Content marketing agency Bigeye’s team share their favorite podcasts. Learn more about scary folklore, gene editing, CGI software, and World Champion Wrestling.
IN CLEAR FOCUS this week: Content marketing agency Bigeye reflects on growing podcast listenership in the US. As Bigeye team members share some of their favorite podcasts, we hear how shows were first discovered, and why particular episodes were chosen for inclusion in our Spotify playlist. Featured selections reveal the origins of scary folklore, debate why things went wrong when The Warrior joined World Championship Wrestling, and explore the exciting potential of gene editing in medicine.
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Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS: fresh perspectives on the business of advertising. Produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello! I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. A digital media research report, “The Infinite Dial 2020” shows that 75 percent of people in the US are familiar with the concept of podcasting – that’s up from 70 percent in 2019. And over half of the US population aged 12 and above – 55 percent – have listened to a podcast, with around 37 percent listening in the last month. The last 12 months have witnessed significant growth in podcast listening, with several industry deals signaling the growing importance of the medium to marketers and advertisers. Spotify, which has made a major push into podcasts, now boasts more than a million podcast titles and has been adding to its catalog by signing exclusive partnerships, including a multi-year deal with Joe Rogan, worth around $100 million. Also joining Spotify in an exclusive deal is reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who will host a podcast investigating the case of Kevin Keith, convicted of three murders in 1994 and sentenced to execution in Ohio. And just this week, Spotify announced that it’s rolling out a video feature for its podcasts, letting creators bring both audio and video content to the app. Will podcasts become a more TV-like experience? If so, how might that change how we consume podcasts? Spotify certainly seems intent on becoming the Netflix of audio content. Not wishing to be outdone, SiriusXM, a company most well-known for its satellite radio channels, and which also owns Pandora, is buying the podcasting company, Stitcher, from Scripps. That deal is said to be worth $325 million. And almost every week, it seems, we are learning about new podcast-focused advertising and attribution platforms. So what are your favorite podcasts? Let us know by taking a short listener survey on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” Please submit your thoughts about podcasts, where you listen, and the kind of content you’d like to hear more of in future episodes of this show. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming. It’s the time of year when we typically think about vacations, but of course, this year is far from normal. So, whether you’re planning a Summer road trip, a Staycation, or just need a break from your routine, members of the Bigeye team are here to share their favorite podcasts for your listening consideration.
Rhett Withey: I’m Rhett Withey. I’m the senior designer at Bigeye and I’ve been here for seven years now.
Adrian Tennant: Excellent. Rhett, can you tell us a little bit about what you do here at Bigeye?
Rhett Withey: Ah, let’s see. Well, I work with the Creative Director, Seth, on executing campaigns, logos, pretty much anything design and creative under the sun for our clients – and creative problem solving as well.
Adrian Tennant: Excellent. So how long have you been listening to podcasts?
Rhett Withey: Wow. Uh, I’d probably say right around the time that podcasts really started getting popular. I think it was like 2013, 2014, somewhere around there.
Adrian Tennant: What’s your preferred device for listening to podcasts?
Rhett Withey: I actually always almost exclusively listen to podcasts at my desk on my desktop.
Adrian Tennant: So do you have a particular favorite genre would you say?
Rhett Withey: I would definitely say that it’s pop culture and it’s sports, and it’s nerd stuff.
Adrian Tennant: So, Rhett, you selected an episode of a show called, “83 weeks with Eric Bischoff.” And I must confess that I didn’t know who Eric Bischoff was. So you might need to explain that in a second. But the subtitle of the show is, “Fall Brawl 1998 (Warrior in WCW).” You’ve got to explain – what is this show about?
Rhett Withey: All right, there’s a lot to unpack here and I wouldn’t feel bad that you don’t know who that is because probably 90 percent of the population’s not going to know – it’s very insider. Eric Bischoff is the man that ran World Championship Wrestling in the mid-nineties and brought them to prominence and took over the number one rating spot from World Wrestling Federation at the time for 83 weeks. They had the number one show for 83 weeks, which is the name of the podcast. Fall Brawl is a specific pay-per-view event that they had and the Ultimate Warrior was a wrestler that they brought in. It was completely horrendous for what they were doing at the time and was pretty much the catalyst for them to no longer being number one.
Adrian Tennant: Rhett, what stood out to you about this particular episode?
Rhett Withey: Well the whole series is interesting because it’s kind of putting Eric Bischoff under a microscope and making him confess to his crimes. Right? So this particular one was interesting just because of bringing in and his explanation of bringing in this wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, who is polarizing, even today. And why he thought that was a good idea and knowing that show and how much of a train wreck that pay-per-view actually was like hearing his explanations for things and why he went certain routes and, and trying to kind of listen to like, “Ah, I think you’re still covering your butt there,” was really fascinating.
