A Second Element Office? That’s Party Worthy!

As Element’s most notable décor item, I, the unofficial Element spokes-moose, hang out and watch the creative magic happen every day. At least I thought I was seeing it all. Turns out, part of the crew is now in Neenah at a second Element office, and they had quite a shindig last night.

The open house was enjoyed by clients, friends, and various Fox Valley community members. There was food, music, and an official toast by our Agency Director Lance Peroutka using Final Proof, Element’s very own craft beer! (If you haven’t heard about Final Proof, click here.)

I’m always up for a good party, but my question was, “Why a second office?” Simply put our De Pere office is maxed out. Plus, with so many clients in the Fox Valley, as well as employees living thereabouts, it made sense to grow further south.

The crew is loving downtown Neenah thus far, and friends are always welcome to visit 126-1/2 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate. For those of you who couldn’t attend, here are some photos documenting the frolic and frenzy that took place.

Continue reading A Second Element Office? That’s Party Worthy!

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Trick or Traits – Match Your Favorite Halloween Candy to your Perfect Job at Element

October 31st is right around the corner, and the team at Element is gearing up for the big day. To help get our followers into the Halloween spirit, we compiled a list of some classic candy favorites and conducted some very in-depth Googling to determine what candy preferences say about your personality. Ready to find out whether you are salty or sweet? Take a look at the selections below, pick your favorite, and see with whom at Element you might pair with best ….

halloween infographic

Skittles- Colorful and fun, those who enjoy Skittles as their favorite Halloween treat are happy-go-lucky and optimistic. With a flair for all things vibrant, you relate best with our Designers who have an eye for just the right color, pattern, and design.

Smarties- Sweet and always a great treat, this candy was designed for the diehard Type A’s who can’t help being helpful. Around Element, that organization and dedication can be found in our Account Executives, Account Assistants, and Business Managers who give sweet a little extra kick.

Milky Way- As a jack-of-all-trades candy, Milky Way has it all. It’s a sweet filled center with caramel and comes in light and dark chocolate. It’s the multitasking madman of the candy jar and people who love it usually are too. Known for your knowledge in a variety of fields, you relate best to Element’s Digital Marketing Specialists who know their stuff when it comes to digital marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and more.

Tootsie Roll- A beloved Halloween staple, trick-or-treating just wouldn’t be the same without this Halloween sweet. Those who enjoy this famous classic treat are trusted individuals who make a big difference every day. In Element, these individuals are our Agency Owners who have shaped Element’s path from the very beginning.

Gummy Bears- Gummy Bear enthusiasts are fun-loving individuals who make going to work (or any place for that matter) a barrel of laughs. These individuals aren’t all fun and games, however. They also have the drive to make things stick, much like Element’s Copywriter who can turn jumbles into jargon and scribbles into scripts.

Hershey’s Bar- If candy had nobility, this would be it! Much like a king, individuals who favor Hershey’s bars are stable, quiet, and able to solve complex problems with ease. With the ability to talk technical, you relate best to our Programmers who slay coding and programming like a dragon.

Cricket Lollipops- Those who favor the most unique Halloween candy selection are outside-of-the-box thinkers who often offer interesting and unique perspectives on solving problems. These individuals are often at the forefront of what’s new and trending. At Element, you can find our Director of Public Relations shedding light on interesting products and services while offering tips on the new and noteworthy.

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Old People Candy Offered By Upper-Middle-Aged Business Manager

No wheelchair or blue hair required. Element’s Business Manager, Sue Barrett, is now set to offer the best selection of “old people candy” this side of the Fox River.shutterstock_42891820

Providing a delicious assortment of candy, set perfectly in a decorative lead crystal bowl, started as a way to entice coworkers to stop by her office as a distraction from her busy day. “I am so busy with opening each new project in two different computer programs that I hardly have time to interact with people,” stated Barrett. “It gets lonely sitting by myself with only my filing cabinets and the faint sound of Lance [Agency Principal] working quietly in the next office over.”

The idea came to Barrett one afternoon as she was randomly walking around her local Shopko trying to remember the reason why she needed to go there in the first place.

Barrett prides herself on the wide selection of her candy. “Werther’s Original is a classic, and who says those orange and black candies are just for Halloween?” She also rambled on, stating one cannot beat the delicious mouth-drying taste of a chalky after-dinner mint and that she makes sure a few Bit-O-Honey pieces are on hand at all times because people deserve something as sweet as they are. “Mary Janes are my absolute favorite though, there’s something about them that just makes me happy.”

