2 Minutes With ... Julie Roth, Senior Brand Strategist and Copywriter

On Venmo's Money Talks series and revamping the Brewbike brand

Julie Roth is a brand strategist and copywriter who most recently led creative strategy and copy at The New Company. In that capacity, she helped develop content for Discord, Venmo, Uber Eats, Plume and Brewbike. Her work has been featured in Brand New, It's Nice That and Creative Boom.

Once a high school English teacher, Julie pivoted and landed in-house at Riot Games and EA, where she brought to life League of Legends champions and contributed to campaigns for The Sims, reaching millions of players worldwide. She also writes, produces, and hosts her cult-favorite podcast L.A. Woman, an interview series profiling L.A.'s most accomplished businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

We spent two minutes with Julie to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and recent work she's admired.

Julie, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up outside Chicago in Highland Park, IL. I currently live in Los Angeles.

How you first realized you were creative.

When I was in eighth grade, I turned in an essay I wrote, and my teacher accused me of getting help from my parents or potentially plagiarizing. She even called the house to ask my parents flat out. The nerve! That's when I knew I had a way with words. She later apologized, but I gave her the stink eye for the rest of the year.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Janet Jackson. Her songs, music videos, choreography. I studied everything I could get my hands on. She was my first dance teacher, at least in my mind. Honorable mentions to Mel Brooks and Martin Short.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

I've got two bookend life events from high school. The first is my mom passing away from colon cancer my freshman year. The second is becoming captain of the dance team my senior year. Turns out you can use grief, anger and frustration as fuel to achieve something you deeply want. Believe me, the HP Jammers did not mess around. You had to come correct!

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I admire musicians who grow and evolve over time, but stay true to their artistic DNA. They understand the power of their brand strategies, so to speak. I'm currently revisiting The Isley Brothers, Bee Gees and Outkast catalogs.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I loved Molly Shannon's memoir, "Hello, Molly!" It's a '90s kid's dream to read firsthand accounts of some of the most iconic American comedy moments. But what really struck me is her optimism and resilience. She's absolutely unapologetic about her life—warts and all—which I found refreshing and hilarious.

Your favorite fictional character.

The Godfather, Vito Corleone. Thoughtful, composed and ruthless.

Someone or something worth following in social media.

Amy Smilovic, the founder and creative director of fashion label Tibi. She and her team transformed the brand in 2020, and the result is absolute chef's kiss. She's a personal style guru who's teaching thousands of people how to build a closet that reflects who they truly are, no matter what budget they have. It's some of the best organic marketing out there.

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

Professionally, I was fortunate enough that it gave me an opportunity. I was at Koto, and we rallied in both our culture and work. We cooked up some of our best ideas during that time. I also ended up with a promotion. Personally, after all that time together at home, I was never more sure that I married the right person.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

The Brewbike brand refresh is one of my favorite projects. Brewbike is on a mission to support tomorrow's leaders through cold brew coffee. Each of their locations hires college students who essentially run their own on-campus business. The client team wanted something fresh and inspiring, with a hint of streetwear. I led brand strategy and copy, and the designers brought to life a bold system dotted with campus colors. Our illustrator brought it home with a coffee bean mascot fit for any university. A dream.

A recent project you're proud of.

At The New Company, we recently collaborated with Venmo for their Money Talks series. Out of all the fintech platforms, Venmo understands the positive influence they can have. So, we set out to create something that feels approachable, and anything but preachy. Hopefully, people learn a few lessons and gain a better understanding of their finances. We're all learning together.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

If You Let Me Play, written by Janet Champ, will always be my inspiration for being in this business. Janet, if you're reading this, you rule.

Nike | If You Let Me Play
Someone else's work you admired lately.

I'm still drooling over the brand design for Le Puzz from Little Troop.

Your main strength as a creative person.

My empathy. It's the backbone of all my strategy and copy work, from frameworks to taglines. I'm very in tune with the emotions of others, and I use it often.

Your biggest weakness.

Overthinking. I could elaborate, but… you know.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Fried oysters at the Reel Inn with my husband. 

One thing that always makes you sad.

Wasted talent. And hugging my dad goodbye at the airport.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I’d probably be a high school guidance counselor. Aside from my core family, my counselor was my guardian angel. My mom and Mrs. Manley spoke on the phone often, and they made a deal before she died: to keep my big brother and me in line and prepared for college. It was the most tumultuous time in our lives, and she went above and beyond to make good on her promise. We kept in touch over the years, and I'm pretty sure she still had the engraved heart keychain my dad gifted her at my graduation. Mrs. Manley's mission in life was getting kids into college, and I'd be proud to carry her legacy. Uh oh, did I pick the wrong career?

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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