Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Meet Mary Carroll

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

Mary graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a minor in International Film and Media studies. She admits she didn’t do much with her Psychology degree, except for the ever constant analyzing she would do all day long of every person she meet. (she’s kidding.) After graduation Mary began a video production internship with a real estate network that quickly turned into a full time position. Mary claims that after three years of learning everything she’d ever need to know about buying and selling a home, she decided to leave Chicago for Milwaukee. She took a Marketing position with a landscaping company and moved all of her worldly possessions to the Brew City. After a year or so she decided she wanted to branch out. She found a Digital Marketing role position with a very small company that provided just that. While with them Mary was able to learn a lot about digital marketing, use her video production skills and became well versed at balancing multiple clients from various industries. Which brought her to Saturn Lounge. “I was lucky enough to hear about the open Project Manager position from Saturn Lounge Graphic Designer, Malory Larson. When she described the job to me, I instantly knew I’d be a perfect fit. Since starting in April of 2018, I have already jumped in head first. After just 3 months I already feel like an integral part of the team and I have learned so much. I am very excited to be here and I hope to stick around for quite some time.”

More Q &A from Mary Carroll:

Where are you from? I was born in Sherman, Kansas, but moved to Illinois when I was only 10 months old. I lived in St. Charles, IL all the way through high school before moving to Chicago to attend Loyola University.

Your best kept secret? Is this a trick?

What’s playing in your car right now? Typically, comedy podcasts about murder. Or, Top 40 radio.

Who’s your favorite superstar? Literally any member of One Direction.

How would you describe yourself? I would say that I’m funny, kind, a loyal friend, compassionate, independent, an ambivert, and pop culture obsessed

What is your favorite food? CARBS! Specifically, pizza and pasta.

Where did you go to college? Loyola University Chicago. Go Ramblers!

What is your best achievement? I always hope the “best” achievement is yet to come.

Who would you most like to meet and why? Julia Louis Dreyfus, because I think she’s one of the funniest people alive. She has 9 Emmy’s, the most of any other actor! Do you know who doesn’t have 9 Emmy’s? Jerry Seinfeld, that’s who.

What character trait do you most admire? Knowing the exact right thing to say at the exact right moment.

What do you do for fun? Spend time with my family and friends, go to the movies, peruse Netflix, and attend live concerts.

Follow me to see the shot

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

When our client Visa Lighting approached us to photograph a trade ad and a video project for their outdoor pendant catalog, we got to work. It took 560 feet of grass and 15 gallons of green paint to turn the set green. Of course we can’t forget about Ellie the model and Bear the dog, who brought the image to life. Check out the final ad below.

Thankfully, our interns Maria and Lauren were up to the task in painting the bay back to white!

 

  

Photographer: Robert Ness

Videographer: Zak Gruber

Producer: Madeline Herbert

Set Construction: Connor Bruesewitz

Milwaukee Ballet – Swan Lake

Posted on: June 25th, 2018

Everything about the Milwaukee Ballet’s magnificent production of “Swan Lake,” ending the 2017-18 season on a high note, was simply beautiful.

Saturn Lounge was proud to be a part of the visuals behind the masterpiece. Odette, a role cherished by countless dancers around the world, is certainly a role that Luz San Miguel was born to play. Her stunning portrayal of this innocent and tormented Swan Queen was truly flawless. The Saturn team was happy to host Miguel in our studio, where she elegantly posed and danced her way through the set. The photo and video shoot was headed up by Creative Director Eric Olson, and backed up by Scott Ritenour, Michael Swan, Ian Farnham, Mary Carroll, Kiera Hankes and Malory Larson. Produced by Shelly Nordquist.

 

For future Milwaukee Ballet on stage performances visit here: https://www.milwaukeeballet.org/performances/

How does your design stack up?

