The Making of a Mythical Beast: A Branding Case Study

As advertisers and creative marketers, our job is to bring a spectrum of ideas to our clients—including those that push the limits of comfort. In this particular case we did just that, and when the client picked that crazy “out there” idea (the one all of us deepsters were crazy about) we responded with, “Well, that’s…wait, what?” And that’s how one of our favorite vendor partners was branded a mythical beast.

So how did we get there?

Okay, I’ll back up a bit. It started with a new client (and vendor we love working with)—Garage Graphics, who came to us and said, “rebrand us, please.” As full service fabricators specializing in exhibits, sculptures, stage sets, unique signage and architectural and themed elements, this talented group of folks is essentially in the business of creating things that don’t exist…at least not yet.

Naturally we went to the place of bizarre animal mashup.

To us, a mythical beast was the perfect representation of their brand and what they do—creating things that don’t yet exist. So for this concept, we tapped into our inner mad scientists and began creating nonexistent hybrid beasts until we made the discovery.

The name? Elemoose. Ele-what? You heard right.

Half elephant, half moose, this name represents what only exists in the imagination…until proof of its existence becomes real. This is what Elemoose does for their clients. And what we did for Elemoose.


The brand. Here’s how it all shook out.

As you can see, we got pretty into this. What’s really cool is how well this brand idea and execution has been embraced not only by our client, Elemoose, but also by the company’s employees and even their clients.


We believe. In fabrication. In imagination. And in a client loving a long shot as much as we do. Insert Elemoose call here.


About Sharon

This post was written by Sharon Kuntz—a Sr. Copywriter at deep and a self-proclaimed foodie with more than 10 years of experience in foodservice marketing.

3 Takeaways from the Creative Works 2015 Conference

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Two art directors walk into a haunted bar…

Both leave with new friends and spooky Instagram selfies. Okay, not a great joke, but the punch line pretty much sums up my amazing experience at this year’s Creative Works Conference.

This past October, along with rock star deepster Amy Coffman, I journeyed to Memphis, Tennessee for the 3-day conference—best described as an awe-inspiring graphic design event where like-minded creatives come together to learn and find inspiration in each other and the all-star lineup of design industry speakers.

2015-10-02 14.15.50

To say we were excited is an understatement. And little did we know just how much this conference would mean to our careers, goals and our friendship.

This year, the conference was held at Memphis Central Station—a renovated passenger train terminal and prime downtown location for experiencing all that Memphis has to offer. Across the street sits Memphis’ oldest restaurant, the Arcade, where you can dine in Elvis’s favorite booth and eat the best sweet potato pancakes of your life. Next door is Earnestine and Hazel’s, a brothel turned haunted dive bar famous for their soul burger, and the host for a Creative Works after party. The powerful Civil Rights museum and Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated is also only a few blocks away. The people, culture and rich history of Memphis served as the perfect host for feeding my creative soul.

And as if Memphis wasn’t inspiring enough, the conference itself taught me so much about how others in my field got to where they are and how they continue to grow. I could easily write a book about each presenter, but instead I’ll just share a few of my favorite takeaways.

My three takeaways from the Creative Works 2015 Conference:

1. Push. Push. Push. Over deliver. Because when you’re happy, your client is happy.

This is my new motto, thanks to Bobby C. Martin Jr., founding partner of The Original Champions of Design. With every project he and his team take on, they keep this idea in mind. A client needs a new logo? How about a new logo that comes with it’s own new custom typeface? Throw in meticulously designed brand standards, a little 24-piece iconography set, some copy tone and voila—you delivered something truly helpful and meaningful to your client they didn’t even know they needed. Your client is extremely happy, and more importantly you are proud of the successful identity system and brand experience you provided. All because you decided to push, push, push, and over deliver. Because when you’re happy, your client is happy.

2. Do work that makes you feel awesome.

You would think this is a given, but it’s not. Meg Lewis, champion speaker (we’re talking confetti cannons and Mr. Bean video clips) and designer thinks this attitude is the most important aspect of design. Why wouldn’t we only do awesome work for awesome clients? The design and advertising industry is all about providing a service that helps people but at the same time we as designers need to help ourselves—i.e. mental health. At the end of any project, everyone should feel awesome about the awesome work that was created. Sure sometimes you have projects that aren’t very high on the fun scale, but you can still make that project awesome (see takeaway 1) and feel good about the work you have accomplished because you had the right attitude.

