Episode Thumbnail
Episode 21  |  39:44 min

Thinking Outside the Jar (with Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey, Branding Team, Design Pickle)

Episode 21  |  39:44 min  |  03.04.2021

Thinking Outside the Jar (with Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey, Branding Team, Design Pickle)

This is a podcast episode titled, Thinking Outside the Jar (with Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey, Branding Team, Design Pickle). The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">What do you get when you mix marketing, singing pickles, and Oompa Loompas? No, it’s not a fever dream. It’s actually a co-branded marketing strategy that you’ll hear all about in this episode of Lights, Camera Grow.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey, Brand Director and Director of Brand Partnerships respectively at Design Pickle, gave us a dill-ightful peek at how a content company makes their OWN content, including their buzz-worthy podcast called “Creatives are the Worst.”</span></p>
Takeaway 1 | 00:48 MIN
Lights, Camera, Grow EP 21
Takeaway 2 | 03:16 MIN
Who is Design Pickle
Takeaway 3 | 01:38 MIN
Creatives Are the Worst Podcast
Takeaway 4 | 01:02 MIN
Do you have goals for your podcast?
Takeaway 5 | 02:07 MIN
What have been the creative struggles with your podcast?
Takeaway 6 | 01:13 MIN
Advice about co-hosting a podcast

What do you get when you mix marketing, singing pickles, and Oompa Loompas? No, it’s not a fever dream. It’s actually a co-branded marketing strategy that you’ll hear all about in this episode of Lights, Camera Grow.

Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey, Brand Director and Director of Brand Partnerships respectively at Design Pickle, gave us a dill-ightful peek at how a content company makes their OWN content, including their buzz-worthy podcast called “Creatives are the Worst.”

And yes, there are plenty of pickle puns to relish. 

Episode Highlights:

  • The creative benefits of trusting your team to make whatever they want
  • The process of finding the right podcast format and co-host
  • The benefits of hiring a podcast producer
  • How to choose effective co-branding partners
  • Measuring brand awareness (err...being ok with not measuring it)
  • Branded podcasts (and complimentary pickle suits) as a recruiting tool

Mentioned in this episode:

Design Pickle: Subscription-based design services

Creatives Are The Worst podcast

Dilly Wonka co-branded content

Where to find Kate & Jess




Kate & Jess’s Favorite Podcasts

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Armchair Expert

Behind the Bastards

My Favorite Murder


Apple Podcast - https://apple.co/2xU2dYq

Spotify - https://spoti.fi/2XecKbF

Google - http://bit.ly/LightsCameraGrow_Google

YouTube - http://bit.ly/TobeAgency_YouTube

Thanks for watching and listening!

Guest Thumbnail
Kate Rooney
Brand DirectorKate on LinkedIn
Guest Thumbnail
Jess Guffey
Director of Brand PartnershipsJess on LinkedIn

Kate: We talk about a different creative each week and kind of just talk about how they've changed the world and what they've contributed. There's a lot of philosophical conversations about the people that we talk about, but it's always kind of ended up in laughter.

Jess: Yeah. And I think as we've gone on, we've almost shifted without even realizing it that our goal is to tell stories that people don't know. So our new phrase that we're using is like providing tidbits that you can share at your night's dinner party. So we try to find the stuff that they don't know that people can get excited about and then want to talk about to their friends.

Jared: That's Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey from Design Pickle. On this episode, we talk about how Design Pickle approaches brand partnerships and why a subscription workforce like Design Pickle needed a podcast. This is Lights, Camera, Grow. Hey, what's going on, guys? Welcome back to the Lights, Camera, Grow podcast. My name is Jared. I'm back with Ho. And today we have two special guests, a little bit different, a little bit of a curve ball for you. We have Kate Rooney and Jess Guffey of Design Pickle. Hey ladies, how's it going?

Kate: Hello.

Jess: Hello.

Kate: It's going great.

Jess: Thanks for having us.

Jared: Welcome to the show. Thanks for taking out some time from both of your crazy schedules to hang out with us on this weird Friday the 13th, which is spooky, right?

Jess: Yeah. Kate loves spooky stuff, you guys, so you got her on a good day. She's feeling extra spooky today, I'm guessing.

Kate: I'm so unique in that, loves true crime and spooky stuff. Shocking.

Jared: I've never heard of anyone like that, actually.

Kate: Weird, right? crosstalk.

Jess: It's really strange.

Kate: I feel more powerful because it's Friday the 13th.

