Independence Day is often cherished for its long-standing traditions and values. People enjoy celebrating this special day by indulging in some of their own on-going traditions,  including watching fireworks, cooking out with friends and family or even enjoying a mini-vacation. We at z2 value these traditions, as well. And in honor of Independence Day, here are some of our favorite foods we enjoy every year on this day.

Potato Salad. My mom makes THE BEST potato salad you’ll ever have! In fact, the Guinness Book of World records tabbed it as the World’s Greatest Potato Salad. Ok, maybe not, but it is in my book. – Tracy

Brisket. My father-in-law’s brisket is usually smoked for an average of 6-10 hrs overnight, but it’s a process. You have to be on watch with them, flipping and wetting them down with more sauce. The sauce is special too, a nice blend of subtle spice and taste, the perfect combo. – Jason J.

Asparagus. Grilled asparagus is so delicious! Well, everything tastes better on the grill, doesn’t it? – Katie

Corn on the cob. Grilled corn on the cob is such a treat on the 4th. Smothered in butter, pepper and salt and then grilled, and repeated after the grill, in the stalk is so mouthwatering. – Cedar

Beer. The best food at any Wisconsin cookout! – April

Italian Sausage. We make it in an 18-quart crock pot with some spices and our own homemade sauce and let it cook for the day. After it’s done we chow down, but not before our family uses that sauce to make spaghetti. Yeah, we like to eat hearty. – Mario

Burgers. The All-American cheeseburger is all you need for the perfect cookout on Independence Day! – Beth

Grilled Wings. It’s fun to change it up and BBQ’d wings on the grill is a perfectly delicious change! – Carly

Deviled Eggs. One of our family’s favorite holiday treats! – Karyn

Steak Kabobs. They’re incredibly delicious. Chunks of steak, white pearl onions, grape tomatoes, and whole baby portabella mushrooms. Seasoned and grilled. – Jason M.

What is YOUR favorite food to have on Independence Day?

Check out our last TTF post and come back for more every Friday!

Photo Credit #1: Jason Jahnke

Photo Credit #2: Carly Schroeder

July 5, 2013 · Posted by in TTF  

Divergent Advertising

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There’s a great post over The Society Pages that highlights a Molson Beer campaign that created two different ads, one aimed towards men, and another aimed towards women.


Above is an ad for Molson that ran in Cosmo magazine… obviously targeted towards women.

And below is an ad for Molson that ran in Playboy magazine, obviously targeted towards men.


There’s nothing wrong with running multiple ads geared towards different audiences, but the ad for men explains how the ad for women was “scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson.”

At one level, it’s amusing, especially if you work in the advertising or marketing industry…

But on another level, it’s a little disturbing and insulting, to both men and women.

What I find interesting is that this campaign ran about 8 years ago. That’s not too long ago, but I wondered how many people would have seen an article on the web about such a campaign 8 years ago versus today.

And even more interesting is the divergence of comments on the piece.

December 6, 2011 · Posted by in marketing, misc  

Two new products in the media this week caught my eye. The first is called Chick Beer, which—as you might have guessed—is a beer catered toward women. Now, as woman who enjoys beer, the thought has never crossed my mind that my brew should be more girly. But according to the product’s website, 25% of all U.S. beer is consumed by women… so it only makes sense that someone would attempt to capitalize on that market segment.

In addition to the “female-friendly” packaging, the beer boasts just 97 calories and 3.5 carbs. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the pink and black packaging, or the logo’s font—or the name, for that matter. I think it could have been better executed on all fronts. How do you feel about Chick Beer?

An interesting side note: the beer is brewed at “America’s second-oldest brewery, located in beautiful southern Wisconsin,” but is currently only available in Maryland.

The second product that attracted my attention is the new Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Schweddy Balls. According to the company, the newest limited-batch flavor is an ode to a classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch comedy. It features vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and is loaded with fudge covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls. Love it! Well, I haven’t actually tried the ice cream. But I love the concept. I mean, who can resist Schweddy Balls?

September 9, 2011 · Posted by in branding, marketing  

Stewards of the Brand

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Stewards of the Brand

When Pabst Brewing Co. found a new owner, the former employees, who considered themselves “Stewards of the Brand” started to see changes they didn’t like. Former executives felt they were moving the company in the right direction after years of decline, and just as things were getting moving, a new boss, with new ideas, shook things up.

It’s a great story about how much the folks at Pabst cared about the brand, and tried to be the “protectors of the people who loved their brands” in how it was created, marketed, and sold.

But things change…

Beers like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Milwaukee, and Schlitz are well known here in the Milwaukee area, and elsewhere as well. They’ve got a rich history, which is the lifeblood of a good brand.

Time will tell as far as the success of the brand under the Metropoulos family. It’s been said that it takes years to build a great brand, but only minutes to destroy it. I’m wondering if they’re testing that theory.

June 9, 2011 · Posted by in branding  

Brands try a lot of different things to get “Likes” on Facebook. Heineken managed to get one million likes and then decided to send out a crew of women to give something back, thanks in the form of hugs.

It’s brilliant. Instead of just getting one million fans and leaving it at that, they leveraged it into a YouTube video showing the hugs happen.

There’s a lot of well done videos in Heineken’s YouTube channel, and I’m not even a beer drinker. Of course I typically use that as my gauge of whether advertising is interesting or not… if it’s something I’ve never bought in the past, and probably won’t buy in the future, but still grabs my attention, it’s good advertising.

February 17, 2011 · Posted by in branding, marketing, social media, video  

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