Jen Bonhomme carved out some time from her work at VMLY&R to talk about what makes an impact in our minds. We are exposed to dozens (hundreds?) of digital experiences on a daily basis, so that our minds are kept from wandering. Is this harmful in the long run? Are younger people who have grown up tethered to a screen better or worse off than those who pine for the days where they were more free the day dream? We aren’t sure either but we explore it together.

The thoughtful article that started the daydream by Leah McLaren:
Richard Huntington’s article on deep work:

Listen here:

Adam Pierno 0:22
Alright, welcome back to another episode of the strategy inside everything. I’m really glad to be back. I have a globe trotting guests who I didn’t know when we were about to log on here. What kind of accent to expect because like many of our other guests we met via Twitter. But I am pleased to introduce our guest today, Jen Bonhomme.

Jennifer Bonhomme 0:40
Oh, thank you.

Adam Pierno 0:41
Yeah, I know you’ve traveled around the world. Right now you are Managing Director of Insights and Strategy at VMLY&R in New York. Do you want to tell people before we get rolling a little bit about your journey that brought you there?

Jennifer Bonhomme 0:55
Sure. I have. I’ve worked at a lot of agencies at this And as you mentioned, I’m fairly nomadic. But right now I’m pretty firmly planted in New York. And I’m working on Dell Technologies, which is an interesting client, big blue chip client. And then I’ve got some other some other work in the mix, working on alcohol brands, but I’ve worked on most categories at this point in my career at a lot of different types of agencies. And everything from CPG. to tack to beauty to you know, you name it, I’ve worked on it. I think I probably describe the type of strategy that I do is very crossover. And I’m kind of a hybrid account planner and brand planner, and then digital strategist. So I started in, you know, the digital world, doing social crossover into user experience. Actually, but I, I studied brand. And I publish academically, from a brand point of view. So, to me, it’s all about insights. And that’s where the foundation of all of this is. But you can’t really do great brand work if you don’t understand the digital ecosystem because that’s where consumers and users are. So brand strategy for a digital world is kind of my vibe.

Adam Pierno 2:32
Is that is that more common as you’re recruiting people or meeting more people in the industry? The crossover effect? I don’t there’s not too many pure I don’t know, planner brand planners anymore.

Jennifer Bonhomme 2:42
No. And it’s funny actually. So brand planning account planning, you know, born in the UK, but then migrated over to the US. I don’t know what 70s or 80s probably 80s. My my mother actually worked in market research and was a client of y&r A long time ago. And we have some people here that have been in the business for a long time and started in market research. So you would actually get people in the US that were market researchers that crossed over into account planning. So you do still have some people that are like, brand strategy and their research heavy, but they’re brilliant at positioning brands. But then, you know, don’t extend as much into the go to market the very specific skill that is needed. But at the same time, you know, is it as end to end? Maybe not as much?

Adam Pierno 3:40
Right? Yeah, I think you need some of those people that can plunk down in those key spots, and then some of the people that can play end to end and think about how each different campaign how each different assignment connects to the previous one or connects to that.

Exactly. Yeah. So you need both.

Jennifer Bonhomme 3:57
Yes, you do. I agree with that. Yeah, so I’m I’m more of a crossover intend kind of person. But I’ve done a lot of different types of projects from dot com builds for big companies like Bayer and Nestle and Google, where I’ve done big social campaigns working on stuff in social now. But then I’ve done big brand repositioning, and, you know, like, Cirque du Soleil and worked on working on Fernando right now. And that’s cool. Yeah. So

Adam Pierno 4:29
it’s cool to have that vast array of category experience because you have a vast array of consumer experience and the different ways that people solve problems and think about things.

Jennifer Bonhomme 4:40
Yeah, I think I always tried to build my career in a way where I was expanding my skill set, because that just helps me solve problems in a different way and think about things more broadly across to be able to, you know, then zoom in on something You know, picking up different experiences and going broad and kind of constantly being curious about how would they do it in this category? How would they do it in this channel? How would they do it with this nice state or desire is something that, you know, I think when you only focus on one specialization, and that’s kind of where we see our clients a lot of the time so right, I want it, right.

