083 – Celebrating the 2022 Addy Awards

In this Happy Hour podcast, John and Ryan are chatting with the Backflip team about some of the awards they won at the 2022 American Advertising Award show!


  • (4:51) Our first guest…. Scott Pfeil!
  • (7:57) Miami Scott!
  • (20:14) Emily and Hannah!
  • (25:57) What does it mean to win awards?
  • (41:04) The other guys.
  • (47:02) Memorable projects.
  • (57:14) Pressure to do better?


Ryan Freng 5:06
Hello and welcome back to a another let’s backflip show. Happy Hour. I’m Ryan Freng, co creative director here at backflip and one of the hostess with the mostest or the hostess with the mostess. We’ll call it that Lord of the podcast. That’s the self titled as well. Happy tornado drill day. So 12 o’clock. As we start going, the tornado drill starts coming on Joining me as always, is my co creative director and good pal, John. Well, we’re here. What’s up, John, how’s it going? It’s so green there.

John Shoemaker 5:35
I know I got way green here that I was playing with the lights and it’s gonna be what it is today.

Ryan Freng 5:42
I love it. It makes your skin look much more orange. It’s a good look on you. I like it. This is a happy hour. So you know, we often do talk about the things that we’re drinking. Do you have anything special that you’re drinking?

John Shoemaker 5:56
I mean, coffee is pretty special. coffee mug is pretty special. It’s this custom, custom backlit mug. It’s been wore well worn.

Ryan Freng 6:07
Yeah, it’s like naturally distressed.

John Shoemaker 6:10
I love it. It’s like one of our old logos actually. Yeah, well, isn’t that our current logo? And then I have this. Yeah, but it’s like an old version of our current logo. Remember the the distressed

Ryan Freng 6:26
ones? Oh, yeah. Now it’s just become distressed from when the 2000s were distressing. The paint blotches or whatever? Yeah. So I’ve got this hot water today. It’s good. It’s it tastes like like hops. And it’s just water. Beverage with adaptogens and nootropics. So Billy, but

John Shoemaker 6:46
it’s kind of a good nice afternoon, change the lighting, like several times throughout the that’s what I’m gonna do today.

Ryan Freng 6:53
Can you set it up so that people in chat can change it? They can just send commands?

John Shoemaker 6:59
Only if they if they donate or not?

Ryan Freng 7:02
Yes, donate to Red Cross Blue Shield. I don’t know, we don’t we don’t, you can’t do on it. So we’re gonna get going. Because we got a lot to do today. We we recently submitted a bunch of projects to the 2022 American advertising awards in Madison. And we won some awards. And so we’re here today to just kind of share our appreciation for those awards and talk a little bit about some of the process and some of the things behind it. So we’ll we’re going to bring on different people from the team from backflip throughout the hour to talk more about this and up first. I’ve got Scott file the man himself, I should have written down some kind of intro. What’s going on? Scott?

Scott Pfeil 7:47
How’re you guys doing?

Ryan Freng 7:48
Good. How are you? Did you have your shot of espresso? I said outside your door yet?

Scott Pfeil 7:52
Oh, no.

Ryan Freng 7:56
A little bit there whenever I need it. Yeah. So Scott is our business director, director of operations here. Director of Finance and all around just very analytical guy. And so I wanted to have you on first to to kind of get your, your overall perspective and take because creatives are crazy. And you don’t necessarily work directly within all the projects, but you you work on all the projects from a different level from the management level. So yeah, what’s what’s just kind of like your gut feeling right now after winning several awards, including Best of Show.

Scott Pfeil 8:34
Yeah, in terms of the awards, it’s been the pinnacle so far. We went after a John worked very hard. What? Maybe 30 different entries. John? Some Yeah, close to that. Almost 30 And I see because I’m a numbers guy. We took on 19 awards, call it 20 I looked around very, very solid. You guys, like creatives here, starting with the leadership of my partners, John and Ryan. You know, impressed me eight years ago when I started here as a consultant with 50% on my time, that quickly became you know, 150% as as I became a partner and so on. So with small business ownership comes great responsibility, as well.

Ryan Freng 9:27
I saw that in that Spider Man movie. Yeah, that’s right.

Scott Pfeil 9:31
Yep. Can you guys just continue you know, I saw the awesomeness back then. And just continue to hungry to stay on the edge of creativity and engagement and just making awesome things. Challenging yourself and even in a good way challenging our clients to to excel and stand out in the world full of white noise

Ryan Freng 9:55
Well, thank you. That’s very kind words. I definitely wasn’t seeking for it. Any any of that appreciation, but it’s it is also appreciated.

John Shoemaker 10:03
You’ve got to I mean, you’ve got a part in it, though. And, you know, you’ve got to be able to take some pride in these, like, even if you’re not in the creative driver’s seat on the projects, you know, like, how does it? How does it strike you, you know, when we get in, we take our stuff to an award show, and we come come back with quite quite a few, including Best in Show and quite the hall, what a community and Madison, you know, companies and agencies that have been here for decades. were relatively new on the scene. How was your How was your night at the American advertising? award show?

Scott Pfeil 10:52
Well I was Miami Scott, that night. So I go into my enthusiast mode. And I had I’m so

Ryan Freng 10:59
happy you brought that hat to the show.

Scott Pfeil 11:05
Yeah, it was great. In a word I, you know, I just feel like a proud dad, I guess it’s more than one word, but short phrase, if you will. Yeah, my part is in the beginning. I don’t dwell on it that often. But I’m naturally good at, like, I know what our capabilities are here at backflip. And then I understand ask questions seeking that expand our clients or businesses or nonprofits, what their needs are, what their constraints are in those, those sorts of things. So I try and get as much budget for you guys to work with to make awesome for the client within their constraints and within, you know, what it feels good to them. And so, you know, I take satisfaction earlier in the sales process, when, when that’s working out, and we’re closing on it. And then at the end, when the client is satisfied with awards, I don’t know, awards to me are just, it’s much more about you guys and what, and the work that we’re doing and so on. And so it’s truly not about me at all at that point. I’m just a proud papa.

