1. The art of color grading

  2. They say, “The journey is more important than the destination.”

    After two and a half years of working on our B Corp application, certification has finally become a reality.  As we celebrate this milestone, I’m reflecting back on the journey we have taken. Really, it’s a journey we began long before the application process.  The genesis is at least 18 years back when Jeanie Coates…

  3. If someone told me in 1985…

    I have had the same employer for more than 33 years. (Crazy, right?) I feel like I have to phrase that really carefully. I can’t say I’ve worked at Coates Kokes that long (I’ve been through 3 name changes). I can’t say I’ve worked at the same place (5 different offices). And I can’t say…

  4. Not quite ready for my closeup

    In 2016, Coates Kokes helped the Oregon Health Authority launch a marijuana youth prevention campaign. The research indicated teens wished to hear from adults who had used marijuana in the past. We conceived of a video to test in focus groups that featured a former pot smoker who questioned his marijuana use as a teenager….

  5. A brand baby

    As a designer/brand manager, one of the greatest privileges of my job is learning. To make an ad, you have to understand the customer. To make an infographic, you have to understand the process. To open a 5-star luxury lodge on the Oregon coast, you have to understand a lot more than business cards. It’s…

  6. Move-in day #tbt

    This spring marks three years living in my 150-square-foot apartment in Northwest Portland. While I could go on about how living at my means, reducing my carbon footprint, and generally adopting the minimalist lifestyle of every aesthetic blogger’s dreams, let’s be honest with each other – tiny living is really hard. Behind the scenes of…

  7. Baby, it’s cold outside

    It’s been cold out these days. “Coat weather” as they say. Each morning before I head to work, I look in my closet and try to decide which coat to wear. Do I go with the soft fluffy cream or fleece-collared gray? Or is it the trench coat, the pea coat or one of my…

  8. Getting to work. An exercise in living better.

  9. In disaster relief, peoples’ goodwill gains traction

    In light of recent tragedies, I’ve been reflecting on the role social media has taken in the aftermath of disasters. The responses to the hurricanes in the Southeast and the earthquakes south of our border remind us of the impact wide exposure of humanitarian goodwill can have to inform and inspire additional relief efforts. I’m…

  10. From EPIC fail, to a win

    If you’ve ever participated in a team relay, you know what a labor of love it can be. There are 12 runners to a team, 6 in each van and you are coordinating from van to van to pass the “baton” off to the next runner at each exchange point. Each van has to account…

  11. Examining our views

    There’s no doubt about it – the Coates Kokes office is beautiful. We moved into the Commonwealth Building in downtown Portland in 2011 (before my time here), onto the “unlucky” 13th floor. Superstitions aside, we have whiteboard walls, a fridge stocked with sparking water, a stunning, in my opinion, a 360-degree view of Portland –…

  12. Finding the courage to dance

    In the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Justin Torres for The Washington Post wrote “In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club,” a tribute I shared among friends, many who identify with a letter in the LGBTQAlphabet, and many who don’t. The outpouring of support and the unity that followed that brutal attack…

  13. Give better

    Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Really, every two seconds. Most of us probably take for granted that the blood will be there, waiting for transfusion, if and when we or a loved one need it. But there’s no guarantee of that… unless we all do our part to contribute to…

  14. One shining moment

    This time of year makes me happy. The days are getting longer, rain and snow will be behind us soon (OK, maybe not rain), and NCAA college basketball playoffs are underway. Coates Kokes is not alone in sponsoring a Bracket Challenge competition: 70 million people filled out March Madness brackets in 2016. USA Today says…

  15. Coming together for better

    What does it mean to “Live Better?” For some people, it may mean cutting back on calories (goodbye, Christmas cookies!) and getting a little more physical activity. To others it could mean working a little less and spending a little more time with loved ones. Or possibly cutting back on a bad habit that prevents…

  16. The blog post that could have been

    She did it. And we did it. With Tuesday’s historic vote, America fulfilled one of its original promises. Since the founding of the country, we’ve hoped to hold this truth to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Now, to paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda, we can include women in the sequel. Women fought for 144…

  17. How well do you know this place?

    “Where are you from?” That’s a common question I dread being asked as I never know how to answer it. Do I say where I was born, or my two nationalities? Or should I mention all of the places I’ve lived? Due to my dad’s job, my family and I moved approximately every three years…

