June 14, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Father’s Day Gift Guide

June is officially upon us which means that Father’s Day is coming up fast. If you’re anything like me, sometimes you need a little gift inspiration to kick-off shopping for the dad in your life.

For the dapper dad:

ZB_6.14.15 has the best accessories for your suit-donning dad. If his apparel does not routinely require cufflinks, they offer everything from pocket squares to pocket knives.

One of my favorite trends in men’s fashion lately is fun socks hidden beneath dress pants. A quirky print or colorful plaid subtly shows off personality while still maintaining professionalism.

Qwaky Orange Pattern Duck Socks

Mistley Purple Oxford Socks


Bonus: the brains behind are evidently huge Star Wars fans. If your dad regularly says “I…am your father,” this Darth Vader tie-sock-cufflink combo might be perfect.

For the busy dad who needs a little style assistance:

Does your dad like the idea of shopping but hate crowds, dressing rooms and aimlessly wandering around stores? Then that’s where Men’s Style Lab steps in. If you give dad a gift card, a personal style advisor will talk with him about his current look and how they can help complement and upgrade his style. Soon, a box full of fashionable threads will arrive at his door, giving him five days to try them on. With free shipping both ways and free returns, he can keep what he loves and send the rest back–no strings attached.


For the dad who likes clothes that are as fun as he is:



Summer is the perfect time to liven up a wardrobe with bright colors and fun patterns. I’ve always loved the classic East Coast look that Vineyard Vines delivers in each one of its breezy styles. This summer I’d like to see dads everywhere rocking this Carrick Plaid Cooper Shirt.


For the dad on the go:


Does your dad always seem to be in the car or at the airport; traveling city to city? A man on the road is never fully dressed without a pair of sunglasses to get him through long trips. Make sure he travels in style with Paul Stuart’s sophisticated luggage and newly released Rolled Titanium Aviator sunglasses.


For the adventurous dad:


If your dad already has everything he wants, give him the gift of an experience with the help of Gilt City Chicago. Gilt City hunts for the best experiences in the Chicagoland area–and then sells them to you at a discounted price. Whether your dad has the heart of a sailor or wants to learn how to craft the perfect sushi roll, Gilt City can help you find a gift he’ll never forget.

– Lily Zacharias

June 12, 2015

PR Buzz: Good as Gold

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:50 pm


Last Wednesday, our team attended the Publicity Club of Chicago’s Golden Trumpet Awards, an annual gathering of the city’s finest agencies to celebrate a year of the finest work in the world of public relations. Our agency was nominated for two awards for our work with and Block 37. We walked away with two Golden Trumpets, and also one of the top four awards of the night: The Jeffrey D. Bierig Brand Builder Award (for enhancing and promoting a brand) for

As David reminds us – industry awards can often come across as “self-aggrandizing.” However, it’s the perfect opportunity for our team to reflect on our work and collaboration with our clients. Furthermore, beyond just the beautiful statues in our office, the award entries process helps elevate our agency’s overall performance for all clients:

We’re Results-Driven: We incorporate metrics immediately upon being retained by a client. The only way to win industry awards is to showcase how our work directly impacted a client’s brand and business.

Drive for Creativity: Delivering an innovative campaign can be quite time consuming, but it’s imperative to the success of our accounts. After reviewing Zapwater’s past award-winning entries, it’s easy to see that creativity was the core of each strategy. As a strategic agency, we celebrate (and thrive) on innovation.

In the end, we celebrate our accolades for the campaign’s excellence, and also because it’s made us a better agency for having entered in the first place.

– Jenn Lake, Vice President

June 1, 2015

Client Happenings: Chicago Says “AHOY!” to Elite Yacht with Christening at Navy Pier

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:04 pm

Chicago Elite, the city’s newest private charter yacht, celebrated the launch of its $1 million renovation with a ceremonial christening at Navy Pier on May 26. Providing Chicago with the most innovative and accommodating private charter yacht, Chicago Elite features sensational views, a contemporary setting, customizable options, and an exclusive dining and entertainment experience.


Photo courtesy of Instagram, @emilycleary10

Since the 1800’s, a boat has been christened by breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched. Chicago Elite was christened by President and CEO of Navy Pier Marilynn Gardner with a bottle of Moët & Chandon.