Adam Pierno 5:26
That’s the value that the agencies can bring. Yeah,

Jennifer Bonhomme 5:28
Brett culture. I mean, you hear that word all the time, but it’s true. And, you know, so bouncing around to me, you know, some people might criticize, but actually I find makes me a lot more powerful as a planner and as a strategist.

Adam Pierno 5:45
The values that you could see, because a client may be so focused on their vertical the problem they’re trying to solve from the business perspective. Yeah, thinking about logistics supply chain, all the things that impact their product and their their end user. That it’s hard for them to see from another perspective, what you might see and say, I’ve seen this problem before it was in a different category. And this is very similar to what we faced with this beverage client. Here’s Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s the

Jennifer Bonhomme 6:15
value. It’s true. Actually, you know, I recently was talking to a client about an insight that they had brought to us you know, talking about, you know, people feel disconnected in an overly connected world. And you know, I’m like, we see this inside a lot actually. And, you know, are we going to get differentiation? Are we going to be distinctive with this creating work to this, you know, the category they’re working in, I pull in here’s four other categories, you know, telco uses, this tech uses this hospitality and travel and tourism use this. You see this in CPG, a beverage being able to show like, actually, you know, you think that this is true to your category and the needs state that you’re working towards the Here’s a bunch of others that are doing it to it it kind of goes like the light bulb goes on, but they wouldn’t ever kind of maybe approach it that way.

Adam Pierno 7:08
right you don’t think about you don’t compare themselves across now compare themselves up and down.

Jennifer Bonhomme 7:12
Yes. So, you know, I like being able to think that way and also just suits my personality because I’m constantly like, I like it. What is it?

Why died somewhere else? Yeah.

Adam Pierno 7:24
Yeah. A lot of rabbit holes.

Jennifer Bonhomme 7:25
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Which is a lot of time on Reddit. Yeah.

Adam Pierno 7:29
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Which is what which brings us both of those things. brought us to a nice little segue here to an article that you shared. Maybe it was a month ago or so. It was from you found it on Reddit. Yeah. But I think it was I think it was written somewhere else. The Guardian maybe and it was about something I am 44 at the time of this recording. I will not ask you your age is not important. But I am what they call a digital innocent or what someone else. What do they call them the article. A digital Yes,

Jennifer Bonhomme 8:00
you had a grant. I think it was Angela said

Adam Pierno 8:04
it was an innocent and then a digital immigrant grant. Yes.

Jennifer Bonhomme 8:07
Yeah, not, if not more that article actually.

Adam Pierno 8:11
I had never heard that. So I grew up in the time that the article is wistfully presenting where we didn’t have the internet and screens in our face, although I sure did. I was watching reruns of sitcoms. Yeah, pretty much all day long. But still, I found that really interesting. And especially in the context of a lot of your other thinking about what do we do with our brains? When it’s not when our brains are not actively engaged in something useful, like work? What are we doing with our brains?

Jennifer Bonhomme 8:41
Yeah, it’s a I mean, it’s, it’s a space that I’m actually constantly thinking about, not just professionally, personally, also. You know, I think that we’re in a period in time where we are over engage. There’s a lot of critical At the moment about a lot of the design thinking that went into creating a lot of the most commonly, and widely used products on the internet, are designed to keep us engaged through that little bit longer and a little bit more. And you know, they have taken up and occupied a lot of finite resource, which is our time and our men yesterday. Attention. Yeah. And I think it’s rewiring the way that we think in a lot of ways, like I kind of the other week was like, Do I have ADD? And I said it to my friend and she goes, everyone has ADD now.

Adam Pierno 9:42
I think that’s right. I think that’s true. Everybody, to some degree has been rewired. Yeah. Email seems to get a free pass in this conversation. Yeah. You know, we look at I know, the first thing people would say as well Facebook, Twitter. Yeah, they’re stealing my attention. They’re engineered to hold my attention.

