In 2014, I co-founded the UK's number one hangover drink, OHAYO. Japanese for "good morning," it was designed to live on your bedside table, to be consumed after a night out, just before bed. By replacing the vitamins, electrolytes and salts that alcohol takes away, it was the only product that prevented the hangover before it set in.
The biggest complaint we had was that people were forgetting to drink it in their drunken state -- so we designed the bottle itself to help to remind you to drink it. The smiley face logo was a sticker that peeled off, revealing a glow-in-the-dark patch underneath. So if you woke up in the middle of the night thirsty, you'd find your OHAYO calling out to you in the dark.
OHAYO THE BRAND
Due to the strict regulations in the UK, we could never use the term "hangover" or even make direct reference to alcohol. The Japanese branding was a way of skirting the regulations, to allow us to use vague language like "super hydration method" and still communicate our meaning.
The brand tone was designed to be... well, the opposite of everything I'd ever been allowed to do in the advertising world. Genuinely weird, irreverent and reactive to whatever was happening online. You can see it all on our Instagram page.
We were wildly successful in the first year. You could find us on the shelves of Harvey Nichols and in the VIP trailers at Glastonbury. We were written about as a miracle cure in The Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, pretty much every major news outlet.
But eventually, government regulations got the best of us, and we were forced to stop trading in 2016.