Jared: Nice. Everybody's got that super power. Right? Super day, super power. All right, cool. So before we get into the meat of the episode, Kate and Jess, why don't you give the audience a little bit of background about yourselves and Design Pickle.

Kate: So-

Jess: Take it away, Kate.

Kate: Thank you. We both work for Design Pickle and Design Pickle's a flat rate craft design and creative services company. So basically any company, agency, entrepreneur can sign up and for just a flat rate, get all of your design work done by one of our amazing designers. And we both work on the marketing team, of course. I handle all of our brand and content and I work alongside Jess Guffey over here. Take it away, Jess.

Jess: Yes. So Kate's our brand director and I'm our director of partnerships. And we just like to work on cool content day in and day out. That's pretty much what we do. All the weird stuff. The weirder, the better, some would say, for Design Pickle, we get comments about that all the time. But yeah, that's kind of what we do and why we do it.

Jared: Nice.

Kate: All about content.

Jared: Design Pickle in a pickle jar. That was a bad joke. Sorry.

Kate: But we're all about those bad jokes. I mean, that's kind of the core of Design Pickle, so nailed it. Yeah.

Jared: Yeah. That's cool. I actually came across Design Pickle, funny enough, on a podcast. I think it was maybe three years ago roughly. I heard, I would imagine. I don't remember his name, but I think it was probably the CEO, I guess that's pretty early on in the brand or a little earlier in the brand, but yeah, I heard about them on another podcast about agencies and they were talking about how at the time Design Pickle was sort of breaking through in this new space that I guess you guys, in some ways, created, you guys created, because there's not a ton of competition in the same, I guess in the same fashion that you guys are where you're more of like this you're on demand, but you're monthly subscription. And I think the cooler thing is you get sort of assigned your design team with you guys, at least from what I've read. So yeah, it's a little bit different, but that was the first time I heard about Design Pickle.

Kate: Yeah, that was Mr. Russ Perry, our CEO and founder. And you know what's interesting is he was on a lot of podcasts early on and we still have like a ton of customers today that came from those podcasts, from him being on other podcasts. But yeah, it's, we're kind of, it's weird because people ask us like," Who's your major competitors?" And it's hard to answer that because it is kind of like this is a new space and our competitors could be like marketplaces or Fiverr. But the difference with us is, as you mentioned, you're working with the same designer. So they get to know you and they almost become integrated into your team instead of being mixed around with different freelancers or different designers.

Jess: Yeah. We've actually started calling it its own term. So we refer to it now as the subscription workforce. So basically it's the concept of taking the best of an in- house person, a freelancer and whatever other model is out there for getting access to design. So I think that is pretty much all encompassing when it comes to how we do what we do.

Jared: That's cool. Do you guys focus on, or is there a future to focus on anything outside of design, video, audio?

Kate: Oh, yes.

Jared: I mean, obviously there's a ton of media flying around these days, right? Content in multiple forms.

Kate: Yeah. That's the plan. I mean, we've really nailed down graphic design and we've had a lot of happy customers who are asking or hoping for," When are you going to start doing this? When you can start doing this?" And to everyone we say," It's coming."

Jess: We honestly don't know.

Kate: Yeah. I was going to be mysterious and be like," Well, I can't say too much about it," but really it's just because we don't know.

Ho: Sounds mysterious.

Jared: Yeah. Right on brand, right?

Kate: Very on brand for us.

Jess: Exactly.

Jared: Tell me a little bit about the current strategy of Design Pickle, as far as like your content strategy and sort of like how you guys see it because I think you have a little bit of a leg up, right. You're able to craft design and brand yourselves a lot better than a lot of companies out there just because you have that advantage of having sort of that already in your DNA.

Kate: I mean, when it comes to content for us, we're doing all of the things that most everyone else in the marketing space is doing. I mean, we have our blog content, our email outreach and everything like that, but I think what helps Design Pickle stand out and is definitely a core part of our strategy is how we can be unique from everyone else in doing so and really getting that brand voice and persona out and reflecting that across all these different channels, making sure it's consistent. And we've kind of like joked about before. I mean, Design Pickle's often kind of unique and quirky in what we do, but that's kind of just in our DNA and people notice it. So it's working for us sticking to that personality.