Posted on: June 21st, 2018

Being in the advertising business for the last 35 years, we know that there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to branding and creating a  label or package design. It all starts in the creative process, says Eric Olson, creative director for Saturn Lounge. Being a leading expert in graphics over the years, Saturn has the experience and the right people. Whether a company is rebranding itself or launching a new product, first and foremost a design needs to be developed. After a client reaches out to Saturn and expresses the need for a packaging or label design, Olson and his team of creative professionals designers research their client’s company, any existing branding guidelines,  target audience and competitors to get a better understanding of the direction they’ll need to take. “We immerse ourselves in the lives of their consumer so we can figure out what drives them; what do they want in a product?” Olson says. Using their artistic freedom Olson’s team delivers the client with multiple, exclusive hand-drawn designs, looks and color palettes—but only in black and white initially. “Colors could affect which design or look they like best. We want them just looking at the image.” And for Saturn, everything is personalized to the individual client’s wants and needs to put out the best possible design. Saturn understands that when consumers are presented with multiple brands of the same product, they’re buying the image. “This isn’t a mass-marketing thing, it depends on the product,” Olson says. “We want to translate a real, authentic feel of the brand into the image or packaging.” Hand-drawn lettering, graphics and food photography really bring out the personality of the product, but the packaging makes it one cohesive creation. “We do it for anyone when we do branding, we just apply it to different products,” Olson says. “We literally start from scratch.” When applicable, Saturn will recommend new photography for the label or package design and for marketing purposes. Looking for something new? Give Saturn Lounge a call.

using the drone for cinematic video footage

Posted on: June 11th, 2018

Drone video filming not just for high altitude point of views. The purpose of a drone, is that you get to see things for the first time. Sure, drones go up in the sky and capture beautiful landscapes; some typical scenarios would be sunsets, monumental structures or the skyline of a city. However, a skilled drone operator is also able to film smooth, cinematic shots indoors and or achieve closer range active lifestyle footage.

Going indoors with the drone opens up a lot of possibilities. You get perspective in inside spaces that you usually wouldn’t see.  Vast spaces in museums, theaters, athletic events, anywhere where you can get inside. You don’t need a lot, perhaps a lobby area that has a high expanse, or you could maneuver down a hallway.

There are other opportunities to use drone filming in a different ways. Check out the above video for Seaquist Orchards. Pay close attention to the video footage Zak Gruber and Ian Farnham captured. They maneuvered the drone to achieve a closer point of view, and the varying perspectives made the overall video much more interesting. Can you spot the shots?

When considering your next video project, think about our talented and experienced drone operators ability to make your video filming stand out above the rest.

Wenda Ingredients

Posted on: May 30th, 2018

Wenda Ingredients, an ingredient manufacturer specializing in all natural food ingredients for meat, poultry, and seafood, came to Saturn Lounge looking to revamp sales and marketing assets across the board- including a brand new website. The creative team at Saturn Lounge worked first to develop updated brand guidelines to lead the way through our integrated marketing campaign.

With the brand guidelines as our compass, we had a number of different channels that needed beautiful, new content. Our photography team got to work shooting a ton of beautiful new imagery to be used across all channels.

 

Along with beautiful static imagery, our video team set out to create a number of videos for use on the website as well as other marketing efforts. In addition to a brand overview video, we also created multiple product focused videos that were quick and easy to digest. These videos were used on key landing pages in the new website.

 

Once we had a new set of video and photo content, we turned to refreshing the website. Creating a visually stunning, easy to navigate website was a key element in our campaign as it served as the focal point of marketing efforts. Utilizing our video content every step of the way, we created a website designed to educate users and lead them through the sales funnel.

 

Now that we had a highly functioning website in place, we updated and created sales and marketing materials for use across a number of different channels. From email and print to paid digital placements, Wenda Ingredients has a consistent look driving users to their website and into the conversion.

 

Filling Your Content Funnel With Video

Posted on: May 30th, 2018

The concept of mapping your content marketing efforts to your customer’s journey and the sales funnel is essential for creating meaningful content designed to drive conversions. In today’s landscape, when video is at the epicenter of the marketing mix, it’s equally as important to consider how you can leverage it throughout the journey. By mapping your video content to the customer journey, you’ll have a better understanding of the promotion tactics and key performance indicators relevant to that piece of content.