  18. The end is just the beginning

    The ash kept falling like snow, but it just wouldn’t melt. Citizens roamed the streets, their anxious faces dressed in unfamiliar surgical masks to protect their lungs. Nervous cars hid in their garages fearful of clogged air filters. It seemed Portland, my beloved hometown, would be forever lost to unpredictable Mother Nature. I celebrated my…

  19. What country music has to do with advertising

    Growing up in North Carolina, I don’t remember listening to much country music. Now that I live on the opposite coast, I can’t get enough of it. That’s partly because, as much as I love Portland and the Northwest, I miss the touchstones of home: Southern accents, properly-fried okra, four distinct seasons (as opposed to…

  20. Fear and trepidation on the slopes of life

    My son Cameron came home last night for a visit from college.  Catching up with him reminded me of our trip about a month back for spring break.  The two of us and my wife Madeline headed to Utah and hit the slopes.  In these last years of our kids growing up and leaving the…

  21. Keep going: Portland on two wheels

    It was the jazz-loving beats of 1950s San Francisco. Then it was the raw talent of a few fearless kids that brought skateboarding to life in 1970s Venice Beach. Now it’s the rain-soaked cyclists of Portland. The bike scene in the Pacific Northwest is a movement all its own and Tim Jacks, one of our…

  22. Fresh eyes on Portland

    Last December, I moved back to Portland after having lived in Seattle for the past eight years. I began working at Coates Kokes as a Senior Account Manager, and one of the first clients I started working on was Metro, the governing agency for the three counties that make up the greater Portland area (Multnomah,…

  23. Put your trunks in the air for Elephant Lands!

    Not every city can say that they are home to a 12,500-pound celebrity, but Portland sure can! Packy, the big guy, is a household name around these parts. He also shares a birthday with our account manager for the Oregon Zoo, Christina – so it goes without saying we’re pretty excited  to see the progress…

  24. 10 places to use your Go Box downtown (plus – what’s a Go Box?!)

    At Coates Kokes, we’re passionate about sustainability. We also love to embrace the spirit and culture that is Portland, so the decision to participate in Go Box was a no brainer! What is Go Box you ask? It’s a sustainable way to take advantage of Portland’s downtown food scene. Participants are given tokens which are…

  25. The power of water

    Viewers of Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards were treated to a spectacle of dazzle, drama and power straight out of the Pacific Northwest. We’re speaking, of course, of the Coates Kokes-produced TV spot for CleanHydro, which debuted during the ceremony.* “Snow Melts” is the latest in a series of four commercials for our client Northwest RiverPartners…

  26. Speaking from the heart

    “It was with you the first time you blew out your candles. It was definitely there for your first slow dance. It’s been given away and it’s been stolen too many times to count. It’s even been broken a time or two….” As you can tell, we’re talking about your heart. Timed for February, National…

  27. No joy in Duckville

    Look how happy we all look. This is a picture of hope and joy; anticipation and want. Sadly, it is also a picture of bragging rights never earned or realized. Nearly half our CK team identifies themselves as a UO Duck. Many went there. Some have kids or spouses who went there. Others simply have friends…

  28. The dirty secret

    But if no one knows the secret, then no one gets hurt…right? Wrong. Believe it or not, every night hundreds of babies in our community go to bed wearing a pre-used diaper. Really, pre-used. This isn’t because their parents are stupid or love their children any less. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. These parents…

  29. Solar hits new ‘Heights’

    Cutbacks at print and broadcast media outlets in Portland and an emphasis on digital content have demanded we think beyond traditional tactics and change the way we practice public relations. We have been transformed into visual content producers as well as writers, strategists and professionals pitching story ideas to reporters. We know that by offering…

  30. The elephant in the office

    Our creative team was recently recognized for its integrated marketing and communications work with the Oregon Zoo. The Zoo received the 2012 Marketing Excellence Award presented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for the advertising campaign we created to celebrate 50 years of Packy the elephant. You may recall seeing the ads around…

  31. Fields of energy

    One of the best things about living in Portland is access to great places just outside the city. For me, this access comes by way of my motorcycle, a 2002 Triumph Tiger. Over the years we’ve been on lots of fun adventures together, riding all over the Pacific Northwest. But one of my favorite rides…

  32. Whole lotta coverage

    Our PR team has been working hard to get press for the Cottages at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. The two separate tasks have been to promote the benefits of fractional ownership and also Pacific City as a destination. In one weekend, there was an article in the Portland Business Journal about fractional ownerships in Oregon, highlighting the Cottages and also a story in The Oregonian’s Travel section about visiting Pacific City, highlighting the Cottages as rentals. Way to go PR team!

