The Nike Air Max turns 28 today. And as many of you know, we take birthdays pretty seriously here at W+K.
The Nike Air Max turns 28 today. And as many of you know, we take birthdays pretty seriously here at W+K.
It’s nearly half term and, as is traditional at this time of year, the advertising trade journal Campaign has published its annual ‘school reports’ on agency performance. The report on W+K is mostly very positive but I suppose it’s only to be expected that it is coloured somewhat by Campaign's perception of the significance of our parting ways with Tesco. They infer that it signifies an inability to manage big accounts. The perception from the inside is a bit different. The trouble with Tesco wasn't its size; the real problems were the issues within Tesco's business and its culture that have led to its recent difficulties. These were things beyond our control. We wish Tesco all the best under its new leadership team and with its new agency, but we have no regrets about the parting of ways. For ourselves, we believe it’s better to be better than it is to be bigger.
Campaign scored us 7 (‘good’ – the same score we awarded ourselves - though we wrote our self assessment prior to the loss of Tesco) and said, “Judged on its ads, Wieden & Kennedy London is a match for any UK agency. But the loss of the £110 million Tesco business to Bartle Bogle Hegarty in January 2015 has got people asking if it is set up to handle big accounts. It is true that the supermarket was mired in scandal and needed to show that it was making root-and-branch transformations but W&K never looked comfortable in the relationship and its campaigns lacked the quality and innovation that the agency brings to other clients. What’s more, this is familiar territory for W&K. In 2011, it lost the £80 million Nokia business (admittedly, another brand far from rude health) and had to cut a third of its staff.
The managing director, Neil Christie, has said that he does not expect redundancies this time round, but recent wins – including RB’s Finish and Chambord, and more work from Arla – won’t plug the gap left by Tesco. (This is true. But Finish, plus Arla, plus Chambord, plus Ovo, plus Tyrrells, plus a recent large win we have yet to announce will hopefully do it.)
Elsewhere, W&K was responsible for some of 2014’s best ads. Three’s "#SingItKitty" was a viral smash on a par with "the pony" and Honda’s "the other side" was the envy of creative departments around the world. Few digital shops create ads as innovative as "the other side" and none can match W&K’s populist touch. Even more impressively, the interactive spot was made before Iain Tait arrived from Google to replace Kim Papworth (who will stay on as a senior creative) as one of the executive creative directors. Rivals should be nervous.
Christie and co have worked hard (Christie hasn’t worked that hard, it’s mainly been ‘and co’ that have done the work) to make W&K the best US-agency outpost in London (Just to be 100% clear, the objective here has never been anything to do with being ‘best US agency outpost in London’; the goal is simply to be the best) and all the talk about Tesco should not detract from its achievements in building a consistently excellent creative team.
But Dan Wieden – reputedly a curious blend of hippy and hard-nosed businessman – will likely be asking what it is about this office and heavy-lifting accounts. (Well, Dan hasn’t mentioned it. So far, at least.)
How the agency scores itself: 7
How the agency rates itself: Not a bad year. We did some great work across a broad range of clients, getting many mentions in the selections of 2014’s best by Campaign, Fast Company, YouTube etc. We achieved some strong results. We picked up a bunch of awards. We had a successful year of new business. And we hired some great new people, including Iain Tait, who (re)joined as ECD from Google.
All in all, I can't grumble too much about this report, even if I disagree with the suggestion that we struggle with big accounts. We have struggled with two big accounts: Tesco and Nokia. Both of these were companies in crisis. We appreciate that our good work over the year on other accounts, big and small, has been recognised. So, post Tesco, it's business as usual for W+K London: aiming to do the best work of our lives for great clients. Onwards and sideways, as Kim P always says.
Some of us are a little tired today, following last night's British Arrows ceremony, at which Honda The Other Side, Lurpak Cook's Range and Three Sing It Kitty were honoured with some lovely arrow-shaped metal.
