We are excited to share that we received six 2014 MarCom Awards! We were recognized in various categories from video production to design, and brought home two platinum and four gold awards for our work with Industries® for the Blind – Milwaukee (IB Milwaukee) and Miller Time Pub and Grill.

We received awards for the following projects:

  • Gold Award for We are IB Milwaukee in the Brochure / Company Overview category
  • Gold Award for Miller Time Pub and Grill Grand Re-Opening in the Media Kit / Special Event category

MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievements of marketing and communication professionals. MarCom Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which consists of thousands of creative professionals who oversee awards and recognition programs, provide judges and set standards for excellence.

There were more than 6,500 entries from the United States, Canada and 15 other countries from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers for this year’s MarCom Awards.

To view a complete list of winners, visit www.MarComAwards.com.

November 19, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, marketing, video, z2 news  

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  

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  


This week’s interesting Kickstarter campaign is for Kano: A computer anyone can make. Kano is based on a Raspberry Pi, which is a single-board computer running Linux.

The Raspberry Pi is important because the primary purpose of it is to get kids interested in computing again. Too many kids today are using tablets, and smart phones, and iPods where consuming is taking a precedent over creating.

Without sounding too old, when I first used a computer back in 1980, you turned it on, and it looked something like this:

Apple ProDOS

When you turn on a Raspberry Pi, it looks like this:


30 years ago just seeing a computer in your own home was a pretty exciting thing… and getting it to actually do something was even more of a thrill! The Raspberry Pi is not the easiest computer to get up and running, but this is where the Kano fills in the gaps.

While a Raspberry Pi is cheap, at about $35, you’ll still need a power supply, a USB cable, a keyboard, mouse, an SD card (with an operating system on it) and either an Ethernet cable or a WiFi adapter. All those things add up and bring the cost up a bit, but for a beginner, they also make things more difficult, as you’re either scrounging up all the parts you need, or ordering items from multiple sources.

Kano solves many of the problems of having a fully functional computer using a Raspberry Pi. I really like this line from the Kano folks: “Kano is for anyone who wants to start creating with technology – not just consuming it.” And they’re going with a well-tested method: making things easier.

Oh, and since launching they’ve already raised over six times their original goal of $100,000. This could be a big one!

November 25, 2013 · Posted by in design, marketing, misc  

For the next 10 weeks we’ll be doing a countdown to the celebration of z2′s 10th year. Each week we’ll look back and examine milestones for ourselves, and the industry, and there might just be a few surprises along the way, as well.

2004 Logos

z2 started in at the tail end of 2003 when Cory Zimmermann and Deb Zindler teamed up to create a new agency. They knew they didn’t want z2 to just be a clone of every agency they’d both worked at through the years, so by design z2 was meant to be a “no bullshit” agency. They were going to be real and genuine with their clients, and actually go beyond thinking of clients as just ‘clients’ and treat them as ‘partners’ in the management of their brand.

2004 Business Cards

Above you’ll see some of the early identity concepts for z2, including logos and business cards.

2004 Floor Plan

And here’s the floor plan of the original office located in a basement in Delafield. 725 square feet seemed like a lot back then!

While z2 started in late 2003 with just Cory and Deb, by 2004 we’d grown to four employees. You’ll see this growth as a theme throughout the next 10 years… Check back next week for a look at 2005.

September 6, 2013 · Posted by in design, marketing  

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