Graham Dolan, May 30, 2018

Made Me Cry

We hear a lot these days about establishing emotional connection with shoppers.

Almost every brief makes at least some reference to it and our work is often judged, quite rigorously, on whether evident heartfelt entwining has resulted.

No argument with that, apart from those instances in the marketing/shopper space where the attempt at connection comes across as forced. Or, even worse, insincere.  

When it really it happens though, when something or someone genuinely connects, you know it, you feel it and you definitely don’t forget it.

I’ve had two such experiences of late.

One (actually, more than one) came about every time that Spark ad featuring the young boy who wishes his beloved solo mum “Happy Father’s Day” appeared on screen (cue moistening of the eyeballs).

The other happened just last week during the Food and Grocery Council’s AGM at Auckland’s Eden Park. Yes, quite surprising I know, your standard AGM not being the usual place you go for warmth and emotion.

One of the guest speakers that day was a woman by the name of Lisa King. Some two years ago, Lisa and her business partner, famed restaurateur Michael Meredith, established the ‘buy one, give one’ platform, Eat My Lunch.

In her own quiet, self-assured way, Lisa took the throng of assembled food industry leaders through the Eat My Lunch story from initial ideation to its first week (when they sold fifty lunches) to today where the business (because it is a business, not a charity) employs more than forty people.

Those forty good souls serve up over a thousand nutritious lunches every day to underprivileged children in Auckland and beyond, as well as the generous individuals who are their willing benefactors. The business model relies on one of these people buying a meal from Eat My Lunch and, in turn, Lisa, Michael and crew will provide the same thing for a needy child.

The whole operation is a triumph of Kiwi entrepreneurship, sheer drive and a big-hearted unwillingness to accept that in a country like New Zealand, a child, any child, should go hungry.

Lisa King and Michael Meredith, you and your teams are bona fide inspirations. And Lisa, you won’t be surprised to know that your presentation emotionally connected with this hardened old individual.

Oh, by the way, here at Farrimond we’re putting our money where our mouths are by donating two lunches every day. It’s the least we could do after Lisa made us cry.