Ryan Freng 12:14
Yeah, it’s something too, I think that’s important to realize too, and you’re in the game long enough and you do this stuff is that it’s not really about the awards. It’s about working with great partners and being able to do great work again and again and again. And it definitely takes practice and we’re still learning and I hope we can continue to improve and do do better and better. And I love going to the award shows and seeing all the great work let’s see is the Facebook stream working? Emily might have said that it’s down someone want to check that it should be up I don’t know. Looks like is there it’s probably just your internet. Emily. was I saying oh yeah, not about the awards, but it’s certainly you know, kind of like a gut check. Right? So we’re always head down and we’re working so hard on a lot of projects and sometimes you finish it you deliver it and it just breezes by and you don’t think about it too much. You check back in and make sure that it’s working hard for the client and that they’re getting a great return on it but it’s wonderful to then see you know to repurpose that and share it and then have your peers be like hey we like this this is really good and get that feedback too because there’s there’s I don’t know there’s something energizing to that to be told by your peers Hey, you’re doing a great job. And in certainly our number one priority is to have our clients and our clients customers realize that but from an artistic perspective, when we’re not being just mercenaries artistic mercenaries to be able to have some of that feedback is very very helpful. So I’m always pleasantly surprised when we win some awards not because I don’t think we do great work but just because I think there’s a lot of great work out there and and I’m always humbled when when we do win awards like we did and the best of show like that was that was truly truly impressive. truly awesome.

Scott Pfeil 14:09
Yeah like to see we got one of our best clients Madison College that we worked with or last year year and a half or something they noticed us at at the at ease a year ago so that was really cool. And it allows us allows you guys to work on those more Wow projects I call them the more creative the more engaging. That’s really a nice fit and really gets the fires burnin and you guys to really knock it out of the park. So that’s that’s a lot of fun to for me to see you guys you know happy and then to get awarded for it, you know at the end of the year. I guess I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be nearly so nonchalant about it if we weren’t taking home. The words are more words than anybody Have I my private account? Yeah, I definitely did not want to be the big agency in town that I noticed to call me bronze, like, Guys, I’m embarrassed for them they to not participate at all, you know, I have no idea how many entries if those only entry, or really go for it and try and compete, try and keep up with fact flippers.

John Shoemaker 15:25
It’s it’s one of those things where, you know, in in the industry, everybody’s always asking about ROI. Just recently, we were having a conversation with, somebody asked me about that, and I saw your message to them, Scott, but that question of ROI. That that’s like another piece of the puzzle that it’s kind of like, is it like investing? You know, it’s like, well, if you can answer that, then everyone would just, we would just do the answer every single day, right? You know, what’s gonna maximize my ROI? If you knew the answer to that, then no business would ever struggle to get ROI, you know, like, so. But the one, you know, data point we can give you is that we get excited about your projects, and we pursue a level to be winning awards, you know? And then want to use that in your marketing? Well, that’s, there’s a lot of strategies that could work. And

Scott Pfeil 16:30
yeah, when people think of ROI means return on investment. And that’s usually objective, how, you know, numbers that you can measure, such as like inquiries, you know, sales leads, and those sorts of metrics, seeing rise, as you put out some, you know, engaging video designed to steer people towards your website and generate those leads. However, I would argue that in most cases, it’s the immeasurable ROIs that well, can’t really be measured, as quantitatively they are felt there things like morale, culture, you know, recruiting kind of flavor that, you know, getting people attracted to your, to your business, things that they might not even say, but gets them interested in the product or service and doing more research and those sorts of things. So there’s so many, there’s more in measurables, with ROI, that are equally if not more important than the actual, like numbers, but you’re gonna get both, you know, naturally what something well done in marketing.

Ryan Freng 17:45
Right. Right. Well, and we talked about this a lot. And it’s a very interesting thing. And I think people have moved moved a little bit more towards at least those who are are savvy in the advertising kind of world to key performance indicators. And talking about those KPIs first, like, Okay, we want to get 1000 hits, we want to get 5000 hits, we’re gonna get 100,000 hits. Well, why? Because that’ll drive traffic. Okay, well, why? What does that, you know, you keep asking that, why, and you can kind of come up with some of those performance indicators. But video and one video and just a instance, an instance of something is like, really hard to quantify in that in that way, like you’re saying, and a lot of what ends up happening is it’s not quantifiable. It’s quantifiable, in that you build brand equity. Right. So we experienced that with our own advertising. And that’s been, you know, something that we’ve known, but to see it realized for ourselves and then for clients is very fruitful. So our radio advertising where we picked up good good friend and client now, or client, and then good friend, paradigm and Rob over there. And he heard it and immediately was like, Oh, these guys got something that I want, I’m gonna call them and, you know, through a series of meetings and stuff, we figured out, yeah, we’d be good partners together. But aside from that one client, we have yet to get other clients from that advertising expenditure. But we have definitely gained brand equity, because we’ve heard people talk about it, we Oh, that was really funny ads, you know, you heard that. And so we’re in people’s mind. And then we want to have all the other components of the marketing in there, too. And that’s, again, to bring it back to at ease. That’s why I really love the show, because we see all the elements and maybe some elements that we don’t work on as much or different areas that we don’t work on as much. And we get to see some of the other great work that people are doing here. And I love to see that because I love the community because I think when people are doing better, even if it’s not us, like if they’re doing really great stuff. I want to see that so that we can get better. And then when we do something great, hopefully somebody else can see that and get better as well and we can all kind of get better together and and it’s flattering and you know, very honoring to get the best of show for this public awareness campaign that we’re working on to help raise that fairness about human sex trafficking. Like that’s really important stuff. And it’s cool that that that kind of resonate, resonate. resonated. Yeah, I was like resignate we resigned, we resonated with everyone over the 80s.

Scott Pfeil 20:17
The other big thing as I think back on that special night at the at ease was Jen, John, how do you say your last name? Jen Savino. Yeah, what an awesome lady, I first got to talk to her really, that night and in detail. And just so intelligent, so personal, both truly. And then all the community things that she does, many of which are kind of more behind the scenes, you know, humbly, what an awesome person get to talk to her mom to get the rest of the story are out there. It was really fun for me to I’m just naturally curious about leaders like that. And she does a great one.