Jess: I would say too, on the partnership side, everything we do with partnerships obviously is content- based so we're not really into the affiliate model or anything else. We try to make meaningful co- branded partnerships. And we actually just did one that was probably the funniest piece of content we've done thus far, which is a bold statement coming from people that have done the weirdest things on the face of the planet. But we work with this company called Gardnology, which is a coffee subscription box that's launching in Q1. And we basically did a whole spoof off of Willy Wonka. So instead of Willy Wonka, we're calling the main character Dilly Wonka. And instead of oompa loompas, we're calling them lurking gherkins and all of that stuff. So we really try to emulate that voice no matter what the project is or what it's for.

Kate: And yeah, we've done some really strange stuff that... The whole oompa loompa thing.

Jess: Was a fever dream. It's a total fever dream.

Kate: Yeah, it feels like a dream. Yeah. We had four colleagues and a child in pickle... We all have pickle suits that we own. And they wore those, we painted their faces all in orange and did a whole number in this.

Jess: Yeah, it doesn't feel like real work at all. You have to check where you're at and why you're doing what you're doing a couple of times a day.

Kate: And it's kind of a fine line of it's fun to do the fun content, but it's never not for a reason. We always have a goal in mind and we're trying to hit those goals. We're just going to do it in the Design Pickle way, so to speak.

Jared: When you're looking for those partnerships, what are like some of the complementary features that you're looking for on the other side of the partner? Because I guess in a crazy world, if both are kind of quirky or in that same, it almost is like overwhelming. So what do you look for?

Jess: Yeah. I think it depends on what we're trying to accomplish. A lot of partnerships come about organically, but I think really what I focus on is how flexible is the other party willing to be? Maybe they're not as quirky as us, but if they're willing to go along with our shenanigans and feel comfortable doing so then we know it's going to be a good match. We've done partnerships in the past where we've worked with people that just are a little more serious than us, and that's totally fine, but it never ends up working out because we don't feel like we're conveying our brand voice as well as we probably could have with someone else.

Kate: And to add to that too, I think looking at audiences that overlap. I mean, we're going to partner with people who have a similar audience. There's some sort of connection there, regardless of if we're doing something crazy like that, or if it's just a simple partnership, we want someone who our audiences will resonate with each other. They overlap a bit there.

Jared: Well, next time you need some extra pickles on set, let us know. We'll gladly hop in the suits.

Jess: Be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you wish for.

Ho: Some pickles for hire here.

Kate: Your pickle suits are in the mail right now.

Jared: Is that part of the employee onboarding package?

Kate: It actually is.

Jared: Instead of a t- shirt you actually get a pickle suit?

Jess: Yeah. That's not a joke. You do.

Kate: I am a little bitter because when I joined Design Pickle, same with you, Jess, three years ago, we didn't get pickle suits. I went bought one on my own just because I was like," I need to create content. I need a pickle suit." So I just got one, but then it just became a thing. And now, yeah, every time we have a new member come on, they get a pickle suit.

Ho: That's actually awesome.

Jared: That's actually-

Ho: So you started that trend of pickle suiting up.

Kate: I mean, I don't want to toot my own horn, but sure. Well, it's beep, beep.

Jared: All right. So let's jump into the newest endeavor of Design Pickle, which is this really actually funny and amazing podcast called Creatives Are The Worst. And if I'm not mistaken, you guys are the concepters, producers, podcasters, hosts. For the most part, you guys are the creative minds behind the initiative to push to start this podcast. So first off set the stage, tell us about the podcast, what it's about.

Kate: Sure. Yeah. It's Creatives Are The Worst and it's exactly that. We talk about a different creative each week and kind of just talk about how they've changed the world and what they've contributed. And that could be musicians, actors, directors, artists, and kind of organically we discovered that there's a connection between all of these creatives. And so we're just exploring that. And then yeah, Jess and I get to hang out and be silly together, but there's a lot of philosophical conversations about the people that we talk about, but it's always kind of ends in laughter no matter what.

Jess: Yeah. And I think as we've gone on, we've almost shifted without even realizing it that our goal is to tell stories that people don't know. So our new phrase that we're using is providing tidbits that you can share at your next dinner party, because we all do that whether we realize it or not. And there's so much out there on the people that we cover that a lot of people know about Vince McMahon or Prince or whatever it is, so we try to find the stuff that they don't know that people can get excited about and then want to talk about it to their friends.

Ho: Yeah. That's really interesting. I have a question about that because we spend, we're obviously spending time interviewing you and we have a podcast and our CEO always asks us," How much is it going to cost?" Right. So when it comes to you guys, how do you, because there's three hours for your conversation and then there's also research, that research element. How much time are you putting into the show and how are you getting your CFO or your finance person to sign off on that?

