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Small Agency of the Year, Northwest, Gold: Spawn Ideas

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Spawn's campaign for the Alaska Railroad
Spawn's campaign for the Alaska Railroad Credit: Spawn Ideas

Spawn Ideas is not your typical agency: It's majority female, employee-owned and wants it employees to get out of the office and enjoy the outdoors. Of course, that's a little bit easier when you're based in Anchorage, Alaska, and have the wilderness at your feet.

"It's an antidote to the kind of burnout that can happen in advertising," said President-CEO Karen King.

The formula works. Spawn's campaign for the Alaska Railroad, "Now Departing Ordinary," helped raise bookings 9.4% over the same period last year, the agency said. Spawn Ideas has also done projects for McDonald's and telecommunications company GCI, the latter of which made Alaskans feel warm and fuzzy about a tech company.

The agency, which has been around under different names since 1975, employs 40 and has small satellite offices in Denver and Seattle. It's been employee-owned since 2005.

"The employee-ownership piece makes it more of a co-created type of culture," King said. "As an owner, they've got skin in the game."

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