Other options include butterscotch disks, unwrapped ribbon hard candy, and Necco Wafers. And if you look in her top desk drawer, you’ll find a hidden stash of candy cigarettes.

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Element Welcomes New Team Member with Drag Race

Cracking UpWhen new Designer, Mike Thornton, rolled up to Element on a Harley, long-time motorcycle enthusiasts, Aldis Strazdins, Creative Director, and Mike Tessmer, Art Director, saw an opportunity for a friendly “Welcome to Element” competition.

Not all can look as cool as Mike, Mike, and Aldis, cruising the streets on a hog; the matching Kia Souls in the Element parking lot are a testament to that. However, the drag race was meant for all—not just seasoned motorcyclists. Every employee was welcome to participate in the race, provided they find their own vehicle.

So there they were, waiting impatiently behind the starting line: the three motorcycled amigos, Derek in a land-converted duck-bodied pedal boat, Brad on a silver Razr scooter, Ann and Lori saddled up on a Hover-Round they borrowed from Ann’s grandmother, and Chad, on a pair of the so-called “fastest in the Midwest” rollerblades. The rest of the group’s vehicles ranged from a pogo stick to a simple cape. The group appeared like a carnival of rejected modes of transportation. Despite the gum-and-paperclip cast, excitement filled the air as racers readied themselves to take off.

Sue counted down and waved the green flag. Wheels screeched; the smell of burnt rubber scented the air as smoke hovered above the once populated starting line.

The heat was on.

The three motorcycles left everyone in the dust, as Eric Severstad, copywriter, stood on the sidelines, waving supportive, grammatically correct signage in the air.

While Mike, Mike, and Aldis were tied for first place, the results were in for second: Brad won propelling his Razr scooter past the finish line; a bittersweet victory he says, now walking with a limp from extensive strength training to his right leg.

The two Mikes and Aldis enjoyed the race so much that they are planning to bring “the gang” onto the open road, providing marketing services on wheels across the nation. The “Hexterminators” will declare “death to boring marketing,” Aldis states. “We’re going to get custom leather jackets for everyone, with our club colors—PMS 300 and PMS 220.”

 

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Enriching the Community, One Sub at a Time

Director of Account Services, Nikki Peroutka, is making more room in her life to do the things she loves.

Employees at local grocer, Piggly Wiggly, noticed Nikki frequenting the store an increasing number of times per week. Each visit always included an All-American sub from the deli. Co-workers also noticed Nikki’s curious habit.

“We all knew something was up. She would leave around the same time every day and when she came back, she would close the door to her office, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign, and not emerge for at least an hour,” said designer Lori Schwartz. Nikki didn’t want to hide anymore and decided it was time to find an outlet for her love of the Piggly Wiggly All-American sub.

Six months ago, Piggly Wiggly developed an after-work program for adults, an idea that sparked when one man shared his battle with the Pig’s potato salad. The “Love Food, Love Life“ program is a resource for all people struggling with an insatiable need for Piggly Wiggly’s food. Program director, Jane Milton states, “We provide part-time hours for those who wish to be surrounded by the Pig product of their choice. Nikki is the perfect candidate. We are here to be a pillar of support while providing her with the additional income that supports her near unsustainable need for the All-American sub.”

Of course, Nikki chose to work her hours behind the deli counter. A very tired worker, who couldn’t keep up with the high demand for the All-American sub, was relieved when Nikki arrived to work his shift. “I pulled a muscle in my arm from slicing all the cold cuts.” When asked why Nikki chose to work behind the deli counter, she responded proudly, “Do something with what you love to eat, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Nikki is beyond excited to have taken a position in the deli and has already come up with a few ways to amp up her favorite sandwich. One recipe uses three tablespoons of butter, cubed and neatly arranged into a smiley face on top of the salami layer.

“I’ll be saving a lot of money by working in the deli part-time, but that’s not why I’m doing this. I’m doing this to be near what I love. Some people do yoga, some paint … for me, it’s thinly slicing some quality meat and layering it precisely with cheese, fresh vegetables, and tangy mayo.” Nikki hopes to spread the love, and the mayo, through the entire community. She believes that others will find joy in her delicious sandwiches and the reminder to follow your dreams.