Kate: That's a really good question.

Jess: We're really fortunate to have a producer that does the bulk of the work for us. So by the time we sit down to record we'll of course make tweaks to the research and whatnot to make it flow in our voices and whatnot. But we don't do as much as you're probably thinking we do.

Kate: It's a little bit of a book report each week because we're learning about fascinating people and people that we may have already kind of known about, but just digging a little bit deeper. So it's interesting. And yeah, there've been days where we're set to record and I'm Slacking Jess like," Hey, I have made zero progress with my research. We're going to have to postpone." So we're both flexible with that. And yeah, as far as getting buy in from stakeholders, I mean, we're very fortunate that Russ and everyone else at Design Pickle has put a lot of trust in us. We launched the podcast with almost no one hearing it beforehand.

Jess: Accurate.

Jared: That seems like a standard. Yeah, that's normal.

Jess: Yeah, yeah. We knew, and our producer Arison, he's awesome. He did a lot of prep work with us and he still kind of coaches us on podcasting here and there. He has a lot of experience. And one thing that he made very, very clear from the start is that this is a marathon, not a sprint, keep that in mind and also when we're getting buy- in from everyone else, we have to make that very clear that, we're not going to see results overnight. That's just impossible unless you are Michelle Obama who really-

Jared: Yeah, a celebrity.

Ho: Who?

Jess: We asked the same question.

Kate: Yeah. So as far timing though, I mean, it's hard to say, because I'm not great at balancing time. I struggle with that. I think a lot of people do and there are days when we have to move our recordings to the weekends, but it's because we really believe in this project, we're passionate about it and we think it's going to be a better way to demonstrate Design Pickle, not so much of what we do with our service, but just our personality, our core values and everything like that.

Jared: Yeah. That brings up a great question. So have you set hard goals for yourself outside of just metric values in a podcast, which is a whole other thing on its own, because they're so misleading to begin with anyway? So have you guys set a goal like by X amount of episodes you're looking for this or anything like that?

Jess: We've set a download goal per episode, but I think beyond that, the way we look at this is it's a brand awareness play, right? We want people to come experience the brand from a different angle. And I think that's happened that we didn't even realize was going to happen. And we didn't aim for in the beginning is our recruiting team was like," Guys, this is awesome for recruiting candidates because people Google Design Pickle and they see that there's a podcast and that's a really organic way for them to get to know the brand before they interview with us." So that's been kind of cool because we obviously didn't see that as a benefit ahead of time, but if we can help the entire Design Pickle universe in this project that makes it easier to keep selling internally.

Jared: Yeah. That's cool. I've seen a lot of companies, in fact, to some extent, we have an older podcast for our agency that we used to just kind of shoot the shit on. It was a little bit more organic, a lot more playful. And it ended up being like a little bit of a recruiting tool for us as well. Another way that we've seen recruiting tools or I guess post recruiting, but a lot of companies are now starting to do these like internal style podcasts where it's only going out to the team and it's obviously more of like a company culture play in it. Hopefully at some point it becomes like a benefit of why people are kind of sticking around because they're able to communicate in a different fashion using podcasts. So that's really interesting that you stumbled across that so early on already, because I think you guys are only under 10 episodes, right? I think.

Kate: Yeah.

Jared: Yeah. That's amazing that it's already starting to kind of grow its wings. Wait, do pickles have wings?

Kate: If you believe hard enough.

Ho: Imagine Pickle Rick and how they don't wings.

Jess: Exactly.

Kate: That's it. Yeah. Yeah. No, but look, because we were so new to podcasting, we didn't know what kind of goals to set.

Jared: Right.

Kate: We set those download goals. And I was kind of like," Okay, we know we can measure that." And brand awareness is so hard to measure, but we figured we'd tie it into that a little bit. But yeah, it was really cool to see that other good things were coming from it. And now we can kind of focus on," Okay, well, how else can we leverage other ways to, I don't know, other things for this podcast?"

Ho: Yeah. Well, as an agency, whenever we pitch proposals and things to clients, anytime we say brand awareness, they're like,"Nah, we're good." Even that word itself is kind of triggering. They're like," We'll think about it."

Kate: So true.

Jess: It really is tough. My whole job is brand awareness, right? So I can have metrics associated and say," Okay, I want to generate X leads with this partnership or this article that we got," but it's really hard sometimes when you're trying to remind people of," Hey, there's not a great way to measure this, but it's happening." And you can see the commentary and people are talking about it and it's generating buzz. But how do you measure buzz? I have no idea. If anyone knows, please let us know.

