This tribute to our Sing It Kitty ad for Three screened yesterday morning.
Sky says: "Kammy reminds us all that this city was built on rock and roll. You can watch Soccer AM on Saturday mornings at 10am on Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky 1 HD."
I think I prefer the original. Now at over 4.5m views on YouTube.
Luke Tipping writes:
Lots of talks today and the big theme uniting them was privacy. First up was Julian Assange. Teleported in by Skype from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian talked about how there’s been a militarisation of our civilian space. He suggests that our information is being stolen from us every day by governments and brands. It is now almost impossible to live outside of surveillance. In the next hour, how about trying to live without a digital sensor of sorts recording any of your behaviour?
Later in the day Jon Lebkowsky and Patrick Lichty talked about the "Cyborg Gaze". They suggested that pervasive imaging is now everywhere and that there’s a shift occurring from surveillance to "sousveillance". This is defined as the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity. It is done typically by way of a small wearable device like Google Glass.
A Cyborg turned up to the Q&A:
Lebkowsky and Lichty suggested that today a participatory panopticon is occurring, wherein we increasingly have no idea whether we are being watched or not. Nor do we know whether somebody elsewhere is copying the photos and videos we take and analysing them for another purpose.
Why does it matter if we’re being watched? If we’re good people with nothing to hide then it doesn’t really matter, right?
Maybe. Although for me the real issue boils down to the fact that machine vision has better memory than human. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger talks a bit about this in his fantastic book Delete. He says that once upon a time it was hard to remember. Now it’s almost impossible to forget.
As humans it's really important that we’re able to grow and escape our former selves. Think about some of the things you may have said on the playground when you were younger. Part of growing up is about making mistakes and learning. How can we do that if increasingly our every word and move is being recorded, potentially appearing later in life in a completely different context. If you’d like your daughter or son to be a future Prime Minister or President it’s probably worth making sure they never use a social network. Or maybe get them started on Secret first. Here's what everybody here is secretly thinking about SXSW by the way.
So quite a dystopian day, really. A lot of the stuff we build in technology is progressive but I really do believe that we don’t think properly about the social implications. The creative industries are increasingly embracing new and quick 'do then learn' iterative processes but perhaps we should all be a bit more thoughtful about what we’re making.
The privacy backlash is certainly making its way from governments towards brands. So if you’re using data it's now more important than ever that you make the return of information disproportionately big enough for people.
Luke Tipping writes:
Day one was fantastic. A great start to SXSW. Rather than dashing from talk to talk we decided to do one thing well and get stuck into a workshop. The workshop was titled 'Making More of Ourselves - Sensory and Multimodal UX'. It was taken by the brilliant Alastair Somerville from Acuity Design.
It was an activity-based session about challenging our tendency to default to designing purely visual interfaces, instead asking us to consider using other senses. Alastair talked about how it’s actually other senses - like touch, smell and hearing - that are key to designing the future of multimodal user experiences for wearable technologies.
First up was an exercise in haptics. In our team we were asked to communicate a simple message using only touch. Here’s W+K's Will asking Marshall Page (Tech Initiatives Manager at Nike) what time the store closes using only his hands.
Turns out it’s actually really difficult to communicate with touch on the hand because hands are massively overloaded with sensory input. That’s why the US army is in fact designing haptic direction systems that communicate by vibrating on the individual's back.
Next up was an exercise in gesture, supposedly the next chapter in interface design. See Leap Motion, etc. The interesting thing about gesture is that, like words. it's a language riddled with cultural and universality issues. (Think about how better at it the Italians are than us). So Alastair asked us to explore this by looking at well-known symbols and trying to translate them into body language.
Lastly we did an exercise in sensory augmentation. Alastair talked about how we have nine senses yet current wearables in the market ignore the majority of them:
In the past Alastair worked on using fragrance to help direct the visually impaired. We tried apps like Heare, that help the visually impaired to see with sound, and the Scenti app that wakes you up with the smell of bacon.