Our host was the one and only David Mitchell.
The Other Side picked up Commercial of the Year, as well as two golds for Interactive Web-Based Commercial and Best over 90" Web-Based Film, Cook's Range picked up triple gold for Best 30"-60" TV, Best 60"-90" Cinema and Dairy, and Three Sing It Kitty went home with a bronze for Telecommunications.
Our very own Andrew Bevan won (one half of) Best Creative Team and a silver for Charity for his Violence is Violence campaign for Mankind.
And W+K Portland nabbed gold for Sportswear and silver for Best Over 90" Commercial using paid-for media for Nike The Last Game.
And we managed to bring back the pointy bits of metal back to the agency in one piece this morning.
Peruse the full list of winners here. Congratulations to all involved!
If you’re a creative advertising student or graduate, this is your chance to get your portfolio in front of creatives in the most social of settings - W+K creative Jason's house.
Crib Crits is the third time he and his better half have opened their door to the next generation in partnership with the YCC. And they've all been super successful. So far, 10 creatives have gotten jobs after turning up to the previous events (and having awesome work, obviously). Yep, 10.
The next one takes place on 9th April. Agencies already confirmed to attend this one are Wieden+Kennedy, Mr President, Isobar, Grey, LBi, VCCP, BBH and more. To be in with a chance of showing off your folio in a living room, bedroom or toilet, send a link to your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and Jason will get back to you to let you know if you’ve been successful as soon as is humanly possible.
If you have any questions, tweet @jason_scott or @victoria_trow. Thanks and good luck.
They say the biggest form of flattery is imitation. We say being imitated for a good cause makes us blush extra hard.
A student from the School of Communication Arts has remade our Honda Keep Up TV spot for drug awareness and advice organisation That's Frank, encouraging people to think twice about the effects of taking 'a trip'.
Last night's Creative Circle Ball had a nice metallic sheen to it, as two of our campaigns each took home a few awards each.
Honda The Other Side picked up three golds (for 'best use of new technology', 'best online film' and 'best interactive'), as well as the 'gold of golds' for top ad of 2014.
Lurpak Cook's Range won gold for 'direction' and 'editing' (big congratulations to Dougal Wilson at Blink and Joe Guest at Final Cut) and silver for best TV film. Not a bad haul, if we do say so ourselves.
Photo courtesy of Creative Pool on Twitter.
Last week Scott and Alex headed to the Geneva Motor Show to check out the latest and greatest cars the world has to offer.
Drooling over the forthcoming Honda NSX was obviously top of the priority list. Scott tried to play it cool whilst struggling to work out how to get in.
Scott pulled it back and look much cooler than Alex posing next to the 2015 Honda McLaren.
The boys journeyed to the past to check out Senna’s F1 car.
And to the future, salivating at the emission-free, Hydrogen fuel cell FCV concept.
As well the cars, many manufacturers have other bits and pieces to keep the petrolheads entertained. This picture was taken around the time Scott unnerved our Honda client Martin whilst heading full-pelt into a computer-generated wall. Fortunately the real-world physics only went as far as a shake and a wobble.
All in all a great day – the team learned loads and left full of excitement about what’s to come for Honda. We’d like to give a huge shout out to Martin and Jemma at Honda for inviting us along and looking after us on the day.
Following the recent launch of Keep Up, You Can Now traces our longstanding relationship with Honda from both a client and an agency perspective, speaking with Martin Moll, Head of European Marketing at Honda and W+K ECD Tony Davidson to discover what keeps our working relationship ticking - or roaring.
Creatives Anthony and Greg report back from a recent inspiration-sourcing visit to the Christian Marclay exhibition at the White Cube in Bermondsey.
Every once in a while us creative types need to step outside the bubble of advertising cars, running shoes, and milk, to simply take in the arts. It’s a necessary practice of freeing your mind and hopefully padding the vault with new creative references. So in keeping with this tradition, we ventured off to the White Cube gallery to do just that.