Ho: I haven't figured it out.

Jared: I think maybe Apple and Coca- Cola, those kind of companies might be the only ones to figure it out. Maybe Xerox or Kleenex. Right? Because their name brand has taken on an entire-

Ho: That's true. Or TikTok stars.

Jared: Or TikTok stars.

Kate: Yeah. TikTok. Oh man. We keep talking about how we want to be on TikTok for the podcast because that's what podcasters do, but Jess and I are just illiterate with it. We don't know what to do.

Jared: We are too. Yeah, we are too. I can't articulate myself in 30 seconds usually.

Kate: Yeah.

Jess: I have trouble keeping up with the kids. Yeah. We're like grandmas. We don't know what's going on.

Ho: We're the same. And I don't get what becomes popular-

Kate: Yes. crosstalk.

Jared: But that's usually when you know you're old because the train runs past.

Ho: I'm totally comfortable with that.

Jared: But that's one of those metrics that you know you're old because you don't get those things.

Ho: So that's next. So TikTok is next for Design Pickle, guys. If you're listening that's-

Jess: crosstalk We have a Design Pickle TikTok that has some pretty funny stuff on it, but we don't have one for Creatives Are The Worst yet.

Kate: Yeah. We have some younger folks on the team and they've just nailed TikTok. I am supposed to oversee social and I was just like," You guys just go for it. I don't even know what you do on there." And they've created just awesome stuff. They find the trends and they recreate it and make it pickle themed.

Ho: That's amazing.

Kate: Yeah, they do some cool stuff on there.

Ho: Do you ever wonder? Do you ever get nervous? I guess your hiring process is great. Right? And your company culture is great in a sense, but how do other companies where they don't have wherewithal to trust their social, their younger person to create content in the name of the company? Does that make you nervous at all?

Kate: Nervous? No. I mean, I will see things as they come out and if it's totally off- brand, then I'll step in. But you said we have a good culture and we hire for culture too. So yeah, I do trust them. And if it were on, I don't know, LinkedIn, I would probably be a lot more cautious. But on TikTok, I'm like," Hey, have at it." And I've seen the stuff that they create and they know not to go beyond the bounds. And I sent out mass emails to 100,000 people and I've gotten angry messages about the smallest stuff. So people are going to hate no matter what. As long as we're sticking to our core values and we're not out there to like hurt anyone or do anything like that, we're usually kosher, may I say.

Jared: The kosher pickle.

Jess: Oh, God.

Ho: The kosher pickle.

Kate: Thank you, thank you.

Jared: So in the recap, we have to go back and figure out where we dropped different pickles throughout the-

Kate: A bunch of Easter eggs.

Jared: What's left?

Kate: Well, it's a really big dill when we post on TikTok.

Ho: They have to.

Jared: I know.

Ho: I love it.

Kate: That's an easy one.

Jared: All right. So jumping back into the more serious stuff. Now, I'm just kidding. But jumping back into the podcast a little bit, what have been some of your creative struggles in the podcast? So I know obviously there's a handful of technical struggles that are always going to happen. Right? We talked about audio before we even started recording. That's always going to happen. But I think where a lot of people, if they're starting a podcast or they have one, they don't talk about the creative struggles because sometimes you do hit a wall, right? What have been some of those struggles for you guys?

Jess: We really struggled with the format at first. We knew how we wanted to tell stories. We knew kind of what we wanted to do and the angle, but we didn't know how to bring that to light. So when we first started recording pilot episodes, we actually both were telling a story and rotating back and forth within the same story. And then we listened to it back and we're like," Something just feels off here." So we kept working on it. And then that's when we actually hired a producer and made sure that a producer was involved in this process and we weren't just going rogue on our own, as fun as it was. So we did some more piloting and just testing different formats. And then we ended up at where we are now, which is when one of us is telling a story, the other one actually doesn't know until we record who we're talking about so that they're reacting in a really organic way and can't do research ahead of time because we're both sneaky like that and definitely would, if we knew who it was.

Jared: That makes it kind of fun though.

Jess: Yeah. It's always so fun because we genuinely don't know. I mean, every time you hear shock in the show, it's genuine shock or excitement about covering that person, but it took us a long time to get to that point creatively for sure.

Jared: How many episodes do you think you've recorded before you actually released episode one?