Jennifer Bonhomme 9:58
Now. I know. I don’t Like,

Adam Pierno 10:01
I hate that, but I but I’m always checking. I

Jennifer Bonhomme 10:04
know and I’m a zero inbox person too, because I can handle the clutter. But, um, yeah, I think, you know, I also meditate. I’m I am not disciplined about it in any capacity. But I find I need the mental headspace and it is something that’s incredibly important to me in terms of being creative. And I find when there’s too many things happening. It’s really hard to go deep on something. And there was a really amazing piece written by I want to say Richard Huntington about deep work and the importance of creating space and time. I know the piece I will link so good. I mean, I was reading and I was just like, this is exactly what we need to be doing a strategy folks. But you know, the idea of we’re not designed to Go, especially in our roles go across everything, but to also go deep on things. And I think the more you move in your career, you know, you, the more you’re kind of pulled in by, you know, companies and forces to go across when actually the value comes from going deep.

Adam Pierno 11:51
You mentioned meditation? Yeah. And I know people do that to essentially most people that I’ve talked to about it, I do not practice it, but I What I hear the way that people think about it is just turning their brain off and trying to float. Yeah. Trying, are you I’m not able to do that. It goes to solving problems or Yeah,

Jennifer Bonhomme 12:14
I don’t practice that type of meditation I do the kind where you just observe your thoughts. So you’re kind of like, watching where your brain goes, but more consciously than typical thinking requires. So it’s not about shutting your brain off. It’s not about you might guide it back to a place of calm, which is your breath. If it wanders, but there’s no like trying to stop thoughts. It’s actually just like, letting it wander gently guiding it back to your breath, letting it wonder, sometimes I find when I meditate, I also try to think about this space in my brain. So it’s like a visualization meditation. Like, you know, kind of going from one side to the other to the back. It’s like a very bizarre thing that I’ve come up with myself wallet because you know, people visualize to different stuff and visualize realization meditation that’s kind of like the weird one that I came up with but it works and it definitely gets me out of my head and I do find like I’m able to write better and I am able to Yeah, just be think more clearly and big picture about you know, anything that’s in front of me when I have clearer mind.

Adam Pierno 13:25
Yeah. Do you find do you do you think that we need to the reason we more people are meditating and setting aside time to do that is because of how connected and plugged in we are or do you think we always needed it? It would have been beneficial all along and it’s just there’s more communication about it. So people more people are trying.

Jennifer Bonhomme 13:49
I’m probably a bit of both but I definitely believe that it’s a reaction to how plugged in we are and the you know, The internet is asking too much of people at the moment that we have to kind of come up with a better way of handling it. I mean, the human brain can only handle so much volume. And like, you know, things like Dunbar’s law where it’s like, you know, social network theory built off of like, you know, our in our capacity as human beings to be able to only have like 150 weak ties and like five close ties, things like that, where it’s like, okay, the internet’s making me stay in touch with way more people on a regular basis. Right and I’m capable of and that is healthy for me. You know, that’s just one way of thinking about it. Same way with like, how much content we consume, how much we are able to, like, get the immediate answer. Like it’s rewiring the way we think. Is that good or bad? You know? It’s kind of up for debate, but I think like, No, we do need the space. We need this space.

Adam Pierno 14:56
Yeah, and it’s more troubling. That article going back to that goes back to what they’re doing in the UK to program the space, or a policy for how the internet should be set up for children in the UK. Yeah. And what are the regulations and rules around content that it will be shared with kids and trying to create this utopia? Which is a wonderful idea in theory, but then as I was reading it, I was thinking like, Yeah, but isn’t this the same? The other side of the same coin of the overengineered platforms like Instagram, where they’re saying, oh, if we could just get another 10 sec or YouTube, we just get another Watch out of people if we could just get another. This is saying, Well, if this will be the optimal thing, according to these experts in this room, then shouldn’t be a wider discussion with more people about what to kids even need this. Yeah.

