upstart | advertising + design

About us

What we do

We stir things up

We put your business / product / message / cause on the map. We give you an identity. We give you a web presence that actually works for you. We implement social media. But only if it makes sense for your goals. We do old school when it's the smart move, and we break rules when the time is right. Mainly, we provoke, we inspire, and we cultivate. We do all of this while tracking results, optimizing performance and measuring tomorrow's winds.

Who we are

We’re Upstarts.

We are senior marketers, brand-builders and creatives who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. In our model, you have direct access to us and our respective skill sets. What's never lost on us is the power of ideas and the imperative of delivering them in their purest form.

How we're different

For starters, there’s no fat here.

We pull together the right team for your specific needs. We’re self-supporting assets without a lot of overhead and we don’t make you pay for support people, or high-rent cubicle farms. You’ll pay for smart, original ideas and executions—not 30-page PowerPoint decks.

We're different because we know that marketing usually isn't about screaming from a mountain top. It's about whispering the right message into the right ear. Few agencies out there get that, and even fewer know how to do it.

The Work

EMBARQ Communications

Signature Design Studio

Swim Across America

H&S Woodworks

POW'R Tobacco Cessation Center

ELEMENTS by Symmons

Smoke-Free Housing

Identity | Logos

National City Bank

Genuine Stone Council

Bernheim Arboretum

Maker's Mark


Louisville Ballet


Summit Property Management

We get around.

With an exceptionally diverse client history, and success with a broad range of audiences, it's safe to say we're not one-trick ponies. The key is to walk a mile (or fifty) in your target audience's shoes. Only then, can you begin to have a conversation. You can't fake authenticity.
Fortunately, we don't have to.





The Process

The building blocks of what we do.

There is no one recipe for successful branding or marketing. If anyone tells you there is, run. There are just too many variables - target audience, economic climate, budget, level of need, competition, etc.. Your business and its goals are unique. With that fact in mind, you need a group that has a proven record of reading the prevailing winds, understanding human nature and behaviors, knowing how to plot out a course and the ability to change direction if/when the winds shift. Some of these things, you can't teach. Good, creative marketers see what others don't. With that said, there are core steps to successful campaigns - each equally important and building off the one before.

1. identify
2. strategize
3. create
4. Deploy
5. Measure
6. React

None of this is rocket science. But to get it right, you do need both sides of the brain firing simultaneously. The most creative idea goes nowhere if your target isn't identified and your stragey is not sound. And brilliant strategy is worthless unless great creative minds are able (and allowed) to bring it to life. Once you go live, you need to stay alert, measure results and adjust course when necessary. This is what we do.


Let's talk about your next opportunity. We can help you make the most of it.