Photo courtesy of Instagram, @alexandramex

The ceremony featured Alicia Roman of NBC Chicago as Master of Ceremonies, a performance by the Budlong Elementary School Choir and the St. Ida’s Children’s Choir, remarks by Vice President and General Manager of Entertainment Cruises Chicago Dan Russell, and a display by the Chicago Fire Department’s fire boat. Following the ceremony, Chicago Elite hosted a private cocktail reception with stunning views of Chicago’s skyline.

Chicago Elite’s endless options for food, beverages, entertainment, and flexible boarding and cruising times allow for a completely customized event that’s exactly to your specifications. Enjoy all the prestige of cruising on your own private yacht for a meeting, celebration or unique gathering. For a whole new way to experience Chicago, come aboard and explore the ships modern, refreshed interiors, perfect for customizing your private events. For additional details, please visit

– Brigid Parr, Senior Publicist

May 26, 2015

ZAP Bites: Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas and Sugar Snaps

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 2:00 pm


Today, we’re talking being a veggie, oh, and couscous.

Being a vegetarian has been an interesting journey, especially here in the food capital of the U.S. I didn’t eat red meat for years, but decided to make the full transition about seven years ago and couldn’t be happier. Whether for health, ethical or environmental reasons (I’ll keep mine to myself), the food landscape has changed drastically for my kind. What used to be meals of pasta primavera (still a wedding favorite…) or eggplant Parmesan has evolved for the much better and much tastier.

Restaurants of all levels have embraced that diets no longer just encompass meat and potatoes, working to create special menus or specific items that are not only vegetarian-friendly, but vegan and gluten-free, as well. Gone are the days of overcooked pasta and heavily fried pieces of one of the less desirable veggies on the market. These are the days of inspired dishes, unique updates on classics (think veggie lasagna, chickpea burgers, etc..) and flavor-packed dishes that even the heaviest of meat-eaters can enjoy. All-in-all, it’s a great time to be a veghead in Chicago.

Given these changes and circumstances, I still find it funny when people ask me that age-old (and tireless) question, “But, what do you eat?” Because these days, compared to seven years ago, the options seem endless. And in case you’re still wondering what us veggies eat, I’m sharing one of my new favorite recipes that’s not only delicious, but a perfect way to usher in this warmer weather below!

If this dish has got you jonsing for more vegetarian options or info, cookbooks are still your best friend. Many vegetarian cookbooks include a sample week’s grocery list that make cooking up some tasty go-tos pretty simple. I’m also a firm believer in Pinterest for any and all things food-related. I also love the ease of Epicurious’ app, which can help you whip up just about anything from the ingredients you have at hand. Finally, I encourage everyone to try out one of the new vegetarian (or classic) dishes popping up at restaurants throughout the city. You might be surprised by just how much you like it!


Serves 4-6 as a side
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced and divided
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 1/3 cups Israeli (Pearl) Couscous
• 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
• 14 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) thin asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 8 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 cup shelled frozen sweet peas, defrosted
• 1/3 cup finely diced scallions
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons oil, 1 garlic clove, lemon juice, and lemon zest; set dressing aside.

In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add couscous and a dash salt; sauté until most of couscous is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if too dry.

In the meantime, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in a large nonstick sauté pan. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.

Add couscous to bowl with vegetables. Drizzle dressing over. Add scallions and cheese; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve right away or at room temperature.

Recipe and image via Very Culinary.

– Stephanie Poquette, Account Supervisor

May 13, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Gilt City LA Spring Warehouse Sale is Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:51 am


We have been prepping for the Gilt City LA Warehouse sale for months and are so excited it’s finally here!  It’s one of the most anticipated sales of the year.  It’s the only time of year consumers get to shop the most coveted brands, including both up-and-coming designers and the most venerable fashion houses like Zac Posen, Helmut Lang, Missoni, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera and more. For the guys, think Paul Smith, John Varvatos, and GANT, just to name a few.

In addition to shopping, celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg will be on site doing makeovers and Gilt Lifestyle Editor Chassie Post will be dishing out styling tips.  Tune into KTLA on Friday to catch a segemtn with Chassie and four models, as they highlight some of this season’s trends and what to look for at the sale.

Get your tickets now on Gilt City LA’s webpage, and we hope to see you there!