Jennifer Bonhomme 15:52
Yeah, I thought about this. I mean, if it Yeah, I mean, if it’s if we really believe that its value. Why would it only be for grownups?

Adam Pierno 16:05
I don’t think we did. I think this the Twitter proves that we do not.

Jennifer Bonhomme 16:09
Yes, I know what can be quite cruel.

Unknown Speaker 16:13

Jennifer Bonhomme 16:15
I don’t Yeah.

It’s bizarre because like, the mean, the internet is a consolidation of a number of companies also that really kind of run stuff. And so it’s, you know, and it’s, it’s hard to keep, you know, the thing I, I realized also is it’s like really hard for people, human beings, to be honest, when things are at scale, you know, like, you can’t really show the true side of yourself when you are being public to a bigger audience. You know, it’s, it’s real. It’s something that like, intrinsically, we can do one to one with a friend or you can do in writing or you can do it, you know, I think it’s a Really kind of trained skill to be able to go, you know what I’m going to be holy me at a level when you’re publishing. But I think it’s also, I don’t know, getting getting people to feel safe online getting people to have healthier behaviors, like digital well being even as you know, this trend in Silicon Valley where everyone’s kind of like, this is the new invoke thing. The reality is like socio economically people that are, you know, lower income are going to be more inclined to have device usage without, you know, curtailing it. Whereas you have people who are working for these big tech companies that are kind of going home and saying to their kids, but the phone away for a number of hours, or here’s your hour of, you know, like screen time, like it’s something that we don’t have common sense around. There’s no shared common sense around how to do this and I think it’s because of you know, we’re It’s moving quickly, like explosively quickly. And we, you know, we haven’t agreed on like, what this is what healthy is.

Adam Pierno 18:09
Right? And I don’t know that people that are digital immigrants are better off than kids growing up today that are digital natives.

Jennifer Bonhomme 18:17
And when you see that insight of like, we feel disconnected and overly connected world like young people don’t feel disconnected, like, you know, like, they like the fact that they can bond with their friend on Twitch and go play a game together. Like I have a guy on my team. He’s probably in his early 20s. And he’s like a huge gamer. And I was talking to him about access, just wanted to understand that the world’s You know, he plays like five and all these crazy games. And I don’t that’s not my world. So but I want to understand it. So I was you know, like just asking a million questions about it. And he’s like, I love it because that’s where I get together with people. And that’s like, where all my closest friends are. And like, that’s where my strongest friendships are. And the some of these people are like on other sides of the world, he used to live in Copenhagen. So like, he stays connected with his friends that he knows, you know, in his life to that he can’t move around. So like, I get that. And to me that’s not like we feel disconnected and overly connected world like Actually, there is a level of like, you know, truth there can be some truth and, and friendship and honesty I suppose. Now I’m going back on myself a little bit, there can be a little bit of that with you know, how people connect in certain ways. But then there is also like a really toxic unhealthy thing about some of our behavior and its manifestation and things like you know, Twitter, just people constantly being cruel to each other YouTube. Oh my god, you look at the comments on YouTube. Oh, don’t don’t do it.

Adam Pierno 19:50
Just not scroll down, scroll down. Sometimes I scroll down for a link and I’m like, Oh, no, I shouldn’t have done that.

Jennifer Bonhomme 19:56
Like, the ads and content that we’ve ran That like you know has behind it because it’s just hilarious

Adam Pierno 20:03
if you want to be amused Yeah, I go to Twitter and when I see an ad that has a lot of comments I’ll just scroll and I’ll just scroll the feed especially for things like, like gas companies. Just it’s it’s amazing. It’s incredible torching that happens in that space. Yeah. Oh yeah, I know. But I I kind of wonder if that insight that that keeps popping up about people feel disconnected in the connect in all this connected world may just be a projection of alienation among adults of a certain age. Yeah, like when you’re in your midlife crisis, which I think I’m right in that window of time. And that’s a common feeling to be like, Oh, my childhood friends I don’t connect with as much surely my I have my own kids that are going through this. Yeah. What’s next for me, but I do have contacts on the internet. Yeah.

