Surprise! Everett gets city slogan

EVERETT — The pulp mills and their telltale scent are long gone.


Like Renton's "Ahead of the Curve," Tacoma's "America's No. 1 Wired City" and "It's an Edmonds Kind of Day," Everett is launching its own marketing plan hinged to a new slogan: "Everett: Be Surprised."

The slogan is part of a marketing strategy unveiled yesterday that Everett officials hope will entice businesses and tourists to take a second look at the former mill town.

"It just sounded better than 'Everett, it doesn't stink anymore,' " joked Lanie McMullin, the city's new economic development director. "People don't expect what they see here. They don't expect the mountains or the islands."

The campaign includes two other slogans: "Live Out Loud," for Everett's Parks and Recreation Department; and "Great Thinking. With a View," which is geared toward getting entrepreneurs, techies and filmmakers to take notice of Snohomish County's largest city, McMullin said.

These catchphrases, embossed on slick brochures and pamphlets, will help redefine the city to the outside world and to itself, McMullin said.

"In my opinion, never has a city with so much said so little about it," she said.

McMullin will head up the city's newly created Economic Development Department.

The department has a $158,000 budget, with $95,000 earmarked for marketing.

The funds are being redirected from other areas of the city's budget that had been scheduled for marketing, said Bob Cooper, executive director.

The city used two consultants to come up with the slogans. Seattle-based Leonhardt:Fitch came up with "Great Thinking. With a View." And Everett-based Luminous devised "Everett: Be Surprised," and "Live Out Loud."

A marketing strategy is long overdue for Everett, City Council members said yesterday.

"We can't rely on Boeing anymore, we need to bring in more economics," said Councilman Ron Gipson. "When Boeing sneezes, everyone catches a cold."

Mayor Frank Anderson, among others, noted that the city has come a long way since the days when its pulp mills produced a stench that almost became synonymous with the city.

A longtime Everett resident, Anderson remembers his mother-in-law once coming for a visit and catching a whiff of the waterfront mills. "She'd go looking around the house to see if there were dirty diapers somewhere," Anderson said. "When you say, 'Everett,' some people just think of that smell."

But that will no longer be the case if the city's campaign is successful. Surprise.

Rachel Tuinstra: 425-783-0674 or