The Best & Worst of 2022, feat. Dorien Russell & Sophie Wood - Ep. 44

James Nord
January 18, 2023
Updated Feb 09, 2024

Welcome to Negronis with Nord. Today’s episode features two guests, Sr. Account Executive, Dorien Russell, and Sr. Creative Strategist, Sophie Wood. The focus today is on the best and worst of 2022 within influencer marketing. You can submit your questions for future episodes here.

Below is a transcript of the full episode for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes.

Welcome to Dorien & Sophie!

James: Hello. Negronis with Nord, episode 44. We have some collaborators here, Sophie, who's joined us many times, who I was saying, I I was asking her today if she changed her hair cuz I was saying, you look very rich.

Sophie: Which is like the best compliment.

James: Anyway. Quite okay. Starting the year off right. And Dorian, welcome to the show. Dorian is on our campaign team as well, has been with us for

Dorien: A year and a half

James: Year and a half. Welcome. I am gonna be totally honest, we're ripping this off a little bit from the All In Pod, which is a bunch of rich men. I do have to also make a confession as the show is called Negronis with Nord. I haven't had a drink in eight days and which has been honestly a bit of a nightmare if I'm gonna be totally honest. <Laugh>, you know, I'm Dr. I'm drying out here giving it a try and life is, is interesting. I've gotten into puzzling, like doing pus. I don't know what the verb of, of like, if you're someone that's really into puzzles, like how are you like a puzzler? Yeah. Are you a puzzler? I don't know. But that's, then

Sophie: I'm shocked. Do you have withdrawals yet?

James: <Laugh>? Excuse me. <Laugh>. I'm having like fun withdrawals a little bit. I'll say the first 30 minutes of the day are much better. Yes. certainly it's been it's been good. I, I'm not hugely committed to dry January. That's like scary looking at a whole month, but maybe damp. Did y'all have any resolutions?

Sophie: I wrote these down. I can't think of a single one off the top of my head.

James: Hard to achieve something at you. You don't even remember. Posture

Dorien: <Laugh>.

Sophie: Better posture was on there.

James: Posture. Yeah. Just you're just doing that yourself. Are you gonna get one of those things that you stick on your back that buzzes every time you slouch?

Sophie: I'm just gonna do it myself. This was also my resolution last year and obviously it didn't work. Cuz here we are. <Laugh>.

James: I have terrible posture.

Best Brand Moment of 2022: Kohl's Cash; Gucci x Francis Bourgeois; Seinfeld x Kith

James: Format is, we're gonna go through a few categories. We'll say our best and worst. We'll start with all best and then we'll go all worst. I guess we'll put a little, let's put a little guardrails here. Generally we are thinking about this in terms of influencers. I think some of it bleeds into like social generally. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, but obviously there is a focus on influencers and we're gonna try our best not to turn this into a long ad for four and how great we are. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So we tried to pick examples that we're not just that we've worked on, which would be what are the best. It's artwork obviously is the best. Sure. So we're gonna take ourselves out of the running a little bit. Let's start with best brand moment.

Dorien: I have to put up there, I think the Kohl's cash situation on TikTok.

James: Okay. That is a client, but

Dorien: <Laugh>, I'm biased, I'm biased. So Kohl's Cash was this like TikTok trend sound that was just going around making rounds on, on four up four year pages, FYPs across the, the globe. It was essentially like a false commercial that uses like very vulgar language. It was very funny and a lot of people were kind of using it to like prank their moms or their dads or in the holidays and they're like, oh my God, there's no way. Yeah. I mean people, you know, got on it. It took off. And Kohl's kind of got into the conversation right at the right time.

James: And there's also like a think a, a pervading, like if you're, if you're like quite online, there's this general joke about Kohl's cash as like a form of fiat, right? Like as, as a like as as an actual currency. You know, Bitcoin's trading at like 500 coal cats, $500 of Kohl's cash right now or something like a, they're like subbing it in for real money. Yeah. So like, that's kind of like also a like foundational part of I think the joke.

Sophie: Yeah. When all the crypto talk was happening earlier this year, it was like the chronically online girls would be like, okay, we're all in the understanding. When a guy is mansplaining you. Cryptocurrency at the end just be like, okay. So it's like Kohl's cash <laugh> <laugh>. And that was like my favorite thing to come outta this year.