Adrian Tennant: Right. Now, what was it about this particular episode that made it worthy of recommendation?
Rhett Withey: It really is just, it’s Eric’s trying to come to grips with especially knowing now how much of a terrible person the Ultimate Warrior was and him trying to rectify his choices by but still trying to come off clean and the in a sense. So it’s really an interesting listen to hear how he is trying to explain himself and trying to make everything seem not as bad as it actually was.
Adrian Tennant: Right. Thank you very much indeed for joining us on IN CLEAR FOCUS today.
Rhett Withey: Thanks, Adrian. It’s been great.
Lauren Fore: Hi, I’m Lauren Fore. I am the executive assistant to our owner and the leadership team, which can be a variety of different things based on the day, the corridor, the need. And also I help with a lot of internal marketing initiatives as well, blogs, things like that.
Adrian Tennant: Lauren, how long have you been listening to podcasts?
Lauren Fore: So the podcast that got me into podcasts, which I would venture to say is probably the one that got a lot of people into podcasts, was called, “Serial,” back in 20- I want to say 2013, 2014. That’s Serial as in serial killer, not Fruit Loops.
Adrian Tennant: Right!
Lauren Fore: Just to clarify! Every episode – it just sucked you in and you had to listen to the next and the next and the next. And it was just incredible. So I had not listened to a podcast before that and I didn’t listen to too many after actually, but that was the one that really got me into it. And I think a lot of people.
Adrian Tennant: So Lauren, you selected The TED Radio Hour from NPR and the show title is, “What Makes Us … Us.” So what is the show about?
Lauren Fore: So we’re introduced to essentially four speakers and they all have given TED talks in the past. So first we hear from Sam Sternberg who studies gene-editing technology and he talks about the letters of DNA. So A, G, C, T, and each human has 3.2 billion of these letters. And if you were going to fill up a dictionary with all of them, it would be 800 dictionaries per person. And then he talks about this gene-editing tool called CRISPR CAS nine that he has been working on. And he says, “You know, if you wanted to go into said dictionary just as an example and eliminate the few letters that make you a morning person versus not a morning person or the shape of your nose or if you have Parkinson’s disease, you know, it’s like your genes are responsible for everything and everything can really be isolated, but it’s a needle in haystack.” So this CRISPR CAS nine tool is letting scientists basically go in and try to pinpoint where these different things are. Now he does note the caveat that it hasn’t been conducted in an actual human, it’s been conducted in human cells in a Petri dish. So we should, we should make that clear. But he does say that there’s hope that one day we could potentially do this in humans. And then there’s the argument of, well, do you want to do that? Are you messing with natural selection? At that point, you know how, how much do we want to mess with that? So he talks a little bit about that. And then we hear from Steven Pinker, who is a Harvard professor in psychology, and he talks about our circuitry in the brain, but also the nature versus nurture argument. So are we all born as blank slates? And if so, he talks about social engineering. Could we engineer a certain type of humankind, you know, if we’re all born the same? So he kind of talks about the nature versus nurture debate. And then he talks about identical twins in this experiment they did. Identical twins that grew up in different parts of the world. So one was raised Catholic in, I want to say Germany. The other was raised Jewish in – and I want to say Trinidad. So they bring them into this lab in Minneapolis, and again, they’ve never met. They’re wearing the same shirt, same Navy shirt with the same epaulets. Then they start realizing that they’re both wear rubber bands around their wrist. They flush the toilet before and after using it, they dip their toast in coffee. All these little things and it’s like these are two people who have never met grew up in completely different environments, but they have the same genes. So there are arguments for both sides, but he goes into that. So that was really interesting to me. It’s so deep.
Adrian Tennant: Now, what made this particular episode a favorite for you?
Lauren Fore: One of the first ones that I listened to, and this was probably one of the deeper ones that got me really hooked on this series.
Adrian Tennant: So you would give this a strong recommendation for listeners?
Lauren Fore: Very strong – if you want your mind blown!
Adrian Tennant: Yeah. Okay. All right. Lauren, thank you so much for being on IN CLEAR FOCUS.
Lauren Fore: Thanks so much for having me. It was fun.
Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back, after this message.
Erik McGrew: I’m Erik McGrew, Designer at Bigeye. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as advertising and design professionals. At Bigeye, we put audiences first. For every engagement, we develop a deep understanding of our client’s prospects and customers. By conducting our own research, we’re able to capture consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. This data is distilled into actionable insights that inspire creative brand-building and persuasive activation campaigns – and guide strategic, cost-efficient media placements that really connect. If you’d like to know more about how to put Bigeye’s audience-focused, creative-driven insights to work for your brand, please contact us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bigeye. Reaching the Right People, in the Right Place, at the Right Time.
Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. We’re talking about some of the Bigeye team’s favorite podcasts.
