7 Moments of Clarity from Content Marketing World 2017

I know it’s been done, and probably pretty cliché, but I originally wanted to call this blog post Fear and Loathing in Cleveland. I was so in love with the idea that I started writing the lede while standing in line to board my plane in Green Bay.

“I was somewhere in the air over Chicago when the antihistamine finally kicked in … “

My trip did start in a Hunter S. Thompson-esque fashion. Nursing a mild hangover from Labor Day weekend, running late after oversleeping, un-showered with bloodshot eyeballs thanks to the ragweed in the late summer air, I was leaving Wisconsin in a fog.

That wouldn’t last long.

Continue reading 7 Moments of Clarity from Content Marketing World 2017

Director of Content Marketing
Kasey Steinbrinck has been creating content since he was just a little kid, writing stories and making radio shows on his Fisher Price tape recorder. He went on to produce local television and wrote for an area newspaper before discovering the power of telling stories online. Kasey worked as a content marketer, blogger, and copywriter for two ecommerce companies before joining Element in 2015.

Your walls are talking. What do they say about you?

It’s laughable to imagine a company verbalizing a message like the one pictured above. Yet hundreds of businesses are making that very statement right this moment, without a single word. The source of the slander? Their working environments.

Continue reading Your walls are talking. What do they say about you?

Mike Dockum is an Account Strategist with a passion for bringing the left and right brain together to form creative ideas that make logical sense. He has more than 15 years’ experience conducting market research, developing marketing plans, and creating integrated campaigns. A reformed Illinoisan who never even learned how to correctly pronounce “Illinoisan,” Mike and his family now make their home in Wrightstown.

You Won’t Believe Element’s Mind-Blowing Cyber Monday Deals!

What if we told you we were offering BOGO logo design for Cyber Monday?

What if we gave new clients 73% off website development, or maybe a free video that we guarantee will go viral?

How about a half-priced SEO audit with the purchase of any mobile app?

Well, sorry to disappoint, but we aren’t offering any of that. Here’s why…

We don’t play that game, because we care more about helping you develop effective strategies that grow your business than we care about landing a new account.

This time of year, just about everyone is looking for a deal.

Right after we finish cramming as much turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce down our throats as we possibly can, many of us head to the stores in a pumpkin pie-induced frenzy to snatch up those Black Friday deals and steals. After all, we’d be CRAZY to pass them up!

Honestly, it’s a genius marketing move, and we tip our hats to whoever came up with the ideas for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What This Has to Do with Us

The idea that an advertising agency would actually offer unbelievable holiday deals is just plain ridiculous. (Although we wouldn’t put it past some places)

Cheaper isn’t always better. In fact, it rarely is. And that’s certainly true when it comes to choosing the right agency.

Because let’s face it…

Maybe your 17 year-old nephew knows a little about building websites and can give you a deal. But unless he’s the next Mark Zuckerberg, you probably shouldn’t put your business in his hands.

Anyone can shoot and edit video with their smartphone for free. But are those the results you want the world to see?

You could hire your teenage babysitter to run your social media campaigns. I mean she’s tweeting all the damn time anyway. She must be an expert, right?

No – you wouldn’t do anything of the sort. You’re smarter than that.

So why would you hire someone online who you’ve never met, who knows next to nothing about your business, and then pay them five bucks to design your logo?

Even if that stranger happens to be talented, do you really think they’re going to put in the effort required for quality results at such a minimal fee?

cheap tattoo design
The pitfalls of cheap design

Here’s the Real Deal

Thankfully, we don’t need to lure anyone in with outlandish promotions and deceptive deals.

We let our work and experience speak for itself.

We believe the things we design for our clients are a worthwhile investment.

When we show off a finished product to you, we want you to feel like a kid at Christmas. You’re opening up a package to find something even better than what you wrote about in your letter to Santa Claus.

We don’t want to be the gift that breaks two days later, the dorky sweater from your lame aunt, or the toy that gets forgotten about after five minutes.

Here in this workshop, we’re turning dreams into reality and helping businesses like yours show the world what it has to offer.

You definitely do have a choice when it comes to choosing who leads your advertising and marketing efforts. At Element, we don’t want to be like a shady retailer handing out false hopes. We want to be a trustworthy partner with the creative chops and groundbreaking ideas that truly make a difference.

Want to get started? We’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Contact us today and let’s talk about what we can do for your advertising and marketing.

Finally, we leave you with a clip from one of the most-beloved holiday specials of all-time. If you think commercialization of Christmas is something new…think again.

Charlie Brown has been lamenting about it for 50 years! But we have to admit, Snoopy really knows how to put on a show.