  33. Press check!

     Imelda's shopping bags on the press 

  34. The Oregon/SW Washington BetterBricks Awards 2010

  35. Portland Sustainability Institute joins the conversation on OPB’s Think Out Loud

    Rob Bennett, Executive director of the Portland Sustainability Institute, and John Knott, CEO of the Noisette Company in South Carolina fresh from the second annual EcoDistricts Summit engaged OPB’s

    Expanding Avista’s Energy Efficiency Outreach to New Audiences

  36. Bringing Energy Efficient Design To The Drawing Board

  37. What Do You Put On Your Lawn?

  38. Congratulations to Everyone. But Especially the Potluck Winners!

    Last Friday, CKers competed in the fourth annual 100-mile potluck. Lots of great food as usual but only three can be winners (or four if there’s a tie, and there was). So this year’s winners are (and BTW, you’ll notice the winners are all women, but this blog contributor will have you know the guys did a great job too):

    Lindsay Frank "Most Local Ingredients" with her Rice and Summer Squash

    Christina Bertalot "Most Local Ingredients" with her Pork Carnitas 

    Anne Hoffman "Best Tasting" with her Peach Salad

  39. Time to Get Your Julia On!

    Be vewy vewy quite, I’m hunting cawifwowa.

    Alright CKers. Time to source your ingredients from within 100 miles of CK central and turn that local bounty into the best dang casserole ever!

    As usual, prizes will be awarded for the dish with the most local ingredients, the best tasting and the best presentation.

    Good luck!

  40. State Public Health Officer Dr. Mel Kohn Voted Best Keeper of the Calm for His Work on H1N1

  41. Rid Your Place of Powermongers.

    The places we call home are filled with Powermonger breeding grounds. Leaky windows. Thermostats set too high. Computers that are carelessly left in power-save and never get shut off. It’s time we took back our homes and started saving energy.

    With help from Avista and Every Little Bit, customers will soon be able to rid their homes of the Powermonger menace and start saving energy.

  42. Avista Wins First Place for Every Little Bit

    Avista Utilities entered some work into an industry award competition (Utilities Communication International). Avista won first place for the Every Little Bit campaign as a whole. First place for the :30 TV spot titled "John" aka "Profile." And first place for the "customer" print series. Congratulations all around! The customer outreach communication pieces beat out some tough competition and much larger utilities.

  43. First Bocce Match

    Is it called a match? Game? In our case, it would be called a "trouncing." We played against SwellPath. And while we did win a few rounds, they demolished us something like 12 to our 6. Well played, SwellPath. Well played. On another note, one of our bocce players mistook the game for dodgeball.


  44. CK PR, Sunset and Pacific City

    The PR team has been working hard to get some media attention around all the great activities Pacific City has to offer. The work definitely paid off with an amazing two-page spread in the June 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine.

  45. Recent “Keep it Local” Coverage for the Stephanie Inn

    Coates Kokes has been working with Martin Hospitality and their Cannon Beach properties, the Stephanie Inn and the Surfsand Resort, for the past five years. Recently, on KOIN’s “Keep it Local,” the notable Stephanie Inn was featured as one of the most romantic places to go away with your sweetie. Nice job PR team!

  46. Bring Your Daughter to Work

    Today Olivia Sheen accompanied her father to Coates Kokes. After meeting everyone and hearing about what they do, dad put her to work concepting ads for The Register-Guard online classifieds. Highlights included discovering the M&M bowl, fetching her dad a cup of coffee and learning how to post this blog.

  47. Happy Earth Day, Earth!

    You didn’t think this editorial staff would let Earth Day go by without a post did you? Well, it was decided that we’d bring a smorgasbord of nature-friendly, goodness to our readers.