John Shoemaker 20:59
People who are people who are tuning in and watching who aren’t aware Jen Savino is the partner at KW two, and we got to interview her. She’s the Silver Medal Award winner, which is a award that’s that’s given out, you know, to a select group of nominees, lifetime achievement, for achievement, you know, in service, in the ad industry. In leadership, I forget all the qualifications, but she, she was the winner that night, we got to meet her and work with her a little bit on making kind of commemorative video. So it was cool to see that night and see her celebrating that way.

Ryan Freng 21:46
And I want to get so we’re coming up on our first switch. So I’m gonna get kind of a hot take Scott, was there anything that you were pleasantly surprised about? Or just anything else that, you know, like an award or something that you’re particularly proud of? That happened that night?

Scott Pfeil 22:06
I was just in the zone, having fun talking with great people there. More than anything. So yeah, Jen was probably my highlight.

Ryan Freng 22:15
Nice. Yeah. And we got to you guys got to hang out with one of our clients beforehand, which is really awesome.

Scott Pfeil 22:21
Yeah, that was super fun. To be invited over there. Her pre party. Yeah. So new clients. So that was amazing. Well, yeah,

Ryan Freng 22:32
maybe we got to think about that next year, too. We throw some rad parties.

Scott Pfeil 22:37
Maybe that’s why I was in the zone.

Ryan Freng 22:40
I think that was a large reason you’re in the sky. Yeah. All right. Any other thoughts? Otherwise, we’ll switch over.

Scott Pfeil 22:49
Switch away.

Ryan Freng 22:50
Cool. Thanks so much. Got ya Talk soon. All right. Thanks, Scott, for jumping in and kind of sharing your perspective and additional thoughts on it. Now we’re going to bring in Emily and Hannah or let’s see, Hannah, our designer, and Emily, our developer and digital person. extraordinaire. Hi, guys. How’s it going?

Hannah Hess 23:12

Ryan Freng 23:15
Were you ready for this this week, when all of a sudden we’re like, hey, let’s bring everybody on. This will be fun.

Hannah Hess 23:21
So ready? I’m always ready.

Ryan Freng 23:24
Yeah, it’s great. Thanks for coming on and playing. Let’s see we’re both there. Right.

John Shoemaker 23:32
Oh, yeah. And I couldn’t make it. She had an at some excuse.

Ryan Freng 23:36
Yeah. Yeah. And let’s see. You You didn’t come down. Did you Emily, I’m trying to think back to the night that night is kind of like a blur. I was. Yeah. So what what was that experience like for you? I don’t remember if we were like updating slack while we were doing it, or if you saw it afterwards, but you guys knew the the event was coming. But then maybe you were surprised or something. I was surprised by just the awards that we got.

Hannah Hess 24:03
Yeah, it was nice to know that as a team, we got so many awards. I think I I wasn’t keeping up with you guys, you know, live or anything. But I think at that

Ryan Freng 24:17
I was trying to take pictures and send them for you guys that couldn’t see.

Hannah Hess 24:20
Yeah, I think at the end of the night, though, I did get into Slack. And I saw some of the awards that we won. And so I was excited to get back after the weekend and see more of the specifics and find out which ones our team specifically had one.

Ryan Freng 24:36
Yeah, what about you, Emily? Yeah, similar experience. I

Emily Wenman 24:39
don’t think I saw updates in the morning on a Friday or Saturday night whenever it was, but I thought the like full list. I mean, Ryan, you shared like, five or six. I didn’t quite capture the whole piece of it. But yeah, so the words are but also best This show is really I guess I just feel confident in the work that we’ve been putting out this past.

Ryan Freng 25:09
Yeah, and that was there anything in particular any specific award? Let’s see. branded content and entertainment St. Ambrose new brand. Integrated brand identity St. Ambrose brand, logo design St. Ambrose, a lot of St. Ambrose. Let’s see what else business to business website nimble. Shout out. Consumer website, St. Ambrose, and branded content entertainment non broadcast. Oh, that’s a promo. So, yeah, a good handful of awards for kind of our print and web stuff. Any any of those you’re particularly proud of.

Emily Wenman 25:49
Um, that was when I was more involved in working with maker design life. And yeah, I really like that looks.

Ryan Freng 26:05
Awesome. What about you, Hannah.

Hannah Hess 26:06
Um, I was also excited to see nimble was an award winner, like Emily said, I think that was a fun one for us to work on. Their logo and brand that we worked with, had some good opportunities to try new things in building the website for them, and it came out really well. And you know, it’s a little bit different than I think what you see in most website trends right now. So that was awesome. And then I’m always gonna be a huge advocate for the carbon for stuff that I get to work on. So that was really exciting to see some of the packaging and labels. Oh, yeah, that’s

Ryan Freng 26:47
really good. Thank you. Cool pack, to pull back on a word for the whole campaign? Because you’ve done several of those. Right? You came up with that initial design, right?

Hannah Hess 26:58
The pullback was, the Ken Lay was for it was a collaboration between me and carbon for.

Ryan Freng 27:07
Right, right.

Hannah Hess 27:09
Yeah. And then he variety pack packaging. That was mostly my ideas. And then the one I’m really proud of, is priests profit and King, because that is the label that I got to do from start to finish.

Ryan Freng 27:26
Oh, yeah. How did I miss that one, too?

John Shoemaker 27:28
Where’s that one? It’s, yeah, it’s in that packaging.

Ryan Freng 27:32
Okay. Oh, I see. There it is. Yeah. Can you show that again? Yeah. Yeah. Well, and you know, what I was saying earlier, and use it as a collaboration. You know, it’s always a collaboration. But in this case, like this, you came up with the art, you pulled it, you know, pulled it all together. Same thing with the, the seltzers, you know, that there was ideas and sketches. But it’s different, because you came up with that as well. You put all those elements together and design that versus when we get some of those cool matte paintings from Jason the artists like with a welcome to the internet fantasy factory. So, you know, I’m super proud of the work that you do. And, you know, we want to make sure we recognize how much you do and that too. So congratulations to you guys. Yeah, let’s see. And St. Let’s see, St. Ambrose got a bunch to on the brand and website.

