Do colleagues that lunch together create awesome campaigns together? Throughout the month of April, Six Black Pens tested that theory, randomly pairing colleagues for a “YouBeaut” get-to-know-you lunch.

Cook for a colleague, bring your own or dine out – the choice was ours. The result? Let’s say we got more than we bargained for.  As the third of Six Black Pens’ 10 pledges to celebrate 10 years in business, this pledge was a little different from our first two. While February saw us cook for the homeless and March had us kayaking to help clean up Sydney Harbour, April was about giving back to our colleagues over a one-on-one lunch.

How did it work? Our names were scrunched into paper balls and thrown in a salad bowl. Random lunch pairs were then drawn.  Some of us chewed our nails in nervous anticipation. Who would we get? Would we sit silently over a bowl of yam fries with our lunch partner, gazing awkwardly out to the bustle of Harris Street, wishing for a campaign deadline to call us back to the office early? Or would lifetime creative partnerships emerge?

Either way, it was on. And the YouBeaut lunches began…

Jess and Pete massively over-ordered at Northern Chinese Noodle Restaurant, with no regrets.  They bonded over dumplings and denim and are now planning to create a blog that celebrates the superior clothing item that is the jean jacket.

Heidi and Paul had a great time eating ‘paper chips’ at the Sydney Fish Market – despite being threatened by hungry seagulls. Heidi discovered Paul is the youngest of seven kids (which, some say, explains a lot).

Cohan and Clif headed for Vic’s Meat Market and enjoyed a lively chat about the benefits of names beginning with ‘C’ and how ‘two for the price of one’ shirts are the only way to shop.

Townie and Chris also chose Vic’s Meat Market and cleaned them out of brisket. They discovered they were both terrible at predicting who’s going to get bumped off next in Game of Thrones.

Over a Japanese feast of donburi and sashimi, Elizabeth and Oli chatted groovy vicars, miserly granddads – and made the startling discovery that they also shared a birthday.

At Bar Clementine in Pyrmont, Julia and Naomi enjoyed more pink wine than pasta, after reminiscing about Julia’s wedding at the gorgeous pink palazzo in Portugal.

Debbie and Josh grabbed takeaway sushi and discussed how Debbie’s love for advertising and brand led to many unexpected roles. Debbie wondered if she should grab the black pen in her bag and correct the typo on Josh’s shirt.

Lainey and Aislinn competed for who could cook the best vegan lunch. While Lainey struggled to get her mouth around Aislinn’s towering gourmet Vegan burger, they agreed they were both winners.

Steve and Bea discovered, after chewing for a really long time, that the pub likely pre-cooks their schnitzels. They cut their losses and washed it down with a second beer.

At Kimberley and Angela’s lunch at vegan dumpling house Bodhi, Ange waxed lyrical about her rescue greyhound Jimmy, who recently strutted on the ‘dogwalk’ as a model. KG disclosed she almost become a government spy.

They had no sooner begun than the lunches were over. Things went back to normal: we heated soup in the microwave and scoffed overcooked cheese toasties at our desks. The glimmering pink palazzo and towering vegan burger were but fading memories.  Our next agency brainstorm, though, was a cracker. Ideas flowed better than ever.
Now we’re planning our YouBeaut dinners. Watch this space.

Tarnee Jacobson

© Six Black Pens 2019