The White Cube currently features the work of Christian Marclay, which the pamphlet at the door described as, “Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound.”
Image and sound? Seems up our alley. Let’s begin.
As soon as you enter into the White Cube’s main artery, our ears perked up to the sharp pings and clanks of glass. Projections on the walls flickered footage of the artist’s journey down London sidewalks where discarded bottles and glassware from the previous night’s bender was scattered about. The artist playfully taps, pings and kicks, anything and everything that catches his eye, resulting in a symphonic yet physcofrenic medley of sound. We couldn’t help but get lost in this experience. The behaviour was almost child-like, evoking distant memories of running a stick along a fence.
In the adjacent room, colourful mixed-media pieces complement the video installation. Here, Marclay translates the theme onto canvas, channeling 60s Batman, Roy Lichtenstein prints with a bit of Jackson Pollock – combining them in a distinctly sly and tongue-in-cheek way. The pieces seem to describe themselves. The word ‘Splat!’ literally referencing the paint splatter behind it.
Finally, we enter the last room of the exhibition. It’s a large room with one long running shelf that spans all four walls, holding hundreds of pint glasses. Think of the window sill outside of The Heart on a friday, x100. In the centre of the room, a performance artist dunks his head in a pail of water. Like bobbing for apples, he searches the bucket, takes a big mouthful of water, and walks toward the wall of glassware. Greg and I watch (alone) as the artist chooses a glass, and painstakingly spits the water into it.
As we slowly back out of the room (hoping to go unnoticed), we watch him pour the pint of mouth-water back into the bucket and proceed to start the process all over again (and you thought you had a hard day at work). A interesting experience. Maybe there’s an idea in there somewhere. Maybe not.
After collecting a few thoughts and experiencing the uncomfortable nature that is ‘performance art’, overall, it was a good visit. The White Cube is a brilliant gallery displaying art in a beautiful space. If you have a moment, we suggest you take an hour to see it for yourself.
Until next time, we’re Greg and Ant.
Lovers of (a) Twitter and (b) all things well organised, rejoice! A small team of W+Kers present and past is behind the launch of app bringing order and efficiency into our (online) social lives.
The brainchild of Joseph Ernst, Jonny Plackett, and Jon Matthews, with design by Kelly Satchell, the app is called Tworganize, and we think it's set to revolutionise the way we engage with Twitter.
In the team's own words:
In the beginning, web browsers introduced bookmarks: a personal way of storing and organising all the incredible content we find on the web. Then came Youtube, with channels and playlists, to organise not just your own content, but content you find and like and want to share. Then came Pinterest: a visual way of storing, organising and sharing all the incredible images we find on the net.
But the fastest growing social network has no archival system at all. Twitter has no system which allows you to archive and organise your favourite, most relevant or most memorable tweets.
Tworganize is a simple drag and drop filing system for Twitter. It allows you to store your favourite tweets in different boxes, which can be kept for reference, or shared with your friends.
Try it out for yourself: Simply visit tworganize.com or download the app from the Chrome Store and follow the simple instructions. Then log in to your twitter account to start. Once you have logged in to your Twitter account, you simply drag your favourite tweets into one of the customisable boxes on the left.
The team would love to hear any questions, comments or thoughts. Drop them a note at email@example.com or follow them on their (neatly organised) Twitter @tworganizeApp.
As part of our ongoing relationship with leadership development programme The International Exchange, W+K Creative Ben is spending a month working with the Kusamala Institute in Malawi.
I arrived in Malawi on Sunday afternoon to begin my month long project helping out at The Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology, a permaculture NGO based in Lilongwe. They are a young charity with lots of big ideas about tackling issues related to nutrition, agriculture and biodiversity. They want to start being less dependent on external funding by offering money-generating services based around permaculture. This is where I’ve been asked to help them out, working on branding Kusamala and packaging their projects in a way that allows them to tell more people about the work they do and the services they offer.