Hannah Hess 28:21
They did, which was also very exciting, because both Emily and I put in a lot of work for them. And, you know, with our faith background being the same as where St. Ambrose is coming from, I think it really meant a lot for us to put that much work in and try to make it as, you know, great as we possibly could.

Ryan Freng 28:41
And for like both of you guys like what we kind of talked with Scott about like, what it means to win awards? Or like, what does it mean to you guys to win awards?

Hannah Hess 28:56
I think for me, it’s, it’s just really nice and reassuring to know that the quality of your work is where you are hoping it is every time you deliver something to a client. And then, you know, Ryan, I know you had mentioned earlier, it’s nice to be in that environment with other award winners and just see the great work coming out of the Madison community, because it pushes you to do better every time and then if you do win an award, it’s not like okay, I’ve made it to the top, I’m done. You’re gonna keep going and pushing harder and trying to come up with new concepts and ideas. So it really helps you in moving forward in the future.

Ryan Freng 29:39
Yeah, that’s awesome. What about you, Emily?

Emily Wenman 29:41
Yeah, I think it’s a good kind of check that what you’ve been doing striving for is really good and is resonating with just the crowd, but that there’s some sort of standard that we’re meeting. Find? Yeah, just the inspiration. And the energy behind

Ryan Freng 30:04
it. Yeah, that’s, that’s super fun.

John Shoemaker 30:10
Yeah, it’s kind of kind of have a target on our back, you know, for the next the next year, but like you said, Hannah and Emily, you know, it drives you to do the next thing, then because we’re always keeping us hungry and keeping us looking for the next thing, there’s nothing sort of more sad and disappointing than when you work on a project that gets like, canceled are not used in in the end, you know, you still do the work on it, you still get paid for it. But when you know, when a client, this has only happened a few times, but when they’re like, they decided not to use it for the marketing or that they wanted a different creative direction. And you can only do so many of those and maintain your level of excitement and whatever. So awards showing you like, Oh, yes, this is this is good while we’re doing it, you know, good quality or whatever, because we don’t always right, you know, this is we were talking to Scott about to you don’t always see everything that happens afterwards. We we, you know, as a marketing studio, we kind of hand off those projects, those assets and say, Alright, here you go. Use them in your plan going forward.

Ryan Freng 31:32
Yeah, well, and it’s it’s kind of drying up that point. And it helps us in our communication, of choosing a partner, not a price, like, hey, check out all of this award winning work, you know, like the clients love it, it’s working really well for them. And it wins awards. So what is that Confluence? You know, what is the Venn diagram? Well, it’s like, okay, so we can do good work, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t have a good partner, you know, so when we can find good partners, that’s when we can do this type of stuff. And you know, who wants to be a good partner, and have, you know, Best of Show type of work? So, I think it helps us to, to better figure out and understand that. And then the other thing was I gonna say, but, but but Oh, best of showing, like, the competition aspect that was really fun. Like, you know, you’re striving to be the best and, you know, get noticed locally, regionally, nationally, wherever, because that’s good marketing, when when you get nervous like that. But if next year, you know, high likelihood somebody else takes takes the best to show, I haven’t seen somebody get best of show multiple years. So I think there might be some thought to that of like, Yeah, let’s, you know, let’s make sure that we recognize everybody, you know, independently. But if somebody else gets Best of Show next year, what’s going to happen is like, we’re going to be excited about it. Like we’re going to be enthused that somebody else got, like this, this great award. And like, I’m encouraged by it, and I want to see it like, I want to, you know, I want to go talk to them and be like, Oh, my gosh, love it. How did you do this? You know, just thinking to pass best of shows, and with Madison Media professionals, I’ve done that as well. We’ve won, judges choice and things like that there. But then when you see somebody else you’ve never heard of when those awards, and it’s a quality, right? That that’s able to win those awards. It’s so exciting to see and so exciting to go. Just celebrate with them. So I’m super excited because it is competitive. But we’re just you know, we’re all just striving for excellence together. So I can’t wait to see what else happens next year. Yeah. Yeah. So any any other things with these projects? Let’s see. Was there any challenges specifically with you know, I know, with carbon four, there’s always like turnaround time, it ends up being like, Hey, we gotta get this done right now. And sometimes it’s like, yeah, this will be coming down the pipe. Let’s think about it. And then it’s like, we got to get it done in two weeks. So you always have like, a time constraint with that, how, you know,

how’s that work with the award winning

Hannah Hess 34:04
definitely a lot of pressure with their stuff. And, you know, I strive to be a perfectionist. And so, it’s really hard when I, I know, I’m under that kind of pressure, because I’m always afraid that I’m gonna deliver something that they’re gonna be like, Oh, okay, well, we just need to get out the door. So it’s good enough, but I don’t want it to just be good enough. I want it to be as good as possible. And the best, and you know, even though it’s very stressful in those moments, it’s also good for me to practice under that kind of pressure to make sure that my work is high quality. And for the most part, I think I’m I’ve been really happy with everything that’s gone out the door for them. And I’m already thinking about the projects that I’m working on with them currently that I’m excited about entering into competitions next year.

Ryan Freng 35:00
Hmm, yeah, that’s I mean, that’s an interesting thing you bring up too is like, back to that idea of like mercenary art. Like when we have unlimited time, I think that can be a problem. Now there’s probably a sweet spot somewhere in the middle. But, you know, just pushing through kind of those time restrictions can really kind of sharpen that, that sword, as it were, such that, you know, I don’t know, you’re a couple years into it, now, you’re a lot different, you approach that a lot differently than you would right away, and certainly can get a lot further right away. And the goal is always to help manage time better, you know, especially on our side and, and their side. But it’s, it’s been really fun to see kind of that, that growth in you. And obviously, it’s working, because you got a bunch of awards. So congratulations on that. Now Emily to same thing with you, we’ve kind of been discovering and figuring out your position based on your capabilities and what you’re comfortable with. And basically, what’s what’s happened is, you just keep being extremely competent, and keep being able to handle whatever we throw at you. So you’ll often have, you know, a couple of websites you’re working on some support, some digital marketing. You know, is this how does it feel to kind of be validated in this way, for all that hard work?