So all quite profound, really. How else could you communicate with people beyond the visual? What does your brand's front door feel like? How might a vibrating basket handle help people find the products they want in your store? How might smell reward your customers for a desired business outcome?
To build on our latest campaign for Three, #SingItKitty, some of the great minds have created something we think is quite special: our very own #TapItKitty web app.
Built from open-source code, the app celebrates one of the most popular and addictive mobile games of recent memory, showcasing Three's feline star in 8-bit glory.
Some of us are ranking up high scores of, err, 9, although the current agency record is an impressive 118, held by Interactive Producer, Dom Felton, although he looks to have a few challengers.
To try it out for yourself, head over to www.tapitkitty.co.uk. Game on.
I found this video on Monday.
Shared it with my friends on Tuesday.
It was going viral by Wednesday.
And on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
It got boring on Sunday.
This week sees a new exhibition in the stairwell. Curated and shot by Laura Jacobs and Sanam Petri, the exhibition features our very own swedish creative director Anders Stake.
Here's what they have to say about it:
Pictures of Anders Taking Pictures of People
by Laura Jacobs and Sanam Petri
This work is a study of one man’s ceaseless quest for the perfect Instagram photo.
Through his lens, we explore society’s impulse to capture the fleeting nature of our futile existence.
His journey is nothing less than a testament
to the strength of the human spirit.
Bravo and congratulations for making it through the week everyone.
Top work all round.
Now reward yourself with a hot, stinking pile of internet to carry you through those last couple of hours.
You've earned this.
Keep on living the dream.
You know the expression "don't shoot the messenger"? Our account handlers take it pretty seriously but now they've taken it to the next level. Because sometimes, when approaching Tony and Kim's desk, it's better to be safe than sorry...
[Andy Kay, W+K GAD, not quite camouflaged but still feeling pretty confident. Let's see how this pans out.]
W+K creative Katie Harrison went down to The Story 2014, an annual one-day conference about storytelling. She wrote a piece on Medium.com about the most inspiring things and people she came across on the day. Here's her recap in full, but be sure to follow Katie on Medium for loads more interestng stuff: https://medium.com/@harrison_katie
The Story 2014: the art of storytelling
The Story can now be placed in the “classics” section of annual events: simple yet wonderfully considered, ahead of its time yet void of pretention, and most importantly, it leaves you with a lasting impression once it’s over. We were told tales of horse riding, live Vine-ing, celery chopping and a voyage to America with a puppet. But with even the best stories, we tend to skim some sections. So here are a few of my bookmarks, somewhere between the beginning, middle and end.
Preface: Tony Ageh
“Media is the movement of thoughts and ideas through time and space”
Chapter 1: Bryony Kimmings
We might have a little snigger at TOWIE or a peep at Rihanna’s bottom, but do we ever really question how such consumerism is affecting children? In collaboration with her nine-year-old niece, Bryony Kimmings invented “Catherine Bennett”, a credible pop star for a modern child. In the true style of modern making, Bryony reached out to her contacts (including Beyonce’s hair stylist!?) to help create her image and launched a clever social campaign to raise awareness to adults. Plus a musical mash up of “Lilly Allen, The B52s and Gorillaz ” and some awesome After Effects skills makes Catherine Bennett a cultural icon for an Internet effected generation.
Chapter 2: Iain Forsyth + Jane Pollard
Introducing yourself by stating that you are working with both Scott Walker and Nick Cave on separate projects defines cool. Visual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard shared their story behind 20,000 Days on Earth a documentary on the 20,000 days of Nick Cave’s life. Nick Cave is famously elusive, so they set out to reset expectations, both for him and his audience. A short clip highlighted this by sharing how they used a psychoanalyst to question Nick until, to his own admission, “it was too much effort to try any more”. This resulted in a moving scene where Nick explains that his one great fears is losing his memory, stating, “memory is all we are”.