– Katie Foley

May 12, 2015

Client Happenings: All Aboard for Memorial Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:30 am


What better way to kick off the beginning of summer than on a weekend long excursion on Lake Michigan? Forget making burgers on the grill and lounging on the patio, celebrate this Memorial Day weekend aboard the Odyssey! Taste Odyssey’s new menu, dance away to amazing music from the interactive DJ and take in the incredible views of the Chicago skyline! This is perfect for family and friends looking to celebrate the holiday for either a day or for all weekend long while enjoying the gorgeous weather. Details of the cruises are below:

Friday, May 22nd

Saturday, May 23rd:

Sunday, May 24th:

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

– Huong Spais, Assistant Publicist

May 7, 2015

ZAP Decor: A Colorful Home Refresh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:28 am

As the seasons change it’s always fun to rejuvenate your home décor. An easy way to do this without breaking the bank on expensive furniture is a simple accessory refresh. One of our clients, Room & Board, offers a variety of colorful options from pillows and throws to vases and wall art will have your space looking brand new!



Shimmer Pillow ($99)

This pillow makes a perfect addition to your couch or bed, offering a subtle shine to the overall look.


Destination Tag Chicago ($399)

Wall art is a great update for any room in your apartment and I love this bright blue hue. This would also add a fun pop of color to your gallery wall.


Horizon Plaid Throw ($169)

This throw really warms up a space. Simply fold at the end of your bed or on your couch for an easy and bright update.

– Stephanie Reay, Senior Publicist





May 3, 2015

ZAP Refresh: Newest Fitness Trend? Mixing It Up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 11:10 am

2015-02-18 20.16.31

How do you know its springtime in Chicago?

  1. It’s light out when you come in to the office and when you leave at night
  2. Lake Shore Path is suddenly filled with the foot traffic equivalent of I-90 at rush hour
  3. Even the smallest patches of concrete in the city are set up for al fresco dining
  4. All of the above

That’s right…it’s springtime in Chicago and everyone (I mean everyone) is excited about it. It was a long and brutal winter not for the faint of heart.

So what does that mean? That’s right kids…it’s time to put away those winter sweaters you’ve been hiding under and kick it into high gear. Bikini season is just around the corner.

Now, if you’re like me, this winter has been hard. I consider myself a pretty big health freak and I’ve definitely fallen into a bit of a slump lately. Call me crazy but with subzero temps and buckets of snow on the ground, just getting to the gym feels like a workout.

Luckily, Chicago recently launched ClassPass, a mix-and-match class membership program addressing a growing preference for on-demand style variety in workouts. For just $99 a month, users can access unlimited classes at more than 100 studios around the city ranging from cycling, yoga, Pilates, barre, strength training, bootcamp, dance, and so much more.

I’m a sucker for anything new and fitness related so, a few weeks ago, I signed up. I’m so excited to try out all the different options available. Hopefully, it will be enough to bust me out of hibernation mode. Spring training season is in full effect!

– Morgan Bellock, Account Director

April 29, 2015

Client Happenings: Virgin Hotels Celebrates First-Ever Grand Opening in Chicago

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 9:53 pm

This year marked a milestone for Chicago and the history of the Virgin brand with the opening of Virgin Hotels first-ever hotel property. Virgin Hotels Chicago officially marked its grand opening on April 16, with a spectacle fitting of Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin brand

Crowds stormed the Chicago streets outside of the hotel to watch Sir Richard Branson inaugurate his first hotel while recreating the iconic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off parade scene, complete with a replica of the original float and singing renditions of Twist & Shout and Danke Schoen. It truly was one for the books!


Prior to opening its doors, Zapwater had the unique opportunity to work with the brand and engage potential local consumers through some one-of-a-kind activations. From CHema Skndl! painting rumors surrounding the hotel and mini-Richard Branson’s on the construction site, to dropping welcome mats in front of other hotels to announce the arrival, to hooking up W City Center and JW Marriot hotel guests with free Wi-Fi from a branded truck, to finally an intimate rooftop dinner across from the hotel serving as a Peep Show of the upcoming menu. Locals were certainly buzzing about the hotel and couldn’t wait for the iconic brand to open.

Watch all the pre-opening fun unfold at: Shake Things Up with Virgin Hotels Chicago

The hotel itself is located in heart of Chicago’s Loop district in the historic Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash Ave. The 26-story Art Deco building, a Chicago landmark, offers 250 guest rooms, including 40 one-bedroom suites and two Penthouse Suites.