Jennifer Bonhomme 20:54
Movies going out with your friends the way you used to, because it was just great, right? There’s another element of that for sure. But um, but then I do see the insight often that it’s like young people are more lonely than ever, you know, and I don’t know if that’s research projecting, like somebody wrote a survey in a way that’s kind of leaving or

Adam Pierno 21:11
what have you do? I know, I know that it is. Yeah. You know that some of those surveys have two bags. I mean, Millennials couldn’t have killed everything.

Jennifer Bonhomme 21:19
Yeah, no.

Follow the link back, like, you know, four clicks, and then all of a sudden, you’re like, Oh, this was a PR survey. Great.

Adam Pierno 21:28
Right, exactly. It’s by an agency that sells the solution to the happiness pill.

Unknown Speaker 21:32
Yeah, exactly.

Adam Pierno 21:34
Right. Now, the reason I thought that the article, reading it with the context that it was shared by you, yeah. And knowing not that much about you when I read it, but seeing the way I knew that you had traveled the world. I knew that you had worked all over the place. Yeah. And just reading what you post publicly. I was pondering it against like this, how we measure the experiences that we were afforded. haven’t gone away. And in fact, Millennials love experiences according to the research by an agency. But how do we, how do you weigh those experiences, casual experiences that seem to be harder to come by because we have a phone in our hand that’s interrupting us from just being in the moment or letting our minds wander at a park or daydreaming?

Jennifer Bonhomme 22:26
and both have their own distinct type of value, I suppose. But I think you know, you definitely see people wandering farther afield, I think. I don’t know how unique My story is. I mean, people are traveling to further flung places than really ever before in the history of time. And it’s way more accessible than ever before. But you know, creating Space is really important to well being. It is. And we’re constantly challenged to be able to do it now. But I think introducing different types of stimulus as you create spaces. It is interesting like, for me personally, I don’t I’m not the type of person that’s going to do the repetitive mean, except for like meditation practice, but even then I explore different types of meditation. But I’m not the type of person that’s going to go to the same Park over and over again, just isn’t it my nature and but that but I, I personally also if I’m running at full steam, and I don’t have those breaks, to read, to relax, to wander, I suffer, like I will. I feel unhealthy. And I think that’s true. Probably true of a A lot of people I mean, I do believe that you know, human existence does contain a decent amount of suffering. And everyone’s is subjective and different. But for us to be able to feel, you know, all of the beautiful positive things that life in the world has to offer, you do need to create space to acknowledge and appreciate them. And that’s where I think a lot of excitement Yeah, and I think that’s where a lot of fantastic insight comes from. To me, you know, campaigns and work and communications and experiences sometimes have an enemy but a lot of the time it’s just how do we elevate what we’re doing? for people, you know, and, and human existence, when you travel a lot, you realize, contains a lot of differences, but also ton of commonality. And when you see the same themes, you meet the same person, and every Replace you go Yeah. And when you boil it down to, when you boil it down to its essentials, I mean, that’s how I could travel in different countries and be in places that are super far flung and meet people that are nothing like me and get on with them so easily and so immediately. You know, in some instances that is it, you know, but because you are able to find connection on you know, the most essential things that make us human, and to be able to stay in touch with that you need time and space to breathe and to think, yeah,

Adam Pierno 25:38
otherwise separate separate yourself.

Jennifer Bonhomme 25:41
Yeah, otherwise you get on the treadmill, you know, and you just do the same shit over and over. Yeah, and it’s hundred percent, you know, it’s healthy.