Kate: Well, we recorded... Man, going back to when we first pitched the concept. A year ago, I wanted to do a Design Pickle podcast and I wanted it to have a comedic spin to it, but we didn't know. We thought maybe it would be about marketing or whatever, but then the name popped into my head and I was like," That's catchy, that's fun." But originally it was going to be a little bit more serious and talking about really amazing people who just have no flaws whatsoever. That's not fun. No one wants to hear that.

Ho: The Jess Guffeys of the world.

Kate: Exactly. Right? How boring. Get out of here.

Jess: So boring.

Kate: So we recorded the first episode and it was about, gosh, I'm totally blanking on her name. Right.

Jess: Carolyn Davidson, I think is her name.

Kate: Carolyn Davidson, who's the designer of the original Nike logo. The swish. Yeah, we were both telling the story and it wasn't exciting because we both knew it and there wasn't any shock and awe to it. So it was just like,"And then this happened." So it's also really cute how we thought we'd be able to do it on our own without a producer to help us out. But really that was like the only episode we recorded together in that format. And then we did a lot of discussion about what to do next. And when we thought about" What if we each told each other a story and maybe we make it a surprise?", actually at first we thought maybe one person will always be doing the research and the other person's just there to, I don't know. So we did a test where we both told each other stories and it wasn't like an actual episode. It wasn't intended to be that. It was just to see how it would work, how it would sound. And we tried it and we're like," Okay, that works. Let's do it." And then here we are.

Ho: So it only took them one episode to figure that out. That's actually pretty wild.

Jess: I'm going to say two, one and a half, we tried to record another one and then we scrapped it in the middle. And we were like," This is terrible." When we did Augusta Savage, Kate.

Kate: Oh, that's right. I forgot about that.

Jess: We censored ourselves real quick and knew that it was just horrific and decided to call it quits.

Jared: That's still pretty good though. Only two episodes. And then you sort of figured out your... I mean, obviously you have a rapport outside of that, so it's not like you were people meeting on the first time, trying to figure out how to host together, which can be awkward in its own sense.

Jess: Yeah, for sure.

Kate: Let me tell you, you guys are super awkward together.

Jess: Super uncomfy.

Ho: We actually don't get along at all. crosstalk Purely business.

Kate: That's actually, I swear if you're ever going to try to podcasts, my professional advice from somebody who has seven episodes out, if you plan to have a co- host, it should be someone that you have natural chemistry with, a rapport with, because that has made this whole process so much easier. Jess and I already can have a conversation, have it be fun so we can talk about serious stuff and whatnot, but it comes a lot more naturally than it would anyone else.

Jared: Yeah. You sort of already know how to play off each other and sort of bounce ideas back and forth in real time, which that's usually where people struggle. It's like when they're trying to think of things in real time, it starts to either show and deteriorate or they just say a whole bunch of gibberish that you're like," What are you talking about?"

Jess: I think, too, that's what we noticed with going back and forth in one story, there was no room for us to riff on each other or bounce ideas back and forth in real time. It was all so scripted even if we were just doing bullet points. And that was not at all the vibe that we wanted. We wanted to show our chemistry and we wanted to play off that more than that format allowed. So we're really happy with how it's gotten to where it is to get away from that.

Ho: When it comes to, if we can take a step back and talk about Design Pickle a little bit, we always, Jared has a creative eye, but when we bring people on, it's amazing how everyone sees things differently. Is there a standard or is there anything that you're noticing right now in the marketing world or the design world that has caught your eye? It's like," That's really cool." Because we trust you guys as the thought leaders of design almost, right? So what do you guys see right now?

Jess: I'll tell you, sorry, Kate. I have to have fun with this one. So my favorite thing right now is companies that almost hit the mark but don't in some way. Their intention is there, but they fail in some aspect of it. And I don't know if you guys, crosstalk.

Jared: Yeah, I love that.

Jess: No, I'm not that Savage. I promise. Well, not yet at least, but what Gap did during election week? Did you guys see that?

Jared: I did not, but now-

Ho: Fill us in, yeah.

Jess: They came out with the sweatshirt that was half red and half blue and this message of unity and they put it out on election day. And the intention was really nice. They were like," Everyone just come together," but they got absolutely slammed for it because people were like," This is not the time, Gap. Know your timing, know your place. Good message. Really nice. But you did not put that out at a time where people want to hear this message. So it would have performed much better had you put it out a week from now or whatever it is." So that one really caught my attention because it kind of hit all sides of what we have going on in the world right now.

Jared: Very like Tommy Hilfiger of them, 1990s.

Jess: Totally.

