Variety Is the Spice of Life: Tricia Knope & Alisha Benda, David&Goliath

Partnerships are all about learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and knowing how to work off them.

yoluyla India Fizer , AdForum

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Alisha Benda
Jr. Copywriter David&Goliath
Tricia Knope
Jr. Art Director David&Goliath

We spoke with fun creative duo Trishalicious, comprised of David&Goliath's Tricia Knope, Jr. Art Director and Alisha Benda, Jr. Copywriter about what makes a creative partnership work best.

How did you meet and how long have you worked together?

Alisha: We met during our time at Denver Ad School. We were both in the pioneer class and took a leap of faith in a new school and chapter of our life. That was in 2019, it feels like a blur.

Tricia: We didn’t apply as a team hire, but it's truly been so nice coming to David&Goliath already knowing each other and having a rapport.


How would you describe the relationship between you two? In what ways has the dynamic changed since you first began working together?

Alisha: I think we’re two very different people and because of that we each bring our unique perspectives to the table. I feel like we teach each other stuff all the time. I think we’ve gotten better at managing our partnership and maturing from just brainstorming in portfolio school to working on real accounts. I’m proud of us!

Tricia: Yeah, I think we balance each other out in a nice way. We’re work partners but before that we’re friends. We almost always end up chatting about life before diving right into the work.


Tell us about the first campaign you’ve worked on as a duo.

Alisha: In one of our campaign development classes in school we worked on Cafe Monster. A coffee version of Monster energy drink. It was an interesting brief as we had to focus on how to appeal to young mothers. We came up with some pretty fun stuff. From there we went onto another strange brand, eharmony. I think the challenge of abstract brands has made us better at concepting. And when I started working at D&G, Trish and I were both thrown on a pitch together. It was a blast and a great chance to make an impression as a duo in the agency!

Tricia: Haha oh Cafe Monster, the second quarter of Denver Ad. I was brand new to advertising, and Alisha had already had some experience. I remember learning so much from working with Alisha on that. I wanted to soak up all of her knowledge.


Do you have a favorite campaign you’ve worked on together? What makes it special?

Alisha: I think Cafe Monster. It was a strange brief for a brand we both don’t resonate with. It was fun and set the tone for what kind of ideas we were and are capable of coming up with.

Tricia: There was a gritty and fun concept we had for an electric scooter company. We used punk-inspired visuals and language to demonstrate the rigorous testing the scooter goes through.


What has been the hardest part of working together? How do you resolve creative conflicts? 

Alisha: I think sometimes the virtual part of our work can put a distance in our ideas. Another thing is just trying to understand where each other are coming from. It can be hard to describe what sort of idea you have in your head and the other person might not get it. You just have to be patient and work through it!

Tricia: We occasionally have differing opinions on ideas, but we try not to be too precious about it. Sometimes I’ll be surprised when an ECD sees potential in something that I hadn’t seen or vice versa.


Is there any advice you’d give to young creatives looking for a partner, or a duo just getting their start?

Tricia: Have fun. Hang out together not just for work.

Alisha: I agree with Trish. If you only associate your partnership with work, the relationship will remain at a surface level. Partnerships are all about learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and knowing how to work off them.


Do you have a dream account that you haven’t had the opportunity to work on?

Tricia: There isn’t a specific account, but there are a couple things I am particularly drawn to in a brand. The first is that it’s a product I believe in. I love working on brands that are making a positive impact in the world. Secondly, I’m often drawn to brands that have potential but are in dire need of a refresh. While at Denver Ad, I did a rebrand of Frank’s Red Hot that was a lot of fun. I’ve been thinking recently about Adams Peanut Butter, Funyuns, and Lubriderm.

Alisha: I’m not sure if I have a dream account I want to work on, which sounds like a cop-out of an answer. But I really enjoy the stage we’re in right now, trying on all the different accounts at the agency. We’ve already touched on so many projects at D&G, but I think one of the most fun has been a project we did for PepsiCo’s foundation called Food for Good and our work on Jack in The Box. We really look forward to any assignment in which we can do work that is more purposeful.


How has the pandemic impacted working with your partner? Do you have any creative tips on how to collaborate when you’re working from home?

Tricia: Figure out how you work best and use it to your advantage. I’ve realized that I have an easier time coming up with ideas while I’m moving. Because of that, I will often call Alisha on the phone rather than the computer, because it allows me to pace around my apartment as we’re brainstorming. If you’re working where you’re living, you should build it to serve you best.

Alisha: When the pandemic hit, Trish and I were in our 3rd quarter of portfolio school. It sucked switching to virtual. At first, we all hated brainstorming over the phone. Brainstorming virtually takes away from the natural pauses and flow of work, when you’re in the same room it’s easier to read each other’s energy about an idea. But we persisted. And now I think we’re pretty good at it. I think a good tip for working from home together is knowing when to take breaks and regroup. Trish and I often like to brainstorm on our own and come together with ideas. Other times we spitball on the phone. Variety is the spice of life.