Dorien: <Laugh> again, trying to be unbiased, but giving Kohl's some points for how they handled it once it got so large. I think I've seen a lot of brands do this and it's either cringey or it's overproduced or it's just like not safe for work and like, just weird, uncomfortable. But I think if they waited, they just kind of put a little cherry on top to acknowledge that they've seen it and, you know, be a part of the conversation was perfect

James: When something is happening with a brand and they're like, people are like kind of making fun of it, but kind of like it's becoming a thing. I think brands don't have a sense of humor and they're like, no, that's not funny. Kohl's cash is, Kohl's Cash is an amazing program, by the way. But like, they didn't take it too seriously. They, they like got the joke. They got that they were in on a joke. The joke wasn't about them. They could like actually be part of that conversation.

Sophie: Yeah. Yeah. My favorite moment I think happened at the beginning of the year. It was Gucci and Francis Bourgeois, which he had a moment that I think they like very quickly and swiftly emphasized it on. Francis Bourgeois, if you're not familiar, is a creator in the UK who is a train fanatic and he will like talk about trains, watch them go by.

James: He wears like a GoPro on his, he's got the like the Yeah, he puts the like camera in his mouth.

Sophie: Yes. Yes. And he's just loves trains. And so Gucci made this like very nostalgic ad taking place on a train and featured him in it. And I just thought that was an amazing way to create like a beautiful ad had nostalgia, but also bring someone who's like known as a train fanatic. So everyone was going nuts.

James: That's great. I love that one. Yeah. That was amazing. Mine hurts me a little bit to say because I don't really like the brand very much is my caveat, but I feel like the Seinfeld Kith shoot did very well mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, like, it, it made sense for them as like a New York brand. And obviously, you know, I feel like we've talked about, I think we've talked about a bit on the show before about like, you know, when can you like pull these cultural icons back in? I was surprised how big the conversation around it was. It was kind of hard to ignore. I think we actually did a video, Gio and our staff broke down kind of how this thing works. So I thought that they did a great job with that one. Agree. Okay.

Best brand collab of 2022: Green Giant x Corn Kid; Emma Chamberlain x Aritzia

James: Best brand collab. I, I'll start with this one. I feel like one that was like fun. I don't know that the actual posts were like the best. But maybe similar to like the train kid moment was when Green Giant worked with Corn Kid. I knew

Sophie: I knew you were gonna say this.

James: You know, and like I, it was just like, that was such a, like a nice positive, you know, we haven't had a lot of just like unbridled positivity on these platforms recently. A lot of it's like snarky or just plain negative corn kid didn't get canceled. <Laugh>. Like there's no, there's he's young enough, there's no skeletons in that closet. <Laugh>. And I feel like it was something that like for a month or two everyone could just like kind of enjoy and it was like it was sweet for Green Giant to like jump in there, do something kid made some money off a viral moment, which was nice.

Sophie: We can help.

James: Yes. Hopefully. Yeah. And the guy that does recess therapy seems like such a sweetheart.

Sophie: I know. I really love recess therapy. The reason I didn't bring up Corn Kid when we were researching this is because I feel like this year has brought to light issues with children being featured in content and like, I was scared for that kid having so many brand deals and like so many things happening at to him so quickly where he was like, I've just got pulled aside for Reese's therapy and now I'm like an influencer. Yeah. And I worry, I'm like, do they see that money? Like, I hope those kids see the money.

James: I actually probably like the Clams kid even more. I just saw that, you know, I mean ******* cla I'm a clams guy, you know, like, anyway, that's mine. What do y'all have?

Sophie: I had Emma Chamberlain and Aritzia and also I don't think that this was personally chamber. I know, but this is the thing. I'm actually not gonna go hard on this one. I think this was like the one that came to mind. I don't think there were any that like really knocked it outta the park for influencers. And the reason I didn't love this collaboration was because there weren't, to my knowledge, no new items that came out of it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they basically took already existing Aritzia merchandise and like photographed Emma in it and they were teasing it out. Like we were gonna get a whole new collection that was in influenced by or designed by Emma. And I was like, I literally saw this stuff on your site two months ago, but Gen Z still ate it up. So it worked.

James: It worked. Yeah.

