Problem Solvers Pandemic Edition


MCS Blog header - Wearing our Victory Cape

Problem Solvers: Pandemic Edition

Businesses come to a full-service agency like ours for creative out-of-the-box ideas. Necessity is the mother of all invention, right!? Some of our best, and most creative work happens within constraints caused by the highly specific needs of our clients — let alone while reacting to recent challenges caused by the pandemic. This last year we’ve worked with our clients in innovating, exploring and tackling each new challenge as they manifested. Seeing the results of our efforts and success for our clients fuels our desire to wear our victory capes every day. A whole-hearted thanks to them for entrusting our MCS Advertising team. 

Rexburg Motorsports: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Rexburg Motorsports thumbnail image: Snow machine on sand

Problem: No Dirt Vehicles in Stock During Dirt Season

Solution: It’s Christmas in July! Nothing says fun and unexpected like mountain sleds on the sand dunes in a creative video showcasing available snowmobile stock. This video campaign allowed Rexburg Motorsports to offer what they did have available, despite snowmobiles not being “in season.”

Community Family Clinic Logo Community Family Clinic: Rebrand, signage, There’s a Doc for That

Problem: New Building, Needed More Patients 

Solution: We created a new look, media plan, website and awareness campaign offering a full-spectrum of medical services driving patients with little or no insurance coverage to the Community Council of Idaho’s newest 5C3 non-profit clinic. The next problem to solve: where to park now that people know There’s a Doc for That.

Modern Home: Look 4 Less campaign Modern Home

Problem: Supply Chain Challenge 

Solution: Pivoting from pushing potentially frustrating specific price and item specials that were in short supply, we opted to show how full of merchandise Modern Home is; taking the pressure off of individual furniture pieces by featuring storewide interior footage. While folks were stuck at home, re-integrating fresh video into the advertising strategy helped propel Modern Home to a happy ending for 2021.

Shepherd's Inn: Win the WHOLE Cow Shepherd’s Inn

Problem: Reach & Exceed Fundraising Goals

Solution: After our 2020 virtual campaign raised a little over $12,000, we were determined to reach the $15,000 goal for 2021. We freshened up the campaign look and used everything we had learned last year to reach our goal. We felt like we had won the whole cow and more when Shepherd’s Inn exceeded their goal this year.



MCS Staff

Cultivating a gratitude attitude


Cultivating an attitude of gratitude

Overheard at MCS HQ on a gray and gloomy Monday afternoon as October slipped into November: 

“I just really think we should send them a thank you card. I know that technically they hired us and we work for them, but they’ve been so great to work with, and I just want to say thanks.”

I’m fairly new here, and hearing that brief exchange while my co-workers finished their lunches gave me yet another reason to be sure that these are my kind of people and working here is exactly where I want to be. 

Gratitude is scientifically proven to increase our satisfaction and happiness.

thank-you card illustration

While most of the conversations around gratitude that happen in November circle around our closest relationships, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if gratitude became a foundational piece of the relationships we form with our employees and customers. How would employees who get daily practice in expressing gratitude feel about showing up to work? What kind of impression would it make on our customers if we decided to intentionally thank them for their support? 

I have my hypotheses about the goodness that would follow- the loyalty that would be shored up, the relationships created. I know from experience the way that joy would increase and the perspectives that would shift on a tectonic level simply from practicing gratitude.  

We have all sorts of ideas of ways you could thank your people, from social media shout outs to the coolest swag this side of the Mississippi, we’ve got you covered. We’re also pretty big fans of taking a moment to just sincerely say, “thank you” no frills or bells necessary. 

So to you, our people, thank you. Thank you for being part of our MCS family. We love that we get to be part of this community and are so excited to cheer you on as you achieve your goals and watch your business grow. Thank you for being here with us, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire

Avoid Woke-washing

Avoid Cause-washing

Cause-Washing animationAs different causes take the center stage for their respective seasons, it can be tempting for brands to maintain relevance by applying a splash of color behind their logo for pride month or slapping a pink ribbon on their social media posts in October. The practice of “cause-washing” starts down a slippery slope into losing consumer trust, ending on the cancellation express. Performative allyship is out. Accountability and action are IN!

So how do you market and interact with the general public while steering clear of the inevitable muck that follows painting yourself a different color every time the opportunity arises? 