Adam Pierno 25:50
I wonder what the responsibility is for people researching and writing these pieces on this generation that is, you know, Trying to compare people that grew up with pre internet and people that grew up post internet and now a generation of people that grew up post social Yeah. You it’s irresponsible to even compare the reception of those things because for someone who was introduced to each of those things along the way your your mind was blown by this whole new if you grew up with a square TV Yeah, with actual knobs on it. Your mind was blown every time there was some new thing but for my kids they don’t understand why shows aren’t streaming all the time for free like every single movie they can imagine. Yeah, Dad What do you mean we can’t stream this like we have three streaming channels but why can’t we just get it yeah well, rights you know like I can’t I don’t know how to explain all this

Unknown Speaker 26:48
you give me

Jennifer Bonhomme 26:51
once upon a

Adam Pierno 26:52
time Yeah, but in it but for someone who grew up with it that’s their mindset is everything’s available information was meant to be free. Yeah. So it’s it’s hard for me to read an article like that Guardian piece about experiences and then project forward. Yeah. Someone else’s wellness, especially in comparison to the wellness of a generation like mine, or boomers or whoever else.

Jennifer Bonhomme 27:15
Yeah, the long tail is always been an interesting concept. I mean, it isn’t it doesn’t just appear on the internet, but you know, obviously having being okay with scarcity is like, I think, something that they will learn, but they’ll learn it in their own context of their world. And, you know, having endless choice. I do resent a little bit of the algorithm recommending things to me. But then there’s other times where I really like it, but there’s a lot of times where I’m like,

Adam Pierno 27:47
why do you Why do you resent it?

Jennifer Bonhomme 27:49
So I like to be able to go and explore things that I don’t know what I you know, I don’t know what I don’t know. I want to be able to see stuff that I wouldn’t, you know, like, I don’t want it to be so curated where I get no exposure, something that, you know, might make me feel slightly uncomfortable. And, you know, like, Now that’s not to say like, there’s just, I like a certain style of shoes and that, you know, like, certainly those over and over again, great, but like, you know, no, I mean, I read a ton and I, you know, want to be able to read it in different subjects. And if you know, that keep just giving you the same genre, it’s like, totally missing the point of why I read, you know, I mean, so

there is a balance

Adam Pierno 28:34
as you want to be you want to be introduced to new idea. Yeah. And decide for yourself, which ones are worth chasing?

Jennifer Bonhomme 28:41
Yes, exactly. Exactly. So that so that I feel like the algorithm is it. You know, I don’t think it’s that smart. First of all, you know, like,

it’s it, but

Adam Pierno 28:52
it’s just triangulating it’s like, oh, you know, these two people, they were talking about someone who likes it.

Jennifer Bonhomme 28:56
Yeah. So there’s an element of growth.

There’s also an element of judgment to it, which I don’t appreciate sometimes, you know, like, I’m a woman, by what I’m 36 years old. So I get a lot of, you know, like, here’s what women should be doing at your age. And women, you know, will all kind of be like, yep, I get that too. Even women that don’t work in marketing know that that’s like, kind of little a little bit like, all right, don’t judge. Right.

Adam Pierno 29:26
It’s a weird trope that that has, has sustained. Yeah, you know, given how much has changed over the last 15 or 20 years that those you’ll that people will still be showing those same idea?

Jennifer Bonhomme 29:36
Yes, there is. Also it serves us societal expectations a lot of time, which is a bit you know, kind of like, Oh, just go away.

Adam Pierno 29:45
You know, it’d be interesting is to chart those. Yeah. Be to be aware of that and go into the next period of time charting each one of those things to as a research study.