Dorien: I mean the audience is overlapped really well too. Like, I mean, I think a Emma Chamberlain girly and then Hillary say girly are like right there.

Sophie: Right. And that's what I was like reading about when it was coming out. It was like as brands and influencer alignment totally makes sense. I just hated that there weren't original pieces to it. Mm-Hmm.

James: <Affirmative>, I think the nature of the industry that it's not about like this one big moment mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but like doing the right things over and over and what, what is a great collaboration for one community. People not in that community might look at it and be like, I don't really get this so much. So I think it's like natural that it's, it's there's less like individual collaborations that jump out as like, this was, this was dominant. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. What are best brands to work with? What do y'all have?

Best brands to work with in 2022: Nuuly; Sephora

Dorien: I think you gotta take this one.

Sophie: Okay. Well F*** You Pay Me did like a wrap up of 2022. The best brands to work with and the worst brands to work with based on the reviews. The two top ones I think that they pulled out were Amazon and Adobe. Vivian has a HotToks that goes in depth about why, why they were the best brands to work with. I haven't personally worked with them, but the other one I wanted to call out was Nuuly, which again is one of our clients, sorry. But I do think they're one of the best brands to work with. Their team is incredibly personable. They focus on long-term relationships. I think they pick the right influencers. We also work with them on that. But I think personally from the client side and also from an influencer side, they are the best to work with.

James: Yeah. I also am gonna break my rule and say I have to say Sephora mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. you know, I think still getting into Sephora Squad is a life changing moment. It's something that can really make your career as a creator. I love, you know, the way Sephora has continued to support Squad and grow it while staying true to all of the kind of amazing reasons they started it and, and having it be about inclusivity, making sure that as the program got bigger and better funded, they didn't like transferred to like working just with like big super established influencers. They're still out there looking for, you know, micro mid-tier and kind of smaller macro influencers. So you gotta give it up for Sephora who continues to crush it.

Best brand perception shift: J. Crew, Abercrombie; eBay x Love Island; Diesel

James: Okay. Best brand perception shift. I can start here. I mean this is, I think influencers were pivotal in both of these, but there's no, again, single campaign, but I think J Crew and Abercrombie have both done a pretty good job. J Crew was, you know, I mean for all intents and purposes dead, they have seem to kind of, especially on the men's side, I I haven't felt it as much on the women's side, have reconnect a bit with a community that I think 10 years ago they had as a customer and they're, they have I think made really good inroads. They're doing some interesting stuff. They've got the new store on Bowery. I'm seeing more people talking about it on social.

And then Abercrombie, you know, I think has been this kind of silent killer and this like this, you know, that has been growing and I think getting more cultural relevancy, relevancy over the years. And I think they had, they could have had a really tough year with that documentary coming out. They got ahead of it. They were like, this is not us. Nobody involved in the company back then still works here. This is a completely different organization. We are horrified and disgusted by what happened here. And I think they've done just an amazing job in shifting who they are from a product standpoint. But certainly more importantly for us is from a marketing standpoint. And I think the influencers have been a big part of that.

Sophie: Agree on the J Crew thing. The women's stuff. I do think the men's side was bigger because they had the guy from Noah come in and then on the women's side they had that, I'm forgetting her last name. Olympia something. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. I do think it's been a huge change. And they also did the j Crew Collective where I think they partnered with like cool taste makers like Harling Ross. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> where I wouldn't expect them to be able to like bag her. And I think that was a great strategy.

The only one I had was eBay and Love Island, love Island before used. And this isn't really influencers, but I do feel like anyone who goes on Love Island does end up being an influencer. But Love Island used to partner with, I think it was Pretty Little Thing, which is a fast fashion brand. And then the last two years they've partnered with eBay instead. I'm a huge eBay stan. My skirt and my blazer and my pin are all from eBay. Just saying, if you wanna partner with me my dms are open <laugh>. But they did such a good job at marketing to Gen Z, which I think is a site that no one ever looks at. Yeah. Mostly because you never hear about it. But also their interface is like very much geriatric. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I loved, I loved that partnership.

James: Yeah. What about you Dorien?

Dorien: Yeah, I had Diesel. I think Diesel had a really interesting comeback this year. You know, I always thought of them as like kind of this random like dying denim brand and then outta nowhere on TikTok. It was just like all the girlies had the bag and they're wearing the shirt with the diesel. And I mean, I think yeah, a lot of it was pushed by influencer and celebrity sponsorships. Remember there's a photo of your girl Dua Lipa. Is that your girl?

