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Posts tagged: Magner Sanborn

Tired of the same old think sign, downtown wall switches message

A few years back we did a quick item on the sign that some offices in downtown Spokane could see — the “think” sign between Riverside and Main. A photo from the old view is in that blog post.

This year, back in January, Magner Sanborn creative agency got tired of thinking. They flipped the sign from the old IBM slogan to something more digital.

Here's how it looks from the fourth floor of the Magner Sanborn offices.

Crowdswell supporters look for big projects, including U-District Bridge

In last week's SR story about Crowdswell, a website launched by partners of Spokane creative firm Magner Sanborn, we mentioned two local “swells” — the name the site uses for worthy projects that people can support through funding or work. The two swells — both appropriately small and manageable — were a slightly damaged bench outside a downtown Spokane business and the desire to install a doggy-pickup bag dispenser along the Centennial Trail in Kendall Yards.

Another new project on Crowdswell is finding support for the proposed pedestrian-bicycle bridge in the University District.

The U-D “bike and ped bridge” has some state and institutional money earmarked. But there's a gap in how much is needed to get the bridge off the drawing board. The total target for the bridge is somewhere around $7 million, said Brandon Rapez-Betty, the U District's project manager.

The hope is that Crowdswell could be used to raise about $200,000 in local and regional support, to get the ball rolling. The goal would not be to cover the full $7 million, but simply fill in the gap that will be left after the state and area groups define their funding levels for the bridge.


Spokane’s Magner Sanborn wins best small West Coast agency in Ad Age awards

Spokane ad agency Magner Sanborn was named best small agency in the West Coast in a competition arranged by media publication Ad Age.

The award was presented to company principals at a recent event in Minneapolis.

Ad Age gives out a gold and silver award for small, medium and large agencies in four U.S. regions. Small agencies are those with fewer than 150 workers.

Magner Sanborn won the gold for the West Coast region, which includes California and Oregon. The silver winner was an ad agency from San Francisco, said Dennis Magner, one of the company’s founders.

“For us, this validates what we’ve done here, and says that small is great,” he said.

“So often the larger conglomerates get the attention, but the awards recognize that great work is done in smaller agencies,” he said.

Magner Sanborn, launched in 2003 and with offices in downtown Spokane, has 40 workers. Its clients include Amtrak, Thomas Hammer Coffee, Yoke's Fresh Markets, Netflix and others.

Magner Sanborn does another Super Bowl ad, this time about shopping carts


Spokane ad agency Magner Sanborn is ready for its second shot at Super Bowl advertising fame. This year’s game will include a 60-second spot built around the the secret life of shopping carts.

Two years ago the firm developed three spots for a short-lived new technology product, Flo Tv.

This year’s spot, which will run just before kickoff at 3:30 p.m., is a commercial for Yoke’s Fresh Markets, one of Magner Sanborn’s longstanding clients.

 Dennis Magner, one of the firm’s principals, declined to offer too many details about the project.

“I'd describe it as, ‘eye-opening.’  It’s a revealing look at why shopping carts do what they do,” he said.

The Flo TV ad was shot for a national company and landed in prime Super Bowl slots.

The Yoke’s ad is set for a local time slot made available by KHQ, the Spokane NBC affiliate.

Magner and company partner Jeff Sanborn developed the concept on their own late Monday while working at the firm’s downtown office.

The idea is meant to be catchy and slightly offbeat. No human faces are show, but there is music and voice-over narrative.

Magner and Sanborn contacted Yoke’s the next day and got the green light. They made a call to KHQ and grabbed one spot that was still available.

The spot was shot at exterior locations Wednesday and Thursday. Magner said the goal is a high-level, national-quality ad that gets across a fun message.

Once it airs, the ad will get posted to YouTube and Vimeo. Yoke’s site will also likely feature the spot, said Magner.

 The spot will also be used on local broadcasts beyond Sunday, Magner said

Magner Sanborn watched as months of work for Netflix went down the drain

For six months Spokane ad firm Magner Sanborn developed a logo and an extensive brand and marketing components for Qwikster, a top-secret business plan by Netflix to split its company into a new division.

In September, Netflix jump-started the launch, surprising both its rental-DVD customers and its Spokane-based ad team, which expected the Qwikster announcement to come several weeks later.

Netflix told its millions of customers that those wanting just DVDs would sign up with Qwikster; those wanting streaming video over the Web would continue using Netflix.

But within three weeks of the Qwikster launch, Netflix’s management team changed its mind and scrapped the plan for two companies.

That reversal came after thousands of Netflix customers protested the split by either canceling their subscriptions or publicly lashing the company for raising prices by more than $6 per month for both DVDs and streaming movies.

The impact on Spokane’s Magner Sanborn was company whiplash, said the firm’s president, Dennis Magner. “I was as surprised as anyone to see the launch, based on the timing,” he said.

The full story appears on at this link:

No Qwikster after all; and no impact on the Spokane Netflix center

The weekend surprise from Netflix was the news that it dropped plans to spin off its streaming service and rename the DVD-only service as Qwikster.

Instead, the company has just gone back to the way it was. 

That flip and flop won't affect the nearest Netflix distribution center, on Spokane's West Plains near the Spokane Airport.   See the map here showing all the Netflix distribution locations:

We'll have a local angle on the Qwikster-Netflix development next week in the business pages of The Spokesman-Review.

Does the word ‘think’ make you a better thinker?

Our newsroom colleague Paul Turner mentioned in his Slice column recently the appearance in downtown Spokane of the word “think.” on a mural not far from the heart of town. The source, at the time, was unknown. He later got a message from Dennis Magner, one of the founders of Spokane ad agency Magner Sanborn. Magner explained how the word got there.

The company had just moved this summer into newly remodeled offices on the third and fourth floors of the Banner Bank Building, 111 N. Post.

Magner and partner Jeff Sanborn were looking for some way to crystallize ideas, especially for people in the company’s brand new conference room, which looks out to the east over the roofs of the next block.

They settled on a single word, painted on a wall 50 yards away.

In his note to Paul, Dennis wrote:

So at one level, it’s like having something staring back at us when we’re staring out the window. At another level it’s a reminder to our staff that good “thinking” is the core product that we provide. And hopefully it reminds some other folks to think along the way as well.

 Can anyone else find something similar in the community, a calling card or corporate slogan that has  become a quiet (or noisy) part of the landscape?  Please let us know if you know of something that fits.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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