Jared: I think there was a sweater that my friend more that was like white on the top. People can't see me if you're listening to this but white on top and it's split down the middle underneath the white and it was red and blue because that was the Tommy Hilfiger logo.

Ho: That's back, by the way. I don't know if you know.

Kate: Oh yeah, yeah.

Jess: Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger. Yeah.

Jared: I just dated myself. So, but did they come out and say they didn't intentionally do that? Or was it like," Hey, we're just going to troll everybody with this"?

Jess: They remained very silent after the fact, which is interesting because a couple of the other companies in that group of companies with Gap, like Athleta, they came out with a message about women in powerful positions that no one batted an eye at and they put it out at the same time. So I think it's just-

Jared: They missed.

Jess: Yeah. They missed the mark and they didn't read the room before they put something out with such a dramatic statement, but the intention was very nice and I think they were trying to do the right thing, but, again, had they waited a week, they probably would have been received with much happier people.

Ho: It's a classic Pepsi, Kylie Jenner.

Jared: Yeah.

Jess: Exactly.

Ho: Yeah. The anti- marketing marketing almost, right?

Jared: Speaking of that, not to... So I was just recently traveling and Kylie has vending machines in airports. There was a vending machine in an airport.

Kate: What do you get out of it? Tanning spray?

Jared: It's like a make- up vending machine. And at first I looked at it and I was like," Oh, that's ridiculous. How could this even have gotten to this point?" But then I looked at it again. And if you just sat there and watched it and people watch the amount of people that would go up and just interact with it, not buy anything, but just like touch things. Look at it, look at the pricing probably, just like over and over, over like an hour. It must've been like at least 30 or 40 girls, guys, whoever, just go up and just like interact with this thing.

Ho: Yeah, because they're not trying to close that sale on that spot.

Jared: So all I could think of was like,"They were just collecting data on what actually people are looking at." I don't know if there's a camera in it at some point. I don't know. Maybe not, maybe not that crazy, but at least they're getting the data of people touching it and seeing what's actually being interacted with.

Ho: Yeah. That's cool.

Jared: Anyway, sorry to go on like that.

Kate: What patterns people are doing and crosstalk I'm sure you can't interact with it without providing some sort of, I don't know, email or filling out something.

Ho: Or what products people are clicking on most to see what's most popular.

Jared: Yeah. And I'm sure it's very like accessible pay.

Ho: Yeah.

Jared: You could pay with any type of digital wallet, I'm sure. Probably after pay and break up a compact that's$ 50 into 60 months payments or something like that. But yeah. Anyway, sorry to like sort of jet off into that but I thought that was interesting.

Kate: But I love stuff like that. I mean, not that in particular, but hearing the unique ways that people are showcasing their brand. And I was telling Jess about this earlier, I bought McDonald's two weeks ago, not ashamed to admit it, but literally the reason why I got it was because I went down this rabbit hole of a, so they had that partnership with J Balvin and I don't even know who that is.

Jared: And Travis Scott. Right?

Ho: I thought you were a Travis Scott fan personally.

Kate: Well, sure.

Jess: She's not, she's not. Don't let her fool you.

Kate: It's only because I'm not cool enough, but I saw it and I was like," I think that these people are cool, that these people are what's cool now." And just the whole partnership the way, not just how it was presented, but the journey it took me from to discovering that they had a partnership to forcing me to download the McDonald's app because then you get a free McFlurry and I wanted that McFlurry. So I did that and it was like, the whole experience was really cool. And it was very well thought out. They thought of every touch point that a consumer would have and it freaking worked because I ate my Big Mac in shame afterwards.

Ho: It's true.

Jared: And is it because you think they maybe they've sampled enough data to figure out what the mechanism is to get you to that point, right?

Kate: Yeah. I mean, they knew that there was some, it seemed to me like they needed more people, they wanted more people to use their app, McDonald's app, versus just ordering from DoorDash or whatever. And the way to do that was to do this partnership where you get something for free if you order from here. But beyond that, I mean just the experience was cool. They did it in, I don't know, they made McDonald's cool again, I guess. Or was it ever uncool?

Ho: I'm offended because I always thought McDonald's was cool.

Kate: I know, I'm just playing it up.

Ho: I'm glad we're on the same page.

Kate: But it's interesting because McDonald's has always done celebrity partnerships.

Ho: Yeah, that's true.

Jared: For the longest time. Right? When I was a kid, it was like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson. And it was like," Oh well, they're professional athletes. They're eating a Big Mac. I'll eat one, too."