Sophie: I, I love her. Okay.

Dorien: Yeah, there's a photo of Dua Lipa and like a full diesel look. And I think that kind of started the trend mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. but it's just been really interesting to see them kind of come back and have this moment in 2022.

James: Agree. It's so wild. Cuz when I moved to New York, I mean Diesel was so dominant, it wa like, it was just ******* everywhere.

Best use of creative freedom: Ollipop on TikTok; Sylvanian drama x ASOS

Best use of creative. You, y'all have some for best use of creative freedom. I didn't come up with any here because I didn't do my homework early enough, but y'all did. So what do you think best use of Creative freedom? This is a brand that is letting an influencer kind of totally be their authentic self and do something probably that's like a little uncomfortable for the brand.

Dorien: Yes. I think for me, Ollipop takes the cake. If you're not familiar, Ollipop is a probiotic soda pretty good. They have like a different Cherry Cola, Dr. Pepper, so on and so forth. But on TikTok they've just, one, they've only really focused on TikTok, so they've put all of their like brand spend in TikTok for this year, which is pretty wild. And then out of those partnerships it's been more of like a product placement situation as opposed to like, this is Ollipop and my stomach feels great and blah, blah, blah, blah. Just really allowing these creators to like create their own organic content and just have Ollipop in in the, in the video. I do think that can be a bit of a slippery slope because you know, let's say there's certain, you know, brand mentions or things you want to talk about about the product that kind of get lost in the organic content.

But on the other end you kind of get this, I don't know, feeling of this is the drink of TikTok. I've seen a lot of people talk about how Ollipop, they call it the TikTok soda. Like they don't even really talk about it as a probiotic soda. So it's, it's just been interesting to see how they've incorporated it. There's like a really funny video of this girl who does a really good Kourtney Kardashian impression and she does this video where she's just talking about Ollipop and it feels like Kourtney would be someone that would drink Ollipop as well. It's like very much her brand. Yeah.

James: So our favorite Kourtney moment is someone pretending to be Kourtney.

Sophie: Yeah, that's it. Yeah. You know, I was gonna actually put the Benny drama and Kourtney Kardashian Poosh thing, but I realized that was end of 2021. Oh yeah. So honorable mention, I guess.

James: <Laugh>, what do you have?

Sophie: My favorite is kind of niche. It's Slyvanian drama and ASOS collab <laugh> for any of those who don't know what Slyvanian drama is, it is, I'm pretty sure a 20 year old. I think she's from Ireland, who found a case of Venn dolls like in her basement, which are like these little figurines mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And she puts together like the most unhinged storylines that are like a minute long and it's like you either get it or you don't. Like I showed it to Grace and I was like, this is gonna be, you're gonna die. And she was like, what is this? But anyways, they partnered with basically someone who has no face it's dolls speaking. Right. And let her...

James: Oh, I thought the person actually didn't have a face. Sorry. <laugh>.

Sophie: No, she, it's literally just like dolls. Like, okay. Okay. And they let her do I guess whatever she wanted and she put together one of her unhinged storylines where it's like a mouse doll is cheating on this other hamster doll and it's like, oh my God, is he cheating on me? Blah, blah, blah. I saw him get this gift and I don't have it. And then she gets the gift and she's like, oh my God, I knew you wouldn't cheat on me. But then the catch was buy one, get one free, he got the same thing and gifted it to both people. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen in my ******* life. Here. I know we're gonna have to get a visual in it because it's so fantastic. So funny. But also I think Burberry also partnered with a Sylvanian drama, which Oh wow. Yeah. Anyways, I loved that.

Best breakout creator of 2022: Recess Therapy; Alix Earle

James: There we go. Yeah. This is, they're having a moment. Yeah. what's your, your fa- I already gave my favorite kind of breakout creator. I, I the recess therapy stuff. I really just enjoyed, I think the, like, positivity of it and that like, it was, you know, I think it gave us a few moments throughout the year that were like nice. And it wasn't like trying to be overly creative. It's just like kids being weird. So that was mine. What do y'all have?

