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

MCS Mixtape Vol 2: Pandi Playlist ‘21


MCS Mixtape Vol 2: Pandi Playlist ‘21

Time to get your music off of lockdown. If you’re tired of the same ol’ pandemic playlist you’ve been listening to for a year now, our staff has compiled the perfect playlist for you to keep pushing through these strange, yet eventful times.

MCS PANDI ‘21 Dave: Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley
Sammy: Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby by Cigarettes After Sex
Clay: Rise Above by Black Flag
Matt: Born For Greatness by Papa Roach
Lisa: Uprising by Muse
Stephanie: Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw
Steve: High & Mighty by Colter Wall

Give the whole playlist a listen here.



Jordynn Shaw

Social specialist

Look to the pivot


Look for the Pivot

MCS: Look to the Pivot - Capegirl running up stairs2020 was the cruelest imposter. Arriving as the harbinger of a golden new decade, but then revealing multiple horrors; leaving us with a hollowed-out economy, hollowed-out civic unity, mounting bills, and broken supply chains for the most basic needs. I think we can all agree it was an epic disaster.

Right now, we’re in that sweetest of sweet spots hovering between December 25th and Jan 4th when the tinsel and tree needles are still clinging to us, giving us that natural glow of hope, and desire for prosperity and peace. But we know “it’s” coming. How do businesses prepare for the other shoe to drop that is 2021?

Marketing and advertising people are problem-solvers by nature. Our clients always have obstacles, challenges and goals to occupy our intellect — and to be honest, we relish a good head-scratcher. Here are some steps and suggestions to help regain our footing in 2021.

Take advantage of programs that will help keep your business intact. Sign up for the second round of PPP funding, go for that grant you’d usually pass up, and take the class that you’ve always thought would make you or someone on your team better. I’m the worst for thinking that hard work can solve every ill, but right now we need to work as smart as we are hard. There’s a great energy that comes out of learning, growing and accepting help when we need it.

Look for the pivot. People are finding new success out there, by being flexible and noticing a potential niche that is going underserved in the new normal. One thing we’ve done at the agency is to teach ourselves on-the-fly how to market and create online webinars and events. This is a new skillset brought on by dire necessity, and now it’s a product that we can share with others.

Look for the silver lining. Gratitude has a way of calming our worst anxieties. Make a list of all of the good things that have happened or come out of the past year, and that you count as a plus. For example, at MCS we donated a lot of our normally billed production, just to keep ourselves working and occupied — but, in the meantime, we were introduced to so many great people and personalities that we’d have never met in our normal grind. I am so humbled and inspired by this gift, and it was all hidden in a silver lining.

Work internally to streamline your procedures, productivity or offices. If things are slow and tempers are high, turn your energy and eyes inward and work on that thing that you never have time to do. Maybe you now realize that you need to redefine job descriptions and duties or maybe you can consolidate and save money by rethinking your logistics.

2021 will be here in a few days. We’ll be okay! Let’s continue to do what we’ve been doing — which is keeping busy, (really busy actually) working on the things within our control, and helping those who need it.




Lisa Fischbach

Original cape girl

Love where you live: Buy local

Love where you live: Buy local

SHOP SMALLA memory from my newspaper advertising days: the coolest, hippest, chicest and determined Cape Girl opened a new store, she called it “an eclectic array of art, jewelry and good-goods for your soul and home”, and the logo included lemons. It was as close as we could get to experiencing the fantastical Barney’s NYC window displays full of artistic delights, curiosities and designs — you literally couldn’t take it all in the first time through — and right in our own downtown. Inspired by far-flung boutiques that lifted her up and made her feel like she was treating herself to something special, she vehemently opposed marching in the same line for the same-old, same-old big chain drivel.

I fondly recall the shop during the holidays. Each year, she and a crew of family and friends would work all night Thanksgiving Eve, transforming it into a winter smorgasbord. Replete with an upside-down hanging Christmas tree as the focal point, and ready to delight visitors and passers-by on black Friday and the entire holiday season.

In our business we see every day how personalities of passionate local businesses place their unique stamp on this place we live. An especially challenging business year highlights the need to rally around our neighbors and keep our dollars in the community this holiday season — silver lining? Inspired and distinctive gift giving. 