3. Making friends is where it’s at.

The importance of community was the star and underlying theme of this conference. All the speakers and attendees were simply there to inspire one another, share ideas and leave ready for new challenges. No one has it all figured out, and that was something everyone there agreed on.

For me, experiencing the city of Memphis with Amy was my main sense of community. Together we met new people, fangirled over Meg Lewis, ate at beauty shop-themed restaurants, got a little lost in Thatcher, Missouri, and most importantly we learned from each other and left the conference with more confidence in ourselves and in each other as a team.

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Experiences like this only happen once in a lifetime. Just kidding, we’re already planning a trip back next year.

About Sally

This post was written by Sally Terry—an assistant art director at deep and purveyor of smart, thoughtful design. To feed her creative spirit, Terry is also a collector of natural curiosities, music and vintage art.

Friday Food Stories: A Century-Old Chrisman Family Tradition

Apple peeling and slicing and dicing! Oh, my!


That’s right, for over one hundred years the Chrisman family has dedicated a weekend to making the biggest batch of apple butter you can imagine. We’re talking bushels of apples getting peeled, sliced and diced by the entire Chrisman clan. Aunts, uncles and cousins included.

Claire Chrisman—Account Executive at deep—first participated in this fun family tradition in the fall of 1992, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Once a yearly occasion, the family now gathers every four years for a weekend full of fellowship, campfires and oodles of apples. And as you can imagine, with so many years of practice, they pretty much have apple butter making down to a science.

The festivities start on a Saturday morning as families from all over arrive at Aunt Linda’s farm in northern Missouri with folding chairs and paring knifes ready to work. They spend the day catching up while peeling, slicing and dicing bushels of local apples that were waiting when they arrived. Claire recalls around 50 extended family members gathering at the 2012 apple butter bash.

The sweeter side of the event starts on Sunday with a secret family recipe and lots of brown sugar. At the fresh time of 5:00 A.M., two oversized copper kettles that have been in the family for years are filled with apples and other ingredients and placed over an open fire. Although less involved than the work on Saturday, everyone gets a chance to pitch in and take turns stirring the pot throughout the day.

Once the contents of the kettles have reached apple butter perfection, the assembly lines begin. Each family comes prepared with plenty of jars and helps fill them to the rim with warm, appley deliciousness to last them until the next gathering. After the canning is complete and the kettles are nearly empty, one last long-standing tradition takes place—the kids gather around and watch magic happen as a grimy penny goes into a kettle for cleaning and comes out unbelievably shiny. And with that final act, the weekend comes to a close and each family goes home with new memories and another year of bonding over apple butter under their belt.

We can’t wait to taste Chrisman apple butter on toast in 2016, Claire!

Friday Food Stories is a spotlight series showcasing deepsters and their deep love for all things food. Check back soon for more!

Closing the Gap Between Farms and Foodservice

Reflection on Urban Roots Farm Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner

The farm-to-table scene seems to be here to stay in foodservice, and recently, it has spurred other micro-trends attempting to close the gap between farms and restaurants altogether. Restaurants are starting to grow their own food in creative ways. For example, just last month, Chef Rene Redzepi announced plans to transform a decrepit patch of land in New York City into a state-of-the-art urban farm with his restaurant, Noma, at its center.

“It makes sense to do it here [despite visual evidence to the contrary],” Chef Rene told The New York Times. “It makes sense to have your own farm, as a restaurant of this caliber.”

He’s not the first chef seeking to have ultimate control of ingredients by growing food in house. In fact, Springfield, Mo., has a local Italian restaurant downtown called Gilardi’s that grows 50 percent of their ingredients in an on-site garden.

Urban Roots Farm

Restaurants are not the only ones closing the supply chain gap. From pizza farms to handcrafted cocktail nights, many urban farms across the country are seeing the benefits of hosting community events for promotion and extra income. Andrew Bernhardt, a community food systems specialist, told Eater that pizza farms are so successful because, “They’re selling an experience by letting people come to their farm, and I think there are a lot of people out there hungry for this experience.”

Farm-to-table Dinners

Last month, I had the privilege to attend my first farm-to-table dinner, hosted by Melissa and Adam Millsap of Urban Roots Farm. The purpose of the dinner was to invite the Springfield community to celebrate and learn about what Urban Roots is doing in the West Central neighborhood. Between the two nights, more than 125 people gathered in support of local food and urban farming, and the result was magical.