Celebrating 12 Years! 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Element

To celebrate our 12th anniversary as a business, we put together a handful of amusing tidbits about our fun-loving group:

  1. We were originally River North Communications, an agency set up to exclusively serve a traveling trade show to promote lodges and hunting trips in Canada. It wasn’t until 2003 that we changed our name to Element Creative.
  2. Lance and Aldis celebrated this fond occasion earlier in the week with some champagne and award-winning Kringle from Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe. If you must know, the cork did hit the ceiling.
    BossDay-Collage-Element-Creative
  3. Lance has admitted he was wrong at least once. It was an apology to Moose for not giving him an Element hat sooner.Moose-Element-Creative
  4. Lori, a graphic designer, and Molly, our receptionist, swear they have different dogs, Piper (left) and Harvey (right). But many in the office believe they are clones.
    Piper-Harvey-Element-Creative
  5. Eric (to the right) is our copywriter and associate creative directorEric-Element-Creative, but also holds the title of beerman. He makes sure the fridge is stocked with both old favorites and new brews for when we celebrate birthdays, Packers games, or just need to crack a cold one on Friday afternoon.
  6. We haven’t always been at 2081 Profit Place. We were originally at 2080 Profit Place just next door. Yes, we literally moved about 300 feet.
    Profit-Place-Element-Creative
    An early morning view of Profit Place.

    And before that, we worked out of a basement with just three egress windows for natural light.

  7. Nikki, our director of account services, was originally hired as a designer until it was discovered she “designed big.” It was quickly realized she would be better suited for account work.
  8. Moose loves to give tours. He greets visitors right outside Aldis’ office.
  9. A few of the designers have motorcycle drag races from time to time, and it gets interesting when winter rolls around.
  10. Lance and Derek perform as the karaoke duo, “InVESTed,” at least once a month. They take their karaoke nights pretty seriously.
    Invested-Element-Creative
  11. Sue, our office manager, has processed roughly 15,000 job tickets since she started on Oct. 13, 2003 when Lance and Aldis bought the agency.
  12. We could probably survive the apocalypse with the amount of frozen pizzas we have in our freezer. Plus, both Joel and Mike Thornton are avid The Walking Dead fans – their knowledge would be quite invaluable.

Here’s to the future of Element and many more years of Kringle, drag racing, and matching vests!

Element Welcomes Three New Team Members

While it’s crunch time for the Green Bay Packers – they need to cut down their roster by tomorrow – we keep adding new talent to our team!

And instead of the usual office icebreaker, we emailed them a quick BuzzFeed quiz on social media habits. It’s basic knowledge these quirky quizzes tell us everything we need to know about new employees so we couldn’t resist.

Element-Creative-Receptionist-Molly-WentworthMolly Wentworth
Title: Receptionist/Account Assistant
Specialties: Customer service, account management and photography
Background: Originally from the UP, Molly is a Grand Valley State University graduate with a B.A. in photography and advertising PR. Before Element, she worked as an assistant photographer and retoucher at Evenson Photography.

element-new-employee-buzzfeed-quiz Are you truly “The Private Introvert”?
I’d say this is pretty accurate… I have friends who are constantly glued to their phones while we’re out to dinner, and it drives me crazy! I like to enjoy experiences while they’re happening instead of posting about them. But I must admit, I do love a good throwback Thursday.

What’s the one thing you can’t help but share on social media?
Pictures of my dog, Harvey. He’s just too cute! I can’t avoid the temptation when he’s decked out in Green Bay Packers apparel or helping me decorate my house for Christmas. Everyone loves him and photos of his latest adventures!

Rachel MuellerElement-Creative-Content-Marketing-Specialist-Rachel-Mueller
Title: Content Marketing Specialist
Specialties: Content marketing strategy, editorial and digital content management, and public relations
Background: A Chilton native, Rachel graduated from nearby St. Norbert College with a B.A. in communication and media studies. Her love of her alma mater turned into working for their communications office in three different roles: web and design intern, communications assistant, and interim web and social media specialist, before coming to Element.
element-new-employee-rachel-muellerSo, do you consider yourself “The Accomplished Achiever”?
Yes and no. I do tend to put more thought into big life updates when I share them with the social media world, but if I think something is culturally relevant, newsworthy or funny, I don’t hesitate to post it.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done on Facebook?
I’m very cautious when posting on social media, especially Facebook because of older family members. But, the most embarrassing thing I’ve done is the time I posted a Facebook status as if I was writing on my friend’s wall. It was up for over two hours before I noticed. I’m still a little horrified thinking about it…

Element-Creative-Art-Director-Aaron-GraffAaron Graff
Title: Art Director
Specialties: Brand and marketing design for print and digital communications
Background: Aaron is an alum of UW-Oshkosh with a B.F.A. in graphic communication. He’s worked for more than 12 years in agencies throughout Northeast Wisconsin, before landing at Element.
element-new-employee-buzzfeed-quiz-aaron-graff

Did this BuzzFeed quiz get it right?
Yup, it’s got me pegged. I primarily use Instagram and post edited, curated photos, never in-the-moment. I’ll use Facebook for big life announcements, but that’s about it.

