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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Picture This!

August 6th, 2013 by lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

Hyperquake Creative Director Dan Barczak’s article, “Photo Finish: How product photography is elevating package design,” is the cover story for Package Design Magazine’s June/July 2013 issue. Dan discusses how using photography in package design can be engaging and differentiating, and explains how three brands are using on-pack photography to resonate with consumers.

Dan also explores four ways that photography can be used in packaging design to attract consumers: authenticity, appetite appeal, unexpected cleverness and emotional connection. Each of the three brands he explores–Qizini, Übernuts and Petcurean–exemplify the evolving methods of using photographs in packaging.

By implementing qualities of realism in photography, Qizini magnifies the freshness and quality of its pizza’s ingredients; this packaging creates authenticity and ignites the consumer’s hunger.

Übernuts uses cleverness and humor in its packaging to engage a younger consumer audience. Having nuts performing a song or playing with a basketball humanizes the product and makes it more relatable for consumers.

Petcurean’s new premium dog and cat food brands, Go! and Now, depict dynamic black-and-white action shots of an animal running on each package. The company even names the pets on the back, creating an immediate emotional connection with the consumer by reminding them about the furry members of their families.

Dan endorses photography in package design as the ideal way to attract consumers’ attention in our fast-paced world.


Download the PDF of “Photo Finish.”


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Trending in Otavalo, Ecuador

June 12th, 2013 by lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

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 trendwatching.com 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 Aiga.org, 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 lauren.schultz@hyperquake.com

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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Consumer Consciousness & Brand Expectations: The True Drivers of Health Insurance Transformation

March 21st, 2013 by Allison Bradley

Transformation is coming to the health insurance industry…but for very different reasons than most people think.

On October 1, 2013, the launch of health insurance exchanges, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will mark a paradigm shift within the industry. At first glance it appears as though politicians and public policy are steering this transformation. In reality, the power resides with the people. Consumer consciousness and brand expectations are the true drivers of transformational change in the health insurance industry.

Recent history repeating itself

In the not-so-distant-past, banking had an industry-altering event that prompted it to become more consumer-centric: the 2007-2008 U.S. financial crisis. In the wake of bank bailouts due to insolvency from sub-prime mortgage losses and other adverse industry practices, people became more aware of how patriarchal banks were. They noticed products and services were developed to benefit the institutions rather than their customers. Eyes newly opened, consumer trust in financial institutions was eradicated. As a result, an industry that historically looked out for its needs first and consumers’ second had to transform its business model to win over a very skeptical American public. To their credit, numerous financial institutions responded remarkably well by launching new customer-centric products and services.

Facing the future, one member at a time

The current combination of policy, politics, and the national conversation around health care’s future are the health insurance industry’s version of the banking crisis. These events have raised consumer consciousness and interest in the workings of the U.S. health care system to historic levels. These events have also forced an industry response to consumers’ dissatisfaction with their perceived sub-par health care category experience, including the rising cost and impersonal nature of health insurance.

Like banking, the health insurance industry has not traditionally focused on its end user, the plan member. Until recently, companies have devoted their attention to developing products for the wholesale employer market; mitigating risk and controlling utilization; and, keeping their balance sheets in the black. Reform has changed that business model. Analysts predict that coverage through individual insurance markets (exchanges) is projected to increase by 23-69 million between 2012 and 2021. The result: insurance companies can no longer craft brand strategies or products solely for the employer that is purchasing healthcare plans for its employees. Instead, insurers must consider and speak to the needs, emotions, and values of their end user—the individual member.

Some health insurers have jumped in front of this new branding and communications challenge. They are taking cues from consumer packaged goods brands by drawing upon traditional toolkits for consumer marketing: themed messages, loyalty and rewards programs and new brand marks. Consumer-focused re-branding and marketing campaigns are only the first step in the right direction. Health insurers must deliver on their promises by building their products, services and brand around improving member health versus merely mitigating risk and cost. A few notable insurers already have begun to create such offerings:

