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Tiny TVs have Spokane link

FLO TVs get to market with local ad firm’s help

Spokane ad agency Magner Sanborn spent five weeks recently completing a major media campaign that would normally take several months to finish.

The project, easily the largest the 20-person agency has taken on, was on behalf of Qualcomm Inc.’s new FLO TV device.

Officials from San Diego-based Qualcomm contacted Magner Sanborn in late October. They needed a fully developed campaign, complete with logos, media strategy and brand identity, by the date the product was to go on sale – Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

The reaction in Spokane: We can do it. But “we needed to work on it ASAP,” said Dennis Magner, the agency’s president.

Magner Sanborn has created campaigns for AT&T Inc., Nintendo Co. and Amp’d Mobile, a wireless phone provider. The Amp’d Mobile campaign led to a recommendation from a Magner Sanborn partner in California, who told Qualcomm the Spokane company had diverse skills and the ability to move quickly on a large project.

“For about 10 of us (in the firm), it became all hands on deck for the next five weeks,” Magner said.

Neither Qualcomm nor Magner would discuss the details of the contract.

“This campaign is the first in what will be an ongoing relationship between (us) and Qualcomm. We’re currently working on developing subsequent campaigns,” Magner said.

The FLO TV has been called the first fully dedicated handheld TV. While many cell phone carriers give some users the ability to stream prerecorded TV shows, the FLO TV is a 3.5-inch-screen device with live or time-shifted programs from about a dozen networks.

It sells for $249, which includes a six-month FLO TV subscription. Programs are delivered over a cell network provided in 100 U.S. cities.

Magner Sanborn’s did all its brand development, copy writing and design work in Spokane. TV campaign spots for FLO TV were produced in Los Angeles.