Awareness

When your customers are in the awareness stage they are just realizing the problem and may have no pre-existing knowledge of your brand or solution. This is the phase where they are performing initial research around their problem and not looking directly for solutions. As first impressions are wildly important, so too is how you engage with your customers in this stage of the journey. This content should be quick, simple, and easily digestible.

In the awareness stage, educational video content offers real value to your audience and establishes your brand as a friendly subject matter expert without pushing a hard sell. This content is designed to gain trust from your audience and help establish your brand.

Keyword research and search engine optimization are key components in both the ideation phase of this content segment as well as the promotion strategy. Creating video content for key landing pages or even creating video blogs meant to educate your audience and answer questions found in keyword research is a great strategy. In addition to organic promotion, a paid campaign to promote your content using strong keyword or demographic targeting is a great way to get your content in front of those who aren’t familiar with your brand.

Key Performance Indicators: View Count, View Through Rate

Consideration

Now that your potential customers are aware of the problem they want to solve, they’re looking for solutions. Ideally, your audience will be familiar with your brand through the top of funnel content you’ve created for the awareness stage. While it’s easy to be tempted into pushing a hard sales message at this stage, it’s important to keep the focus on educating your audience. Remember, by educating your audience you’re empowering them to make the best decision, which ultimately leads to happier customers.

This content will likely be more of a deep dive than awareness stage content. Explainer videos and product/service demo videos are great for this stage, along with brand videos to educate your audience on your company and culture.

Your promotion strategy may look very similar to the awareness stage, utilizing targeted paid campaigns and organic search optimization. Your paid campaigns may place a heavier weight on search ads for solution based key terms vs demographic targeting. It’s also very important to leverage the audience garnered from the awareness stage through a remarketing campaign; that audience is already familiar with your brand, has ideally gained a little trust, and will be more likely to convert.

Key Metrics: View Time, View Through Rate

Decision

In the conversion stage your audience has researched their problem, found your solution, and are ready to move forward. After all your hard work building trust and educating your audience, it’s time to close the sale. The beauty of video in the conversion stage, is that it allows you to leverage a strong emotional component while also educating your audience on why your product/service is the best solution.

Any objections or questions that your audience may have before they’re ready to buy should be considered in decision stage video content. Video FAQs, testimonial, and instructional videos are great for this stage in the journey. Being transparent in this stage will continue to build trust all the way through the sale. By answering all your audience’s questions, you’re empowering potential customers to move through into the conversion.

Key Metrics: Conversions/Leads/Sales

YUM

Posted on: May 30th, 2018

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard

Yummy food and drink photos are easier to digest than create. Saturn Lounge food photographers understand the impact of light, composition and texture on your food images. Whether you need a single ad image or family of photos for a complete line of recipes or flavors, Saturn Lounge is your go-to for appetizing food and drink photography.

Your Saturn Lounge producer will find the perfect food stylist for your assignment and pull together all materials and props needed for your photo shoot. And with Saturn Lounge’s team of experienced food image retouchers and color experts your photos will be ready to serve up before those hunger pangs set in.

YUM Book:

Photography: Scott Ritenour, Robert Ness, Ian Farnham, Zak Gruber & Connor Bruesewitz

Food Styling: Nancy Froncek, Jennifer Janz & Owen Franz

Cover Art: Hand Drawn YUM lettering by Malory Larson

Planning Your Food Photography Shoot

Posted on: May 29th, 2018

When it comes to food and beverage photography, manufacturers and their marketing teams have to start from scratch. The final images on packaging, in commercials, and on other advertising may seem to encompass a carefree nature, but in reality, it took a lot of people working in painstaking detail to get that perfect shot. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when your contemplating vamping up your brands food image library:

Whats your Budget — I know. Let’s just get it out there. This may be weird to talk about. However, at Saturn Lounge we like to ask these questions from the start, your budget is important to cover as it sets the stage for where your production dollars should be spent. These dollars may go towards Photography Fee (set up and shooting), Producer, file processing, set materials, and additional production expenses such as food stylist, food prep/shop, food costs and set propping/shopping. It may seem like a lot, however think about how this investment will add value to your brand for years to come.

