Finding the Right Fit

January 22nd, 2015 by Molly Danks

If you ask any of our clients or our very own team members, what the best thing about Hyperquake is, you will typically get more than one answer. Often, responses include; the amazing project work, exceptional client service, our fun and relaxed atmosphere or sometimes even a reference to a memorable agency outing or experience. While these responses tend to vary from person to person, there is usually one consistent answer on everyone’s favorites list- Our people.

Hyperquake has always prided ourselves on taking the time to make sure that each person joining our team not only has unique skillsets and experiences, but also, the personality, passion and drive that will allow them to contribute to our agency from day one while growing within our team. Whether recruiting co op students, directors or for entry level roles, we search to uncover each candidate’s true potential and determine who will be most able to contribute to the agency goals and truly make an impact on the work that we do.

Often, the people doing the work are behind the scenes- But, not today. We thought we would share a little more about our team, so you can see first hand, how great and unique we all are!

First up, meet Kelsey Hamada Moffe, our General Accountant who has been contributing to the team since 2012.


Kelsey with her husband and pups.

I’m originally from Walla Walla, WA and moved to Cincinnati to attend the University of Cincinnati…GO BEARCATS! After graduation, I worked briefly in public accounting and then transitioned to a healthcare information management company up in Blue Ash.

In my free time, you can find usually find me at a UC game, since I am head coach of the dance team. I also enjoy spending time with family, friends and my dogs.

Three things you may not know about me:
1. My dad is a Walla Walla sweet onion farmer and I didn’t eat onions until recently.
2. I talk to my dogs like they’re people…yes, they understand me and yes, I’m a crazy dog person.
3. Although I was on the dance team at UC during school, I now consider myself retired and will (hopefully) not be bringing back any moves for company parties/outings.



Also, meet, our design Co op student, Andria Mierzwiak who recently joined the team this month.

Andria, while capturing shots of her favorite animal.


I’m originally from the Toledo area, but DAAP brought me down here. I grew up with 8 older siblings, five of whom are step-siblings, and I have all of them to thank for my thick skin and any early stages of gray hair that you might see. I also have a younger brother who we’ve recently adopted from Haiti!

Outside of work/school, I really enjoy running, baking/cooking, and photography. Oh, and a good read, which usually ends up being a murder mystery.

Fun facts about me:
1. I’ve jumped off of the world’s tallest bungee (I have video evidence!)
2. I’ve gone cage diving with great white sharks
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with elephants
Bonus: My life sounds a lot more exciting than it typically is.



Keep an eye out for future introductions, so you can continue to get to know more about Hyperquake and our team members!

And if you are looking for some tips to help with recruiting at your company, or tips on what creative agencies like ours may be looking for in a candidate, please read this!


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Portaluca Part 2

September 26th, 2014 by Molly Danks

Portaluca, formally known as 4th Street Boutique, has launched their new brand!


Last year, Hyperquake created the new brand name, story and identity for Portaluca.  To commemorate the launching of the new brand, Portaluca honored all contributing members at the ceremony in August.  Hyperquake is excited to have been a part of such a powerful cause and transformation.


Christopher Corgiat and Lauren Kroger, happily accepting our award!


Please visit the store located on 4thStreet in downtown Cincinnati. All donations and proceeds support Dress for Success Cincinnati.

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Sparking Ideas by Switching Things Up

June 24th, 2014 by Molly Danks

As an innovative design & branding agency, we are regularly tasked with thinking outside of the box when researching for projects.  Recently, we were given the opportunity to work with a company on a project related to male grooming and the art of shaving, so we decided to have an internal brainstorming session.  As part of our session for this specific project, we began to think about how men vs women shave.  Knowing that sometimes the best thoughts or insights can come from the most unlikely sources, we decided to put ourselves to the test and shake things up a little. You don’t believe me?

Hyperquake team switching it up!

So, we presented the team with a bunch of disposable razors and shaving cream. To truly gain some interesting insights, the women were tasked with shaving their faces and the men were challenged with shaving their legs! The men were totally up for the challenge! We females, however, opted to keep the cover on our razors, fearing stubble or thicker hair regrowth as a result of shaving our faces would not be worth any findings that this research may yield.