Emily Wenman 36:27
It’s obviously very rewarding. I’ve been reflecting, especially with two arrows because they fit very different scenario started from the beginning. Storming, like, what is Sam rose, we build a brand around it. And we built a website around the new branding. Really cool experience for me, going from the very beginning to end product, in this case, being the website. symbol, we started with their own brand guidelines, and so interesting for me to learn about what was working for them, worked in their specific industry, and then took their brand Ireland into design. That’s been a cool experience for me. You know, ended up doing a lot of more technical things, that creative side comes through and learning.

Ryan Freng 37:27
Oops, I thought I muted myself that’s welcome to the stream everyone.

John Shoemaker 37:35
Yeah. And the other thing I was kind of noticing is that it’s not just the UK I’m looking at the list over here on the side here, Ryan shared with everyone to kind of review. It’s not just the, the websites and graphics that you participate in, in this award stuff. You know, maybe a lot to a little bit lesser extent with you, Emily, just, you know, with the remote work, but Hannah, I was just looking at this. And you know, don’t forget like you get to take some credit as well with like, you know, we’ve got Madison College you did a ton of work on that with with design and then even the Gilson how tos that we did I think I had you in like helping with set design on that as well as our our own internal pineapple Snowbird set design you did as well. So it’s really fun to see that, you know, like, you guys get to work on more than just, you know, the, the one silo of like, graphics and website. Yeah, that’s a very good

Hannah Hess 38:57
point. I actually forgot about the set design stuff for Gilson. But that was a lot of fun. And it, it’s stuff that I also, you know, it’s not my strongest, you know, design trait that I have is designing a set or doing illustration work. And so that becomes a really good challenge for me because again, I’m striving for perfection in a way and having you guys as my teammates, it’s really nice because you’re all so positive and reassuring and can help me if I feel like I’m struggling and so even if I know that I’m facing such a big challenge, like you guys really always helped me get through and it’s nice to see that come through again in winning some awards for that.

John Shoemaker 39:47
We’ve also this this one is I don’t know the best way to do it. And this is what we’re working on Emily in Our digital marketing stuff. We won an award The Gold Award for integrated media campaign for the backflip Christmas effort that we did. And it’s kind of easy to miss, like what that was it, it wasn’t just the video, the live studio audience video that we produced with a wild amount of detail getting that production to happen. But it was the box, the pieces that went into it, it was the custom beer that we worked with carbon phoron, and the label that was designed. And then it was the email campaign that Emily you were helping with, like we breaking out all the different pieces into separate posts on the website, and then cross linking all those things. All of that I described in the you know, that’s part of the submission was describing how this was used, and then submitting that as like, here’s what we did. And we won an award for that. So also, like a very exciting thing. And I don’t know if you guys have kind of like that’s that’s what we want for that not just the video, but the campaign. Yeah. And

Hannah Hess 41:14
I think that’s exciting for me, because I know I worked really hard on getting the client boxes put together and sent out by Christmas. And so for people who aren’t familiar with that, who aren’t clients, we designed a box, branded it and then we filled it with our pineapple Snowbird beer. We designed this label carbon for brewed that for us. We

Ryan Freng 41:41
design by the way, are you? Are you drinking that?

Hannah Hess 41:45
Oh, yes,

I figured it was afternoon. So I might.

Ryan Freng 41:49
Thank you. I forgot to ask you guys. Yeah, nice. Cheers. Yeah.

Hannah Hess 41:54
So yeah, we just had a lot of little branded elements. And it all came together very nicely in this box that our clients got. And we even had some people, you know, message us that we haven’t worked within a year or so. And it’s a really good way for us to stay connected to them, and vice versa. So it was really awesome to see that. That was a team project that was recognized.

Ryan Freng 42:21
Yeah, that’s I completely forgot about those, like other projects that just had names that didn’t make me think of like, design or development. But yeah, isn’t that cool? Like, and I hope that we can always keep the perspective of like, we get to do this stuff. You know, certainly there’s there’s making donuts and cranking through stuff. And work, you know, work is work. But just the being a small business and being able to work on a variety of things, and like the box or the marketing effort for the Christmas, Christmas show or whatever, all that stuff, like, it’s all things that touch on different areas, some things we actually do for clients, some things we don’t and exploring those. So I hope we can always keep that perspective, especially myself of like, No, I get to do these interesting things. Yeah. Yeah. So any other closing thoughts before we switch over to Team production over here?

Hannah Hess 43:21
I’m excited to see where we end up next year.

Ryan Freng 43:26
I like it. Yeah. Just start saving those screenshots now. Yeah. All right, guys, Hannah. Emily. Thanks for joining us. Emily, did you have anything any fun drink you wanted to share with us two?

Emily Wenman 43:37
Oh, just ugly bottle.

Ryan Freng 43:40
That’s okay. I’m here with you. I got some water to Awesome. Thanks, guys. Thanks for coming on.

Hannah Hess 43:46
Thank you.

Ryan Freng 43:47
All right, being cool. All right. Next up, you want to introduce these these next two fellows?

John Shoemaker 43:55
All right, these next two bronies are the other guys it’s It’s Max. It’s together, they make to two legs of the multi legged stool that is responsible for video production.

Luke Kolarsky 44:20
I don’t know if two legged stools are very effective. Well.

Max Olmsted 44:27
Depending on where you place the legs, it could possibly work. Ladder,

Ryan Freng 44:33
figure out how to make a two stool or two legged stool.

Max Olmsted 44:36
It’s very challenging stool. You’re balancing.

John Shoemaker 44:41
It’s like a ladder like if there’s if there’s something to lean it on. Yes. It works.

Ryan Freng 44:46
It’s all good. Cool, guys. Well, thanks for jumping in. Let’s see I’m just playing around there we go with the different camera modes that we can do. So Max is our lead editor here and Luke is our Luke of all trades. You’ve met both of them on various things. ings so yeah, guys got reaction, like, just winning some awards and stuff, I think. Yeah, both of you guys were there. Yep. So what was that like for you guys?

