Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

How Illustrations can enhance your marketing

Posted on: March 26th, 2019

 

It has been said that the majority of people tend to look at pictures first, and text second. Aren’t our social media posts always more impactful when they are posted alongside an uploaded photo? A ‘”Happy Caturday” greeting on your Facebook page just isn’t as alluring on it’s own; as opposed to when it is posted alongside a funny photo of your fluffy white feline, sitting on the couch looking like Jabba the Hut, right? Doesn’t it make sense to make sure you and your marketing efforts have a strong visual brand?

At Saturn Lounge, not only can we handle your custom photography and video needs, we may also set your brand apart with custom, hand drawn illustrations. This is just what Saturn Lounge did for client Arch Electric, as seen here in the above illustrated animation video, How Solar Power Works. Arch Electric is Wisconsin’s leader in Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy and Storage. Their company offers solutions that range from simple grid-tied configurations with solar energy storage to off-grid systems. The illustrations in the video were hand drawn by Saturn Lounge Graphic Designer Malory Larson. Custom illustrations may help a client’s visual identity stand out in a way that’s unique to them. For the Arch Electric illustrations; the clean, minimalistic infographics were deliberately created to represent their professional company and tech business. They also help tell a complete story. Since a key value for Arch Electric is educating communities, municipalities & leaders about renewable energy, using the custom graphics and creating a storyboard to educate viewers, was an effective way to go.

Creative Director: Eric Olson

Graphic Artist: Malory Larson

Video Editor: Karoline Bakemeyer

Want to know more about how illustrations and graphic art can boost your brand? Call or e-mail Saturn Lounge today.

 

Milwaukee Ballet 50th Anniversary Season

Posted on: March 26th, 2019
 
 

 

Celebrating Fifty Years of the Milwaukee Ballet in One Image 

Saturn Lounge Creative Director Eric Olson has always had a deep appreciation for the arts. Eric has a flair for drawing the audience in with his photography and he makes a habit out of having fun while he’s doing it. His portfolio features everything from international lifestyle, landscape and city imagery to tabletop glamour shots of branded apparel. One look at Eric’s portfolio and you can see that a great deal of his professional body of work includes capturing movement in pictures – sports, dance, fitness and active lifestyle.  He has been known to capture the greatest height of a Ollie skateboarding jump, and or the beautiful lines of the elegant ballet position; the arabesque. When the Milwaukee Ballet approached Eric several months ago about creating an image that would represent the Milwaukee Ballet’s 50th Anniversary, he soon got to work.

Eric collaborated with the Milwaukee Ballet team to come up with an image that would highlight the talent in each character, making each “character study” a story on it’s own. He knew that he wanted to take separate photos of each character, and composite them all into one poignant image. The final composited image features a variety of the Ballet’s characters, in which Eric photographed individually over a three day period. The dancing doll in Coppélia, the iconic Nutcracker, the high flying Peter Pan and more.

The initial stages started with Saturn Lounge Graphic Designer Malory Larson, sketching out potential scenarios and placement of the characters. In the Saturn Lounge studio, Eric photographed each character at an angle that would work with their placement within the composited image. No detail was overlooked; from makeup to costume, to the precise poses in each of the character studies. This was continually a work in progress as the image unfolded, as Eric wanted to achieve a refined, well balanced image overall. Under Eric’s creative direction, Saturn Lounge Digital Artist Mark Heinrich, digitally arranged the characters on the stage into one complete, composited image. No component was missed, from Tinkerbell’s playful interaction with Hook, to the magical glow between Copp and Dross.

Check out Peter Pan’s amazing aerial agility, in this behind the scenes video montage:

The 50th Anniversary image will be featured in the 2019 season brochure, as well as used in other local advertising.

To learn more about the Milwaukee Ballet and it’s upcoming performances, and to buy tickets be sure to visit https://www.milwaukeeballet.org/

For more information on the Ballet’s golden anniversary season, and to read more about their move to a new facility, check out the official press release.