Nevertheless, it was so interesting to see how women reacted to using shaving cream on their faces for the first time- almost every female in the room smeared the shaving cream right across their faces, including their nose!  The guys thought that this was strange, but to a female that typically applies only a moisturizer or face soap, the nose is just as important to include in the application process!  The women had so many questions as to which way to shave- with the grain, against the grain, aftershave or no aftershave, etc.  The men had answers. Shaving cream was a must!  Aftershave seemed to be optional, and most of the men had similar techniques.  From a female perspective, moving a sharp razor across the face, was something that required total concentration and precision.  As a female that regularly nicks an ankle or knee during a “quick” shave before laying out poolside, this was definitely not an option when it came to shaving the face. Oh by the way, did I mention the smell of that stuff?  Definitely some room for improvement.

Holly & me experiencing shaving like a man.

Now, for the men shaving their legs, the pictures tell it all! The shaving cream was a must for them with the hairy jungle that they were about to tackle and it was so interesting to see how the women’s shaving cream slipped right out of their hands! No to mention, the balancing act of hiking one leg above your waist was that similar to a circus performance.  The men couldn’t believe how difficult it was to balance and shave all at the same time. And, the length of the process was surprising to them.  As they complained about how much time it was taking, it made total sense when we females realized that shaving cream for us, was not a necessity.  In fact, most often, not even used at all!

Dustin & Christopher balancing the art of shaving.

Thinking outside of our regular shaving roles, proved to be both fun and insightful.  It is always a good idea to switch things up and find insights and inspiration wherever you can find them.  The strangest things can spark the greatest ideas.  Check out 5 Fresh Ways to Spark Creativity.  Maybe you or your organization can incorporate some of these techniques into your next brainstorm or meeting!



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ArtsWave Agency Challenge

May 12th, 2014 by Molly Danks

ArtsWave is the first and largest united arts fund in the country. You may not realize that it supports more than 100 arts organizations that help to make Cincinnati an amazing place to live!  Places like ArtsWorks, Cincinnati Ballet, Playhouse in the Park, CAC, Ensemble Theatre, Findlay Market, and the Children’s Theatre may not exist without the support of such donations from local companies and individuals. Currently, the 2014 ArtsWave Community Campaign is in full swing and is one of the main drivers for community donations for the organization.

Hyperquake was committed to making a company donation, but we didn’t want to stop there.  So we came up with a plan to share the information about ArtsWave with our team members to see if we could get everyone onboard with providing support.  For everyone that made a contribution, we had an afternoon planned to include lunch and the opportunity to participate in some fun art related activities with the chance to win a team prize, and most importantly – bragging rights!

We broke the agency into small teams to compete in four art categories; Painting, Sculpting, Acting & Photography. Each category was faced with a unique challenge; from painting a portrait of one of our partners while blind folded, to sculpting their favorite zoo animal with one hand tied behind their back! Everyone agreed this was a really fun way to think about the arts and work as a team to contribute to such a great cause.

Emily Zalla, designer at Hyperquake, painting while blindfolded.

Directors, Sherwood MacVeigh and Shari Ernst, work as a team to sculpt a snake with one hand behind their back.

Color photo submission titled, "Work Hard, Play Hard"

Our main objective was to remind everyone the importance of supporting the arts in our city and how our donations can continue to help make Cincinnati a significant city within the arts world.  We reached our team goal and had a great time doing so!

If you are interested in making a donation or learning more about the organization, please check out their website,

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Portaluca Part 1

February 24th, 2014 by Lauren

In 2013, Hyperquake partnered with Dress for Success, one of the nation’s most influential charities that benefit women. The Dress for Success marketing team asked that Hyperquake lend our strategic and design expertise to help redesign the logo for their biggest driver of revenue, 4th Street Boutique. 4th Street Boutique is located in downtown Cincinnati and has been keeping women fashionable for less since 2002.

What started out as a simple re-branding project, soon evolved into much more. To accommodate 4th Street Boutique’s growing business success, expanding to multiple locations, it became clear that it needed a powerful identity system to support business growth and stand the test of time. Hyperquake, in collaboration with 4th Street Boutique, created the name and designed the identity for Portaluca.