Max Olmsted 45:10
Yes, yes, it was it was it was pretty awesome. Yeah to to win for specifically the the your call campaign and then specifically the crystal Hollins vignette, which was one of the first things I edited, coming back to work for you guys was pretty great. And, and especially since I’m, I’m very proud of that piece in particular, and just in general, the work that we’ve done on that campaign, because it’s, it’s so important, and it has so much weight, and just just being able to do work that quite literally can save lives is pretty amazing to be a part of. So

Luke Kolarsky 45:59
yeah, I would just especially for the year call campaign, it’s you know, there are times last year where we’re literally on multiple shoots a week for that, and lots of long hours in the car and long hours on set. And so it was really cool to see that come to fruition at the at that is so a lot of hard work paid off there. And, yeah, again, it’s the kind of work that you’re, you know, you couldn’t be more proud of it because like Max said, you’re often making a more tangible impact, you know, hearing about the reach we’ve had with it and, you know, people talking about, you know, actually, you know, saving lives with it. So, super proud of it.

Ryan Freng 46:48
My mic was off. Okay, that time, guys, you missed it, I totally burped, and I thought I’m muted, but I didn’t mute. So it’s just like, you guys. This is how the Internet goes. Now this is when Hannah and Emily were on it was totally great. Yeah, so I mean, you guys have been around to through MMP massive media professionals and winning awards there. And actually, even Max, I think that was a fun experience for you. Where you went up and accepted awards for things that you were not on, right?

Max Olmsted 47:22
Yes, yes, I did. So. So I went to the waves. And I had just been hired, basically. And it was a couple of weeks after that. And you guys were like, We have nobody to go to this award show. And I was basically the only i Well, I was the only person who could go. One a lot of things. And I, I just kept going up and sort of being like, well, I can just I can talk generally about the project, but I really wasn’t involved in any way. So I love that I know nothing about it was a it was a fun night. But yeah,

Ryan Freng 48:03
this interesting, this show, this show was a little bit different for you.

Max Olmsted 48:07
Yes, yes, definitely. It’s it’s much better to win awards for things that you’re part of. And actually, and actually be able to talk about them because otherwise it’s just like, hey, this guy when you

Ryan Freng 48:21
brought your wife Morgan to so like what was that like to bring her and have her experience that

Max Olmsted 48:27
that was very cool. That was she was saying after that she didn’t realize I mean, basically how big of a deal we are in general. And and that it was cool to see that take it that we we were winning so many awards and on such a high level. So

John Shoemaker 48:50
she’s like, I didn’t realize that your job was like a serious thing.

Ryan Freng 48:57
I just see all these crazy pictures and it seems like you just you just eat lunch every day and do crazy stuff.

Max Olmsted 49:04
Right because the other part of my job is like trying on clown outfits. You know making pot pots to go on people’s heads for music videos and things like that. So there’s flower pots Yeah, it’s it’s very it’s interesting because we have the very serious serious your call stuff and then we also get to have fun with a lot of these you know music videos and things like Gilson and and new work so yeah,

Ryan Freng 49:36
yeah it’s it’s interesting there’s we’re not boring in the middle. It’s extremely sensitive emotional stuff. super silly. You know, I guess we’re we can do a little less silly to but let’s see Luke, is there any of these projects? So we’ve got the your call stuff commercials and vignettes and all that stuff, which you’ve done, you know a little bit of everything on it’s kind of kind of how it works when when we’re running gun running gun with small crew. Gilson how tos. What else? The nimble promo or a skeptic manufacturing pineapple Snowbird. Apply yourself in any of those other ones stick out to you. Anything memorable from that those that you want to share?

Luke Kolarsky 50:25
I guess I’ll talk a bit about pineapple Snowbird that was a fun one that was kind of a brought in Jordan, we’re like, alright, let’s just make something cool. And I think it turned out great. But the set for that was kind of funny. We just walked in the studio, and we’re like, Well, what do we have to work with? So we pointed the camera at our at a wall and we took it down a few things. We took down that projector screen off the wall and threw up a few pieces from other sets we had construct in the past and through some other lights in there and quickly hung some shelves and just kind of you know, whatever, we could find whatever we could scrounge up so and it ended up turning out really nice having so that was kind of a quick and dirty set. Bill that turned out nice. So that was fun.

Ryan Freng 51:15
Yeah, there’s, there’s such magic in that too. Like, hopefully people see it. They’re like, Oh, that looks great. But they don’t realize that you know, just how, you know, just because of the schedule and how we were doing it. We’re like, Oh, we got we got plenty of stuff, we can figure it out, figured it out and hold it together.

Luke Kolarsky 51:30
A great example of kind of all the elements of filmmaking come together coming together. You know, the set by itself might not be that interesting, but you add in really good lighting, some fun, you know, Shlomo camerawork, and, obviously, was a you’re a great voice over Ryan.

John Shoemaker 51:47
For me actually,

Luke Kolarsky 51:49
how to do Oh, boy,

Ryan Freng 51:50
I don’t even know if I really? Yeah, I was trying to think about it. But thank you for thinking it was me. Once seen a beer.

Max Olmsted 51:59
I believe that was John’s Sam Elliot impression. Sam

Ryan Freng 52:02
Elliot. That’s right. Good. Elliot,

John Shoemaker 52:05
you know, once an impression, actually,

Ryan Freng 52:08
it was it was actually

John Shoemaker 52:10
it was just, I wasn’t doing a specific impression. I was just like, alright, I wonder how deep I can get my voice to sound. Yeah. And it was just sort of like an abstract, you know, and then it was like, it kind of came out like a poor man’s Sam Elliott.

Ryan Freng 52:29
No, it was fantastic. And that one, too. So that’s one that we submitted the award. We got the cinematography on Jordan, you know, was the cinematographer. So? That’s, yeah, we love to kind of support everyone, you know, everyone on the team and make sure everyone gets the credit that they deserve. So that was one that was, you know, obviously helped out with lighting and gaffing and everything else by everyone else. But that’s one for one of our boys. Jordan post. Check him out. Max, tell me about what was it? Let’s see. gimbal. Gilbert, Gilson Gilson. Yeah. So we hired you as an actor before you came back. Yeah, before nose.

