Case study

People First

Changing the game


People First is a trademark of MHR International, a UK-based provider of Human Capital Solutions



In 2017 MHR believed they had a novel way to free company employees (and HR staff) from the burden of mundane admin tasks such as submitting expense receipts, making annual leave requests or sitting through annual appraisals. Paper forms and Excel spreadsheets would be replaced by mobile tech that people were already using socially, such as messaging apps, chatbots and check-ins. Since the People First software was in development, it meant there was little tangible material to work with at the time…

guidelines, scamps and instagram


Ironically, while MHR had over 30 years’ experience developing software in the HR sector, this made it harder for them to introduce something revolutionary. Our creative approach was to play down links to the parent company, instead positioning the new brand as an energetic and disruptive start-up. Reflecting the mobile-first generation, colours would pop, employees would be active, and language would be less sales pitch and more SMS.


Emberson Brand positioned MHR’s people first software product as the world’s first open people platform. Our eye-catching brand launch campaign included messaging and design of everything from infographics to an initial month of social media posts, all aligned to the central theme: this.changes.everything.

video and instagram


Starting with zero visibility the launch campaign gained exposure and won engagement with HR industry influencers. During the two-day launch in Amsterdam the team gained 253 leads – all before a single product had been sold. People First has since been featured in The Times and garnered innovation awards in the US.

“Emberson’s solid digital strategy and great, responsive social media activity had great results for us” – Juliet Hailstone, People First