Creative Director & Photographer: Eric Olson

Producer: Shelly Nordquist

Assistant Photographer: Connor Bruesewitz

 

Five WordPress Integrations You’ll Love

Posted on: February 28th, 2019

Your website has the potential of being an incredible sales and marketing for your company. If you’ve built your website in WordPress, there are a multitude of plugins that can be used to turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts. As one of the most widely used platforms, there are a TON of plugins- and that can prove to be a little intimidating. We’ve identified a few awesome plugins that can work wonders for your marketing efforts.

Title Experiments

If you’re creating a lot of blog content as part of a content marketing campaign, A/B testing your post titles is a great way to optimize that content’s performance. This plugin allows you to test different variations of post titles and delivers analytics behind click-through rates to help you choose the best title.

MailChimp for WordPress

MailChimp for WordPress allows you to connect your MailChimp account easily and integrate with your existing contact forms or create new opt-in forms to build your e-mail marketing list.

Yoast SEO

This is a well-rounded plugin that offers a variety of search engine optimization functions. From dynamic XML-Sitemap creation to a simple-to-edit title and metadata field, Yoast unlocks a ton of optimization potential for your website.

Redirection

If you’re redesigning your website or have a constantly changing website, it’s important to have proper redirects in place. Redirection allows you to manage those 301 redirections and keep track of any 404 errors.

Sumo

Sumo is a powerful all-in-one tool that includes list building features similar to MailChimp for WordPress, social sharing functionality, and Google Analytics integration. In addition to all of that, it includes advanced analytics functionality including scroll tracking and heatmapping.

These are just five out of a TON of great plugins that you can use to power up your website. Because your business and your website are unique, the right mix to use will depend on you. If you have any questions on these plugins or would like to talk about improving your web performance, get in touch– we’d love to work with you!

2019 Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk/5K Run

Posted on: February 13th, 2019

February is National Heart Month. It is in this important month, we hope you are able to take moment to watch this video message from Saturn Lounge owner Jim Kohlhardt, and Paul M. Neuberger, President of The Starr Group. The video is regarding the Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk/5K Run that is happening this fall on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Jim’s life was dramatically impacted by heart disease when he was just 28 years old.  Read his story below to learn why Jim is such an advocate for fighting heart disease.

…….

Growing up, I knew that my Dad had a heart condition, and my Mom would complain that he often skipped taking his heart medication because it made him feel tired and run down. My father had been a Marine and was a man of few words, so he never complained about his health to me.

Our entire family was spending Memorial Day weekend at our lake home in May 1994. At 4:15 a.m. on Memorial Day, I heard a huge crash in another room and then heard my Mom scream. I ran into my parents’ bedroom to find my Dad laying motionless next to the bed, not breathing. We called 911 right away and I performed what I knew of CPR on my Dad until the ambulance arrived, which took nearly 15 minutes because we were so far away from the nearest services. The emergency team tried to revive my Dad for about 20 or 30 minutes before loading his body into the ambulance to head out to the nearest hospital. Everyone in our family knew that there was no real hope by that time.

At age 28, I lost my Dad to a massive heart attack, and my Mom was a widow at age 63. This is the reason I said yes when asked to help the Heart Association raise money to fight heart disease and death. It was devastating to lose my Dad at such a young age, and unfortunately, there are millions of stories like mine.

Please donate as much money and time as possible to our effort this year. The Heart Association and I are very grateful for your support.

Thank you,
Jim

…….

To join the Saturn Lounge Team for this walk, and or to make a donation visit the Saturn Lounge Team page here.

We hope you will join us in this important cause!

 

Date & Time

September 21, 2019
Check-In 8 am Village Opens/5K Run Begins
Starts 10 am (Walk)
Length of Walk 1 or 3 mile route

Where

Veterans Park
1300 N Lincoln Memorial Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Remembering the Human Side of Marketing

Posted on: January 31st, 2019

Marketing tech and automation have advanced immensely over the years. We live in an era where processing loads of data and setting users off on a well-formulated journey full of drip campaigns and automated e-mails. Adopting this technology boosts efficiency and allows you to build a machine that moves quickly to onboard and nurtures customers, so it’s no surprise that we’re using marketing automation more than ever.

