Pippa Dunn, former chief marketing officer of Orange and subsequently EE, left the world of mobile in 2016 when BT swept up the brand. Instead of jumping straight into another client-side challenge she took a step aside and developed a product incubator hub called Broody.
Two years later, the group has expounded a unique approach to design, marketing and entrepreneurialism that has resulted in it creating a unique board games brand, Yolky Games. This entity recently tripled the Kickstarter pledge for its latest product, a dog-themed card game called Dodgy Dogs. It reached £34,426 upon a pledge of £10,000 and has had 1,041 backers with three weeks still to go.
Broody was established with help from Andy Medd, a marketer who has clocked up time at Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline and is now a partner at Mother (the agency has helped Broody from time to time). Since launch it has rolled out a cleaning brand called Smol, the Nursem skincare company and the Crowdfunder website.
Dunn has leaned on her 13 years of experience at Orange, which saw her play an integral part in the Orange Wednesdays creative that graced cinemas. While a dog card game may seem like a barking mad idea to some, Dunn describes it as her “perfect product”. To deliver it, she has relied on a combination of commercial, creative and entrepreneurial skills that she picked up serving as a lawyer, a West End musical producer, an FMCG marketeer and an entrepreneur.
The group spent months researching how to develop good gameplay for the title and brought French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien on board to illustrate it. Eventually, to pursue its family market, the team landed on a simple card game that tasks players with matching dog sizes and bad behaviours in order to eliminate their hand. First to do so, wins.
“All of us are avid card players but we also read books and articles about the fundamentals of great card games and looked at what had previously been successful on Kickstarter, talked to table top games obsessives on countless forums and tested the game with friends, family and colleagues," Dunn said.
She urged creative and marketer types to step out beyond the corporate umbrella and use their expertise elsewhere. “If you have an idea that won't go away, I'd say, do it. In life you generally only regret the things you don't do.
"It's hard work and not for the fainthearted. There is no doubt that corporate life is in many ways a lot more predictable and straightforward, whereas entrepreneurship can expose where you might have a lack of knowledge or experience. But in today's world there is almost nothing that you can't teach yourself with online research and the guts to pick up the phone to someone to ask for help.
"Above all it is incredibly satisfying and really good fun.”
The card game drive is actually anchored in the philosophy of a 2005 Orange marketing campaign that suggested members of the public switch off their phones in order to switch on and make connections. This was before the smartphone, but the advice still holds weight today and has been harnessed in the creation of Dodgy Dogs.
“Technology is fantastic and I am a self-confessed geek - but the simple pleasure of a game of cards is one of the few truly cross generational things that we can engage in today.”