I’ve spent this week getting to know all the different things this charity does, asking a lot of questions along the way.
I started by tagging along on one of Kusamala’s permaculture courses, aimed at teaching people how to implement sustainable agricultural systems. The basic principle mirrors the way a forest’s ecosystem works to create a range of harvestable crops that don’t need fertilizer, pesticides or soil maintenance. (It’s a lot more interesting/complicated than that, you can read more about it here).
I then spent a lot of time meeting some really interesting people doing amazing things both inside this organization and in partner companies. In particular, I’ve been interested in the work that ‘Agro-Tech’ is doing over here, looking at mapping systems to monitor aid distribution and land productivity using a combination of bar codes and GPS mapping.
Finally on Friday of this week I went out into the Dowa district to visit some of the 15000 farms that Kusamala supports through the permaculture farming initiative. It was incredible to see rural Malawi and also realize the dependency on government subsidized Maize and Tobacco crops. This was the first time that I could see the benefits of the work that Kusamala does, with noticeably better crop yields and a wider diversity of produce. (More about this on my blog).
What originally seemed like a fairly straight forward task just keeps getting bigger and more complicated when you start factoring in donor partners, other NGO’s working in the same space, different needs for aid and also the way that funding is structured. There are a lot of things that don’t make sense and it’s clear to see that my confusion this week has been shared by most people in tis sector for years, if not decades.
So that’s where I’ve go to. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve asked a lot of questions, but I think I have a few more to go before I can start to actually make a useful contribution to this charity.
Till next time…
One afternoon last week, a few of us went down to one of our favourite places in London, the Southbank Centre, to check out the annual WOW (Women of the World) festival. In its fifth year, WOW is a festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women and girls, held around International Women's Day.
One afternoon each year is dedicated to women working in the creative industries. Women from all corners of the creative world – from TV commissioners and theatre directors to journalists and musicians – gathered to discuss the challenges facing women in creative roles and inspire us to create more, and better, opportunities.
Led by Jude Kelly, the Southbank Centre's own Artistic Director (read here for a great interview with her), the afternoon started with a panel of some of Britain's most accomplished women working in the arts, sharing stories of their journeys to the top and what they've learned along the way.
The rest of the day was spent in "think ins," smaller, hour-long sessions run concurrently in various sites within the Royal Festival Hall. Highlights this year included talks from women (and men!)
We heard a thought-provoking panel on 'Changing Minds and Systems' from artist Sara Shamsavari and Science Grrl founder Anna Zecharia. We were also especially fired up by a panel on support and mentoring with Diana Osagie, head teacher of Islington Art and Music School, who told us that it was our responsibility to ensure we 'hold the door open' and create opportunities for scholars in the arts. In her own words, IAM is 'the best school in the Universe' and after her rousing talk about the school's philosophy and stories of its students, we believed her.
At the end of the day, what stood out to us is how lucky we are to work in an environment where so many of the senior roles are occupied by women, in an industry where diversity and equality still have a long way to go. But we also came away thinking that we need to do more to support women in our own field, as well the wider creative community. Not only those in education, but mid-career women looking to take their next step, whether it's upwards or sideways.
There's a lot of great stuff happening at WOW – we thoroughly recommend a visit to the festival next year if you can. Follow the festival on Facebook for more information.
It's Nice That has a podcast called 'Studio Audience' that is available on Soundcloud. The latest episode includes a discussion of Wieden+Kennedy. You can listen here. The W+K bit starts from about 11.40. They say lots of nice stuff about us and our founder Dan Wieden. They remark that despite what might sound from the outside like 'toe-curling, Nathan Barley nonsense", we do seem to be serious about building a distinctive, creative culture. Which is indeed the case.
Over the past few months, we've been working with our friends Nice and Serious, an ethically-driven creative agency, to create their new brand identity.