Chapter 4: Kenyatta Cheese
Kenyatta emanates the culture in which he lives, a YOLO, LOLZ, whirlwind of enthusiasm, the Internet is his party and we are all invited. Anyone who knows me will understand how much I loved his story: the history of the animated GIF, told with the (slightly butchered) narrative of Snow White, illustrated by Snow White GIFS. What I also loved was Kenyatta’s understanding that a GIF is a multifaceted piece of content – from a form of expression to a piece of art to a useful tool, with many more stories to tell.
Chapter 7: Bill Wasik
It is easy to understand why Bill vehemently denies inventing the flash mob, but it is not so easy to disprove. However, a bored summer resulting in thousands of strangers congregating outside Claire’s Accessories beats spending it doing work experience. The proof that Bill is now senior editor of Wired can be used to inspire a new generation that the internet is there to make and do, whatever that may result in.
Chapter 12: Lisa Salem
In contrast to Kenyatta, I expect Lisa is someone who perhaps finds the Internet a little more troublesome. The ability to be connected to everyone can often leave us feeling more isolated. Please Hold With Me, a project inspired by the loneliness felt whilst put on hold, would connect Lisa to you whilst waiting on the line. The musak would stop and a soft, unknown voice would say, “hello, how are you?” Through her work, Lisa is doing something extremely important in modern society – making real connections – and this is something we can all learn from.
Appendix: Philip Larkin
The Press & Journal reported this week about Education Secretary Michael Gove's return to his old primary school in Aberdeen. Mr Gove paid tribute to his teacher, the 'strict but brilliant' Mrs Christie.
The same Mrs Christie is the mother of Wieden+Kennedy's MD, the equally 'old school' and 'strict' but certainly less brilliant Neil Christie, who turns out to be of far less consequence than his mum in terms of influence on the country's leadership.
Adweek has featured our Honda 'Inner Beauty' ad on their site today, calling it"quirky, charming, exquisitely crafted".
Head over to Adweek's site to read an interview with our CD on Honda, Scott and find out more about the thinking behind the work.
After Tony decapitated himself last night, we all went down to the Heart to continue the birthday shenanigans over a few pints.
Inspired by his cakey effigy, Tony found himself behind the bar looking for other things that resembled his mug.
Is it this guy?
Nope. The pope?
Nope. Or maybe this guy?
Yep. Nailed it.
We held a little celebration in our basement last night in honour of Tony's 50th birthday. Of course, we thought a near-life-sized cake sculpted in Tony's likeness was appropriate for the occasion (thanks Fancy Nancy!).
Staying true to his ECD nature, Tony critiqued the cake in front of the entire agency. Apparently the waxy ears are spot on, but he's not quite sure about "that much grey hair". Sure, Tony. We also put together a book of everyone's favourite stories about Tony over the years to mark the occasion. Boy are there some gems in there...
It was also W+K creative Freddie's birthday, so Tony kindly let Freddie behead him before proceeding to stab himself in the back and dig out chocolate cake for everyone to enjoy. Well, we have always thought he was a bit soft on the inside...
Happy birthday Tony and Freddie!
Throughout the month of February It's Nice That, one of our favourite destinations for the very best in design, teamed up with recruitment agency and design career service Represent UK to lift the lid on what makes for a perfect creative-client working relationship.
During the Ideal Client project, 20 industry professionals share their insights into the secrets they've discovered in their quest for creative alchemy. Our MD, Neil, was one of the industry folks they interviewed for the dedicated Ideal Client site.
Head to the Ideal Client site to read more from Neil about how truly understanding a client's company and being picky about which brands we work with helps us do the best work of our lives at W+K.
Today, the nation woke up to the sweet sounds of 'We Built This City' from laptops, mobiles and headphones everywhere. That's because our new campaign for Three has launched, celebrating the nation's love of sharing silly stuff and its power to bring people together.
The 60 second ad, which was directed by Traktor through Partizan and is set to Starship's 80s anthem 'We Built This City', makes its debut on TV today. It turns a shared moment between a young girl and her adorable pet kitten into an epic journey that sees the duo belt out a powerful rendition of the song whilst tearing up the cul-de-sac on a pink tricycle.