While our obsession with automation and technology has helped marketers streamline their efforts, it’s important that we remember the importance of the human element in marketing.

People Still Like Talking to People

We live in an age where you can order pizza, buy your groceries, and shop for clothes from a phone app without interacting with a single human. But, when a person needs help, there’s still a deep desire for instantaneous assistance from a real live human being. Supplying your users with help docs and easy contact forms is great but, especially with more technical purchases, people often prefer to talk with a real person. To maximize your conversions, reduce that barrier to entry with either clear callouts for phone numbers and (if you have someone to manage it) a live chat. Nothing makes a person more comfortable than having 4 different ways to find help.

Customer Service is Still King

According to a study by American Express, seven in 10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers a great service. Over two thirds also noted that a pleasant customer service representative was key to a positive experience. Remember, customer service doesn’t end once your product or service has been purchased. A crucial step in your sales funnel is how you are delighting and supporting your customers, turning one time buyers into brand loyalists and evangelists.

Always Remember Your Customer’s Perspective

As much data as we’re able to scrape on who’s looking at your brand and how they’re reacting, it’s important to remember that each piece of data represents a real live person. Data lets us maximize these marketing opportunities by offering insight that helps us stay relatable and relevant. As you craft your voice and messaging, take the time to put yourself in your buyer’s persona. Doing this helps you keep a check between perception and reality. From what benefit points you’re highlighting to what call to actions you’re using, remember to think about how your target audience will receive it. A thorough exercise in persona building and even real customer interviews will help give you more insight into their perspective. 

Why you shouldn’t rule out location photography: How unique locations can make your product & brand stand out

Posted on: January 28th, 2019

 

Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world, and this holds true for our Saturn Lounge photographers when they’re shooting for clients. For Saturn Lounge, a successful location photo shoot includes showcasing the clients product(s) in an eye catching environment. A fantastic example of such a photo project would be a recent photo shoot for our client Lakeland Industries. Lakeland Industries creates protective garments that protect individuals from fire, hazardous chemicals, and diseases. Their protective gear is used throughout the world, specifically for workers in a number of industries in which hazardous materials must be handled, including chemical, fire service, gas and electric utilities, healthcare and many more.

Our client suggested a wonderfully unique location to accomplish the application photography; a National Historic Landmark called Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, AL. Sloss Furnaces was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world. It stands today just as it did in the late 19th century — a monument to the Industrial Revolution. After closing in 1971, it became one of the first industrial sites in the U.S. to be preserved and restored for public use.

Saturn Lounge photographers have the experience and know-how in maneuvering their cameras and gear around an industrial location or manufacturing facility.  Working under the direction of Lakeland Industries Creative Director Scott Conover, Ian Farnham framed up each shot in his camera and ultimately showcased the protective clothing on varying unique backdrops at the historic Sloss industrial site. The results are stunning images that help convince the buyer that no matter what dangerous workplace or scenario they may be in, Lakeland’s gear is extremely protective and comfortable.

To view more photos of this Historic Landmark, and to see behind the scenes production photos of the team working hard, view gallery below.

Creative Director: Scott Conover

Photographer: Ian Farnham

Assistant Photographer: Connor Bruesewitz

Producer: Shelly Nordquist

 

Check out these other unique locations in which Saturn Lounge captures more application photography for Lakeland Industries…

 

 

Where we can take your next photo project?

Reach out to Saturn Lounge to find out where wanderlust will take your brand…

Belfast – Robert Ness

Posted on: January 24th, 2019

Taking advantage of a Sunday off while Robert Ness was in Belfast Ireland shooting for a client; he packed up his camera and photographed some images of his own.

Cleaning Up Your 2019 Strategy

Posted on: December 20th, 2018

Days are getting shorter but are somehow more jam-packed than all year. We’ll be rolling into the new year soon which means new budgets, new focuses, new tactics, and maybe even an all-new strategy. The end of the year marks the perfect time to reflect upon your marketing’s successes and failures and build those learnings into your next year’s strategy. As you build your 2019 marketing plan, there are a few things you will want to consider.