Max Olmsted 53:19
Before I came back as an editor. I was a freelance actor for Nielsen spots, which I was saying this at the award show, but was part of the reason. I eventually, when the opportunity arose, decided to try and come back to backflip is that just we, we did those those spots? And it was so fun kind of collaborating with the crew. And, and yeah, and with the team, and I was like, I missed this team. I should just, if, if there was if there was an opportunity, I would come back and that had happened. So yeah,

Ryan Freng 54:01
I’m glad that all worked out. Now, you know, crazy random happenstance of, hey, we need somebody goofy, but who can play kind of a straight goof. And I was like, Okay, next would be amazing.

John Shoemaker 54:13
Yeah, that was a really interesting project, because it’s four different How to videos based on a booklet, like a how to use these products booklet. And that’s basically it. And I tried to insert a little bit of like, a little bit of goofiness, but it kind of had to be like comedy, because they didn’t want to be too wild for for the brand. And I was just like, what are we going to do? Like, how are we going to get this to be just the right level? And, you know, yeah, we’ve worked with Max for a long time outside of this editing position. and just and I was like, Okay, I’m, I’m pretty sure Max could pull off the, you know, the subtlety. And then we had another actress who you worked amazingly with, like, you and Jennifer worked together very, very well. And they just, I mean, I was blown away actually, by that. Because it’s just one of those projects where you’re like, you’re just trying, but the details that are going into it are so challenging, like, Okay, we’ve just got how to choose how to use this lab equipment. We don’t want to overcomplicate it with, you know, a very complex set, there’s just not much to work with there. So like, every line of like, a very standard how to do this, with a little bit of comedy inserted in needs to be perfectly delivered, just like great timing and everything. So I was very proud of those very excited, was

Max Olmsted 56:04
one of my favorite videos for that series two, was the one on contamination. And my character is basically the person showing off what not to do. And there’s the scene where I just spill my coffee everywhere, and we’re trying to clean up and it’s chaos. And it was just really fun to improv that section. And we did like a couple of takes of it. And, yeah, I could have just done that all day, just spilled coffee and said, said stuff about it, basically. And I do think it was good that we stopped after like three takes or so because I was coming up with some crazy ideas that I knew wouldn’t get in. So like. So one idea that I had was, I was gonna spill the coffee. And then you know, she gets all mad at me. And he’s like, do you have to clean this up? And then I was just going to halt and be like, I have an idea. And then just slam my face into the into the table and then slurp it. And then

done that I Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 57:12
And then in my head, I was like, I have clients watching. It’s probably not, not the way they want to go. But

Ryan Freng 57:19
yeah, for further reference. Absolutely do that. That would have been amazing. Genre, I can handle the bar. That would be amazing. Yeah, I mean, don’t hurt yourself. But Oh, right. Yeah, go for it. That’s a promo of their

John Shoemaker 57:34
own and tying it back into, I don’t know, if clients watch these videos, I think some of them do. Live streams that we do,

Ryan Freng 57:45
with great confidence, bad or No, of anyone watches this.

John Shoemaker 57:49
No clients specific. Lots of people, lots of people,

Ryan Freng 57:54
lots of semi close relatives. The

John Shoemaker 57:58
the trust, though, that we have with clients, you know, allows us to do some of the bills, things like it. And that whole project is actually a exercise in trust, because they were very concerned from this corporate level. Like I don’t know if we can do this humor, and if it’s going to play and our audiences are going to take it and you know, we went back and forth. And I think we essentially got to the, the appeal to trust, you know, like, hey, we care about this, too. We want it to be good. I know there’s a little bit of an unknown, but trust us to handle it the right way. And I think your audience will respond. So that’s, you know, by by building up that trust, and then you know, we can do crazy things like that.

Ryan Freng 58:53
Yeah, yeah. And having those good partners, and then being able to understand what they need. Like, I feel like that was a very, that was something that we did really, really well on that project. And I think it bears it out and how well, you know, has worked for them and being award winning.

Max Olmsted 59:10
Yes. I always liked that. And in comedy and improv, in general, when you get a take that that’s usable, and you know, you like and then you do one more, or it’s like, just do whatever, do do whatever you want, and see what comes of that because sometimes he gets some really good stuff. And then other times, it’s just chaos. But

Ryan Freng 59:33
yeah, I mean, even if it’s 80 or 90% Chaos, like that’s totally fine, because occasionally you can hit on that hit on that goal, especially when you already have something in the can. Right You know, I think that’s that’s also to why we’re like oh, let’s just do one more like I think I got it on that one. But let’s let’s do another one. See if see if anything else changes. It’s a great philosophy. Alright, so we’re kind of winding down with you guys final thoughts or any other concluding ideas

John Shoemaker 1:00:02
Do you guys feel pressure? Or like we were talking about with HANA? nemaline? You know, you’re like, ah, in, they were saying it’s good, because you’re like, Alright, next year, how are we going to be award winning again? You know? Sure. Is it positive pressure? Is it what do you think about it? I during the year now,

Max Olmsted 1:00:21
I think it’s reinforcing pressure, because it’s okay, we won this year. Now, what can we do to top that? So it’s like, it’s, we’ve we’ve done this thing that is that is award winning. Now let’s let’s just build upon that and see if we can knock it out of the park again.

Luke Kolarsky 1:00:40
Yeah, I agree. I don’t think negative pressure. I think it’s positive and reinforcing. And I don’t know, I feel like, at least at my level, I don’t think about it too much. You know, I feel like you know, we all it’s kind of goes back to that trust thing, like

Ryan Freng 1:00:54
you’re saying level like, like, 66162.

John Shoemaker 1:01:01
More set building?

Luke Kolarsky 1:01:02
Yes. I think that we all trust each other, each other’s teammates. And that we know that when we work together, we work together well, and great things come of it. So I don’t really, you know, that there is some pressure there. And I’ll use Max and it’s good pressure. But I it’s not something I worry about. I know. I know. We’ll make great stuff. So

Ryan Freng 1:01:23
I like it. Like yeah, to next year. Cheers. Let’s see where you guys drinking anything special.

Max Olmsted 1:01:29
And special, especially water. Yeah, we stay.

We stay hydrated here.

Ryan Freng 1:01:36
Yeah, we go through a lot of water. Cool. Well, thanks. Thanks for coming on and talking more about this stuff, guys.

Luke Kolarsky 1:01:42
Thanks for having us.