Sophie: I think we both had Alix Earle. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, this is us with the agreement about the emoji. Alix Earle. Yeah. The emoji.

Dorien: I don't know if she's necessarily like my favorite, but I, I have to give part of 22 in definitely this beginning part of 2023 q1, if you wanna call it to Alix Earle. She's just like having this social media moment for those who don't know, she's this girl on TikTok, I think. Right. That's blown up. Yeah. and she just like does her makeup and she's like very personable and it feels like you're just talking to another friend. Which I think is, I mean, like I said, I'm not a huge Emma Chamberlain I don't know stand, so I don't really know a whole ton about her, but I feel like that was kind of how she got big as well, was just being a very personable person on the internet. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>

James: Winning the genetic lottery helps. Oh yeah. <Laugh>. I mean everyone's like, how did this, how did this girl get so big? It's like <laugh>, let me just, let me just think about that. Let me try and tease this out for you. <Laugh>. Yeah. Figure it out. It's not hugely surprising, but there's a lot of beautiful people that don't gain tens of millions of followers very quickly.

Sophie: Yeah. I, and there's definitely been some argument about Alix Earle and if she like, deserves her success, which I think is a valid argument because it's like there are so many wonderful POC black creators out there that like don't blow up overnight mm-hmm. <Affirmative> in the way that Alex Earl does, which I definitely think that plays a part of it. But I also think there's something very candid about her where even though she did win the genetic lottery, she has a great pair of boobs that she openly talks about how she paid for them, but also talks about how she's on like Lexapro because she's depressed and she has terrible cystic acne that she covers with her hair and now she's on Accutane. Like they're topics that she talks about were, I feel like most influencers that are in her realm within TikTok specifically just talk about the highlights of their life and like luxury halls when we were talking about that, where she also touches on the ****** things that happen. And she was also pretty candid once she decided to talk about the breakup with her baseball player boyfriend. And I, I think a huge win for her was when ESPN referred to the boyfriend who was a baseball player as Alix Earle's boyfriend and not as the name of the baseball player.

Dorien: Quick question for you with Alix Earle, do you think so? I know when I first got into it I heard of her because she was saying, I'm not gonna talk about the breakup unless I go on call her daddy. Do you think, cuz I think that she as her personal brand makes so much sense for call her Daddy. Absolutely. Do you think that was orchestrated as in like, this is a brand partnership for me That makes sense. Or just kind of like she pulled it out of,

Sophie: I think she did it because she wants to go and call her daddy. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. I wonder though if the girly pop who runs, what is her name? Cooper? Yeah. I don't know what her first name is. They kind of feel like the same person in different fonts to me, which makes me wonder if like, there's intimidation to have her on. But like that would be such an insane play for Alex to get on there and be able to like, reach her audience. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, I don't know. I think, I don't know. I think she should do it.

James: Let's move on to the fun. Let's you know, let's sip some tea.

Sophie: Talk some ****.

James: Let's gossip. Oh, I'll say this. Something I really missed over break was talking ****, you know, <laugh> and gossiping and it's nice to be back in the office.

Sophie: You stopped over break?

James: A little bit, you know, I mean we were focusing on positive positivity, you know, and, and my fiance was like, ah, I think I wanna stop like bad mouthing people. And I'm like, what <laugh> what are we gonna talk about? Like, are you kidding me?

Worst brand moment of 2022: Balenciaga; Revolve at Coachella

James: Worst brand moment, I am going to kick it off with Balenciaga general. Generally q4, I felt like the controversy was bad enough in itself. Then blaming it and suing the agency when the entire brand is built on trolling people and pushing, pushing the envelope as far as you can to say that a brand that is a hundred percent driven by creative didn't know what was in its like campaign shoots. I could understand if it was like some little social shoot, but like we have worked with most of the big luxury fashion houses. The head of those houses is literally approving the influencers. Like the, the, the chokehold they have on every single piece of creative is wild and is unlike anything else in the industry. And it was in their playbook. Losing Kim is tough for both of them. It's the only thing Kim wears. I don't think she really understands how to wear any other clothes other than Balenciaga. She's literally been wearing that like one dress for a year and a half.

Sophie: <Laugh>, I am so sick of this take. I am so sick.

James: All she wears is Balenciaga

Dorien: Also just didn't like, I mean I had seen some stuff about the photographer and it was pretty clear that they brought an idea to him to kind of use his style in this weirdly perverted way. So it's, it's odd to like, back off.

