The Human Element

Our work begins and ends with the emotions, beliefs and needs of human beings.

[1. GO DEEP] 

We immerse
ourselves in your world.

Finding the solution to the challenges your business faces requires that we understand your business—not only the big picture but also the details.  We do all we can to make ourselves experts in your domain, including working alongside your employees in the field, interviewing your customers and studying every bit of information we can get our hands on.  Our outsiders’ perspective allows us to offer insight that can be hard to find within the organization.

[2. FOCUS] 

We simplify, distill, hone, sharpen, and simplify some more.

This is where the meat of the work gets done.  Our process takes as input a massive volume of widely disparate information.  We boil everything down to a laser-focused two-page creative brief  that captures what’s important and omits what isn’t. We take great pride in our ability to formulate an effective brief, especially when the subject matter is complex.

[3. CREATE] 

We create solutions.

When the end product / deliverables are clearly defined from the beginning, our mission is to create what is needed as effectively and efficiently as possible; we optimize the outcome (e.g., maximizing a performance metric such as sales of a new product) while minimizing the cost.  In other cases, we propose a route to the goal which may involve a medium or strategy not previously considered by the client.   Often, this includes an alternative to conventional advertising that will achieve greater impact at lower cost.


X-UP is a creative agency and production company. We apply creativity to challenges your business faces.
We welcome performance metrics—so much that we sometimes agree to base our fees on a metric such as product sales or change in public opinion.



Michael Franzini has spent decades refining his ability to discover and foster the greatest creative talents in all areas of advertising, design and entertainment.

Also an Emmy-Award-winning director, Franzini’s TV spots have twice been highlighted by The New York Times as being among the best advertising on television.

As a photographer and writer, Franzini has published several books, including One Hundred Young Americans, the definitive survey of 21st century American youth culture, released by HarperCollins.





Nicholas Carter is an accomplished television and print producer with a proven ability to maximize the impact of limited budgets, especially on geographically large-scale projects that span the country—or the globe.

Carter brings his peaceful and fun demeanor to every project, no matter how great the challenge.  His goal is always to exceed expectations while staying on-time and on-budget, and he has a perfect record of achieving this goal on every project.

MTV—We have created 18 campaigns with the network, two of which won Emmy Awards.
Walmart—We created a campaign called 'School My Way'.
J&J—We traveled to all 50 states to create a hardcover book of babies and their families.
Nike—Michael Franzini exhibited images on their campus and gave a talk on youth culture to employees.
Gates Foundation—We created STAND UP for Bill & Melinda Gates' Oprah appearance and continued to work on it for a year.
T-Mobile—We shot images for use on massive digital displays to be installed in their stores.
CBS—We created a campaign with the network for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
PacSun—We shot images for in-store display and marketing.
Panasonic—We created videos for promoting Toughbooks online.
ACLU—We created a marriage equality campaign.
Allstate—We created the KEEP THE DRIVE campaign.
Google—We created viral videos to promote Net Neutrality.
Ogilvy PR—We have engaged them on multiple projects, including 'Norman, the puppy that moos'.
Arnold—We partnered with Pete Favat and his 'truth' group on our Holocaust campaign.
droga5—Shortly after David Droga launched the agency, we partnered with them on Allstate and Freedom to Marry.
CP+B—Alex Bogusky worked with us on multiple campaigns, including one for HRC which was the only work he showed at the launch event for their Miami headquarters.
Goddard Gunster—We produced a 'Harry and Louise' spot for Ben Goddard, directed by Jerry Zucker ('Airplane', 'Naked Gun').
Mother—We partnered with Mark Waites at Mother London on their first U.S. campaign after opening their NYC office.
Publicis—We shot the T-Mobile campaign for them.
W+K—Dan Wieden worked with us and director Chris Milk on multiple campaigns.
Wounded Warrior Project—This is one of our favorite charities. We've shot multiple still and video projects for them.
Anchor Blue—We shot images for print ads.
Burger King—We shot images for a print campaign with CP+B.
Berklee College of Music—We shot images for a print campaign.
Univision—We created a campaign to promote computer literacy for the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S.
Kaiser Family Foundation—We partnered with them on over a dozen national TV campaigns.
Nickelodeon—We created a campaign to promote better communication between parents and kids.
Partnership for a Drug-Free America—We created an award-winning documentary campaign featuring a group of homeless crystal meth addicts.
Rock the Vote—We worked with the organization, along with CP+B, to create an anti-discrimination campaign.
MAC Cosmetics—We worked with them on the Elton John / Mary J Blige campaign.
Girl Scouts—We created a campaign to promote the organization to minorities.
CURRENT TV—We worked with them on the Online Town Hall with Al Gore, and the network created pieces on several campaigns of ours.
EJAF—We spent two years working with them on multiple campaigns.
First Robotics—We created a TV spot to promote the organization.
Freedom to Marry—We created TV spots at a critical time, in partnership with Clay Weiner and Sally Ann Dale from droga5.
Gill—We created 'Norman, the puppy that moos'.
GLSEN—We worked with them on a spot featuring Judy Shepard, which became the most-played spot in the history of MTV.
HRC—We worked with Alex Bogusky to create a TV spot for them.
HarperCollins—They published Michael Franzini's book, ONE HUNDRED YOUNG AMERICANS.
TWC—We produced all TV spots for the 5-year $100M Connect A Million Minds campaign.
NY Times—Multiple articles on our work. Quoted MTV President Stephen Friedman, 'Mike gets our audience.'
WSJ—Published a half-page feature on the cover of the Lifestyle section on 4/30/15 about Gunpowder, the company we launched.
Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo—Spain's equivalent of Bell Labs.  Michael Franzini worked here for two years, performing research in artificial intelligence.
CMU—Michael Franzini holds degrees from here in Computer Science and Psychology.
Cambridge Technology Partners—Michael Franzini worked here for two years, managing software development projects for clients such as Fannie Mae and Charles Schwab.
Emmies—We've got 2. :-)
Bill & Melinda Gates—They came to us before going on Oprah.  We created STAND UP.
Al Gore—Hosted our Global Online Town Hall Meeting.
Oprah—We created content for two full episodes, with Bill & Melinda Gates.—We spent a day at his house, creating spots to promote STEM (and got some unexpected footage).
Mary J Blige—We shot several spots with her for Elton John's campaign.
Magic Johnson—We shot a TV spot with him for Connect a Million Minds.
Persuasion Arts & Sciences—Dion Hughes and Mark Johnson are two of the most brilliant minds in advertising.  We have had the privilege of working with them on several campaigns, including 'Norman: the puppy that moos'.
Gunpowder—We created this brand, formulated its products, designed its retail location and created all advertising and marketing.
RadicalMedia—We partnered with them on Public Interest for more than 10 years.
STAND UP—We created this brand for Bill & Melinda Gates.
USC Cinema Arts—Michael Franzini holds a Master's Degree from here.
USHMM—We created a campaign with them to promote Holocaust awareness.
Thinktopia—Pat Hanlon, one of the nation's leading branding experts—and a fantastically talented creative—has worked with us on many campaigns.
j3—We worked with this division of Universal McCann, which is dedicated to media buying for Johnson & Johnson, on a hardcover book for Johnsons Baby and TV spots for NBC featuring Olympic athletes.

This is our work.


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    X-UP, Inc.

    3435 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 107
    Santa Monica, CA 90405
    [email protected]