Welcome to the idea factory-where custom marketing whirligigs are assembled. From our worldwide headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday Mfg. keeps our assembly line rolling with custom creative strategies and executions.
Many of our clients tell us they come to us for ideas they don't get anywhere else. Take a closer look at our work and see everything from traditional advertising to internationally renowned packaging ... along with a flapjack recipe or two.
We've said our goodbyes to Rivers, Killer Mike, Nels, and Jenny, finally found our way home from Gateway Park and trudged our way back to work. With the 80/35 music festival still fresh in our minds, now is a good time to reflect on our work from this year's successful festival. (Cue flashback harp music)
Being involved with 80/35 since its inception, we certainly enjoy attending the festival for the music, the food, the people watching, and the general merriment, but it's also nice to just be in the midst of our work. To see the finished product as a whole and its subtle but integral influence on the 80/35 experience. Sometimes the best marketing is one that complements the event without dominating it.
It's pretty cool when people embrace and build on what we have created for the theme. It was no coincidence that a number of attendees wore retro video game t-shirts or that a cutout Pac-Man was spotted being chased by ghosts during some of the performances. It's all part of the world we created, from the handheld gaming system handbills to the game cartridge lanyards to the 8-bit music radio ads to the goofy characters that inhabited it all.
Sure, it's hard work, but we do have a lot of fun. For our own amusement, we gave back stories and names to the characters (Jetpack Grandma, Super Cavekid, Dolphin Princess, etc). These details, some of which never publicly saw the light of day, helped build the mythos of the 8-bit world. Plus, it makes it much easier when you work with people as great as the staff at On Pitch.
Despite our professionalism, we still get giddy when people take notice. Be it El-P from Run the Jewels liking the design of the crew t-shirts and requesting one to simply having Weezer regram a web ad.
As we wrap up 80/35 for this year ( it should be mentioned that Amedeo and Co. did an amazing job), we're happy it's over, but already we're thinking about the marketing possibilities for next year.
Pour some extra syrup on your flapjacks today, kids, because there's
a new member of the Saturday Mfg. team-Matt Moore. Matt joined us to help drum
up new business, manage clients and generally keep us up to date on the latest
punk rock news.
We call him our Business Technician because, well, he rocks the
technical part of business. And here's something we've learned after 4 years in
business: If your management team is awesome at something and less awesome at
something else-hire someone else to do the latter.
Matt's previous experience with Sticks Object Art and Furniture
uniquely qualifies him to work with clients to help them harness the creative
powers at Saturday Mfg. In addition to being an understated pitchman and an
aggressive listener, Matt's skills also include sales, marketing and tolerating
Matt will attend meetings with us, network with us and eat flapjacks
with us. And he will do it all politely because that's what his mom taught him.
In honor of his
great-grandmother Thelma's 108th birthday in 2012, Derek Lewis
launched Thelma's-a warm cookie delivery company. Using Thelma's famous
snickerdoodle cookie recipe, Derek and his mom, Lana, planned to deliver made
from scratch cookies to lucky customers and businesses.
Pictured above: Great-Grandma Thelma and baby Derek, future snickerdoodle magnates.
Our team was asked
to create a brand that conveyed the modern, yet homemade feel of getting a
cookie from grandma's kitchen. Derek also had plans to launch an ice cream
sandwich line (two cookies smushing together homemade ice cream) using the
Thelma's brand. In addition to branding, we
were also tasked with creating a delivery box that was equal parts memorable
and functional. Here were the box parameters:
two-dozen cookies, the most popular order
product price point for each delivery
fold/assemble easily to ensure timely delivery
stackable for multiple orders in one delivery vehicle
material: fresh cookies placed inside without individual wrapping
Awesome: leave a
lasting positive impression of the brand
We had 6 months from
assignment to product launch.
Before we built
the box, we started with the brand. We set out to give a nod to grandma's
kitchen without making the product seem dowdy or old fashioned. We landed on
words like homemade, wholesome, sweet and full of goodness with a brand promise
of joy. This positioning gave Thelma a voice and spirit.