Nick Hammond: Hi, I’m Nick Hammond. I am a graphic designer here at Bigeye.
Adrian Tennant: Nick, could you tell us a little bit about your role here at Bigeye?
Nick Hammond: Yes. So my role here at Bigeye, while some of the other designers are more focused on specific tasks, I guess in relation to illustration and motion graphics, mine is more so on the side of branding. So I work on pulling across elements throughout different end uses such as digital and print and social and things of the like.
Adrian Tennant: So Nick, how long have you been listening to podcasts?
Nick Hammond: I think I’ve been listening to podcasts for a while. It has to have been several years at this point. My intro to podcast was through, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” and kind of splintered into other smaller podcasts, just kind of listening one off here and there. So something would pop up in my feed that would be interesting and I would go look for it and then happen to stumble onto a podcast that was in relation to some topic I was interested in.
Adrian Tennant: What app do you typically use?
Nick Hammond: I started with Stitcher, which is funny because when I’ve talked to the other guests that you’ve had on, they had no idea what Stitcher even was. I think for them, they got into it through Apple. I never enjoyed from a design perspective, the user interface of the Apple Podcasts platform. And it felt like it was getting in the way for me of just trying to listen to a simple episode and it was constantly trying to update and change and all this stuff and I just didn’t want to deal with it.
Adrian Tennant: And is that still the case today or have you migrated to something else?
Nick Hammond: I do prefer, there’s something interesting to me about being able to see, uh, how people are interacting. So like a video aspect. So when I’m listening on a desktop, I like to have, if it’s on YouTube, I like to have a YouTube thing kind of playing because it’s interesting when you hear different aspects of a conversation show up to kind of pull up that window on the browser and look at how they’re interacting with each other because there’s something there that you don’t get when you’re just listening to the audio.
Adrian Tennant: Right. You get the audio, but you don’t always get the visual context of facial expressions.
Nick Hammond: Yeah. That kind of stuff.
Adrian Tennant: So Nick, your selection for this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS is an episode of a show called, “Revisionist History.” Could you tell us a little bit about how you came across that podcast?
Nick Hammond: Yeah, so I had been, not necessarily a fan, but a reader of Malcolm Gladwell in the past and there was some stuff in there that I enjoyed. I’ve always enjoyed reading more psychology or biography type stuff. And so I’d been through a couple of his books and had heard his name a while and had kinda gotten to some other authors like him. And I think there was someone that had posted one of his newer episodes from Revisionist History and I had realized that I had never heard it and I didn’t know that he’d come out with podcasts. So yeah, just dove in.
Adrian Tennant: Okay. So this particular episode – what was it about this one that attracted you?
Nick Hammond: Yeah, this episode, in particular, I as a designer and as a Gemini, which is funny, I feel like my life has kind of separated into two buckets all the time. And it’s always this push-pull thing. And so it was interesting to me because they dive into the difference between approaching a task or situation with a tortoise or a hare kind of mentality. And this, how are you thinking through tasks either more quickly or more slowly and then does that end up influencing your direction in life? They talk a lot in the episode about education and kind of higher education reform and that wasn’t what was interesting to me. It was more so the different thought processes of how people go into these situations and approach them from completely different perspectives.
Adrian Tennant: Right. And I think if any of the listeners have friends or family in the legal profession, I think some of the results – without wanting to give too much away – might be surprising.
Nick Hammond: Definitely. And I didn’t want to give it away, but yes, listen to the episode.
Adrian Tennant: So Nick, what made this episode of Revisionist History a favorite?
Nick Hammond: So without giving away the ending, that’s kind of all I’ll say is the ending is not something that I think you would see coming. And that was what was interesting to me is because I’ve always pursued different avenues of work and decisions in life of what is the best decision or the better decision to make. And I think what you end up finding at the end of this episode is different than that approach.
Adrian Tennant: Wow. That is such a cliffhanger, you’ve got to go and listen to this episode, everybody. For now, Nick Hammond, thank you very much indeed.
Nick Hammond: Thank you.
Karen Hidalgo: I’m Karen Hidalgo, Associate Account Manager here at Bigeye. A little bit of what I do on my day to day is making sure projects and budgets are on track, making sure our clients are happy, projects are in production, making sure just everyone is happy and we’re treading along.
Adrian Tennant: And do you have a player or an app that you prefer or do you go to websites for your podcasts?
Karen Hidalgo: So Spotify is my primary.
Adrian Tennant: Do you have a favorite genre of podcast?
Karen Hidalgo: Probably nonfiction. Most of the ones that I subscribe to. Definitely I love thrillers, definitely like TED talks.
Adrian Tennant: Today you’ve selected an episode of a show called, “Lore.” How did you find this podcast?