  48. Eat Your Fiber

    Adventist Medical Center recently hosted another of their wellness seminars, this one about The Full Plate Diet and featured the doctors and authors of the book. The book is a NY Times and USA Today bestseller and goes into depth about why a fiber-rich diet is not only healthy but will also help you lose weight. Our own Anne Hoffman was on the scene to bring you this summary of the event.

  49. A New Place to Scrape Your Plate

    Sue and Kate on the PR team helped coordinate the Portland Composts! pilot media event Wednesday and all four TV stations showed up. Four neighborhoods, or about 2000 homes, were selected to participate in the initial program before introducing the food scraps composting to the entire city in 2011. Here’s some exclusive CK camera footage of the event.

  50. Behind the Scenes

    No spoiler alert here. Just a behind-the-scenes preview of a soon-to-air :30 second tv spot for Metro’s Recycling Hotline. Without giving away the concept, the spot is another in-house production with the help of producer, Katey Carson. In-house director, Sam Lienen was especially excited to finally get his eye behind a Red camera.

  51. CK Discovers New Use for Static Cling

    A new OR law requires landlords to disclose the smoking policy of their buildings to tenants as smoking with the shared ventilation systems of apartments is often a problem for renters. So with limited budget and a very targeted audience, we had a media challenge on our hands.

  52. CK Gets Social with Your Little Beach Town

  53. You Can Do It if You Put Some Local to It!

    The third annual CK 100-Mile Potluck is almost here. A reminder about how it works and what’s at stake:

    Everyone who wants to participate should plan on bringing something ready to be consumed by 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 8th. Prizes will be awarded in the following three categories: 1) most local ingredients (within 100 miles), 2) best tasting and 3) best presentation. 

  54. The Kilowatt Crackdown New Logo and Site


  55. Coates Kokes Helps to Standardize Sustainability on College Campuses

    Everybody from the Princeton Review to the Sierra Club is rating colleges and universities on their own “green index.” But what’s been needed is a common standard rating system open to all college and university campuses in the US and Canada from community colleges to research institutions that is comprehensive and transparent.

  56. Elevating Customer Service through a Microsite

  57. 25 Years? Where Did the Time Go Ms. Frank?

    According to today’s labor statistics, the average person will work between five and fifteen jobs in a lifetime. If that’s the case, then Lindsay Frank better get a move on since she’s already worked at Coates Kokes for 25 years as of the 17th of this month. Then, on the other hand, the last thing Lindsay aspires to be is “average.”

  58. New Flu Television Spot

    A new flu/H1N1 television spot launched this week. Keeping up with the pandemic has been interesting. As the H1N1 flu threat wanes, the need to encourage everyone to get their seasonal flu shots has grown. Knowing things could change but not knowing when, we created spots that were flexible enough to swap in new messages as needed. This latest one and the previous have been adjusted to meet current needs. 

  59. CK Holiday Party 09

    Coates Kokes just celebrated the holiday’s, making it the agency’s tenth since becoming Coates Kokes. We won’t even say how many (32) that makes it in total for a certain founder. This year’s party was at the Oswego Lake House. As you may have guessed, it was right on the lake (which was frozen over and despite many attempts by this author, no one would bust out their ice skates). Food, drinks, more food and a gift exchange occupied the lot of us for a goodly number of hours.

  60. Testing the Power of Renewable Energy

    Take a couple plug-in hybrids and a few rooftop solar panels and that’s a recipe for testing the power of renewable energy. Up at Avista, they’re doing just that. These two hybrids are charged by solar panels on Avista’s roof. The website tracks how much juice the cars use and how much the panels produce. Avista is using the data they’re collecting now to be prepared for the time when more and more customers start plugging their hybrids into the grid. The extra dose of sweet Dutch angle on these shots is free of charge. 

  61. Communications Solutions for a Pandemic

    Coates Kokes is fortunate to have a number of causes as clients. It’s an area that has become a specialty of sorts for the agency in recent years, and it makes for rewarding work even if it is filled with the pressures inevitably involved when the environment or even lives are at stake. The State of Oregon’s Department of Human Services has recently tapped the agency to help in the fight against the H1N1 flu virus.

  62. Public Involvement through Social Media

    Our clients at the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning & Sustainability came to us for help in shaping a city planning process that is anything but typical. For starters, the Portland Plan is a once in 30-year plan that will set the course for investment in Portland for the next three decades.