  • In July 2012, New York State insurer Independent Health introduced a new approach to innovate health care delivery, The Primary Connection. This program elevates primary care physicians’ (PCPs) role in patient management by placing them at the center of patient care and coordination. The program also provides PCPs with the tools and incentives to collaborate with Independent Health. Each primary care practice has an assigned Practice Care Coordinator, a registered nurse, who plans, coordinates and evaluates all options and services available to develop individualized care plans for each patient. In addition, The Primary Connection contains a reimbursement model based on pay-for-value and quality of care rather than full reliance on fee-for-service.
  • In September 2012, Walmart and HumanaVitality partnered to create a healthy foods program to incentivize wellness. This program allows HumanaVitality members to receive five percent savings on foods that display the Walmart “Great for You” icon, like fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. To participate, members log onto HumanVitality.com and complete a health assessment questionnaire. They then receive a “Vitality HealthyFood” card qualifying them for the savings, which are loaded onto the member’s card as a credit toward their next purchase. These points can be used for redemption on anything sold in store at Walmart.

The brand is the experience, and the experience is the brand

In addition to dealing with reform-related branding challenges, health insurers must manage and leverage changes in consumer information-gathering and purchasing behaviors. The advent of “me-centered” technologies such as smartphones and tablets has given consumers instant access to information and products that target their specific needs and desires – from household goods to health insurance. As a result, insurance brands must adopt a new philosophy about brand-consumer engagement: the brand is the experience and the experience is the brand.

For starters, insurance companies must begin to develop brand equities and promises that meet the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders – members, brokers, administrators, physicians, et al – in equal yet individually relevant ways. Doing so will make their brand experiences personal and positive. In addition, insurers must evaluate all products, services and operational choices against the litmus test of fulfilling these brand promises. Similar to changes within the banking industry, health insurers must also restructure their brand architecture to reflect that they are consumer-driven service organizations versus patriarchal institutions. Finally, they must adapt and change their public personas – in word and deed – from untouchable, distant institutions to brands that represent the voice of the consumer

Health care reform may be the tipping point but consumers are the way forward. Regardless of politics, U.S. health care is evolving to become more consumer-centric. In response, health insurance companies must become consumer-focused brands – regardless if those consumers come to them via an employer, state exchange or other individual policy – if they hope to be viewed as allies in the quest to transform the U.S. health care system.

Allison Bradley is Brand Strategy Director at Hyperquake.  She can be reached at allison.bradley (at) hyperquake (dot) com.

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Hyperquake teams up with the Reds

August 31st, 2012 by Molly Danks

As I sat in section 121, with a next-door neighbor from Boston on my left and a boyfriend from Chicago on my right, I couldn’t help but think how strange it was that I was a lone Reds fan sandwiched between these two outsiders. As a child, there was never any question as to who I was rooting for.  A family of 5 dressed in matching Reds attire, didn’t leave much to question. But now all grown up, sans the Reds flare, sitting next to a Cubies fan and a whomever-people-from-Boston-root-for-fan, people had to ask me which team was mine. For a fan like myself, that cares more about having a good time rather than who is winning or losing, I stick with the Reds because of tradition, and I go to the game when I get a good deal.

As the game went on, I noticed the lawn crew out on the field, dragging the Scotts Lawn Care equipment, and I couldn’t help but think about effective marketing tactics and the work that my agency had done with the Cincinnati Reds.  So, I anxiously looked around the ballpark for any signs of our work. Where was it?  I can’t say that I wasn’t slightly confused that the work we helped to create seemed nowhere to be found.

I had a couple more Yuenglings and watched the Reds play some excellent baseball, and soon forgot all about marketing and branding until Monday morning when I was in a meeting. I thanked the Bosses for letting me use the company seats, and told them about my search for our work, and how I couldn’t locate a single thing.  That’s when I realized that I might never physically see the work that we did with the Cincinnati Reds.

Not because the work wasn’t exceptional, but because the partnership that we had wasn’t the kind that was going to change a logo, or make the park or programs look any different.  It was the Brand Evolution kind of Marketing.  The kind that you don’t always “simply see”. It’s the kind you have to teach and believe. And this couldn’t have been explained more clearly, than as written in the article on Hyperquake and the Reds in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Over the Top Olympic Marketing Campaigns

August 8th, 2012 by rachel.robbins@hyperquake.com

Olympics: a two-week+ span where viewers are glued to their television in hopes to see new world records created and their favorite athletes bring home that gold medal or medals, especially if you are a swimming fanatic. According to Advertising Age, “The first five nights of the games averaged 35.6 million viewers, the most for any Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Montreal in 1976”. Hmm…having 35.6 million viewers seems like a great opportunity for new marketing campaigns to be created, right?