On the first night, I volunteered to serve dinner, and it was hard work. I could not believe the manual labor this type of event required. All of the ingredients came from various local farms, and a local personal chef, Grace Rybarczyk, prepared all the dishes in the Millsaps’ personal kitchen. I was told that the menu was constantly evolving based on what the farm had available — even up to the day of the event. This is a common obstacle for chefs relying on local farmers, showing that flexibility is key.

Urban Roots Farm

There were seven courses. All of which were carried precariously on large beautiful trays to be served with the support of our eager young helpers. After each course, we cleared the tables and sorted all of the leftovers to be properly composted. It was a long night, but it was so rewarding, and I only volunteered for one night. Some of the volunteers had been helping Grace and the Millsaps prepare all week. It takes a village.

The second night, I had the opportunity to enjoy dinner as a guest, and the food was outstanding. They started out with appetizers as people gathered and explored the farm. After that, the first official course was a lemongrass mushroom soup, followed by a smoked trout and field cucumber cracker. Then we were served a salad with peanut ginger dressing and the great carrot course. The main event, however, was a wasabi brisket with marinated eggplants and kimchi. The dinner was followed by cantaloupe with ginger simple syrup to cleanse our palate for the final apple pie bites. There was also local beer from Mother’s Brewing Company and local coffee donated by The Coffee Ethic.

Farm-to-Table Dinners

After dinner, guests stayed for hours enjoying each other’s company and music from local musicians. All in all, the weekend was truly magical and illustrates why these types of events are gaining in popularity across the country. I look forward to seeing what other creative events spur from this effort to close the gap between farms and foodservice.

Bethany-BellThis post was written by Bethany Bell. As the Social Media Manager at deep food marketing group, Bell develops and executes PR and social media strategies for global food brands. Before joining deep in 2013, this Missouri State graduate was the Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out at Askinosie Chocolate, an artisan, bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Springfield, Missouri. Growing up in the coffee industry, Bell is also a strong advocate for supporting local.

4 Building Blocks of Connecting With Independent Operators on Social Media

This post is a recap of a social media webinar presented by Bethany Bell, social media manager at deep, as part of IFMA’s webinar series to dive deeper into content presented at IFMA’s 2015 Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum.

Independent Restaurant Operators

Credit: Death to Stock Photo

Reaching nearly the 400,000 independent operators can be an overwhelming task for manufacturers, and social media is one way to reach this large audience directly and cost effectively. Below are four ways that food manufacturers can build genuine relations with independent operators on social media.

#1: Provide Menu Inspiration

The first way you can add value to your independent customers is to provide them with menu inspiration. According to Datassential, 61 percent of independent operators cite that coming up with new menu ideas is a significant challenge that they face. Many food manufacturers already have an extensive recipe database online, and social media is the perfect vehicle to deliver this inspiration directly to the operator.

#2: Listen to Customer Concerns and Input

Beyond pushing content to operators, another way to give independent operators back their time is by listening to their concerns and input. 70 percent of Internet users expect brands to be responsive on at least three social networks, and 87 percent will stay and purchase more if the support response felt quick enough. Many brands focus so much on content creation on social media that they overlook the importance of listening. With quick response process in place, you can save that operator time by solving their problem and foster that long-term brand loyalty.

#3: Share Insights on Industry Trends

The third way you can give customers back their time and build relationships with independent operators is by sharing insights on industry trends. In fact, 67 percent of independent operators cite that determining what customers want is a significant challenge that they face. It’s not enough to just share statistics. What does that consumer trend or data point mean for your customers? Add insights to showcase your thought leadership and curate industry news to help your customers determine what consumers want.

#4: Create Re-shareable Content

The final building block of connecting with independent operators on social media is to create re-sharable content. Datassential also reports that 63 percent of independent operators cite that managing promotions and marketing is a significant challenge that they face. Independent operators need to promote themselves on social to drive foot traffic, but it’s hard to find the time with all of their other responsibilities of running a restaurant. Give your customers back their time by creating valuable content that operators can share on their social media.

To see the full webinar, click here.

Bethany-BellThis post was written by Bethany Bell. As the Social Media Manager at deep food marketing group, Bell develops and executes PR and social media strategies for global food brands. Before joining deep in 2013, this Missouri State graduate was the Person in Charge of Getting the Word Out at Askinosie Chocolate, an artisan, bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Springfield, Missouri. Growing up in the coffee industry, Bell is also a strong advocate for supporting local.


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