  63. Granny Franny is named Portland’s next top model

    Last week the postcard we created for the Portland Plan hit mailboxes around the city—now our model is famous…or at least The Oregonian says so. Reporter Anne Saker calls Mary Frances “Portland’s next top model.” We agree.  Check out the great coverage.

  64. Rain or shine, baby. Rain or shine.

    It was a wet ride in this morning. What you can’t see is the pool of water forming at Karl’s feet or the socks he had to wring out. That’s dedication. 

  65. Granny transformation

    Today, the CK crew went to photograph our client’s grandmother for a citywide postcard.  She was most likely the nicest grandmother you’ll ever meet, but our task was to make her as angry as possible.  Check out the transformation.


    Watch out, Portland!  

  66. Eating Our Words

    We talk about localness and sustainability and now for the third year, we got to eat our words. Tasty words they were this year too. We’re talking about the third annual CK 100-Mile Potluck. For those who missed it,  the idea is to cook something up that uses as many ingredients grown and processed within 100 miles of CK headquarters.

  67. Sustaining Our Sustainability Wins

  68. Summer Party at the Park

    The CK gang loaded up two suites at PGE park. Friends and family were invited for food, drinks and baseball. Normally cedar plank salmon might seem a little highbrow for baseball, but this wasn’t just baseball.

  69. New Clean Rivers :15 sec Short

    Just wrapped one of three new short :15 sec spots for Clean Rivers and Streams. Each features an action (or inaction) that’s harmful to our rivers. This one’s about making the connection between washing our cars at home and where all that soap and grime goes.

  70. Propaganda Promoting Bike Commuting

    Twelve minutes later, Mike clocks in at CK headquarters.

  71. Helping Oregon Tackle the Next Frontier of Smokefree Spaces

    The smokefree workplace law has been in effect for over a year.  Oregonians can no longer smoke in restaurants, bars or bingo halls.

  72. Coates Kokes brands the country

    Portland Metropolitan Association of Building Owners and Managers (BOMA)’s Carbon4Square challenge – the first of its kind in the country – has recruited 85 office buildings totaling over 14 million square feet to assess and improve environmental performance within their operations.  Representing over 20 percent of the entire Portland metropolitan market, from downtown to surrounding cities, each building team will develop customiz

  73. Writer and Director Commentary for “Garage”

    Karl Schroeder (writer) and Sam Leinen (director/editor) talk about some of the postproduction that went into the deceptively simple spot produced in-house by Coates Kokes for Metro’s Recycling Hotline.

  74. Recycling Hotline TV Airs Today

    Here’s the results of the latest in-house production from Coates Kokes for Metro’s Recycling Hotline. Spring cleaning time! If you live in the area, have stuff you want to recycle but aren’t sure where, how or if it is even recyclable, call the number.

    Great job to everyone including Jay who had to drive to every corner of our fine city, in a U-Haul, collecting junk to fill that garage. Spot airs on Comcast, but not next to Hoarders (as perfect as that would be).

  75. Portland Plan Phase TWO

    The call for community input is going out for Phase TWO of Portland’s 25-year plan. This set of workshops will focus on setting direction — identifying Portland’s goals and choosing targets that will help us meet them. Check the St. John’s Review today, the ad’s in there.

  76. Ad League Adventures

     This week’s bowling in Ad League was quite an exciting one! Our final game of the night ended in a combined team score of 1100, and Heather bowled a new lifetime high of 200.  

    Please excuse the photo quality—the photographer was (understandably) excited!

  77. 503-234-3000

    As recycling and disposal goes, when it doubt, call 503-234-3000. Or at least that’s the action Metro is after from the Portland area’s businesses and residents.
    Living, breathing and knowledgeable staffers answer calls Monday-Saturday 8:30-5:00. What might one call about?

  78. Ugly Sweater Contest Results

    The agency’s back from holiday and this contributor thought "late" was better than "never" in the case of posting THE OFFICIAL COATES KOKES UGLY SWEATER CONTEST RESULTS. With a festive turnout and grueling competition, voting was difficult. But one man and his battery-powered snowman sweater brightly stood out in glowing multi-colored LED glory—Kyle. Congratulations, sir. Well played.