Portaluca stands for personal strength and the power to truly realize and achieve your dreams. This is everything that Dress for Success stands for and helps women achieve everyday. We are so thrilled to have been a part of this inspiring cause and having the opportunity to create a powerful identity system that truly speaks to the cause.

4th Street Boutique will be debuting the brand later this year — more photos to come soon!


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Zoofari Part 2

September 27th, 2013 by

As Jen McLaughlin, Client Manager at Hyperquake, mentioned in our last blog post, we were named Zoofari’s Creative Partner for 2013. We had a lot of fun partnering with The Cincinnati Zoo, as we crafted the event’s visual style and print collateral…almost as much fun as we had celebrating at the event!

It was a night of wild weather as well as “A Night of Luxury” at Zoofari 2013. The heavy rain could not stop the more than 2,500 guests that attended the Zoo’s annual fundraiser. And, as you can see from the pictures below, the Hyperquake team had a fabulous time at the event. Not only was there amazing food (I think I made it to more than half of the 50 restaurants that were present), festive decorations, signature cocktails and African entertainment, it was wonderful to visit with friends and clients. Zoofari truly lived up to its tagline “A Night of Wild Luxury” (what brainiacs came up with that?) and we cannot wait until next year’s event!

Inside the tent

(it was equivalent to the length of a football field!)

Hyperquake's best dressed couple

Zoofari client leads

Framester fun

Part of the Hyperquake team

Jen, Dustin, Christopher & I


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Zoofari Part 1

August 27th, 2013 by

In January the Cincinnati Zoo selected Hyperquake as its Zoofari creative partner for 2013. Hyperquake and client team members gathered August 20 at the Zoo’s new Africa exhibit to celebrate the project’s successful completion. Hyperquake collaborated with the Zoo to develop the event’s visual style and created print collateral including a corporate sponsor piece, save-the-date mailer, poster, invitation, and program.

We look forward to attending Zoofari’s “A Night of Wild Luxury” on Friday, September 20. Thank you to our friends at the Zoo for being a wonderful partner!


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An Incredible Internship

August 5th, 2013 by

First, I would like to apologize for not posting more blogs during my two-month internship at Hyperquake. The fact of the matter is, I have been so incredibly busy that I haven’t had time to blog. However, I don’t consider this a bad thing.

While at Hyperquake, I have had the opportunity to learn about the capabilities and activities of multiple departments, including Strategy, Client Leadership and Operations. And, I worked on numerous projects for each of them.

I particularly enjoyed working in the Strategy department, where my responsibilities included brand-building, brand identity, brand equity and story mapping. I also created Front End Innovation (FEI) content and identity development for a new consumer products (CP) technology. One of Hyperquake’s senior strategists became a valuable mentor, offering me great career advice. We even started a book club and discussed Brand Portfolio Strategy by David A. Aaker.

But my role as an intern didn’t stop there. I researched and analyzed local and national competitors to assist Hyperquake in its corporate rebranding program. I conducted trend and cultural research to analyze market  research data, creating a holistic summary of the findings. Along with editing and proofreading internal and external documents, I also generated agency awareness through blogging and social media tactics.

Project leaders asked me to present in numerous client meetings and on conference calls. I felt honored that Hyperquake allowed me to interact with clients; most interns don’t have that opportunity.

As a result of my experience at Hyperquake, my interest in the branding, marketing and advertising industry has skyrocketed. Additionally, I have gained valuable skills that will help me solve problems in a creative and constructive manner, analyzing unconventional and challenging angles to find the most inventive solution.

I want to thank everyone at Hyperquake for investing in my future by providing me with fun and unique opportunities for training, mentoring and hands-on work experience. Thanks, also for welcoming me into this creative, collaborative community. I will miss you all. Now… it’s time to return to Hanover College and hit the books!

International lunch day at Hyperquake. One of the many fun events this summer!

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Trending in Otavalo, Ecuador

June 12th, 2013 by

Who would have thought that while traveling in South America, I would experience first-hand two important market segmentation trends: celebration nation and targeted messages?

This past April and May, I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! With my professor and fellow students from Hanover College, I traveled throughout Ecuador and Peru for nearly a month for an intensive Spanish language and culture class credit. One weekend, we visited the Ecuadorian city of Otavalo, home to one of the largest, and most famous, indigenous markets in Latin America.

Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes so, naturally, I was thrilled when I entered the artesian market, which was composed of a maze of stalls, draped with colorful textiles and sparkly silver jewelry. It was amazing to see all of the Ecuadorian artisanal goods so proudly and beautifully displayed. Otavalo truly celebrates the beauty, talent and pride of Ecuador.

Otavalo’s connection with my internship here at Hyperquake hit me when I read an article from entitled “10 Crucial Trends for 2013.” One of those trends is celebration nation: According to the article, emerging markets (like Ecuador) are “exporting and flaunting their cultural and national heritage.” Cultural uniqueness is infusing the marketplace, and is evident in everything from high fashion to furniture. This influx of new identities and ideas is incredibly exciting, creative and inspirational!

Otavalo’s streets were lined on both sides with dozens of vendors, each displaying their products in hopes of catching shoppers’ eyes. Vendors would call from their stalls, encouraging me to buy from them and not their neighbor. When I found something that intrigued me, I would ask the vendor the cost of the item in Spanish. Bartering is an accepted, and expected, practice in Otavalo so it is very important to ask for a price point in which to start the negotiation process.

Prepared to converse in Spanish, I was very surprised when some vendors responded to my Spanish inquiries in English. This puzzled and frustrated me. I’d been studying Spanish for nearly six years and the main purpose of my trip was to improve my speaking skills. I wanted to use Spanish in all situations—especially a business atmosphere.

I purchased beautiful scarves, jewelry and artesian goods at Otavalo!

It wasn’t until I returned home, started at Hyperquake, and read another article, “Designer of 2015 Trends,” on, that I realized why some vendors immediately switched to English when speaking with me. They were using the trend of targeted messages—sales pitches in English—to better appeal to their customer, me. “Designer of 2015 Trends” reports that broad messages intended for large audiences are shifting to personalized messages for a smaller audience. One way to make messages more specific is to examine the culture of the audience.

By my accent, most vendors could probably tell that I was American. It is possible that based on their previous experience and knowledge of Americans, they assumed my knowledge of Spanish would be limited and I would prefer to haggle in my native tongue. After all, I was the potential customer and they wanted to make my buying experience as easy and enjoyable as possible, so they targeted their messages to me in English.

My experience in Otavalo demonstrates the importance of understanding and respect when interacting with people from different cultures. From appreciation stems celebration!


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A Captivating COOP

June 7th, 2013 by

What do most college students crave during their summers? Sun and fun? Sure. But, the majority of students also are looking for an opportunity to work in the “real world.” An internship or COOP is one of the most valuable experiences that students can have because these jobs allow them to apply what they’ve learned in class and to explore different career choices. As a Communication major and member of the Business Scholars Program at Hanover College, a liberal arts school near Madison, Indiana, I craved the chance to work in the marketing and branding industry. I was fortunate to be named the Marketing and Business Development Coordinator COOP here at Hyperquake for this summer. A dream job!

Gorgeous view of Paul Brown Stadium and the Ohio River from Hyperquake's downtown Cincinnati office.

Summer interns may expect that they will be fetching coffee and taking meeting notes at their organizations. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that at Hyperquake my duties will include writing, researching and assisting with projects that full-time employees are working on. In fact, on my second day in the office, I joined a team that is creating a name for a non-profit boutique affiliated with Dress for Success, Cincinnati. My ideas and opinions were encouraged and positively received by my coworkers! Immediately, I felt as though my opinions and skill sets were valued… which leads me to my favorite thing about Hyperquake—the people.

My first day, I felt very overwhelmed—as does everyone at the beginning of a new job. But after personal welcomes from the leaders of the company and introductions from members from each department, I relaxed. Hyperquake is one big family. Through my training sessions, I experienced the nurturing environment of this community. My coworkers took time out of their extremely busy schedules to teach me the ins and outs of computers, programs and projects.

Hyperquake’s youthful, creative and inspirational atmosphere is absolutely captivating—I can’t wait to come into the office every day. This company’s unique culture fosters happy employees and, ultimately, outstanding strategic and creative output. I am so excited to learn about all aspects of Hyperquake: Strategy, Client Leadership, Design, New Business and so much more. I feel so valued and special here. Even after just one week, I can report that Hyperquake is the perfect fit for me.

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