Karen Hidalgo: So Lore was the first podcast I ever started listening to. It was right out of college and podcasts were starting to be very big in the market and people were talking about it. So I went and did some research and I said, okay, well I’ve always liked thrillers. Scary stuff. Um, so I just happened to run into Lore and it turns out it’s also a show. And it’s also a book which I’ve had the opportunity to do both. And that’s kind of where my obsession with Lore started.
Adrian Tennant: Now you’ve selected an episode called, “A Stranger Among Us.” Sounds a little creepy, Karen.
Karen Hidalgo: So again, one of the first episodes I listened to happened to be at Christmas time and this particular episode deals with Santa and what he represents in the folklore of kind of other cultures and other countries. Again, kind of hinting at the scary but history of it. So it’s very intriguing. It kind of gives you a campfire experience. And he’s very great at providing the historical facts. And that’s also a plus for me.
Adrian Tennant: I think I’m right in saying you were born outside of the United States as was I. Do shows like this give you kind of an extra insight into the workings of the American mind?
Karen Hidalgo: Absolutely. And I love, I mean, I’m from South America, but I love everything that has to do with here in America. But learning about other cultures through a podcast has given me definitely that glimpse, something that I have loved the most about listening to a podcast like this.
Adrian Tennant: Karen, why do you think our listeners should give this show a try?
Karen Hidalgo: I guess if you’re looking for something different, thrillers are not for everybody, but if you like history if you’d like to spice it up if you’d like folklore like I do. I think it’s great, it’s a great episode.
Adrian Tennant: So, Karen, I understand that Aaron Mahnke, who’s the host of this show, also has other podcasts. Have you listened to those as well?
Karen Hidalgo: Yes, I actually have. One of them. I just started listening to – “Unobscured.” It goes into the history of the witch trial and Salem, again, very history. He puts his very good spin on it, gives you a lot of facts. Great. Great. It’s just a great addition to Lore.
Adrian Tennant: Great! Thank you, Karen. Thanks for those recommendations.
Karen Hidalgo: Hmm, any time!
Adrian Tennant: I’m joined today by Dominic Wilson.
Dominic Wilson: Yeah. Hi. I’m the senior multimedia designer here at Bigeye. I create motion graphics, 3-D design and animation as well as video editing and photography for our campaigns.
Adrian Tennant: I think your selection for today’s podcast is a little different from some of the other folks at Bigeye.
Dominic Wilson: Yeah, that’s true. I suppose a, I mean it is in the creative field in regards to software and designs. So for me, I just am extraordinarily fascinated by those topics.
Adrian Tennant: You have selected an episode of a show called, “Greyscale Gorilla Podcast,” and I should explain that the description is “A show for creatives who want to learn about motion design, 3-D rendering, Cinema 4D, working with clients and much more.” So how did you find this podcast?
Dominic Wilson: I’ve been a fan of Nick Campbell going back to his Creamy Orange Portfolio days. And then he began creating little tips and tutorials, teaching you how to do things in a software program called After Effects. And then he just started doing libraries of tutorials on a 3-D application called Cinema 4D. And I was just hooked.
Adrian Tennant: Could you just give us an overview of what’s in the particular podcast episode that we’re linking to in the show notes today?
Dominic Wilson: This particular episode spoke with Russ Gaultier who works with a software program called Houdini. And it was interesting to hear the insights whether or not it’s something that you have to learn as a motion designer. It’s kind of nice to hear someone who’s seasoned, kind of break it down for you.
Adrian Tennant: Now this is an audio podcast describing software. How well do you think it translates to an audio format?
Dominic Wilson: Well I think anyone who would probably seek out this particular podcast is probably going to have somewhat of a hands-on working knowledge of the program already. They do provide a lot of very helpful links to see the work that the artists did. They have an abundance of examples and things that you can see what they’re doing and if you’re familiar even in just some of the graphic design applications, they’ll still be a lot of things that probably can kind of connect some dots for you.
Adrian Tennant: Okay. What made this episode a particular favorite for you?
Dominic Wilson: I simply love the artists that in my opinion make the unreal real like Russ Gaultier who was a guest on that Greyscale Gorilla episode as well as some additional Houdini users like Joe Pascal, Eric Ferguson, and the gents over at Entagma to name a few.
Adrian Tennant: So there you go. Dominic’s recommendation is the Greyscale Gorilla podcast which gives you a peek into the world of those amazing visual effects. Dominic, Thank you very much indeed for joining us today.
Dominic Wilson: Yeah, no problem.
Adrian Tennant: Thanks to all my colleagues here at Bigeye for contributing to this week’s podcast. You can find a transcript of this episode along with a link to a Spotify playlist featuring Bigeye’s Top Podcast Picks on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” You’ll also find a link to our listener survey. Please take a moment to submit your thoughts about this podcast, and the kind of content you’d like to hear more of in future episodes. And, if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next time, goodbye.
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