Ryan Freng 1:01:43
All right. I’ll see you guys in like minutes. Right. All right. And then number two, I realized, as we’re kind of winding down here, I’d love to hear like your perspective or any other kind of closing thoughts as well, because we’ve been interviewing everyone else.

John Shoemaker 1:02:00
Yes. I’m thinking about the questions that we just asked them and asking you back to myself. I don’t think that I think about awards during the year. But I definitely think about, you know, doing better and doing the next thing the awards may be kind of like Scott was saying at the beginning. Like, it’s just a nice affirmation like, Oh, okay. Yeah. It’s not to like, downplay it, I don’t want to do that for you know, anyone who’s striving for the awards, like, yes, I want to win awards. But it’s more like, when, when we’re working with our clients, you kind of wish that you could get to that level with more of them. You know, like new ones are hard to, you gotta meet them. And you gotta let people know. And then there’s some clients that are maybe more skeptical, but get to that level, where it’s like, what I want is the Trust for them to know that we really want to do amazing things for them. And all of the effort that we’re putting into it, and any sometimes even disagreements that we have, are actually to serve that purpose. They’re not just to like, disagree. It’s like, well, no, I want this to be the best thing for you. I want it to be successful for what you want. And ROI. Yeah, I want it to be wild, you know, outstanding ROI, all that stuff. That’s why I have this different opinion than what your brain you know, or whatever. Sometimes they’ve got a very clear vision, and sometimes that’s a winning combination. But sometimes, you know, yeah, yeah. I mean, I guess I don’t know, the final point that I’m getting out there. But I think I’m always trying to strive, what’s the next thing? And I do feel pressure for that? Because I’m like, you know, you’re like, Well, what else do Do I have any thing? I mean, I know that yes. But you’re like, do I have more ideas? Do I have new ideas? Yeah, that’s what I know. Yeah,

Ryan Freng 1:04:24
I feel that as well. And it’s interesting, because, again, I think it kind of goes back to that, like, it’s not a competition, but it’s like, the next thing like every next thing, I’m like, Okay, how do I make this better than the last? Not because the last was not good. But because I want to do something different and better and further. You know, I think it’s like, kind of a spectrum of creativity. And it just goes on and on and on. And so we’re kind of exploring that and pushing it further and further and further. And, you know, you look a year ago, you look two years ago, you look three years ago, and I’m still proud of that work, but I’m also very proud of what we’ve been able to continue to develop and where we’ve unable to continue to go. So, for me, that’s kind of the shift in perspective. And I hope that, yeah, year over year, we can be doing better and better stuff and different, you know, in a different way. But it does take that, you know, it takes a great partner, it takes somebody that we can connect with, and doing it

John Shoemaker 1:05:19
with clients to because, right, to some extent, I almost feel I’m probably overconfident. I feel like overconfident that we can do award winning things like internally. But when you’re working with a client, you’re like, Okay, what are the constraints that they have? You know, what are their concerns, or maybe anxieties sometimes about going in a particular direction. And then you’re like, Ah, I, I don’t know, if I can get to the, you know, really great idea. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit with their, their brand. But I mean, that’s our philosophy is that there’s always something like really cool that you could be doing. You just gotta like, it might be a little bit of a leap from like, what you think is safe in the norm. When we do that, internally, we just do whatever we want. But when we’re working with the client, we gotta like, Get get buy in to go for the crazy cool thing.

Ryan Freng 1:06:23
Right? Well, and that idea of experimentation, you know, like, how do you how do you pitch that or sell that? Right? How do you convince someone like, well, we’re gonna try something, you know, slightly new, something we haven’t quite done before. But because we think it’ll work really well for you. And here’s kind of the reasoning why we think it’ll work well. But, you know, you’ve never done it, we’ve done similar things. But this is this is wholly new. So yeah, that’s, it’s interesting. And, with, with great partners, we can do that. You know, like you’re saying, with ourselves, we just do whatever we want. But there’s still that ourselves as client kind of mentality. And we still gotta convince ourselves and convince each other. And, you know, we just have that level of trust that we have, with ourselves, we want with good partners. And we certainly have that with with many, many clients. But yeah, continuing to push it. Is there any other award that you were, I don’t know surprised? Excited about or any other anecdote, you want to share?

John Shoemaker 1:07:23
I am also just wildly excited that we want to, that’s in show for the year call stuff. It is really, really well done. But it’s also that work that is like if it saves some lives, I mean, it’s one of those things that I could be overdramatic and stating it. But like, we’ve heard about lives that have been saved, you know, people that have come out of that, through this campaign, heard about and heard about the thing, and we’re able to make steps to get the help that they need. And you kind of look at that and you’re like, wow, like if that’s all I if I just stopped achieving anything in my career from here forward like that, that would be a career well spent. You know, that’s, you can’t put a price on that or like a level or award on that. So hopefully, we can keep doing amazing things like that. That’s super important work. It’s fun to do the fun goofy stuff, too. Like I said, it’s the whole, you know, we don’t want to be in the middle anywhere we want to be you know, somebody was talking to me recently about like, brand brand personality, and said, Oh, you guys are like Robin Williams. You know, like super intense. heart wrenching. Goofy, funny over the top comedy. You know,

Ryan Freng 1:09:02
interesting. I’ll take it I love that.

John Shoemaker 1:09:05
Yeah. So I was also very surprised and very excited about the the one we were talking about the Gilson How to videos, the comedic ones from from a booklet about how to use these, you know, pipetting equipment, things to an award winning, you know, tutorial campaign. That was pretty exciting to me.

Ryan Freng 1:09:35
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s awesome. Yeah, I think I’ve kind of shared my thoughts as well. So I think that’s what we got for today. It can be a little quickie. Happy Hour I drink through several drinks on both of my carbonated beverages and my water. I’m about to explode here. Like we did it. Alright. Thanks for tuning in. Like, Subscribe. I’d do all the thing if you’re on the podcast, please do leave a review. Those are helpful for us. So, thanks for that. That’s what we got. Thanks again for joining me, John and everyone else, have a great day. See you next time. Buying me back


author avatar
Ryan Freng
Owner and creative director. Shall we begin like David Copperfield? 'I am born...I grew up.' Wait, I’m running out of space? Ah crap, ooh, I’ve got it...