James: He usually would shoot, he's a National Geographic photographer, he'd shoot kids all over the world and he like really neatly lined up their toys. Right. But a good, and it was a good lesson to I think, creators that you are responsible, even if the brand tells you to do this, like you're still gonna be responsible for it potentially.

Sophie: I think for me it was Revolve at Coachella doing their revolve fest, their revolve festival that everyone on TikTok started calling Fyre Fest 2.0. This was like, created an absolute storm for like 48 hours on TikTok because every influencer they invite, like so many of them they never pay any of them. They're just like, we'll give you a thousand dollars of credit and come. And it was just very poorly or orchestrated. People were like, I was out in the hot, we didn't have, or in the heat, I was out in the heat. I didn't have food or water. The buses never picked us up. We were stranded in the middle of the desert, blah, blah, blah. But like times 500 influencers that were there. So that was pretty horrible.

Worst brand collab of 2022: Kourtney Kardashian x Boohoo; Mr. Beast's Shopify Mountain;

James: That's a tough one. Yeah. Worst brand collab. Well why don't y'all kick it off? What do you have?

Dorien: I caught some heat on this one last time when I talked about this on Instagram. Wait really? A little bit. I was, I was like <laugh>, I'm, I was fully upstate, like having a good time, relaxing, had half an edible. I go on to the Instagram comments and I'm getting eaten alive. I'm like, oh my God, what? Bad experience. Bad trip. Bad trip. Yeah. <laugh>. But I have to say the Boohoo Kourtney Kardashian collab was just a big flop to me. You know, I think Boohoo, as we know, is a fast fashion brand. They get a lot of, you know, slap for a lot of what is the word I'm fla looking for? Fla. A lot of flack. Thank you. They get a lot of flack for their fast fashion practices. And so it was kind of odd to bring in Kourtney Kardashian as the like, I don't know, green peace maker of the company. And I mean, I get she has this posh brand and, and she, she, you know, cares a lot about, you know, holistic living and things like that. Sure. but it just, it just seemed kind of fake and like, you know, stamped onto the brand. I think if Boohoo wanted to do something like this, they could have worked with someone that has that, you know, very clear stance on anti-fat fashion. And though it would be kind of odd for that person to do that. It would be interesting to see them kind of push the needle and come together, cross the aisle, work together on something like that. But

Sophie: Big thumbs down.

Dorien: Big big, big fat thumbs down. Yeah.

Sophie: Agree. I also just wanna note that Kourtney Kardashian has always wanted to be like a climate change warrior to the point where in my hometown I'm from la, she threatened to never have a solid from Health Nut ever again. If they didn't change their packaging to be like sustainable, sustainable. And now they have sustainable packaging because of Kourtney Kardashian. And then like two days later for her to like do this collaboration with Boohoo, which is like such an

James: Probably just like flying private while like just dumping natural gas out the wing. I can't like, for no reason.

Sophie: I actually cannot. Yeah.

Dorien: I will say I went to the show and it was better than I expected. I'll give them that. I was kind of--

Sophie: You went to the Boohoo show?

Dorien: Yeah. <laugh>. It was a circus. It was a circus. Oh my God. I was like, kinda like, do I want to talk about it or am I embarrassed?

Sophie: Well, you talked about it even when you got invited and went,

Dorien: Sorry, I'm sorry. To the PR person that Yeah.

Sophie: Wow. That's real.

James: Good for you. Feel free to rehabilitate your image with us. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. I, I thought that Mr. Beast's Shopify Mountain was so ******* cringeworthy and lame and awful and I feel like he's usually trying to do like a, again, part of his brand is maybe being a bit of a dork and like he's not cool guy obviously, but to go to Antarctica and you know, the whole thing was like, you know, the video is like you can, you go to Antarctica and if you climb a mountain that's never been climbed, you get to name it. That's like the rule, like generally in the world, like as an explorer I guess. So they go to this mountain that has never been climbed and they climb it and you're like, okay, that's cool. What do you call Beast Mountain? Like that's like fine I'm like into that as a stunt and you get in the top and you're like, it's Shopify Mountain and you're just like, like I, I released me from this world.