Designed to be an adaptable and sustainable identity that can react in response to new developments in the field and work across all brand communications, the rebrand reflects the agency’s nice and serious values: creating beautiful things to solve serious issues.
The new brand system, which encompasses a new logo and identity concept, will be applied across the company’s website, social media channels, end frames, signage and stationery, and carried through to the brand’s tone of voice.
The new brand identity system creates a simple and flexible visual connection between Nice and Serious’ values and each project’s narrative. This identity represents the nice and the serious, and the relationship between the two.
Whilst the typography stays constant, the central area, where the two elements overlap, is an ever-changing window, a live area allowing Nice and Serious to visually showcase what the company is all about. It’s a space to tell a story through illustration, showcase a piece of work, or educate people in the form of a beautiful infographic.
We’re also collaborating on a redesign of Nice and Serious’ offices – watch this space!
Finding themselves with a spare skateboard deck leftover from a shoot, our design department saw a creative opportunity. Rather than letting it go to waste, why not make something that the whole agency could enjoy?
Over the years, the agency has acquired a collection of sayings lovingly called "Wiedenisms" by its employees, phrases that capture W+K's philosophy; some Wiedenisms have become such a big part of everyday agency life, they can even be found emblazoned on our office walls.
W+K designers Michael Bow and Guy Featherstone wanted to create a permanent piece from a phrase that hadn't yet featured in the office but was close to the agency's heart: "Difficult is worth doing." Born from the early days of the our partnership with Honda, we've adopted this creative mantra and approach ever since.
Michael and Guy saw a similarity in the attitude also shared by skaters and skateboarding culture – that relentless persistence is what it takes in order to progress. In addition, the double stroke to the typography was inspired by the fluid lines of skating. The design neatly incorporates the existing truck holes of the board.
Michael says of the project, "Despite our limited experience with the process, we chose to laser etch the design on the board. We felt this would be a good opportunity to push our boundaries and learn new skills. There were a few issues that we encountered during production, especially with regards to etching on the curved ends of the board. After a number of failures we managed to make something we were proud of - and something that truly embodies the philosophy of 'difficult is worth doing'."
We've been fortunate to work with some incredible directors over the years, and we always love seeing what they create outside of adland.
Take Daniel Wolfe, the super talented director of the interactive film we made for Honda, The Other Side. He's been getting a lot of buzz for his debut feature film Catch Me Daddy, a suspenseful thriller about a girl on the run from her family. It was a massive hit at the Cannes Film Festival last summer and has critics fired up about new British talent. It's even managed to reach a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a pretty amazing feat in itself.
Catch Me Daddy is out in cinemas across the UK today, so you can finally see it for yourselves. In the meantime, read an interview with Daniel on Film4's site and check out the trailer:
We've got three new faces joining the W+K London family this month. Here's a little introduction.
This is the lovely Holly Baker-Cliff. She has joined us as an AE on Finish and UKTV. Holly was previously working with the Nike Foundation in London before moving to the more exotic climate of Rwanda, where she became involved in amazing work with the local community.
She also revealed a little secret at our agency meeting; she auditioned for S Club Juniors. We're looking forward to hearing that next time the karaoke machine gets rolled out.
George Lisanti is a fresh face in the finance department, stepping into an accounts payable role. He joins us from a WPP shared services finance department. George is a massive football fan. We hope to get him on our agency football team shortly!
Finally, we welcome Sanket Avlani as a permanent member of the design department. He freelanced with us for a couple of weeks at the end of last year - doing great work on Nike and crafting the Book Of The Year's cover to within an inch of it's life.
Yesterday our Director of Communications and Behaviour Planning, Danni Mohammed, visited the School of Communication Arts to mentor some of its students.
Here, she shares what the students taught her:
Inspiration point 1. The building
The school occupies St Matthews Church on Brixton Hill, a fully functioning church used by the local community for worship and as a place for gathering. SCA found its residence up wide spiralling church stairs to the 4th floor. (Thinking of setting up a school? What better place than a Grade II listed church in the heart of Brixton?)