Thelma is a sweet grandma with a touch of sassy attitude. Her
wholesome words of wisdom are profound, fun and almost always revolve around
cookies. A generous world-class baker, Thelma respects rules and is sometimes a
stickler for propriety, but she always makes exceptions for fresh from the oven
"Cookies are like hugs. They should be given freely and warmly." -Thelma
"Always lick your fingers clean. Chocolate is not to be wasted."
"It is impossible to chew a cookie and frown at the same time."
The look of
Thelma's constantly evolved to achieve the final balance of looking
grandmotherly without doilies.
We started with dozens of thumbnail sketches. Then, we narrowed it down to a dozen rough
sketches to share with the client to weigh against the branding document. We
set out to create a logo that was professional and playful but not too young
and not too old. Once we had a chance to get client feedback, we created several tighter illustrations. We decided on an original hand-drawn font that had a vintage flair but was still contemporary.
Great-Grandma Thelma icon began as a simple doodle on the side of one of our
artists' notebooks. From there we refined it a bit by adding authenticity to
the cookies and playfulness to her spectacles. Behold, Thelma!
originally determined that Thelma's color palette would include red, blue and
silver. However, during package creation, we noticed that the red didn't look
quite right so we opted for brown, which has a slightly warmer and more homemade
Additional Graphic Elements:
of the custom gingham pattern is a direct nod to grandma's kitchen and allows
for different color applications indicating different flavors in their new ice
cream sandwich line as well.
The oven mitt
business card is, essentially, a handshake the way Thelma would do it. It has
also been a secondary icon that customers have come to recognize as warm, fresh
from the oven cookies.
Once the brand
was determined, we set our sights on the delivery box, the main point of
contact for customers. Keeping the parameters of the assignment in mind, we
worked with Xpedx on nearly a dozen prototypes, tweaking folds and materials
and testing weight and thickness. Then we applied the branded graphic elements
that fit Thelma's look-homemade and wholesome but modern and fun.
the box, we started with the tray. The client wanted a natural look. Once that
was determined, we started constructing the box to fit the tray size. We chose
to use the substrate KraftPak 30pt. because it was both sustainable and sturdy.
We worked closely with xpedx and our rep, Joanne Isenhart, to get the details
right. The cookies are set on a fiber-based Chinet tray that is a stock item
for xpedx and allows the cookies to "slide" out of the box just like an oven.
met our approval from a functional standpoint, we began graphics. The Olathe
Packaging Design Center had just installed a Rastek flat bed printer that we
used for mock-ups and printing the graphics directly on the KraftPak.
The box was
At one of our
first meetings our art director, Brian, said "The box could be anything. Any
shape. Any design." "Anything?" said Derek. "Yeah, like, even an oven shape"
said Brian. "That would be awesome," said Derek. And the sketches began.
A few weeks
A nice lady
called Thelma's, presumably, to place a cookie order. However, instead of
ordering cookies, she politely asked, "How much for one of those cute oven
boxes?" Derek and Lana were so surprised, they delivered two boxes-one with
warm cookies inside and another just to display.
A couple of
months after launch:
Derek and Lana
regularly hear stories about how, even after the cookies were gone, the box
remained in homes, on shelves, as a topic of conversation and one even served as a
child's toy oven.
are warming hearts all over the Des Moines metro. And Derek and Lana are now considering
expanding the business regionally.
-The client had
previously worked for another cookie company. And since he set out to launch
his own business, Thelma's, his cookie sales more than doubled in just one
launch of Thelma's in 2012 Derek and Lana (and the box) have been featured in
The Des Moines Register, The Business Record and local television news programs.
-The box has
appeared on Dieline (and was voted Top Ten for the week), Design Taxi,
TrendHunter, Gizmodo, Creative Bloq, PSFK and more than a dozen additional
received news last month that the box won a silver National ADDY award from the
American Advertising Federation.
Hungry for more? Learn more about Great-Grandma Thelma, the delicious cookies, the homemade ice cream sandwiches and all of the Central Iowa locations where you can purchase these yummy homemade treats at www.thelmastreats.com