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  

Telly Time!

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Telly Awards

It’s that time of year again—the 2014 Tellys have been announced! We’re proud to have received five more awards this year, including one Silver Telly—the program’s highest honor!

Z2 has won many Telly awards over the years, and we’re excited to add to our collection. We received a Silver Telly this year for a music video we shot with Radio Disney Star Shealeigh for her song, “Be Kind.” Shealeigh has been generous enough to donate all proceeds from the song to Z2’s charity, This Time Tomorrow Foundation.

Our 2013 This Time Tomorrow music video, featuring Milwaukee’s own I’m Not a Pilot and Hollywood actor C. Thomas Howell, won two Bronze Telly awards, in the categories of music video and cinematography. All the proceeds from this song were donated, as well.

Another rewarding project we tackled in 2013 was a 22-minute documentary on the history of The Pfister Hotel. It also won a Bronze Telly.

Finally, we received a Bronze Telly for a really fun sales video we put together for our client, Zero Zone. Check out the Sherlock Holmes theme.

We’re so proud of these accomplishments, and can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

May 19, 2014 · Posted by in branding, marketing, video, z2 news  


According to Forbes Magazine, This Photographer Just Made $15K In One Day On Instagram, which is amazing, right? I’m sure it makes you wonder how you can do it too!

I’ve really only got one issues with the headline, and that’s the “In One Day” part. Suggesting Daniel Arnold made $15,000 “in one days” does not account for the fact that he spends most days walking around New York taking photos with an iPhone and 35mm camera, sometimes up to 8 hours per day. He’s also been shooting for years, so there’s a lot of experience behind his work.

In photography, like any other creative art, there are different levels, and you may wonder why one photographer can charge $1000 per day while another can charge $500 per day, and it usually comes down to experience and knowledge. Which will often translate to “getting some photos” and “getting iconic images that define your brand”, at least in the agency world.

Daniel also has over 28,000 followers on Instagram (scratch that, it’s over 43,000 now.) He’s also been called “the best photographer on Instagram” and has been on the site since August of 2011. All of this adds up to “experience” you just can’t get in a single day.

So keep posting your photos…. maybe you’ll make $15,000 doing it, but most likely, it’ll take more than one day.

March 14, 2014 · Posted by in branding, photo  

Cory on The Morning Blend

It seems this year’s Super Bowl TV commercials were on par with the football game itself: fairly boring. While there were a few bright spots, the majority of the ads were mediocre.

Our own Cory Zimmermann appeared on TMJ4’s The Morning Blend this morning to discuss the best and worst commercials from yesterday’s big game. Watch a clip from the show below.

Morning Blend Video

Some of the favorites from the rest of the Z2 team include the Maserati, Budweiser, Chevy, and Radio Shack spots. We also appreciated Esurance’s post-Super Bowl commercial. Not only was it perfectly on brand, but it also kicked up some serious social media buzz.

There was a lot of conversation in the office about how social media has influenced ads. Many of us were torn on the idea of releasing Super Bowl spots prior to the big game. While we understand the idea of building buzz and trying to break through the advertising clutter, the ads lose some of their appeal if they aren’t debuted during the actual game. Given social media’s rapidly evolving influence on advertising, it should be interesting to see what next year’s ads will look like.

What were your favorite/least favorite ads this year?

February 3, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, branding, marketing, social media, z2 news  

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