Know Your Brand Values

Consider your current business practices, then evaluate to see if your current choices are in alignment with your values. If you value conserving resources, what are you currently doing as a business that reflects that? Is there something that you could adjust to be in better alignment with your values? Choose your causes based on your values.

Only Highlight Causes that You Are Actively Doing Something About

You might actively contribute and support a cause by having a donation jar, donating portions of proceeds, or hosting some kind of fundraising event. The possibilities are endless. Just be clear about who and how you are contributing before popping that pink background onto your marketing materials. 

Be In Conversation with Your Target Audience

Make sure to take the time to educate your audience about the causes that you support. Seek to highlight the voices of people who are experts in those areas. Use social media, email lists, and other points of contact to help increase awareness and share resources during the month and throughout the year. 

As you authentically engage with your audience both in conversation and marketing, you will foster a community of loyal consumers and increase your ability to create a positive impact for those causes you care about.

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire

Hangin’ with Frida during Hispanic heritage month

Hispanic heritage month: Hangin’ with Frida

We’re midway through Hispanic heritage month, which runs Sept. 15 – Oct 15.

What better time (other than at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month) to pay homage to one of our creative influences here at MCS, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. We won’t go into a whole history lesson, we’ll just say that her opportunities were few, her obstacles were many (including polio AND a bus accident which left her with lifelong injuries from a young age) yet still she persisted™, going so far as turning her casts and braces into works of art.

Her life and her art have been constant sources of inspiration to MCS Principal Lisa Fischbach. Along with creativity, she exuded generosity, self-confidence, and a bent for individualism that established her as a household name even today. 

Kahlo’s self portrait hangs in a place of prominence in Lisa’s office, so we’re all under her gaze at various points during each workday. So whether we’re looking at her or she’s looking at us, the image motivates us to raise the expectations we have of ourselves.

Steve Fischbach


Steve Fischbach

Head whip-cracker

Summer 2021: MCS Memories


Summer 2021: MCS Memories

Lisa: It’ been a fabby summer — from river floats with fam & friends, to visiting Steve’s parents in the Black Hills.

But our trip to Napa Valley wine country takes the cake — definitely a bucket list item — with the highlight being an old-fashioned train tour making several vineyard stops, up and down the valley.

Steve: A 4-day mountain biking trip to Oregon over Memorial Day kicked off the summer on a high note for me. Insider intel on locals-only trails kept us in the sweet spots and out of the crowds.

Dave: Our summer highlight was a week-long trip to Connecticut for a college friends’ reunion. It was our first trip to the East coast, and the first time I’ve dipped my feet in the Atlantic Ocean. 11/10 would go again.

Stephanie: We had a lot of plans this summer. It was very go-go-go for us. I think my favorite was camping in Island Park. It was the most relaxing part of the summer.

Matt: My favorite memory from this summer was when my family went camping at Crescent Lake in Oregon. We went hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, and even climbed a waterfall. The experience was amazing other than the sunburns and mosquito bites.

Jordynn: My favorite memory from this summer was visiting Dreamscapes Art Exhibit in Salt Lake City, which is Utah’s first environmentally sustainable exhibit featuring pieces created from reclaimed materials. Walking through the exhibit truly felt like a dream.

Kayla: One of the many favorite memories this summer was having my high school friends come to visit from Minnesota. We took the long weekend to travel to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, their first time visiting. It was great seeing them and being able to catch up!

Nick: My favorite trip and part of this summer was visiting my friends in Portland. We went to the ocean, Multnomah Falls, hiked around Portland and went and found a lot of great restaurants and antique stores. It definitely was a trip that recharged my batteries for my final semester at Idaho State!



MCS Staff

Alive After 5: Our Wednesday Pick-Me-Up


Alive After 5: Our Wednesday Pick-Me-Up

Summer + A Good Cause + Adult-Bevs = AA5.

It’s true. And these are a few of our favorite things. MCS is lucky to have a birds-eye view of Alive After Five from our office perched above the corner of Park Avenue & B Street. The live bands tuning their instruments literally alert us when it’s time to head down and join in the weekly celebration of summer.

Every AA5 Wednesday we enjoy the chance to hang out, network and recharge for the rest of the week. Where else can you get Mini Moose Donut Rings and the IPA of your choice?? See you there, and thanks to @civitans for hosting.