How many days & shots do you need with variations? Here we are talking about time. Having day rates is fine, but also remember there is more work on the front end and back end. What can help keep these costs down is being prepared. It’s important to step onto your food photography set and have your shot list in hand. The less time you contemplate what shots you need when your on set, the more cost effective is it for you. Food Stylist Owen Franz offers up this advice:

“…Really think about your shoot. Find pictures that look like what you want and lay it out. It sounds strange, but the more information you can give the photographer and the stylist, the more they can do for you. If I know exactly what we are shooting and I am given an example in advance of something you like, I can reproduce them and be fully prepared for the day of the shoot. Even if you’re shooting ears of corn, are you trying to tell a story? Do other vegetables/grains go with this shot? A well thought out plan involving the client/photographer/stylist may go a long way to an amazing shoot!”

Which brings us to our next point…

Assembling the team — Any given food shoot requires a strong group, each with their own expertise and unique opinion. So collaboration is key to keeping the process orderly and ensuring everyone walks away feeling what they wanted was achieved. A recent shoot Saturn Lounge completed for Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin included three client representatives, an art director, an agency account executive, a food stylist, a production manager, and the photographer. It is worth adding that having the client making approvals on set, or available via email during the shooting is critical to keeping costs down. 

Setting the stage — So many decisions here. Is the food on a plate? On the table? How about propping? The visual style is vital to creating an emotion connection with your target buyer. Whether it’s a rustic comfort or fresh active approach–with each photo shoot you get your own top notch Saturn Lounge producer in order to get the job done.

Acquiring the product — If we are shooting packaged and temperature-sensitive items for clients such as Cedar Crest Ice Cream or Denali Ingredients, it comes in by the truck-full. Not because we want some extra for ourselves, but because there is only so much time before that ideal scoop starts to melt!

Styling the food — At Saturn Lounge, we have a full working kitchen in our photography studio solely for our food clients. We contract the best food stylists in the area. There is a delicate balance of time and technique involved when shooting the crispiness of freshly fried chicken or the sizzle of sauteed vegetables. We don’t want to waste any of it.

 

Taking the shot — Digital technology has vastly improved the amount of detail that a photographer can capture in an image. In addition to camera capabilities, our photographers are experts; they adjust elements such as exposure and color on the spot and layer different images to showcase every component of a dish in its best light.

Going to print — Package printing technology also has advanced to the point where food companies need a higher level of photography to match the high-quality print on paperboard, plastic freezer bags, and the like. The same image might be used on websites, social media channels, menus, magazines, billboards, or bus wraps. So making sure it remains the ideal image of a food product in all channels and all sizes is a must.

For a variety of mouth watering Saturn food photography, check out our new portfolio compilation: YUM

 

 

 

Meet Andrew Giordano

Posted on: May 29th, 2018

What’s your background? (Prior jobs, schooling, etc.)

A: I graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. I’ve worked in the industry since 2010.

How did you get to be here now? (Worked your way through jobs, had an epiphany…)

A: I was referred by a former work colleague who works at Saturn now.

How long have you been drawing and doing creative work?

A: I’ve been creating in some way, shape, or form since I was a kid. I’ve always loved to create and produce something new or modify something to be better.

Where did you go to school to hone your talents and why did you choose web design?

A: My College offered a wide array of skills to train in. I favored web because of the challenge coding gave me. I have a love for computers and using them as a creative tool.

Why do you like your work?

A: I like my work because it is constantly presenting new challenges and problems that I truly enjoy solving. The work isn’t boring or repetitive so it helps me grow as a developer and creates new opportunities to learn.

What made you fall in love with the creative?