Because Three is the network built for the internet, wanted to salute what we love most about the web - the act of sharing silly stuff online - by allowing fans to create and star in their own version of the ad.
We brought Stinkdigital's skills in to create a web-based app (hosted at www.singitkitty.com) which takes a still photograph of fans and through a bit of smart face-morphing technology, lets them star in their own seamless and hilarious lip-synching version of the ad.
It's simple and completely addictive. You can use your phone, tablet, laptop...whatever floats your boat.
All you need to do is upload a picture of your mug, bring your mates...
...let the app work its magic...
...and boom! You and your sidekicks are rockstars.
Now imagine the possibilities. Try it with your friends, your family, your boss (those are ours, by the way).
We want to see all your best performances, so bring your best game faces and share away! Be sure to join the fun online and share your videos via the #singitkitty tag.
You may have heard that we have a few sayings here. We call them 'Wiedenisms', and one of our favourite of the bunch is "embrace failure". What does that mean? It means go out on a limb, be brave, try new things. So we were very happy to read that BBH deputy ECD David Kolbusz called our Three 'Pony' campaign one of the bravest of all time in today's issue of Campaign.
You can read what he says about 'Pony' here:
And if you're a fan of our Three work, keep your eyes peeled. We have some VERY exciting new stuff coming tomorrow. Here's a little sneak peek fo you:
Ask any successful creative how they got to where they are now, and you can bet the word "mentor" will come up. Mentoring is the bread and butter of the Young Creative Council, and they've found a pretty innovative way of helping creatives pay it forward to the next generation.
In partnership with YCC, our creative Jason Scott and his other (better?) half Victoria will be sharing their knowlege for free and opening up their home for an evening of folio feedback and tea. The pair aren't new to this game, they've dished out advice to aspiring creatives and students from all over the UK in their home once before. We're told it was a resounding success; creatives from top agencies looked at ten books and rumour has it, a few up-and-comers even bagged themselves jobs.
If this sounds appealing to you, they're doing it again next week on Tuesday 25th February at their home in Brixton. Creatives from Wieden+Kennedy London (that's us!), Mr President, R/GA, Poke, Leo Burnett and VCCP amongst others will give crits over a cuppa, hence the slightly punny name TEA & BisCRITS. Jason reassures us the name wasn't his idea – we'll let him off, just this once.
There’s room for ten folios, so email yours to Jason if you want to have a go. They'll also be doing Skype crits through the night as well, for those that can only be there in slightly pixelated spirit.
The deadline for entries is Friday, so get your hustle on and send all your best bits to Jason post-haste.
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
We love the internet.
And you probably should too.
We've added two lovely ladies to our ever-growing team of wonderful W+K'ers.
This is Jennifer Leppard. She has jumped into an Account Manager position on team Tesco. She's spent the last few years at Dare, honing her digital and interactive skills. We're sure she's going to be a great addition to the Tesco family.
A big hello to Genevieve Wastie, our new junior planner. She has joined us from Razorfish. Before that she was at AKQA. She turned down a prestigious job in the world of fashion to come here and help us on Tesco instead. No brainer right?
We're basking in the heady heights of stardom over here in Human Solutions. Our very own Sarah De Rosa makes it onto the front page of the Impact London website by starring in their 'HR in the Hot Seat' post.
Here she is talking about the glamorous world of HR. Enjoy.
Click on picture for more info.
HR in the Hot Seat - 5 mins with Sarah De Rosa, Interim HR Manager at Wieden + Kennedy
What do you love most about your job?
The diversity of my role, I never know what the day will throw at me when I walk through the door! Working with incredibly talented and creative people and laughing every day!
What are the three things you couldn't do your job without?
A great HR Assistant, a sense of humour and the ability to be adaptable to every situation, no matter how weird it is.
What do you think makes a good HR Professional?
Being able to communicate with people at all levels. Compassion, a good working knowledge of employment law and the ability to apply it to your environment.
Who has been your greatest influence?