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

The Beer Witch Project

It has come to our attention that we may have an unwelcome visitor on our hands.

Element art director, Mike Tessmer, recently came back from a holiday vacation to Mexico, but he did not return alone. No, it wasn’t a ravenous case of Montezuma’s revenge or an exotic insect stowaway. It was an ancient and angry apparition. And we think the ghostly spirit has apparently taken residence at Element.

Yeah, thanks, Mike.

According to Mexican legend, there was once a young man who desired the affections of a beautiful woman whom he knew adamantly abstained from alcohol. Ironically, his family owned a “sustantivo,” or brewery. To show his dedication to the woman, he dumped hundreds of cases of beer into the Lerma Santiago River. Yet, she still would not have him, which left him devastated. Days later, he passed away. Today, it is said that the ghost eternally haunts those who partake in beer and spirits.

Since the office’s expansion, the interactive group upstairs has been unable to ignore his presence. Web Developer, Ryan Hebl, swears to hear bottle caps, dropping one by one, every Friday around 3:30pm. There is a strong scent of beer floating from Associate Creative Director, Eric Severstad’s office, which is unable to be masked, despite Project Coordinator Sue Barrett’s best Lysol-spraying abilities.

We think the ghost may also be contributing to a few other occurrences in Element’s chain of unfortunate office events: The light in Sales Director Chad Mix’s office refuses to stay on; he is forced to spend his workday in darkness. Dirty dishes are strewn across the café counter, even after being placed neatly in the dishwasher. The chairs in the conference room are constantly found in disarray, rebelling from Account Assistant Rachel Carlson’s straightening them.

Element is planning to perform a séance, which will take place as soon as Director of Account Services, Nikki Peroutka, is able to find candles that match the Element décor.

 

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Nature Called, Element Answered

Earlier this month, Director of New Business, Chad Mix, continually interrupted a Monday morning meeting by excusing himself to the restroom. Swearing the cause was drinking too many weight loss shakes, Mix apologized, but suggested adding computers to all bathroom stalls in order to maintain a high level of productivity. “Just think! I could have been video conferencing into this meeting and not have missed a thing.”

Planning began immediately. In an attempt to maximize the efficiency of the bathroom upgrades, many ergonomic factors were considered. Since research shows that exercise improves mental focus and brain function, Element purchased squat toilets (common in Asia) to replace the traditional sit-down commodes. And to ensure no strain or discomfort during use, eye-level swivel computer stands have also been installed.

Since the addition, Rachel Carlson, Account Assistant, has taken over monitoring employee bathroom use. She was asked to determine if there was in fact an increase in productivity by affixing special bathroom sensors to track brain waves and heart rate.

“It was a perfect time to transition my bathroom monitoring duties,” stated Sue Barrett, Element’s Project Coordinator. “We’ve hired several new employees recently and I am having a really hard time matching the correct person to the unique sound of their foot steps as they head to the bathroom. My files are a complete mess.”

Employees are raving about the addition. “I’ve always said I get my best ideas in the bathroom. I’ve also found that the sound of clicking keys from the next stall is surprisingly relaxing,” stated Digital Marketing Director, Derek Blaszak.

Director of Technology, Kevin Hamilton, has enjoyed the addition so much, that he is currently developing a USB port sensor that will spritz aromatherapy oil into the air every time someone presses “E” on the keyboard.

Since the remodel, Element has caught the attention of several other companies, and an interview with Forbes magazine is scheduled for mid-February, which Carlson suspects will be the peak time of bathroom-related productivity due to fancy Valentine’s Day dinners and gourmet food gifts.

The upgrade has been such a success that owner Lance Peroutka is considering moving his office to the bathroom indefinitely. “When something feels right, you just have to go with it.”

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Element Appendage Model Department

Element is pleased to announce that it will be opening a new office in Pulaski, Wisconsin, to accommodate the agency’s growing appendage model department.

There have been an overwhelming number of requests to have its employees model their different appendages, which typically include legs, feet, and hands. However, most employees are open to modeling just about any appendage.

“I can’t help but admire all the different appendages each Element employee has to offer,” stated Account Executive Danielle Papineau. “We offer ‘hands’ down the best features I have seen in East De Pere. This new department will allow our company to showcase the manicured style we have always wanted.”

