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The Spectacular Marketing Podcast

Jul 31, 2018



Maths Mathisen from Hold app speaks to us this week about reaching centennials and doing good in a world where our ability to pay attention is increasingly challenged. He talks us through his app, Hold, which encourages people to put the phone down and spend more time in real life by incentivising a short digital detox.





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Maths is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hold. Norwegian born and bred, he holds a MSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development from Copenhagen Business School. Maths started his entrepreneurial journey aged 11, starting a football school and funding the entire trip for his class mates. Maths continued his entrepreneurial journey while attending University and founded a sound equipment rental company aged 18, which quickly grew to a £1 million turnover. He saw an opportunity within the marketing industry, where he joined the leading Norwegian creative agency, LOS & CO as a trainee. The variety of projects and clients gave him an understanding of clients needs, which was key to construct the value proposition for Hold. 


The idea behind Hold originated at Copenhagen Business School. Together with his class mates – Florian Winder and Vinoth Vinaya – Maths discovered the recurring issue of checking his phone while studying. The group quickly discovered how smartphones affected their productivity, and how we constantly felt the need to check our phones. To cope with their own studies, the group started to give each other incentives to not use their phone, e.g.The first one to check their phone, paid for coffee in the next break. They quickly felt more productive and more motivated and constructed the idea of Hold, an app to incentivise students to put the phone down. Even though the three of them were convinced the idea was great, they needed to make sure that brands were willing to offer rewards to incentivise students and actually pay for it. As they wanted to build a global business, they wanted a global brand onboard, and decided to aim for Coca-Cola as their first client. After weeks of trying to get a hold of them they finally accepted to meet, and luckily for the guys (and all students), Coca-Cola agreed to become a partner after the first meeting. This was the beginning of Hold and together with his team has grown the company in Norway, where 40% of the student population are now users of the app and this year they were awarded mobile marketing platform of the year. In Norway, they still work with Coca-Cola, as well as other top tier brands such as Microsoft, Uber and Just Eat. 


Their UK journey has just started, but they’ve already on-boarded more than 170.000 students and brands such as Expedia, Coca-Cola and VUE. However, students are not their final stop, the team have received 70,000 request from families to get access to the app, proving that digital addiction has become a big problem in society and the negative effects are only starting to show through mental health issues. Hold is set to be a guide through the masses of distraction and will create solutions by making use of the best of the digital era to combat the worst. And for marketers, Maths aim to make Hold the most engaging platform to perform what he coins as "mindful marketing" – marketing by doing good.



Mark / WE ARE Spectacular⠀ 



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