Start With Success

What are your goals and what are the metrics for success? Always shoot for the stars here, but realize there’s only so much time and be reasonable about your plan. Whether your goal is to generate new leads or grow your relationship with current customers, always leave space for a small reality check as you’re mapping out the path to success. By understanding your limitations, you’ll be able to prioritize these goals and be set up to achieve them.

Clean Up Your Existing Assets and Get Your Messaging in Line

Take a look at the assets your audience have been receiving. Have they been updated? Are they up to date with your current goals or the new goals that you’ve set for the new year? Before you set out to create a load of great new content (which you should be doing), take this time to look at your existing content and make sure it’s up to snuff.

This may involve cleaning up your messaging strategy. If your business and brand have gone through a transformation, it’s good to reevaluate your messaging and ensure that everything is in line with your desired brand vision.

Find New Tools, but Don’t Go Crazy

It’s easy to want to add every cool new program you find into your arsenal, but you need to fight this urge. Arming yourself, or your team, with every new tool you find, may seem like a good idea but, taking a step back and taking a methodical approach will save you from unnecessary onboarding. Look at your goals and priorities and match the tools that will best help you get there.

Keep it Simple, Be Agile

Overcomplicating your marketing strategy is a good way to make sure it never gets followed. Assuming new customer acquisitions, revenue growth, and even market growth is a dangerous path to go down. You know what they say about assuming. Instead, define your goals, identify your audience, determine metrics of success, and define the key tactics you’ll use to achieve that success. As you go through the year, stay agile enough to eliminate some tactics while putting more focus on others as you gauge performance.

If you’re still in the midst of planning 2019 or are looking for a partner to support and consult with, we’d love to work with you! Get in touch to schedule a planning session.

Happy Holidays from Saturn Lounge

Posted on: December 20th, 2018

Illustrated by Saturn’s own Malory Larson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A look back at 2018 in photos

Posted on: December 13th, 2018

Meet Karoline Bakemeyer

Posted on: December 12th, 2018

photos by Connor Bruesewitz

We sat down with Saturn Lounge Video Editor Karoline Bakemeyer and learned a few things. Here’s what we found out…

What is your professional background and experience?
I spent 11 years of my professional career in local news at CBS 58. From 2006-2014, I was the producer and video editor for their sports department.  In 2014, I had the opportunity to leave news and work in the creative services department for the national network Sportsman Channel which was based out of New Berlin.  They were bought out a year and a half later and were moved to Denver and while I had the opportunity to go with, my family and life are here in Wisconsin.  I decided to call up the news director at CBS 58 and went back in October of 2015 as a photojournalist for the morning show and the editor for the noon newscast. I also helped on the CBS 58 Sunday morning show quite frequently. Once I had my daughter on 7-7-17, I knew working from 3:30AM-12:30PM everyday was going to be tough. I was looking for a a more creative way to display my editing skills which has brought me to Saturn Lounge and I couldn’t be happier.

Did you/where did you go to college?
I attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City for the first 2 years of my college career and then finished up and graduated from UW-Milwaukee.

What do you do for Saturn Lounge?
Video Editor

What do you think are the best skills you bring to the job?
I am used to working in a very fast paced environment where situations are usually very fluid which I think will greatly aid me when juggling projects.  I am also a big stickler for deadlines which has been ingrained in me from my many years in news. I also love to learn new skills and look forward to continuing to grow as a video editor.

What do you like to watch in your own time?
If my TV isn’t tuned into PBS Kids, then it’s most likely on Investigation Discovery, so I can get my true crime fix.  I also love Game of Thrones, West World and a lot of shows on Bravo.

Where are you from?
I was born in Minneapolis, but was only there until 5 years old when we moved to Milwaukee, so I consider myself all things Wisconsin.

Your best kept secret?
If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a secret 🙂

What’s playing in your car right now?
If I’m listening to satellite radio, then Sirius XMU or Alternative Nation. Otherwise the band Gunship is in a heavy rotation as they just put out a much anticipated new album in October. And One Republic is in the CD player.