Ho: No brainer.

Jared: Right. And now it's like the new generation of that is how they're partnering with Travis Scott and J Balvin and obviously pushing it through the app. Right?

Kate: Yeah, and get cool brand swag.

Jared: Yeah, exactly. It gives them a little bit of like street cred.

Ho: And last night, I don't know if you know, but the PS five dropped for time stamping. Right? But there's a PS 5, Nike, Travis Scott collaboration shoe. And I wanted it of course.

Jess: That's so intense.

Kate: Are you kidding me?

Jess: That's so intense.

Ho: I had to watch a Travis Scott video on YouTube. It was live and they promoted it him unboxing the PS 5 and then right after you go to his website and you-

Jared: Wait in line.

Ho: But there's a raffle and only five winners, but I'm sure there's millions of people signing up. But if you think about how many emails that guy has captured.

Kate: Dude. Yeah. All the data behind that too. I mean the data of them trying to find out, like we said before, the common denominator of their audiences. And so they knew like this is going to be a good partnership, but serious question. Did you get a PS 5?

Ho: No, I'm still waiting.

Kate: Oh man.

Jess: I'm so out of the video game loop and Kate, we always joke that we're dude bros, but like I'm the sports dude bro and Kate is the video gaming dude bro. So she'll talk about video games and I'm like," I don't know what you're saying. That's really cool."

Kate: Jess is like," Go sports ball."

Jared: Sports ball. So it sounds like the four of us need our own podcast because I'm the sports dude and he's the video game dude. So yeah.

Jess: It's perfect.

Kate: There we go. Wow, match made in heaven.

Ho: Spin off on spin off on spin off.

Jess: Exactly.

Jared: We always usually like to end with a couple of different questions. In this time I would like to know what podcasts are you guys listening to personally?

Jess: We geek out on podcasts together all the time. I have several that I have in my rotation, but I think my all time favorite is Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend. I think he's just an awesome interviewer and tells really funny stories on the fly and you can't beat that.

Kate: Oh, I thought you were going to elaborate. Yeah.

Ho: I thought there was going to be at least two more.

Kate: We both listen to that one and I love-

Ho: She set it up that way.

Kate: Conan is a national treasure, but even the ads are funny, but he also has really interesting conversations about creatives and creativity. So it's a good, I don't know. It relates to our podcast as well.

Ho: That's fair.

Jared: You can't cop out. You have to give us another podcast. You can't just say one.

Jess: Sorry. I also really like Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I think that's crosstalk. Yes. I think the psychology that they get into with every guest is really cool. Kate and I are amateur psychologists, we like to think, so I love that one. And then I would say the third one is Behind the Bastards. There are actually a lot of similarities with that one in our podcasts, except they cover people that are definitively the worst every single time, whereas the people we cover may or may not be the worst, but they are awesome. And I think the host of that one, he's just great. I mean, he's an investigative journalist, so you can tell his research is top- notch.

Ho: Love it.

Jared: Nice.

Kate: Jess just out here stealing my answers. Yeah. I listen to Behind the Bastards too. Obviously my favorite murder The Last Podcast on the Left because I love all the spooky stuff. Actually the thing that I've been listening to the most right now is Lights, Camera, Grow because I hear fascinating stories every single time.

Jared: Well said.

Ho: Put that in the beginning.

Jared: That's actually the only part of the podcast we're publishing.

Ho: The teaser.

Jared: Kate, Jess, it's been awesome. Thank you so much for spending some time with us and joking around and just talking about all things that are not the worst, including Design Pickle. Where can everybody find you and Design Pickle?

Jess: Oh gosh. We're at Design Pickle across channels and social and then for Creatives Are The Worst, we're at Creatives are the Worst on Instagram and @ worstcreatives on Twitter, if you're into the Twitterverse, and then you can find us both on LinkedIn as well, I think. We're not so into social media on the personal level.

Kate: Yeah, you can find us on Instagram, but you're going to see pictures of her dogs. But yeah, Creatives Are The Worst and Design Pickle are the two main handles you can check us out on.

Jared: Cool. We will link everything in the show notes. Thanks again for your time.

Kate: Thank you so much.

Jess: Thank you guys. This is so fun.

Jared: Thanks for joining us on this episode. Thanks to Kate and Jess for being our guests and thanks to the production team that put this together. If you like what you heard, don't forget to rate, review and subscribe to the Lights, Camera, Grow podcast. Thanks for listening. We'll catch you on the next one.

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