Lemon Meringue is still a vibrant downtown fixture. From our agency’s windows on the corner of Park Avenue and B Street there are amazing merchants along every sidewalk who have similar stories and passions to share. Make a big difference and shop small. Spend where the passion and hard work build our community’s personality and warmth, plus give a gift that is as notable as the recipient.

Below is our list of some favorite shops within walking distance of our agency.**  And, here is a link to a more complete shopping list to make your shopping plan.

** Apologies in advance if we omitted anyone! Cheers from MCS Advertising.



Lisa Fischbach

Original cape girl


Getting a grip

Getting a grip

A grip, you will get.

Remember that timeless phrase directed at business owners to, “Work ON your business, not IN your business”. Well, we’re terrible at it. In normal circumstances we immerse so deeply into guiding our clients, that under the pandemic glare, our self-promotion efforts were starting to look a bit pale. Thus, when everyone pumped the brakes in March —we flipped our mantra (as much for our sanity as for function) to work on OUR business. Getting a grip on the basics just made sense. It was one thing we could control in the unknown.

Today we introduce our new website, something that hadn’t gotten much attention for more than three years. The new one is all custom ­­– all us. It’s one of many foundational updates we’ve made here at the firm, intended to shine a little more light on our personality and what sets us apart in a world built around memes, Pinterest boards and marketing advice dealt out in live video sound bites.

“Culture” is a term that’s been overworked recently, but back in the day it was used to define “that-certain-indescribable-something,” top advertising agencies had ­– their secret sauce.

That sauce is vital to choosing a great agency. You’ve gotta have the right chemistry and you’ve gotta be able to sense it from the first meet-up — Do they get you? Do they put you at ease? Do they inspire?

Our new site is intended to help you answer those questions, and to give you a taste of our secret sauce:



Lisa Fischbach

Original cape girl

Labor Day props for Frances Perkins. She’s a hero in my book.

Labor Day props for Frances Perkins. She’s a hero in my book.

LABOR DAY PROPS FOR FRANCES PERKINSGoodbye sunscreen. Hello pumpkin spice. Labor Day closes the book on summer.

But as we celebrate the American wage earner, let’s open the book on the woman who established the norms that they (we) enjoy without much thought.

Frances Perkins served as the U.S. Secretary of labor under FDR from 1933 until 1945, the longest tenure of anybody in that position. Her appointment also marked the first time a female ever sat on an American presidential cabinet. On top of THAT, she found even more consequential ways to leave her mark. Check out some of her greatest hits:

  1. The 40-hour work week. That’s a banger, eh? Sure, sometimes grinding through 8-5, M-F can seem cruel and unusual, but imagine life without the 40-hour standard. I can’t even …
  2. The minimum wage. Another game-changer from Frannie. (It’s her given name. Another name-related fun fact: when she married, she went to court to keep her maiden name – to protect her new husband’s career from all the political hell she was prone to raising. But I digress …) I’m sure she had higher aspirations for it than its current manifestation, but better too little than none at all, amiright?
  3. Overtime pay. A third blockbuster from the Fair Labor Standards Act is time-and-a-half. Sometimes it’s a necessary, evil. Sometimes it’s a windfall. Either way, the next time you get a little extra ka-ching for going above-and-beyond, thank ol’ Fannie Perks. 
  4. Unemployment Insurance. It’s like a bicycle helmet. It ain’t pretty, but it can soften a blow. Moving on…
  5. Social Security. Talk about swinging for the fences. This has helped generations of Americans avoid keeling over in the saddle. It’s some comfort to know that we can hang up the spurs and look forward to a small measure of sustenance after decades of getting’ ‘er done. 

The list goes on, but just these high points show that the legacy of Frances Perkins is a litany of privileges still enjoyed by the American wage earner. She clawed her way to an unprecedented position in a man’s world and once she arrived, she did NOT disappoint. 



Steve Fischbach

Assistant whip-cracker

Sometimes, you gotta get a bit high

Sometimes, you gotta get a bit high

The limestone colosseum of The Fins with the Big Southern Butte

The limestone colosseum of The Fins with the Big Southern Butte in the background.

