How do you rebrand an iconic destination loved by locals and out-of-towners alike, without sacrificing its original charm?


When our client, The Marcus Corp., purchased the legendary Milwaukee landmark the SafeHouse last year, we were assigned this epic mission. The previous owner of the spy-themed restaurant and bar opened it nearly 50 years ago and had made minimal changes to its initial brand since.


While the one-of-a-kind restaurant concept didn’t change, the brand needed a significant refresh. This led to one of our most fun projects to date (and, of course, several spy-themed agency pun-offs).


From the restaurant’s logo, menus, and photography, to t-shirt designs, glassware, and even programming/event ideas, we touched almost every aspect of the SafeHouse’s new brand.



Previous Logo

Previous Logo

Updated logo

Updated Logo

new menu 1

New Menu

new menu 2

New Menu

new t-shirt design 2

New T-Shirt Design

new t-shirt desgin 1

New T-Shirt Design

print ad

Print Ad

Stop by the SafeHouse to check out the changes, including exciting new specials and events and an awesome new menu. Just make sure you know the secret password!


October 27, 2016 · Posted by in advertising, branding, design  

Two campaigns are hoping to make waves this year in celebration of 50 years in business: Doritos and Peet’s Coffee. Doritos takes on another crowdsourced concept and Peet’s focuses on bold creative and vivid imagery.

Taking a page out of their own book, Doritos is inviting fans to get involved. They are hoping fans will break at least 50 world records, all of which must involve Doritos, such as building the tallest house of cards using Doritos chips. Keeping with their Super Bowl tradition, Doritos launched the campaign the same day as the big game. They hoisted 22 chip lovers 14 stories into the air and achieved the “Tallest Suspended Football Party” (i.e. tailgate). The company will also create new records for consumers to break. Here’s to some great record breaking flop videos – because watching someone get hit in the face or falling trying some strange stunt is fun for everyone.


Taking a more serious angle, Peet’s Coffee hits home with truth and eye-catching design. Utilizing the newer cinemagraph* technique, short videos and some outdoor creative, Peet’s bright designs on dark backgrounds are attention grabbing.

And the tagline makes the campaign even stronger, “coffee first, everything else second.” It plays upon the popular saying, “coffee first”, evoking that feeling when you get your first cup of coffee in the morning combined with beautiful images that reflect the brand’s true commitment to coffee.


In addition to the beautiful imagery and strong tagline, Peet’s is launching the hashtag #NoFooling on social media. The campaign will be centered around April Fools’ Day (the brand’s actual 50th anniversary) and star Peet’s employees on polygraphs. Peet’s strong commitment to honesty and coffee is their driving force.

Now, go make a hilarious viral video trying to catch a Doritos chip in your mouth. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, just grab a cup of Peet’s Coffee – it’s hand-roasted for Pete’s sake!

*Guilty plug: z2 uses this video approach for clients. Ask about it today!








March 28, 2016 · Posted by in advertising, branding, design, marketing, misc  

All About Beth

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Meet our Vice President of Client Services, Beth Gleesing. A true leader, Beth’s passion for z2 and its clients is evident in all her efforts. Whether she is coordinating photo shoots, leading internal brainstorms, finalizing yearly planning for clients or meeting with clients to discuss brand strategy, Beth can do it all and does so with a great attitude. The z2 team simply wouldn’t be what it is today without her leadership.


Describe a “typical” day at z2 for you.
Well if you have been following the blog and reading about my other z2 team members, you know from the rest of my account team that no day is very typical in agency life. Agency life is fun and challenging and at times can be harried because we live our lives around deadlines. But the thing that stands out to me the most is that working in an agency gives me the opportunity to work with some of the most creative people I have ever experienced. I am definitely a “left brain” person – and I marvel at the ideas that are generated and the beautiful pieces of work my co-workers create.

Most Unique Experience during a z2 Workday:
The most unique day I’ve had at z2 was also one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had. We were doing a photo shoot of breast cancer survivors for Susan G. Komen of Southeast Wisconsin. It involved 8 women, all survivors or women going through cancer treatment. These 8 women were strangers when they entered our photo studio. And yet, they banded together and looked as if they were life-long friends on camera. Seeing the connection these women had and the support they showed each other in the time they were with us was surprising and inspiring. Their status as survivors entered them into a club they did not ask to be part of and formed instant bonds among them.

Part of the z2 team at 2014's Race for the Cure

Part of the z2 team at 2014′s Race for the Cure

You’re stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?
A good book…I have too many favorites to name one, but as long as I have something to read, I’m good. Diet Coke. My husband…we’re pretty good at figuring things out together so we could get ourselves off the island. Plus I know he would bring something musical so then we could have dance parties.

Beth's husband, Joe, playing his guitar

Beth’s husband, Joe, playing his guitar

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Probably an elephant. They are very intelligent. They live in tight-knit family groups their entire lives and protect each other. And I feel that there is something almost graceful in their slow, deliberate movement.

Beth and her family

Beth and her family

If you were a ghost, where would you haunt?
A library.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
It depends on my mood. It could be Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen, I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons or something like Survivor by Destiny’s Child.

Where’s Waldo?
I don’t know, but I wish he was weeding my garden.

July 22, 2015 · Posted by in advertising, z2 news  

z2 is delighted to welcome Julie Larsen to our team as a Senior Account Executive.

Julie joins us with a background in B2B, specifically in the industrial and manufacturing industries. Her past positions included a heavy focus on integrated marketing as well as event planning and public relations, of which she holds the esteemed Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

A graduate of Marquette University, Julie studied Public Relations. She lives in Wauwatosa with her husband Scott, daughter Jenna, son Nate and their yellow lab, Boulder. In her spare time, Julie enjoys traveling, reading, watching sports, and visiting the local shops and restaurants.

Welcome, Julie!

Julie Larsen, Senior Account Executive

Julie Larsen, Senior Account Executive

December 9, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, z2 news  

They always say that a creative and functional office can set the tone for a company as such an environment can leave employees more inspired and productive. We at z2 agree, which is why we shared our designs with the Milwaukee Business Journal for their new series, “Milwaukee’s Coolest Offices.”

So, jump in and enjoy a brief tour of our favorite spots of the place we have called home since October 2013.

The Café

z2 Cafe

Some days we just need to get out of our offices for a bit of inspiration. We head to the communal area, the café, for a change of scenery. The area is filled with couches, tables and a fireplace, all of which provide for ample meeting space or a quaint working space. And of course we had to add the Martini Bar so we could enjoy a z2 favorite – Cosmo Fridays. We like to unwind from a stressful week by shutting down at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoons and indulging in some of our favorite snacks and drinks.

z2 Fitness

z2 Fitness
Too many deadlines to meet in too little time? No problem. We sweat out the stress in our fitness studio. The 3,500-square-foot fitness studio has a treadmill, elliptical and circuit training equipment, and group classes are also available throughout the week to add a bit of variety.

The Kitchen

z2 Kitchen 

We can’t function without food so we have a full-service kitchen available for clients and employees. It is conveniently located next to the photo studio with a window so that we can provide craft services to clients if necessary. For random parties and national holidays (i.e. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day) we use the kitchen to bake cookies and egg bakes, burn some bacon, etc.

The Studios

z2 Photo Studio

Two added conveniences for our clients and us are our photo and recording studios. With the ability to record radio pieces and voice-overs, or shoot photos and videos on site, z2 has a definite one-up. Having access to these spaces allows us to develop killer content for clients or whip something up for our own social media purposes. It’s kind of like having our very own photo booth, but better.

Check out the full article here.

November 26, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, marketing, photo, z2 news  

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