What’s your favorite Instagram account to follow?
I follow a lot of artists, designers and makers, but my favorite would have to be @malimish_airstream. He’s a web developer with a family of five who works remotely as they travel the country in an Airstream trailer. Great photos, great locations, great captions.

Their lifestyle is kind of a retirement goal for me.

We’re ecstatic to have Molly, Rachel and Aaron on our team, and hope you’ll drop by to say hello!

Don’t forget! For more behind-the-scenes updates from Element, make sure you like us on Facebook.

student shadows element

As part of Element’s continued effort to encourage young professional growth within Northeast Wisconsin, we recently opened our doors to a motivated scholar wanting to learn more about us and how an advertising agency works.

It was our pleasure to meet Tara Lovdahl, an art and English double major at St. Norbert College. Tara is a movie critic, competitive board game player, and freestyle dancer. She doesn’t have a favorite color. “I don’t discriminate,” she said.

Tara came to Element in hopes of gaining a better understanding of how an agency works, along with getting some advice from our experienced staff on what it’s like to be part of the professional world.

After introductions and a tour, we put Tara to work with our copywriter, Eric. “Since Tara’s double-major gives her a unique skill set, I was able to put her writing and concepting skills to the test using some real-life examples. Tara showed insight and abilities beyond what I expected.”

Before visiting Element, Tara had a Mad Men-like impression of ad agencies; a smoky collection of offices filled with suited, scotch-drinking men.  Fortunately (we think), we demystified her stereotype and were able to show her Element’s uncommon personality.

“As an English major, I like to think of things in terms of stories; hearing everyone’s unique professional experience in the creative field was helpful for me as I approach my own journey into a career.” She says she enjoyed getting a better idea of the ad agency’s process along with getting to know Element’s unique culture. “It was also nice being recognized as an improvisational performer from Comedy City, which might make me a J-list celebrity.”

It was a pleasure to meet Tara and have her job shadow at Element. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting to know more about Element, please contact us. We’d love to meet you!

Misophonia Public Service Announcement

It has come to our attention that perhaps Nikki Pribnow, one of our very own, may be deeply affected by misophonia. This serious disease was self-diagnosed through intensive online research using Google, the most comprehensive non-medical database.

People with misophonia commonly find themselves affected by all kinds of noises and are annoyed by other people’s repetitive movements, such as leg-tapping, mouse clicks, and typing. People who suffer from this auditory disease are not annoyed by sounds that they themselves make. Whew! Lucky, right?

To help Pribnow with this possible ailment, Element has proactively purchased silent (and don’t forget flexible) keyboards, an Isolator (see image below), and implemented a noise policy that requires all shredding, taping, whistling, singing, speakerphone calls, gum snapping, toenail clipping, and eating to be done in the furnace room. No exceptions, besides Pribnow of course.

It is also recommended that employees refrain from wearing flip flops or socializing within 50 feet of Pribnow’s office … “or else.” Even keeping her solid wood door closed fails to provide an effective barrier from common office sounds.

No official doctor appointment has been scheduled, though at this point, a medical diagnosis wouldn’t matter. Please continue to check back for updates as we help fight this unfortunate situation.

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 Office Trail Camera

After unsuccessfully walking the hallways for over a week, chasing the very illusive Element employee, it is nice to finally see what these professionals look like up close. And this is what we all want to see! Rut-crazed employees, cruising during daylight hours. With their pens in hand and hair fluffed up, these employees are ready to work!






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 Big Wheel in the Sky

It is with the saddest heart that we must pass on the following news. Please join us in remembering one of the greatest small animal food-packaging models and office pet that we have been blessed with knowing. Stoli the Russian dwarf hamster passed away doing something he loved, running in his plastic ball. He was 2.5 years-old.

He is survived by caretaker Kiar Olson, 15 Element employees, and Sue Barrett’s nostrils. The words, “man, that thing stinks” still ring throughout the office walls.

Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Max, the Jack Russell Terrier who played Milo, Jim Carrey’s faithful and intelligent dog in the 1994 movie The Mask. Rhino, the hamster from Disney’s animated classic Bolt, also attended the funeral and described Stoli as “Awesome. Actually, beyond awesome, and more accurately, be-awesome.”

The funeral was held today 1:50 p.m. for about five minutes.

In leiu of flowers, donations to the Hamster Replacement Fund can be given directly to Kiar Olson.