The marketing projects we work on to promote Well Done look different from the projects we execute for our clients. Have you ever wondered why we pursue the strange and wonderful and what’s in it for us? We sat down with our two associate creative directors, Nick Honeywell and Joe Black, to talk about the work we do to promote ourselves, a project they call the “creative sandbox.”

Q: You both work on one of our most fun client projects: Well Done Marketing. What’s different about working on marketing Well Done?

Joe: We think of it as a creative sandbox. It allows us to work on things we’re excited about and use technology, concepts, and tactics we haven’t had the chance to work on with our existing client base. That gives our team the opportunity to grow—to learn new software, new processes, new ways of doing things. It’s a growth opportunity for our younger and even our seasoned associates.

It’s rewarding to get to dream up something new, create it, and see it perform in the wild. And the work we do for Well Done sometimes gets us new clients and new projects, and raises the bar on the work we get to do moving forward.

Nick: I agree with Joe that part of what’s great about this work is its function as an undercover professional development opportunity. It does so while allowing us to engage with our own interests—the basketball project comes to mind—and makes it that much more exciting. We like basketball, especially Indiana basketball, so getting to do something that focuses on that and promotes it is fun.

The other aspect of this is that it’s an opportunity to tell the world what we’re all about, what we’re interested in, what our capabilities are, and what our taste level is. Joe touched on this, too, but the work is so much less restricted. There’s so much more free rein when you’re doing it for yourself. In some ways that’s more challenging, but it’s also more fun.

Joe: It allows us to mix and match things that clients maybe haven’t found a reason to use. Augmented reality, for example. Our clients haven’t found a reason yet to use it, but in order to be ready to execute on that technology for a client, you have to be able to explore the boundaries and nuances of it ahead of time. It’d be great to find a way for us to use AR in a Well Done Marketing project. When we can do it for ourselves, we get the chance to get a feel for it and work with it in a way that may end up attracting a client that does have a good reason to use it.

Nick: It’s a chance to experiment.

Joe: Right. Why do people always stick to the formulas of print, digital, and social for their campaigns? Because it’s proven to work. But our priorities and goals for projects that are marketing the agency are different from a client’s. We can make up our own formula, use media and methods that don’t normally make sense, use unusual tactical mixes because our call to action for these projects is different and we measure their success differently.

Nick: It’s also sometimes an opportunity to lift up someone else, to bring attention to a cause or shine a light on an organization who’s doing something really great that we think more people should know about.

Q: How does our work help with recruiting?

Joe: Look, we do great work here. We provide unique, creative solutions for all our clients, per their need and scope and sphere, geared toward getting good results. But that type of work doesn’t always live in places where potential hires can see it. It goes exactly where it needs to be to get the best results for our clients.

When we produce purely creative, internally driven things, we push it where we want it to be: in creative spaces, places where the people we want to hire can see it, and we can ensure it’s representative of who we are and what we believe in. And sometimes seeing that work is how we attract the people we want to work with.

Nick: It raises our profile in the creative community and beyond. You see you get opportunities to work on things beyond social graphics. They see work that shows our personality and capability and that draws potential hires in.

Q: So, what are the challenges with producing work that represents who we are and what we believe in?

Nick: When we do work for ourselves, pushing ourselves is part of the point—it’s a way we keep our knives sharp. We can put a unique level of creative polish on a project for Well Done because the investment in it pays off. Our work is our brand. The work we do for ourselves is our brand and that has a different payoff than client work.

Joe: It’s the cobbler’s kid; that’s the gist. A marketing firm that can’t market itself with great, creative touch points, but wants to sell you on those tactics—what does that say about them? If they’re the last one to invest in it, what makes you want to buy it?

Q: The cobbler’s kid should have really great kicks.

Joe: That’s great! Keep that.

See some of Nick and Joe’s favorite projects from the creative sandbox below.