Inspiration point 2. The classroom
Unlike a typical lecture hall or tutorial classroom, the SCA has pulled together a ramshackle of tables, chairs, sofas, together with a mini stage for talks and what looked like some makeshift awnings to create its home high up in the church.
The philosophy of the SCA is to learn through collaboration and mentoring from within the industry. Each day, students attend 'school' and actively work on live briefs, from D&AD New Blood to industry briefs from the likes of Metro. The diverse range of the tasks set help students decide where they want to focus.
Some examples of the D&AD New Blood live briefs they’re currently working on include:
Inspiration point 3. The students
I managed to get around three teams in the three hours as well as a chat with an ex-D&AD student of year who came back to do a talk about how to approach the D&AD awards. What was inherent in the students' need to create was their underlying ambition to solve real problems in a purposeful way. The approaches they took all varied and showed glimpses of their future professional selves. Ideas were insightful, fresh and relevant.
What most impressed me was one student who decided on his briefs because of his passion for the topic, and even when advised against them by the Dean. You couldn't help but get carried along with his logic (because he knows what he's talking about) and most importantly the broad and insightful ways he came to his ideas.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet a group of polite, ambitious students with no shortage of ideas. If you get the chance to be a student, go for it, and if you get the chance to be a mentor, go for it. You’ll come out of that church more inspired than when you first stepped upon it.
Finally inspiration point 4. The Dean
Is it just me, me or does he look like Alan Rickman?
Seeking a spot of inspiration for a rainy Thursday afternoon? D&AD's latest Member Spotlight feature sees Creative Director, Freddie Powell spilling the beans on the perks of independence, the work of which he's most proud, and the best career advice he's ever been given.
On Thursday we held the final of our first live placement brief in partnership with the Young Creative Council, and what an epic night it was. After a chaotic start, the top nine laid out their books and took it in turns to pitch their ideas to our creative department. Just like their entries, their presentations were awesome. Nobody showed a single shred of nerves, despite standing up in front of 50-odd strangers. One team even marched around the crowd handing out homemade signs like a punk band. Pretty rad.
Next, everyone mingled for a few minutes while the votes were cast and the Creatives pored over portfolios, umming and awwing. The conversation died out. Tension filled the air. Someone spilled some wine. The crisp bowl emptied. And we finally announced the winners. It was very X-factor.
In the end, The Howling Desmond won the placement by a single vote for their virtual bath, which had the room in stitches. In fact it was so close that we gave a second placement to team NoOne, for their very clever ‘Index of Good’. We’re looking forward to both of them coming to hang out with us on Hanbury Street.
To be honest, all the entries were so strong that we’ll definitely stay in touch with those that came by. Even the ballsy team from Lincoln uni who crept in and put their book amongst the winners, getting a lot of feedback and a few free drinks for their bravery*.
After the back-patting and high-fives we all moved on The Golden Heart for a few well earned drinks and some City High on the jukebox. Despite next morning’s creative department hangover, everybody is excited for the second one.
For those that are interested in references for what we were looking for, here are the entries:
*Note to the team thinking of trying it again next time; it’s been done now. Find a new way in.
In this Little Black 'Your Shot' feature, Addison Capper picked the brains of the manifesto spot's creative trio, Bertie Scrase, Christen Brestrup and Cal Al-Jorani, to find out how they brought the ad to life.
Read the full interview here.
We are very pleased to say that Forever Curious is back for its second year!
Forever Curious is an agency initiative, where we work with young people in our local community to nurture their creativity. To us, it is just as important to learn from others during the activities as sharing our skills.
Last year, we focused on a project called My Creative Spark. Our creative spark cards helped capture and share the moment when people feel most creative and when inspiration strikes.
This year, we’ve evolved the idea with our new project, My Creative Story. Stories are at the heart of creativity. By reading stories aloud or bringing them to life, we can create images and ideas in the minds of the listeners too. Stories allow us to be seen and heard creatively. Stories encourage people to unite and share. Stories are universal. Stories transcend age, race, religion and position.
