speight’s brewery in Dunedin. The crazy chatter soon flowed as freely as the beers.

One of the guys who worked in the brewery told us he spent most of his time reading letters and emails from Kiwis around the world, bemoaning the lack of Speight’s. They missed their favourite beer, a taste of home. Writers of some of the best letters were sent a six-pack to keep them going.

One was from a guy living in London – he was missing Speight’s, could they send him some? Well, why not send him an entire pub? We warmed to the theme. We could stick it on a boat! Why not? Chuck a few Kiwis on board to deliver the beer to their friends living overseas.

If you can’t take your mate to the pub, take the pub to your mate.

Usually, 99 per cent of ideas born this way are forgotten about by the next morning. But then… The client phoned me and said: ‘You know that idea last night? Is it any good, do you reckon?’

Scratching my sore head, I said: ‘Yes, actually. I think it’s really good.’

He replied: ‘OK. Let’s do this!’ 

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