I, this is so stupid. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> so stupid. Shopify Mountain. Shopify Mountain and like threw the flag on and I just feel like there was a collective just like, oh God, no, this like, you don't need that money, Beast. Like, you, you like, you don't need that money. Like, I, I feel like it's just, it was just like a step too far. It's like the late, late capitalism, you know, you're like, I'm like again going in like doing this stunt and then it's like at the end it's like Shopify's like, what does this have to do with Shopify? This is dumb. Yeah. You know, so I thought it was, it, it got a lot of, you know, I mean anything you do with Mr. Beast is going to get attention. But I, it was not, not his best effort.

Dorien: That's giving me like stadium from Staples. Like what, where did that come from?

James: Yeah, it's just like a little random. Yeah. It's the, it reminds me of like the Casey ad where Nike gave him a bunch of money and he decided to just spend it traveling around and like wearing Nike's and like that was kind of interesting. And this was not well done. Yeah. Agree.

Worst brands to work with. We can skip. I mean I'd say in general, just like, you know, there's still a lot of ****** bad actor brands out there, underpaying influencers taking advantage of them. This is happening especially on TikTok where people are don't have as much insight into how much money they should be making. Part of the reason we invested in You Pay Me is they're working to solve this problem.

Worst brand perception shift in 2022: Tesla; Glossier x Olivia Rodrigo

James: But we'll just generally say bad brands worst perception shift. This is a brand who was maybe well regarded at the beginning of the year that has tanked that in some way. What do y'all have?

Well this is, I guess there is an influencer attached to it in a way. Mine would be Tesla one had a, a pretty historic fall in like consumer perception. Like from a brand that was very well liked to now not for some of Elon's, you know, whatever Elon's been doing this year. But I think he has obviously torched that stock and, and and a good portion of his wealth. And his whole kind of like right wing, I don't know, crusade that he is on right now has done terrible things to the Tesla brand. I think that if you are somebody that doesn't agree with his politics or his worldview because he's so attached to Tesla and because they don't market and they don't do anything else, he is the brand. It's, you know, it's like $115,000 MAGA hat now. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that like Progressives will have a hard time buying that car that is most of the people that are buying that car. So it'll be interesting to see what the long term effects are there, but I think you should the be on that one. Yeah.

Dorien: And it's poured over to Twitter now too. I feel like Twitter's just kind of like eh.

Sophie: My worst one, which I feel like a lot of people argue about is Glossier partnering with Olivia Rodrigo.

James: You were very displeased.

Sophie: I was very displeased. Yeah, I have a whole highlight on my Instagram where I just in real time was reacting to this partnership, but it all kind of started because I think she was on the red carpet for the Grammys. This was before they even announced their partnership together. And I remember posting a photo and it was like, love the Vivian Westwood dress. Your glam looks like ****, it's not red carpet. Ready. Like who did your glam? Yeah. And then Glossier is like, we did her glam. And I'm like, okay. And then like a month later they were like, we are relaunching with glass with Glossier and Olivia Rodrigo. And I was like, okay, first of all, glam looked like ****. That was the, the first thing that was bad. But also Glossier has had such a **** storm of like, they laid off a ton of their staff.

They've had like a few scandals with the way that they treat their employees. Like the Girl Boss white feminism era was like very much, I feel like Glossier was like a pinnacle or like Absolutely. Of that. And so I think to them it makes sense that they tried to save face with partnering with someone with Olivia Rodrigo. I think it was a valiant effort on their part, but I think ultimately Olivia Rodrigo's team did her so dirty by agreeing to this because it just basically stuck her face on a brand that does have such like, I don't know, not great history when she was basically at the height of her career. I think that she should have partnered with someone like Betsy Johnson or MuMu or like something that aligns better to her personal style. Yeah, I was really ****** about this one.

James: Yeah. And I think it's to kind of ground it I think in what we do here every day. Part of the issue was like the product just wasn't there. It just didn't make sense for her. Like I totally understand why Glossier wanted her and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> pay for her. Right. And and there's such a, they had such a choke hold on millennials and you know, six years ago they didn't have to try. They were so dominant in social media and they've just, you know, they, they kind of have like blown that lead in a really big way. It's like the Falcons you know, Patriot Super Bowl or whatever. And so they're like, okay, we need to get in with Gen Z who are their kind of key players and she's one of them, but the product just like, wasn't they, it just didn't really make sense for her. Right. Yeah.

