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Our Publications

Unparalleled insight into the challenges brands face

At PHD we like to stay ahead of the game. That’s why we’re always thinking, collaborating and sharing knowledge about the future of the industry.

Overthrow II – 10 strategies from the new wave of challengers

Twenty years after the concept of the challenger brand was coined – and seven years after we first visited the challenger narrative in the original Overthrow – a new wave of challengers has been changing the way the categories around us think and behave. Financed by a new type of investor, harnessing emerging structural changes and new ways to build relationships with their consumers, they have generated an enormous energy and excitement in their marketing and business community.

Overthrow II explores the 10 different challenger strategies, or narratives, used most powerfully today, each of them embodied in interviews with incisive leaders who have used them to break through in their market. We look at the strategic principles that each follows, the media behaviours they practise, and the part that today’s big themes like technology, data, culture and creativity play.

What’s your challenger type? Take the challenger quiz to find out, and learn more about Overthrow II at

Collaborating with leaders to bring new thinking to the industry



The closing gap between technology and us

Over the next thirty years, technology will be more disruptive than ever before due to drastic hardware advances and AI breakthroughs. While developments like the disappearance of devices and emergence of virtual environments may sound like science fiction, our merge with technology virtually and biologically will happen sooner than you think.

With a foreword by futurist and author Ray Kurzweil, Merge investigates the five stages of our unification through exclusive interviews with inspirational business leaders, world renowned academics and pioneering researchers.

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Find out more about the Merge.

The Coming AI Revolution

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and getting smarter all the time and with the predicted rise of the sentient VPA making purchasing decisions for us, brands will have to adapt to marketing to algorithms instead of consumers.

Our exploration of AI saw us collaborate with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, who shared his views on an AI-enabled future when he joined PHD at Cannes Lions.

In “Sentience: The Coming AI Revolution and the Implications for Marketing”, we address the incredible potential for marketers and what they can do now to prepare.

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Read Sentience: The Coming AI Revolution and the Implications for Marketing


  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee guest speaking with PHD
  • Cannes Lions Festival


  • Adam Morgan guest speaking with PHD
  • Cannes Lions Festival

10 ways to tell a challenger story

There is more to being a challenger brand than David vs Goliath. Telling the story of ‘Small vs Big’ is indeed one kind of potentially successful challenger narrative, but only one – and not the most frequent, despite its brand mythology. Overthrow is an exploration by eatbigfish and PHD of the 10 most common successful challenger narratives; what they share, how they differ, and how they should structure their media behaviours in today’s highly connected world.

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What type of challenger are you?  Find out