A: The ability to build something from nothing. It’s the struggle to create something that helps people achieve their goals.

What interested you in working at Saturn?

A: The atmosphere, talent, and respect that the owners have created here. When I met the team and owners I knew this was the place to be. I highly respect the workforce here. The environment is one of professionals and not just a mill that churns out employees. The culture is a great combination of Professionalism and personality.

What’s the best thing about working at Saturn?

A: The Team, everyone does their best to pull their weight. Communication is solid here. The environment is welcoming and the work is fun and challenging.

Who or what is your creative inspiration?

A: I would say Ayrton Senna. He was a world champion formula 1 race car driver from the 80 and early 90’s. The reason I chose him is that he was a driver that was beyond the abilities of the other drivers. His dedication to his work was legendary and his ways of using his creativity to outsmart and beat his fellow drivers was a thing of legend. He always praised his team when he did well and took the blame for when things didn’t work. He was a passionate philanthropist and all around great human being. His work in motorsport helped usher in a new era of safety in the automotive industry and his legacy will live on for years.

What gets you excited about web design?

A: The challenge and constant growth of web development. It’s continually updating and changing in fascinating and fun ways.

What is your creative style or vision?

A: My creative vision is based on the end goal of a project. What is this project suppose to accomplish? What does the client need to achieve out of the work I’m doing? I feel that creativity in web should be used as a tool to help get these questions answered. I prefer a functional creative vision that allows for appealing but practical design. Because at the end of the day the client’s happiness is why I do this.

What has been your favorite project that you’ve been a part of so far?

A: So far my favorite project to work on was Wenda Ingredients. Solid design, great client to work with, and a creative challenge.

What’s your home life like? (Family, friends etc…)

A: It consists of hanging out with buddies and working on projects. I’m a total nerd when it comes to hobbies.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: I’m a big motorsports enthusiast so I try to spend as much free time at the race track either spectating or competing. I also play guitar. Not as much lately, but I plan on jumping back into it and maybe get a band going.

Dream job?

A: My dream job would be a rally car instructor at Dirtfish Rally School in Seattle.

Any hidden talents or interesting facts?

A: I completed the Dirtfish Rally School course and I’m a certified rally car driver. I’ve been playing guitar for close to 18 years.

Photography by Saturn Lounge photo intern Lauren Adlam

Congratulations 2018 Women of Distinction

Posted on: May 22nd, 2018

Three women and a Kettle Moraine High School student were honored at the 34th annual Women of Distinction luncheon May 8.

The Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of women in Waukesha County, who through their passion and leadership, have greatly enhanced the lives of women in their community. The WGF annually awards grants to non-profit organizations that support projects and programs that promote the welfare, independence and self-sufficiency of women and girls of all ages.

Saturn Lounge was extremely proud to be a part of the event, donating photography services by Connor Bruesewitz. Sales Account Executive Kendra Finco, of Saturn Lounge is invited to attend each year, and shared her take-away from the event: “With so much negative going on around us; it was incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by such selfless women who make it their personal mission to give back to their community. One cannot help but leave this event with their hearts full and feeling deeply inspired.”

2018 Honorees are:

  • The Rev. Kris Androsky, executive director of Hebron House of Hospitality. Rev. Kris is the former co-pastor at First United Methodist Church in Waukesha, Androsky engages donors, volunteers, community partners, clergy, service providers, elected officials and other stakeholders to help end homelessness.
  • Mary Madden, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Waukesha County. Mary is known as a champion of those with mental illness, using her energy, skills and passion to promote understanding and provide services for those whose illness often causes them to be stigmatized in the community.
  • JoAnn Sternke, recently retired after 16 years as Pewaukee School District superintendent. JoAnn is widely respected for her commitment to continuous improvement and for a dramatic increase in student achievement.
  • Miranda Spindt, a senior at Kettle Moraine High School’s Global School of Leadership and Innovation charter school. In 2017, Miranda was named a Young Woman of Distinction for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. She also received the President’s Volunteer Service Honor from the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.