Who’s your favorite superstar?
It’s a tie between Christian Bale and Jared Leto.

How would you describe yourself?
I am loyal, dedicated and a hard worker.  Although I hate to admit it I am a bit of an over achiever and competitive.  I am out-going and a my mom always says, a social butterfly.

What is your favorite food?
Picadillo which is a cuban dish my mom makes consisting of ground beef, green olives and capers, usually served over rice. Bread pudding of any kind is also fair game for my favorite foods.

What is your best achievement?
My daughter, Riley. She is the light of my life and I have absolutely loved motherhood thus far. We will see how I feel about that when she is a teenager, ha.

Who would you most like to meet and why?
I would love to meet the band Death Cab for Cutie.  Their music has been such an integral part of my life for so long, I’d just love the opportunity to chat with them about their life experiences and inspirations for their songs/lyrics..  I have one of their album covers as a tattoo, so I’d say I am a pretty dedicated fan.

What do you do for fun?
I love the great outdoors, so that’s where you can find me in my free time.  I love hiking, I go on a canoeing/camping trip annually, kayaking, paddle boarding and going on walks with my daughter. I enjoy spending time up north so I can swim, get out on the boat to knee board or fish. I also enjoy playing in volleyball leagues and did an adult kick ball league for the first time this past fall.

Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?
I can roll my tongue in thirds, but I am pretty open about that.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
I just am very happy to be a part of the Saturn Lounge team. I look forward to continuing to what we can achieve together.

Thanks for sharing Karoline! Saturn Lounge is glad to have you!

……..

Connect with us to find out how Saturn can help with your next video project.

We’re all mad here

Posted on: November 5th, 2018

One of the reasons Jen Christianson enjoys her job at Saturn Lounge is because she is constantly surrounded by creativity. In her almost sixteen years at the company, she has enjoyed seeing varying concepts come to life; whether it be in the form of a photograph, a video, or a print advertisement.

“I’m fortunate to work in an professional environment where such a creative process thrives. We have such talented photographers, directors, and designers. Outside of my job, I’m a self professed DIY Nerd. Up-cycling used items, painting, pottery, or even rearranging my decor at home. I swear the right side of my brain is always working, daydreaming really, about the current crafty project I’m working on.”

Over the years, Jen has provided various set design, construction and prop styling for Saturn Lounge’s photo and video shoots. Recently, she entered a contest sponsored by Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. The contest was titled “2018 DIY Halloween Costume Contest”. The contest encouraged participants to show off their creativity; using items from their local Goodwill to create their very own Halloween costume. Friends and family, along with a panel of Goodwill judges cast their vote on all of the entries, with Goodwill ultimately deciding the winner. We’re happy to share that Jen came in first place! Congratulations!

“I absolutely love Halloween. My birthday is October 29th, so perhaps for that reason Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Plus, I get to show off my crafty side. I’ve never been one for store bought costumes, so when I came across this contest I thought to myself, I GOT THIS! My husband and I have a ten year old daughter, and I have truly enjoyed putting together her Halloween costume over the years. She decides on what she wants to be, and then I get to work hunting for the most perfect, most unique items from Goodwill. This year, Mad Hatter was so much fun to put together. The best part of the whole contest was working on the costume alongside my daughter. I knew it was going to be a good one when [in May believe it or not] I scored a giant bag of vintage wood thread spools from Goodwill for $2.99. This would become the infamous ‘thread bandolier’ that the Mad Hatter wears. It’s by far my favorite part of the costume. With only a few days left in the entry deadline, I spotted the chair at Goodwill, I knew I had to purchase it and get her in the studio for a portrait sitting.”

Other items sourced from Goodwill that went into the costume are: teacup and saucer, gold thimble, neck scarf, blazer, pants, bell sleeve blouse, craft applique’s and the $6.99 chair for her studio portrait sitting.

The Mad Hatter:

“Have I gone mad?”

Alice:

“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers.

But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”