Jennifer Bonhomme 29:55
Yes, I think, you know, the other thing is, it can be quite cruel and in intentionally to people who are on the fringe, you know, like, for example, if you are a woman, there was a really, really emotional article from a journalist who lost her baby and she was served a ton of advertising about, you know, diapers and this and that. And she was being retargeting. Yeah, because she was doing research around having a baby. Yes. And the article that she posts, she wrote a letter, can’t remember to a platform, maybe, but, you know, she’s like, all the data signals I gave you, you could have read this. And you could have predicted it, but you did it. You know, you did it for what would sell the products that you think that I would need. And Gosh, me, and it was it was so emotional. And I think that, you know, that that’s just one case example of how, you know, I think the algorithm can be actually, you know, not only you know, just treat us Like we’re bland, but also be a bit cruel and judgmental. unintentionally, I suppose. But you know, it’s really just designed for commerce. So yeah,

Adam Pierno 31:10
you know, isn’t that what’s isn’t that the root problem? Yeah. Yes, trying to sell something it has to figure out even if it’s a trend that doesn’t have a product, they’ll figure out a, you know, a pair of trousers or a makeup. Yes, that plays into that.

Jennifer Bonhomme 31:25
And this is why I’m a brand strategist also. Because I believe in brand and I believe brand has the power to elevate above that. So you know, brand is long term growth brand is user centric, even before the idea of user centricity came around good brands are built on human insights. Human insights, should have compassion in them. You know, it doesn’t always have to be like force for good purpose, but it should have value, right and it should be considerate of the audience. And now that we have to consider the audience at a level of sophistication that looks at the fringe as well.

Adam Pierno 32:00
So what do you say if the the journalist and question was served diaper ads by a particular brand? I don’t want an out of brand because I don’t know the story that she saw programmatically, yeah, she was probably served by something 20 steps away from the actual purchase that fit of the media that got in front of her. Yeah. For your combination to trading desk. But how does that brand what’s the responsibility of that brand, if it’s meant to be user centric, to prevent somebody from seeing their brand and bursting into tears because totally misread their their life and made them feel judged.

Jennifer Bonhomme 32:40
I mean,

things happened by mistake and that I understand, but you know, and you can’t expect to see around every corner. But at the same time, if you see that kind of exposure and you’re on a mom and baby brand, what a brilliant opportunity to make it right, and build equity with an audience that feels unseen afterwards. Nancy, I don’t have kids also, but I’ve done a lot of research actually in this area. And I think that you know, and I’m a feminist, but I think, you know, there’s a real opportunity to make it right. And what a brilliant connection you can create an relationship you can create with an audience in a way that, you know, is actually doing something as a force for good, that has a value in the world That is wanted. Right, and what kind of recognition that you could get I mean, and I don’t even think the weirdest thing is happening Actually, I’m just looking out the window in New York City and the women are dressed in like the red with the white. Yes, for Halloween walking by while I’m saying all of this.

Adam Pierno 33:55
So, talk about context, like your framing of this conversation is so much dark Weird.

Jennifer Bonhomme 34:01
It was a really weird they have books and they’re literally walking by I was like, Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. But yes, so um, yeah, I think No, I think that I mean, that is award winning powerful, effective work in my view.

Adam Pierno 34:18
Yeah. When when someone is paying attention, yeah, not asleep at the switch and not just serving it

Jennifer Bonhomme 34:23
cracking. Yeah, go crack it, pay attention and know this is a situation that we get. And I don’t be a human sir people and it doesn’t have to just be for that one journalist situation maybe the journalist sparks the article that, you know, creates the situation that we look. I mean, I did a big project for a brand in Europe that then went global where we talked to mothers who had it during the postpartum period in the first two weeks to the first six months of coming home after giving birth because we act like it’s all like, you know, the baby’s here, everything’s amazing. your heels you know, like it the product actually was wound healing stretch marks diaper cream. And we showed women with you know stretch marks bellies holding babies in a beautiful photography beautiful film, women when the day they came home how they were feeling you know like to show that it’s not all rosy and like hey, guess what, like you might be stealing that the diapers from the hospital for right and stockpiling them in your house. No one tells you about some of that stuff. We know the core content against it where we like said but like all the raw truth. If you go and look at you know, your Instagram feed, it’s all the beautiful Yeah, glamour shot of the happy family with a newborn baby. But that’s not Yeah, it’s a total Your life is upside down for months. Yeah. And I think, you know, that’s just like one audience example. But I think that, you know, it’s very human to hide things. It’s very human to have secrets and the internet doesn’t show that. It means that that doesn’t exist.