So last Friday, volunteers from the agency were reunited with the schoolchildren from Milllfields Community School and Newport Primary School they worked with last year. We also welcomed some new helpers from W+K.
First, we warmed up our brains with some unusual and exciting icebreaker games. We played quick-fire story telling rounds and had a great time pretending to be characters from our favourite stories.
Once our brains were feeling pumped and ready for some creativity we were each given a specially designed creative story card, pre-loaded with prompts and space to get creative. We all had a great time filling in the boxes with writing, pictures and doodles as we built our stories. It was inspiring to hear everyone’s creative stories and the titles they chose, as both children and adults read aloud to the whole group.
We have a lot more planned for My Creative Story, with two more interactive workshops coming up, and an exhibition filled with all the wonderful work that builds up from My Creative Story.
The best things in life often happen outside our comfort zone. We can always do more to push harder, go further, to challenge ourselves beyond our perceived limits.
This idea is at the heart of Honda's philosophy, and provided the inspiration for the brand's latest campaign, Keep Up, which launches today during the UEFA Europa League match between Liverpool vs Beşiktaş.
Rather than just telling the story of Honda’s pioneering spirit and commitment to progress, the campaign challenges viewers’ reading speed, allowing them to feel the joy of improvement for themselves. A manifesto is delivered one word at a time, with the pace increasing throughout the film, intercut with glimpses of the new Honda fleet, which are all born from the company’s challenging spirit.
A 40” TV spot directed by Man Vs Machine invites viewers to “keep up” with a message on screen, becoming increasingly difficult as the pace of the words increases to a crescendo. At approximately 500 words per minute, the fast-paced message proves that everyone is capable of achieving more than they initially thought. The energetic soundtrack, composed by Wah Wah with sound design by Factory, was created to further encourage the viewer to keep up.
How far can you go?
On a turbulent Tuesday night, the PA department made their way to the Star of Bethnal Green to embark on a terrifying evening of interrogation: the pub quiz.Embarrassment was likely. Nerves were fraught.The Holy Grail was in sight: £50 prize money was up for grabs with immeasurable pride at stake.
Inspired by a ‘money runs through my fingers’ attitude, the team name was agreed upon: Insufficient Funds. There were ten other competing teams, many regulars of the pub quiz scene. Questions were varied and challenging, everything from film sound bites and Shakespearean sonnets to labeling pulmonary veins on a diagram of the human heart. Each team member added their valuable area of expertise and just to show how seriously and dedicated we were to the cause, we even managed to rat out a few cheats. Mobile phones were banished from the table or else they would be chucked in the urinal. There was a bonus round thrown in where Lara was quickly pushed into the ring to regale her most awful first date tale to the entire pub. With this, and our generally loud volume, the other teams didn’t see us as a threat.
As the quizmaster began to reveal the results, we tensely awaited our disappointment; a walk of shame home was surely imminent?! 5th place…4th place… still nothing,, 3rd place…. Nothing…biting our nails anxiously…2nd place…we’d done it! 1st place to INSUFFICENT FUNDS. We had won, in the face of adversity and beaten 7 time winners Bojangles. In our glory and winning excitement we even managed to break the table as the quizmaster reflected, ‘You guys are so fun, I didn’t think there was any way you were going to win.’ And so it seems, sometimes you really can have your cake and eat it.
Our team winning picture right after we broke the table:
[photo by Paul Barbera]
A couple of weeks ago, we asked you all to use your internet powers for good and ‘make the world a better place from your bedroom.’
It was the first time we’d done anything like this, and we expected a few emails to trickle through. We were totally unprepared for the absolute torrent that hit our inboxes.