Worst breakout creator of 2022: Andrew Tate; Logan Paul

James: Worst niche or worst creator of 2022. Who do you have? I

Dorien: Think we can both shake on this one too.

Sophie: Andrew Tate. That's what we put <laugh>. Yeah.

James: I mean that doesn't need a lot of explanation.

Sophie: I feel like we don't Yeah.

James: Yeah. <laugh> and I'm gonna go with another bag. Logan Paul.

Sophie: Really?

James: Yeah.

Sophie: Is he still like doing things?

James: He's still doing things, I think, yeah. I mean he just had a big, he had a big like crypto scam. He like did a big N F T thing and it's a whole,

Sophie: He's part of that big lawsuit.

James: Thing, crypto Zoo. He did did a bit of a rug pull on people there. I just generally, I mean the whole personality and everything about him is, is distasteful to me.

Dorien: Those audiences just come outta nowhere every time. Every time. I'm like, where do you, where do you exist?

Sophie: Yeah. I saw someone wearing Logan Paul Merch in East Village like three weeks ago and I was like, what the ****?

James: What are you doing? Is it like, are we able to do that? Ironically yet <laugh> like, is that either that person is like so far ahead of all of us <laugh>, you know or is a legitimate fan. If that was you, feel free to come on the show. We'd love to talk to you. Best and worst use of your community, you guys, y'all.

Best use of customer community in 2022: LL Bean x Ironic Boat and Tote collection; Carbone

Sophie: Start. Okay. Best use of customer community. I'm gonna go with LL Bean and the Ironic Boat and Tote collection. Yeah. It's been around for like decades. This bag. Yeah. And so LL Bean has the feature where you can customize them because a lot of people would put their initials on them. But this lovely lady, Gracie Wiener started making ironic boat and totes and like made an account dedicated to it. But she would put words like not, not designer or Diet Coke or like manic, like things like that on the bag that were not intended for the customization thing. Anyways, this popped off and now so many people are like ironically stitching their LL Bean boat and Totes and even someone in our office, chastity has one that says Girl Boss on it. So they basically made a whole line or like webpage dedicated to Ironic Boat and Tote. Great. Where I'm so glad that they acknowledged the person that like had such an up in sales. They do a whole like, background on how she bought these boat and totes for a really long time, how she made the tos, the Instagram, whatever. And I was like, thank God. Because I feel like a lot of the times organic creators don't get credited by the brand when they are responsible for something like that. So I thought that was a really great use of their customer community.

James: Lovely. And what's the worst?

Sophie: I didn't have one.

James: Do you know? Nothing. I didn't have one.

Sophie: Okay. I think it's like the ones that don't use it,

James: Lot of like unforced arrows and people like just not doing a lot. Even like brands that have like a rabid fan base. I feel like don't you know that, that are maybe older school. Even think back in Nike, the customer like still doesn't have a relationship with the brand. You know, they're not a part of that story really still. Cause they're still so like, I think athlete focused.

My best again, this is, this is a brand that I'm not like hugely in supportive anymore. Carbone and major food groups generally have done an amazing job like harnessing the like the celebrity clientele that we're going to Carbone, quite small restaurant in the West Village. You know, they now have, I don't know, like 10, 10 or 15 restaurants across the world that are always packed. I feel like, you know, they have done a good job like taking the influential people that are eating at their restaurants and turning it into like a bit of, a bit of an empire. We'll see how sustainable it is. I personally think Carbone is turning into like the macaroni grill of our generation, but they've built a big business off of it.

Worst is the Republicans <laugh>, you know, like get your people, ******* get your people. Like you have unleashed this, this like force on us that is that is making all of our lives much worse. So Republicans always have to be on the L list. Really ****** up. You were gonna say James Corden. James Corden. He also had a tough, he also had a tough year.

Sophie: Best use of customer community. Balthazaar.

James: <Laugh>, <laugh>. I loved it. This was fantastic. Thank you all for joining. Thank you. And, and sharing everything. And we'll make sure to have y'all back on soon. As always. Ask some questions, send them in, like subscribe, do all of the things and we will keep talking about this every week. We'll see you next week. Thank y'all.


Cheers, and thanks for watching.

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