National army museum

What d’you get when you cross nudge theory with Lord Kitchener?

The World War One military leader, that is – not the calypso legend.

We found out when we took BT on a trip to the National Army Museum to learn about behavioural economics.

Like a few of our clients, BT have their own network of tone of voice champs – a group of people from across the business who care about language, and act as ambassadors for their tone. Every year, they task us with taking their champs for the day, to teach them something new about writing.

This time, we looked at behavioural economics: the biases and effects that shape how we make decisions.

And ways we can frame decisions to persuade people to make a particular choice.

We set the champs off on a ‘nudge hunt’: a school trip-style treasure hunt around the museum, looking for examples of different types of nudge in propaganda posters. Clipboards and all.

We rounded off the day by bringing it back to writing at BT, exploring ways the team could use nudge theory in their messages day-to-day. Like to persuade people to fill in an employee survey, or come to a training session.

Here’s what one of the champs thought about the day: ‘It was both interesting and directly applicable to the stuff we do… I'm really looking forward to trying out the principles in practice.’ (Hopefully not by writing propaganda, though.)


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