Since the Virgin Hotels brand inception, eliminating fees and surcharges has been top priority, along with creating an experience that allows guests to feel that Virgin Hotels is their place in the city. A champion of the customer, the hotel brand offers free Wi-Fi (at unlimited bandwidth) and has eliminated early check-in fees, late check-out fees, room service delivery charges, business center transactions, and other services that have caused frustration for travelers.

Several of the building’s original features remain intact and are showcased throughout, like a beautiful 1920’s oak Cigar Bar that serves as the hotel’s front desk, ornate brass elevator doors, and the original mail slot and chute serving all floors.

At the heart of Virgin Hotels Chicago is The Commons Club, a dynamic space where guests can dine, drink, work and mingle, as well as attend the nightly hosted Social Hour. The vibe is one of a private members club, without the fees, where guests and locals alike are welcome. The two-story space it occupies was the original bank floor with its beautiful coffered plaster ceiling.

The Commons Club menu, created by Chef Rick Gresh, features a variety of internationally influenced small plates, from Stuffed Potato Tots to a Cauliflower Caesar to Cider Mussels to a Lobster Flatbread and the Eye of the Ribeye, Chef Gresh’s one-of-a-kind black truffle tattoo technique adorned on a Ribeye served with bone marrow mac n cheese.

The hotel offers four additional dining options, including Miss Ricky’s, a late-night All-American diner on the ground floor of the hotel. The restaurant is an indulgent dream and features amazing modern takes on diner fair.

To kick-off the opening of Miss Ricky’s, Zapwater and the hotel engaged with local foodies, bloggers and influencers for an all-day Instagram party. Guests were invited in to try out the delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options and snap a picture using the hashtag #QuickyWithRicky to track the conversation. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the photos were just as tasty as the food itself.

Watch a recap of the activation at: Get Behind the Scenes at Miss Ricky’s & Dig In

Two Zero Three, named for the hotels address, serves as a coffee house by day, wine bar by night, featuring locally brewed coffee by Bow Truss and a selection of rare and unique wines. A variety of house-baked pastries, regional cheeses and locally produced charcuterie are also served.


Cerise, a rooftop bar and lounge located on the hotel’s 26th floor is a collaboration with Italian designer, Paola Navone. The space embodies a whimsical and playful aesthetic, giving guests a peek inside her wild imagination. From the moment guests depart the elevators, they are immersed in bold hues of blue with touches of red and green, unexpected trinkets from Navone’s global travels and expansive views of Chicago’s historic architectural skyline, including the Jewelers’ Building. Cerise expands the entire width of the hotel, including a terrace that wraps around three sides. Two bars are situated at the far ends of the rooftop, with an assortment of large, plush couches both indoors and out. The menu features Izakaya-inspired fare and an incredible cocktail program. Cerise officially opened it’s doors on April 29, but not before having a killer kick-off party with Questlove.


The best part are the chambers! Featuring a two-chamber room layout, with small touches that make traveling for business or leisure an easier experience, Virgin’s guest rooms are truly one-of-a-kind. All rooms are divided into two spaces by sliding doors, complete with a peephole. The dressing room includes a full vanity, make-up desk and mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and his and hers closets. Virgin has also taken the bed to another level with its ergonomic design and plush bedding.

The hotel is truly an urban paradise and incorporates all of the things a modern day traveler is looking for in one smart space.

– Annie Block, Vice President

April 28, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Blohaute

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:12 pm

With summer and festival season right around the corner (although our Chicago weather is deceiving at times), I’m needing all the help I can get with styling my curly hair. Amazingly, with the new app, Blohaute, I can have all of this done in the comfort of my own home!

Some of my favorite hair trends for summer always include braids or an up-do to keep my mane in check when the weather turns humid. I’m a huge Instagram user, so browsing through the Blohaute page is one of the first places I check for a new how-to style. The best part is, if I can’t do one of the unique and intricate braids that Amanda showcases on her page, all I have to do is simply log in to the Blohaute app or visit the website online and book one of the stylists to come to my door step – as little as an hour before!

How amazing are these hairstyles below? All five are on my hair to-do list, especially this summer. I can already imagine all the great events these hair styles will be joining me on! To get one of these styles created in your hair, make sure to check out Blohaute for all kinds of awesome information and inspiration.


– Katie Neimiec, Assistant Publicist

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