I never intended to become a rock climber, let alone a rock climbing guidebook author. In fact, during my college years I would drive by the local crags en-route to an afternoon mountain bike ride and shake my head at the seemingly docile figures congregated at the cliffs. Adorned with strange webbing-like things wrapped around their legs and groins, silly helmets on like they were coal miners and even sillier-looking footwear, I often wondered what the appeal was. Climbing seemed like such a lethargic, sloth-like activity and I wanted no part of it. However, I had yet to actually try it.

Fast forward 22 years. Guess who’s wearing the crotch-cinching webbing and silly shoes now?

Yup, I got hooked. A friend of mine convinced me to try it one afternoon. Initially, I was scared shitless but something was sown on those first few outings. What started that summer of ‘98 as a casual, something-to-do-before-beer:30 among friends became an all-out obsession for me.

As I befriended like-minded individuals, I began learning about more and more places for rock climbing in the southeastern Idaho region. I was blown away by how many climbing areas there were (near and far) and by their diversity. I had to visit them all. I began collecting and obsessing over guidebooks and eventually co-authoring one for the southeastern Idaho region. I felt the need to share these local gems with fellow aficionados and perhaps reciprocate the motivation and passion I still feel when visiting climbing areas new to me.

Most local climbers reading this are keen to the many climbing areas in the southeast Idaho region. However, for the uninitiated and inquiring minds, this is for you, an abbreviated list of my personal top 5 recommendations:

Pointless Crag

Heather Lords climbing at Pointless Crag. Photo courtesy Dean Lords

Pointless Crag

Perched above the scenic Snake River upstream from the Heise Hot Pools, this little gem of basalt is host to about 20 climbing routes that vary from short to tall. While primarily beginner-friendly routes dominate here, intermediate climbers will find enough to keep them occupied for a day or two. Wildlife sightings such as osprey, beaver, deer and moose are common. When your forearms are trashed you can pull out the fishing rod and drop a line in the Snake.


Climbers competing in the Pocatello Pump at Ross Park. Photo courtesy

Ross Park

Located in the active college town of Pocatello, Ross Park hosts 2 separate short, yet wide, basalt cliffs to accommodate climbers from beginner to intermediate levels. With its ease of access (1 min. walk from car), northeast and southwest facing cliffs (think summer shade or winter sun), and nearly 200 climbing routes, Ross Park is a winner-winner chicken dinner. (History tidbit: The Pocatello Pump, the longest running climbing competition in the U.S., is held at Ross Park every Sept.)


John Roark climbing on Eagle Wall at Massacre Rocks.

Massacre Rocks

Roughly 10 miles southwest of American Falls as the crow flies, among the sagebrush and junipers, lies Massacre Rocks. Comprised of basalt cliffs exposed over 14,000 years ago when Lake Bonneville (Utah) breached its northern shoreline, the numerous cliffs at Massacre Rocks are home to over 700 climbing routes. Beginners to advanced climbers are entertained here nearly year-round. Warning: don’t pet the rattlesnakes.


Climbers on the patinaed west face of Flaming Rock at the City of Rocks. Photo courtesy City of Rocks National Reserve.

City of Rocks

Nestled within the hilly landscape of southern Idaho, City of Rocks is a collection of towering granite monoliths that protrude from the arid landscape just west of Almo. With over 600 climbing routes that attract novice climbers as well seasoned veterans, City of Rocks is literally a mecca for climbing. No B.S. (History tidbit: City of Rocks lies along the historic California Trail used during the Gold Rush era of the mid 1800s.)

The Fins

The limestone version of Elysium. Even Homer would agree.

Standing sentinel high above the Arco desert, overlooking the small town of Howe and the INL, the bulletproof limestone cliffs of the Fins jut out of the stony ground like the back plates of a stegosaurus. Advanced to expert climbing is the name of the game here on dime-edge sized handholds and double-to-single finger holes. Steel yourself for pain, humility and a crushed ego.


Sarah Anne Perry climbing on the impressive Discovery Wall at The Fins. Photo courtesy Nate Liles / Orographic Visual.



Matt TeNgaio

Pixel pushing
rock enthusiast