Adam Pierno 36:00
The constant connection as you said, makes it hard for you to be truly yourself. Yeah. 100% honest to the broad audience those secrets get exposed. Yeah. In a way that is not really the nuance truth about the secret that you may have. Totally. Yeah. So it gets Miss projected and, gosh, the when the internet takes something that says running with is run for your life.

Jennifer Bonhomme 36:23
Yeah. So I think like even in, you know, for my research philosophy, like when I want to really try to identify with this subject and with an audience, you know, I like to use the internet, of course, to connect with people and learn from people and observe people, you know, search behavior is like one of my favorite things to dig into from an insight point of view. You know, Reddit is like a community that I think has amazing nuggets, but then I also love doing like, qual and I love ethnography, you know, like, where you actually really get to identify with people in a way that you know, you got you Allow them to open up to you. And I think even like my time in Japan, even before I like, got into this field, like that was what I did when I taught English and sat with like, Japanese adults telling me about their day. You know, it was boring if we just sat there about, you know, you know, like, what kind of shopping you like, you know, like, I’d rather make the connection and get them to really kind of open up about stuff and, and that’s where, you know, to me, I just, I’m the most inspired and happy with what I’m doing with my work.

Adam Pierno 37:34
I love it. I want to close with one question about something you said earlier that will get you on your way. You said human insight should have compassion. Yeah. And I love that quote, it will probably be the quote card of the for this episode. Okay. But I’m wondering, you chose the word compassion. And I think the marketing word that we would hear on a PowerPoint slide would be empathy. Yeah. And I’m interested Why did you choose why compassion

Jennifer Bonhomme 38:00
It’s funny, I think

Adam Pierno 38:02
I knew you would have a reason why that’s why I could see in your eyes now I there is a reason why. So

Jennifer Bonhomme 38:07
I mentioned that I meditate earlier and I don’t just meditate. I also end up what I like to call a bad Buddhist. But I’m not particularly like advanced are good at it in comparison to some of the stuff that I read and some of the practice that I tried to,

to live.

And it is a practice, but I, I believe in Buddhist ethics, also not just meditation. And I find your practice doesn’t go as far if you don’t use and get involved with the ethical side as well. And having compassion is one of the biggest things to evolve beyond you know, regular, everyday human suffering. So I think empathy is means but really, if you want to elevate it, you know, having sustainable happiness is about compassion. And so I think, you know people will you know putting yourself in someone’s shoes is not you know, you’re not taking on their problems it’s not you know sympathy but at the same time feeling for it you know empathizing feeling forward in a way where there’s a caring about to me is just is more involved. Right then

just being able to understand

Adam Pierno 39:44
that’s awesome. Yeah. This has been great. Thank you so much. Time for me this morning. I’m sorry to interrupt the the parade going pastor window. I hope

Jennifer Bonhomme 39:53
this is the this is the street looking at Nordstrom and Oh yeah. I was like, Oh my god, am I losing my mind? Did that just happen?

Adam Pierno 40:03
How many people was it?

Jennifer Bonhomme 40:04
It was three women. Okay. Handmaid’s Tale and I couldn’t think of the name of the book in the show cuz I, I, but they just walked by like in like, the exact costume from the show as it was so fun for Halloween. The timing wasn’t great.

Adam Pierno 40:21
Yeah, I

Jennifer Bonhomme 40:22
was like, whoa, oh, man, that was too much. Where can people find you online? And so you can find me at Jen Barnum, on Twitter. And I have a medium also called the framework bank, where I just published spring frameworks for planners to steal your user experience people and experience design people to steal. And there’s all sorts of brand and business and smattering of frameworks out there. And and then yeah, that’s kind of it. Those are the two that I maintain the most.

Adam Pierno 40:54
Excellent. Well, again, I really appreciate your time and thank you, thank

Jennifer Bonhomme 40:58
you. I get the opportunity. is enjoyable to chat with you.

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