#agencylife is good!




Lisa Fischbach

Original cape girl

Summer Vibes ’21

Summer Vibes ’21

We threw together a sweet summer playlist with some of our favorite summertime jams and the memories behind them in honor of Summer Solstice. Kick back, enjoy the sunshine and tune into our Spotify playlist that’s sure to take you to summer, no matter the time of year.

Listen to the playlist here, or check out individual tracks below:

Lisa: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World – I’m a pitcher’s Mom. Whenever I hear The Middle by Jimmy Eat World, I’m swept back to the summers when Clark was developing his skills as a lanky-lefty. On our way to the park we would crank it up to help shake off the pregame jitters.

Steve: Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin – for me, this song summons a very specific summer vibe. I used to have an old jeepster commando convertible, and I must have played this song a lot in that rig, because hearing it immediately conjures up the sensation of cruising down a two-lane road with the top down on a calm sunny day.

Jordynn: Island in the Sun by Weezer – The first time I went to Cozumel, Mexico my brother and I played this song on repeat every morning to celebrate the fact that we were literally on an island in the sun, so it always reminds me of warm weather and sunshine.

Stephanie: Redneck Yacht Club by Craig Morgan & Pontoon by Little Big Town – Stephanie chose these songs, “cause I’m a redneck at heart” & they get her in her summer flow.

Kayla: When the Sun Goes Down by Kenny Chesney (feat. Uncle Kracker) – Reminds me of summer weekends in Trego, Wisconsin, being on the lake with all my friends and family.

Matt: Have Faith in Me by A Day to Remember – Kimber and I spent our first summer married (2010) in the scorching heat and dense humidity of San Antonio TX. We were still trying to learn and figure out each other’s musical tastes. We got a free Epitaph Records mix CD at Six Flags and quickly fell in love with this song. We played it literally every day that summer and still put it in every playlist we make today.

Dave: Oye Como Va by Santana – In the summer of ’91 – I road-tripped with a group of seven friends from Colorado to Alaska. After driving all night, my friend and I stopped in a remote corner of north-western Montana to watch the sun rise. This song still conjures a very strong memory of that morning: We opened all the car doors, blasted this song (waking everyone else up) and stood on top of the car while we watched the golden rays stream over rolling green hills. It was a good morning.



Jordynn Shaw

Social specialist

Remembering their service

Remembering their service

When my parent’s high-school friends and my uncles were doing duty in the Vietnam War, I was just a toddler. Some of my earliest memories are when they were home on leave and came to hang out, catch up and enjoy the family. I can remember when my brother Conn was born and named after their close friend who was killed days before in a convoy attack, and hearing that story every year on Memorial Day. Now, my own son’s name carries on a version of that honor and it’s a gift to reflect on what it means this long weekend in May.

Commemorating our military heroes permeates our professional psyche as well, through our Operation: Cape Girl work, where we volunteer our skills to help with the Field of Honor 1,000 Flag Memorial. The commitment of our local Exchange Club Field of Honor board and American Legion Chapter is energizing — we’re inspired by the time and hard work spent by our friends, neighbors and associates helping to highlight the cherished memories of our Idaho soldiers. Hours of planning and preparation go into planning the Field of Honor display each year, as well as hours of physical work to set up the giant flags and poles.

This got me thinking — if MCS-staffers each listed their own family who are being remembered for their service this year — what would that list look like? Turns out, the length of this list is a powerful illustration of how we all have a stake in the protection of our country and the people-power it takes to do so — whether we’re actually in the trenches, sending support here from US soil, or a mine-sweeper in WWII in the Navy like my Grandma Abigail’s brother, David Good.

While it’s not an exhaustive account by any means, our list is a whole lot longer than I imagined. We’re only including names who served and are now deceased, this doesn’t even include all of the others who have served and are still with us. None, that I’m aware of, died in the line of duty thankfully — but when Memorial Day rolls around they are honored along with their fallen comrades for their dedicated service to their country. 