Many companies have jumped on this Olympic marketing campaign bandwagon. As there have been many outstanding campaigns, I would like to discuss two in particular: P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” Campaign and Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” Campaign. These two campaigns, in my personal opinion, have outdone the rest.

I believe both of these companies had a crucial obstacle to overcome when deciding the direction for their 2012 Olympic Campaign.

  1. When people typically think of P&G products, sports and the Olympics are not the first things to come to mind.
  2. It was critical for viewers to remember Nike’s campaign, seeing as Adidas is the official sportswear sponsor for the Olympics this year.

You will be able to see from watching both of the videos below how well P&G and Nike overpowered these obstacles.

One of the key reasons I believe these campaigns surpass the rest is their ability to relate to viewers on a global scale. Not only can an Olympian’s Mom associate themself with P&G’s video, but all mothers, from across the world can appreciate and relate to this video. Nike was able to inspire a wide-range of viewers through their motivation for greatness approach. Viewers also remembered Nike’s campaign from their tagline, “Greatness isn’t reserved for the chosen few in one special city; it can also be found in London, Ohio, and London, Norway, and East London, South Africa, and Little London, Jamaica, and Small London, Nigeria and the London Hotel and London Road.”


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Social Media 101

April 12th, 2012 by rachel.robbins@hyperquake.com

We are all aware of the great impact and growth of social media within society. Was anyone else aware that one can receive a Ph.D. in social media? Mark Bonchek received the first Ph.D. at Harvard on the matter of social media. I certainly was unaware of this. Studying Facebook and Twitter for homework sounds great, especially since these are the websites I always went to in order to avoid studies.

I recently read a very insightful article on an interview with Bonchek, social media expert, giving his thoughts on the unique revolutionary movement of social media. Learning the current affect social media will have on companies, brands and marketing, and the relationship among brands and customers was quite intriguing.  This article is a must read!

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The Oreo Turns “100″

March 5th, 2012 by Caitlin Rose

It may be 100 years old, but it’s still as popular as ever. The “Oreo” turns 100 and celebrates by honoring its brand heritage. Kraft Foods plans to stay true to Oreo’s roots – “Lick, Twist, Dunk” – but make it fresh for today.  This follows an emerging trend in consumer marketing, in which heritage brands show that they can pay tribute to the past and at the same time be relevant and contemporary.

This is the challenge for every brand – continue to evolve but always bring consumer along for the journey.

Read full article here.

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The Old Spice Museum of Manliness

February 15th, 2012 by Dan Barczak

P&G Old Spice Loft Space from The Big Media Company on Vimeo.

Old Spice isn’t your grandfather’s scent anymore, and P&G asked their employees to prove it. They challenged their team to take the iconic buoy bottle and design, decorate or modify it to represent a killer cologne a youthful man would die for (or at least want). Hyperquake joined in on the competition and partnered with P&G and Landor to create an eclectic “Museum of Manliness” gallery space in Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine, to display the final buoy bottles and serve as an ideal man hangout where boys can be boys.

We had a lot of fun with this one and got a chance to take some risks thanks to the creative freedom in working with an awesome team in Old Spice and Procter & Gamble. For example: transforming a chandelier into a mandelier by hand-wrapping it in nautical rope; shaving a graphic into a wall of fur; a taxidermy matterhorn jumping out from a giant landscape painting of one of Old Spice’s signature matterhorn scent; painting a clawfoot tub Old Spice red and filling it with product swimming in gold coins; finally, the Old Spice Museum of Manliness wouldn’t have a small mantle to display the amazing custom bottle designs by P&G and agency folks, it would have a ridiculous 30 foot mantle sitting proudly above a synthetic wind-blown flame.

The collaborative nature of this project, with a long leash of creative freedom from the P&G team, really allowed Hyperquake to do what we do best: create. Thanks to all involved, and kudos to agency collaboration in Cincinnati. There is a groundswell of collaborative enthusiasm here in town, and we realize that beyond our scope of daily work, we’re a city with immense passion and energy to truly capture the potential of many brands, big and small, who seek Cincinnati for true Brand Evolution.

Although it’s not open to the public, stop by 14th and Vine in OTR to take a peek at the Manliness.

#cheers to Soapbox Cincinnati and The Big Media Company for the buzz.

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