Others have agreed with this statement for weeks. After the world bared witness to the exceptional legs and hands present at Element, the demand for appearances quickly grew. Ann Behling, who started at Element as a Graphic Designer, was recently promoted to Lead Elbow and Leg Model. “It is very freeing to finally be recognized for my many fine attributes. I think this department has only seen the beginning of its growth. Pulaski is the perfect place for us to continue our quest to dominate the appendage model market.”

Mike Tessmer, Appendage Model Director, is very optimistic about the future of appendage modeling in the current economy. “Everyday we see campaigns that feature unrealistic, overly-prepped talent being portrayed as the everyday man or woman. The beauty of Element’s appendage offering is that we can feature the common looking knuckle, pinkie toe, or knee cap in our clients’ campaigns. This talent is raw and straight from Northeast Wisconsin, the Holy Grail of the appendage modeling world.”

Tessmer is also accredited for the launch of this new department due to his recent hand modeling success in a local television ad, shaved knuckles and all.

 

 

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

New Sales Promotion has Large Impact on Salesman’s Life

When Element brainstormed a fun, new way to engage prospective clients, they never knew their idea would put their salesman Chad Mix’s health at risk. Just a couple, short months ago, Element decided to send out pizza boxes as invites welcoming new business targets to their office for lunch.

“We thought this was a great way for businesses to learn more about us, meet our people and see our space without feeling the pressure of sales meeting,” said Lance Peroutka, Element’s Agency Director who widely supported the pizza luncheon idea. “We came up with an eye-catching dimensional mailer that prompted people to setup an appointment and choose a pizza of their liking online.”

Mix was all on board with the pizza lunch concept from the very beginning. At that time, Mix was active hunter, healthy and very passionate about his career. Selling for just over a year, Chad loved entertaining new prospects at sporting events and on the golf course.

“The world was at my fingertips. I loved making new connections and the fact that Element was willing to do whatever it took to support my new business efforts, really motivated me,” Mix said. “When they launched the pizza luncheon promotion, I was excited that, in addition to all the other job perks I received, my lunches were now covered as a company expense. I knew the more I sold, the more free lunches for me.”

What appeared to be a ‘free lunch’ at the time turned out to be far from the truth after Mix’s health took a drastic turn for the worse about 7 weeks after launch. He went from a lean 170lbs to 227lbs after bringing in 32 new businesses for lunch in just 35 days. It wasn’t only his weight that increased but also his cholesterol which has led to costly doctors’ appointments and expensive high blood pressure medicine.

“In the long run, this promotion has cost us more than just a few cheesy pies. He had the world at his fingertips, but now all he has at his fingertips is pizza sauce” said Mix’s co-worker, Derek Blaszak. “Chad lost all focus when he started packing on the pounds. He only cared about the free pizza.”

Mix, who is currently on medical leave, hopes to return to Element soon. Element’s Christmas promotion, which was set to launch in December and included chocolate fondue kits, is being re-worked as to not tempt the ravenous Mix.

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Element Signs Designer for $134 Million

Element has inked a deal with Matt Schmeltzer, graphic designer, for an unprecedented $134 million over the next five years. The deal contains $62 million in guarantees, including a $25 million signing bonus.

The new contract isn’t just about making Schmeltzer the highest paid marketing pro in ad agency history. It’s about ensuring that Element’s clients receive the quality they expect from the legendary company.

“Matt’s got game. His great eye for design is complemented by superior attention to detail,” said Lance Peroutka, Principal/Agency Director. “He also brings several valuable intangibles, such as leadership, creativity, and a wicked cut-shot in ping-pong.”

When the contract’s structure is evaluated, it appears Schmeltzer gave Element a slight hometown discount. Schmeltzer’s $9.5 million roster bonuses in 2014 and 2015 are not guaranteed for skill and/or injury. So, even as the upfront money is significant, the De Pere marketing firm felt confident locking up the virtuoso long-term.

“We could have extended negotiations on a new deal. But, we wanted to get him in here,” said Aldis Strazdins, the firm’s Principal/Creative Director. “If he outperforms his contract and is grossly underpaid, we can always restructure down the road,” he added.

The new deal leaves Element with enough cap room to extend other priority associates, some of which are scheduled to become free agents in 2013. Of course, Element can decide to carry over their unused cap space to 2014.

When asked for comment on the terms of the new contract, Schmetlzer, a man of few words, kept it simple: “Holy crap.”

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.