Here’s our list of remembered family, no longer on earth, who served in the armed forces:

Lisa Fischbach:

Great Grandpa, Charles Miller, US Army 1819

Grandpa, Jay C Hawker US Army 1942-46

Great Uncle, David O. Good 

Great Uncle, Milburn Hix WWII, served 2 years in Hawaii

Great Uncle, Larry Hawker, US Army 

Great Uncle, Earl Hawker, US Army 

3rd Great Grandfather, Fletcher Bateman Wheaton, Civil War 1863-1865

Steve Fischbach:

Grandpa, Andrew Fischbach, US Army

Uncle, Paul Passolt, National Guard

Great Uncle, Erwin Hoffman, US Army

Great Uncle, Elmer Hoffman, US Army

Great Uncle, Roline Hoffman, US Navy

Great Uncle, Rheinart Hoffman, US Army

Great Uncle, Virden Hoffman, US Army

Great Uncle, Lynn LaBarre, US Army

Great Uncle, Edwin LaBarre, US Army 

Great Uncle, John LaBarre, US Army

Dave Oakley:

Grandpa, Charles Oakley, US Army, WWII

Stephanie Dillon:

Sister, Evangeline Andrews, US Army

Grandpa, Arnold Pfeifer, US Army

Jordynn Shaw:

Great Grandpa, Robert Smith, US Army

Great Grandpa, Fernando Bravo, US Army

Grandpa, Eric Carlson, US Army

Matt Spaletta:

Great Grandpa, Kenneth Kenworthy, Army Air Corps Flight instructor, WWI

Kayla Wangen:

Grandfather, Lamar Wangen, US Army

Grandfather, Kenneth Anderson, US Navy




Lisa Fischbach

Original cape girl

For Earth Day: Ads that make you think green

For Earth Day: Ads that make you think green

When it comes to reducing our agency’s carbon footprint, OG Capegirl, Lisa, can be a bit obsessive about our office recycling program. It’s not uncommon to find her fishing plastic drink containers out of the trash.

And if you ask her about advertising with an eco theme, she’s got some obsessions there too. She may mention one of her favorite commercials, the Toss the Tube television spot produced by Scott Brand Products to promote their tubeless bathroom tissue. A strong visual illustrates the point. Boom. It’s much more memorable than a recitation of fact and figures.

Another top pick with an earth-friendly message was Patagonia’s now-iconic 2011 Black Friday ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ ad in the New York Times. With that killer headline and clean layout, it’s impossible not to read the ad and digest the message: Reduce. Repair. Reuse. Recycle.

It’s advertising 101. A bold message paired with a compelling visual has the power to change people’s habits, no matter if you’re trying to sell more, or less.



MCS Staff

Juliette Gordon Low: One Smart Cookie

Juliette Gordon Low: One Smart Cookie


This month, we’re inspired by Juliette Gordon Low, the first ever Girl Scout and founder of the Girl Scouts program. For over 100 years, the Girl Scouts program has remained the largest global female centered movement AND provided us with delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Low founded the Girl Scouts of the USA in March of 1912 and is best remembered for her sheer determination and tireless efforts to promote and sustain the organization throughout the early part of the twentieth century. Truly a cape-worthy figure in our eyes.

Under Low’s scrappy leadership, the sale of cookies, as a way to finance troop activities, began as early as 1917 offering baked cookies in a local troop’s high school cafeteria.

The idea of a promotion offering a value-added purchase incentive, that is also slightly addictive, and for a good cause — is a workhorse-of-an-idea that resonates daily in modern marketing.

The Girl Scouts was established to emphasize her personal values of inclusiveness, individual growth, character, the outdoors, self-reliance and service — another modern-day tenant.

The grit taken to overcome her own hearing-loss and health issues underscores the core values Low taught others, including accommodations for children with special needs.

From a gathering of 18 Girl Scouts in the first meeting — to over 2.5 million Girl Scouts today including, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and Serena Williams — females around the world are still taught the core basics: empowerment, confidence, courage, leadership skills, and so much more.

The Girl Scouts have served more than a century of public service with efforts during the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War and so much more. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success all thanks to Low.

Shortly after Low’s passing in 1927, her friends honored her by establishing the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund. The fund finances international projects for Girl Scouts around the world.

Low is honored in the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the Georgia Women of Achievement organization, the Points of Light monument in DC, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest civilian award in the United States.

Today, the Girl Scouts program is considered the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Research shows that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment.

Support your local Girl Scouts organization and Low’s achievements by placing an order today! Deadline for orders is 4/11/21; click here to buy cookies now.



Jordynn Shaw

Social specialist