Congratulations to the Honorees!

Photos by Connor Bruesewitz, Saturn Lounge

MISSION

The Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County (WGF) seeks to aid and enrich the lives of women and girls in our community by providing financial grants that enable opportunities otherwise unavailable to them.

The WGF is building a culture of giving dedicated to the unique needs of women and girls throughout Waukesha County. We know that investing in the advancement of women leads to stronger families, more diverse, thoughtful workforces, and more robust communities. That’s why we seek out non-profit partners in Waukesha County and invest in their programs that help women become stronger, better educated, healthier and more empowered.

We are committed to being responsible stewards of each dollar donated. Guidelines established by the Board of Trustees guarantee that every grant dollar awarded is used toward the stated goal.

In addition, each year we celebrate the accomplishments of women, girls and the organizations that serve them through our Women of Distinction luncheon. As our signature fund-raising event, this program recognizes Waukesha County women who have demonstrated sustained excellence, accomplishments, and creativity through community involvement.

For information about the Women of Distinction, visit www.wgfwaukeshacounty.org, or contact Sue Juntunen at 262-875-3126 or contact@wgfwaukeshacounty.org.

Looking for ways to support the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County? Visit http://www.wgfwaukeshacounty.org/contribute/

 
 
 
 
 
 

Creating Content for Conversions

Posted on: April 26th, 2018

In our most recent ePub we outlined (link here) several strategies for content marketing specific to B2B manufacturers. Creating content exclusively for each part of the buyers funnel – top, middle and bottom – is really what’s going to help attract potential customers and drive sales. While it’s important to get new customers associated with your products and services at the top of the funnel, it’s arguably of the most importance for a business to get that final sale efficiently and effectively. After all, sales are what keep us in business.

Bottom of the Funnel Content

It’s easy to get caught up in marketing strategies in an effort to broaden the funnel and attempt to use general content tactics to target the top, middle and bottom all at once, not paying attention to the individual needs of each phase. Content specific to the bottom-funnel is innovative, significant and worth the viewer’s time. Remember, this is the last piece of the puzzle needed to capture a customer and fill your wallet. It gives the reader that last final push needed to take action that converts into a sale. Simplistically, it turns potential into actual. And it needs to be good.

It’s important to note that before getting to this point, more than likely the reader has read, watched, clicked or engaged in various previous marketing pieces and has gone through the process of the buyers funnel; starting at the top by being educated on your company and services, then moving to the middle to assess and compare to the competition, then finally to the bottom, the “purchase” stage. So at this point the buyer should understand your company and what you offer and why you’re the best solution to their problem. Don’t waste time or space going through these previous points and instead focus on what you need to do to nudge your lead into becoming a customer. But how?

The challenge here is developing the right content that effectively speaks to your buyer and makes them want to become a customer. It’s a fine line and one that needs to be treaded carefully. Keep in mind that dollar spending drastically impacts a buyer’s readiness to make a purchase. There’s less risk in purchasing something for $5 compared to a $50,000 investment, and a lot more time and energy will go into the latter than the former. This also varies from industry to industry and depends on your sales cycle and audience. Research shows that people will get up to 60% through the buying process before they’re ready to engage with someone from the company to discuss a potential purchase.

Engage

The most successful bottom-of-the-funnel content isn’t necessarily content, but it’s all about engagement—product demos, trial offers, case studies, free assessments and product literature. All of these marketing pieces and strategies have one important thing in common: they allow a potential buyer limited access to your product and imagine what it would be like to commit to working with your company or use your product or services.

The best way to get the most out of your marketing campaigns is to fully understand who comprises your industry. Who is your audience and what are their needs? Why might they be hesitant to purchase something or become your customer? How do you solve a problem and what makes you different?

Take these and use them to your advantage in developing your marketing strategies. Create strategy maps that customize content specific to each stage of the buyer’s journey through the funnel and use this to target certain leads. Once you start to understand a buyer’s process to purchasing, your content will become gold and you’ll never look at marketing the same way again.