We were massively impressed by how much effort you all went to, as well as the variety and creativity of your entries. There were people helping the homeless, raising thousands for charity, tackling Britain’s food crisis, rallying armies of Lord of The Rings fans, making physical products and donating their own bodies to good causes. Some people built up a social media storm. Others made it on to the BBC. An honourable mention goes out to the peppy Russian team who used a single hoover to set up a cleaning empire in their university halls.
We spent days wading through your work and we’ve finally put together our ultimate top favourite entries. Even though there were some awesome speculative ideas, this brief was all about doing so we’ve only selected those that have physically done something to make the world a better place.
We would love to have included more, but the Wieden+Kennedy London office is squashed enough as it is. So, in no particular order, and with a couple of examples:
Damian & Alex – Give To View.
Joel Buckley – Go:Zone Wireless Leash
Sandy McIntosh – Martin’s Worldwide Collection Cup
Marcella & Elin – Hack Valentines Day
NoOne – Index Of Good
Adam & Jack – No Purchase Necessary
Jack & Joe – Control Joe
Zac Mehdid – Body Donation
Simone Mascagni – One Dollar Xbox
You're all invited to an event we're hosting next Friday in partnership with the Young Creative Council. We'll follow up with the deets.
To everyone else, thank you so much for your entries. We’ll definitely be running this competition again soon, so you can all have another crack.
Last night, a few of us pottered over to the IAB's 'Creative Showcase' Grand Prix. It's a 'best of the best' round-up of the winners of their various monthly awards across 2014.
We were surprised and rather pleased to learn that our 'The Other Side' project for Honda won not one but two awards, for Bravest and Boldest Client and Best Creative Idea. Hurrah!
Dom (L) and Graeme accepted the gongs on behalf of the team, and looked rather pleased about it too.
Congrats to the rest of the evening's winners.
We're still in the middle of winter over here and it's so cold you can see your breath. Timely then, that our new work for Halls just launched, challenging people to consider the air we inhale and adding an icy twist.
Titled ‘What are you breathing?', the pan-European campaign introduces consumers to a new kind of air: Halls Air. We really liked the idea of Halls owning a better kind of air as a brand; Halls Air is beyond the regular air we breathe in every day, it’s air so invigorating to breathe it's like breathing for the first time, every time. It's for those of us who want to squeeze every last drop out of life, and invigorate the body and the mind with an icy jolt.
20” and 10” TVCs salute the refreshing effect of Halls Air with the help of the coolest animals on the planet – the majestic polar bear. When a moustachioed motorcyclist pops a candy into his mouth, miniature moustachioed polar bears riding a cloud of Halls Air are released, capturing the powerful cooling sensation delivered by Halls in those everyday moments when you want to feel just that little bit more alive.
We're happy to say that no polar bears or moustaches were harmed during the making of this commercial.
W+K placement team Hanna Stenwall and Joyce Kremer are members of SheSays, an organisation for women in the creative industries. SheSays helped us host an event in our basement last night on the very W+K theme of embracing failure, where we shared some of our experience (and a few embarrassing photos) with their members.
Hanna and Joyce write:
Fear of failure. It’s quite primal really. We’re a performance-driven breed, always planning for the worst case scenario. For some reason, we tend to think that the result of our work equals our worth as human beings. No wonder we fear failure.
At W+K, you’re encouraged to ‘embrace failure’. The philosophy behind the legendary statement runs through the company’s veins. You can’t be blocked by fear when you're supposed to take risks. Without risks, the world would be predictable. Dull. Plain boring. A nightmare.
Yet we rarely take time to talk about this fear, what it does to us and how to overcome it. So that’s what we did. W+K and SheSays joined forces. Gathered some friends. Popped open some bottles of wine. Shared some stories. Basically, a lot of good things came out of it.
Over 100 people came to the agency last night to find out how Helen, Vikki and Ray embrace their failures. We can say that it was quite a success. Even though we, not too surprisingly, feared failure.
Thank you to everyone who came, and everyone involved. Without you all, this would have been just another Wednesday night.