Martina King was the MD at Yahoo UK & Ireland which was my first ever HR role, she was incredibly successful and always very busy, but had time for everyone. She showed compassion and was open and honest. All the things I hope I am.
What are your tips for success?
Always be yourself, chose the right working environment that suits your personality. I could never work in a corporate environment as it would kill my spirit! Don't take the first role you are offered when you are looking for a job, unless it is the right match for you.
What do you do after a stressful day?
I have just started going to a Jane Fonda inspired workout class. It is fun whilst being good exercise at the same time. Also a nice glass of cold white wine always helps wash away a stressful day.
We welcomed delightful new creative directors Carlos Alija & Laura Sampedro to our Hanbury Street family last week. They come to us from their homeland of Spain via sunny Sydney, where they were ECDs at BMF Sydney for two years.
Now that they've had a bit of time to get used to the rather unique experience that is Great Britain in early February (floods, power cuts, crocodiles), here are a few things you didn't know about the husband-and-wife pair:
So there you have it. Thanks to these two, we can now add telepathy and advanced gesticulation to our list of skills.
Several key questions answered this week:
Yes, the internet is still working. I managed to keep it on track despite a massive power cut here yesterday. Somebody bloody had to.
Yes, people have done some more funnies.
Yes, Flappy Bird is still making me want to smash my phone every two seconds.
Yes, neknomination is still rife. Now the media have picked up on it and have decided it's the worst thing to happen to the youth of Britain since Meow Meow.
As you were.
Artist Phlegm has a solo show in an empty shop / gallery just round the corner from WK Towers. The space has been filled with depictions of odd beasts and bizarre experiments. Like Where The Wild Things are meets The Island of Dr Moreau. Worth a look.
Our ECD Kim Papworth recently came across this pic of some of BMP's creative department from, we reckon, 1986 or thereabouts. It's an impressive line-up of stars-to-be. That's Kim on the far left. Fellow W+K ECD Tony Davidson is fourth from the left in the front row. On Tony's left is Pete Gatley of W+K, Fallon and now Grey. And just behind him is Mark Waites, now of Mother. And, yes, that's the Hofmeister bear in the middle there. Can anyone identify any more of these fresh-faced youngsters?
Update, some results are in: front row, L-R: Kim P (W+K), Joanna Wenley (hard to track down online but may still be a CD at DDB), Peter Gatley (now at Grey), Tony D (W+K), Neil Pavitt, Tony Dyer, Joe Boyd.
Back row: Mark Waites (now partner at Mother), John Pallant (now CD EMEA Saatchi), Colin Jones (now CD at AMV), Jon Steel (in bear suit, now planning guru at WPP), Tim Riley (now creative partner at AMV), Alan Howell, Nick Gill (now ECD of BBH).
Gumulon, the intergalactic, chew-controlled mobile game we created for Stridge gum, has been shortlisted for the SXSW Interactive Awards. Gumulon made it into a list of five finalists in the Experimental category, which highlights "cutting-edge and trend-setting works pushing the envelope and challenging our perceptions of what’s possible". As you can imagine, we're geeking out over here.
We're Texas-bound again in a few weeks' time, so be sure to tune in here for a lowdown on the good, the bad and the Barley of interactive, the pretty ugly of design and let's face it, quite a bit of BBQ talk.
Being in the business of crafting creative work, we know how important appearance is. But we also know that what lies beneath the surface can be just as captivating and surprising as what’s on the outside.
The newest member of Honda’s Civic family, the new Civic Tourer, is a perfect example of this. It’s a great looking car, but take a closer look and you’ll see so much more, including class-leading 624L boot space.
Today, we launch our new Honda ‘Inner Beauty’ campaign introducing the Civic Tourer, for those who love the inside as much as the outside.
The creative idea at the heart of the campaign, which celebrates the idea of inner beauty, was inspired in part by the Honda engineers who were concerned people would only see the outside and overlook what the inside could do.
We teamed up once again with our friends at Nexus and directors Smith and Foulkes (whose magic touch brought our viral hit ‘Hands’ to life), to create a captivating film that will take you on a hyper-real journey through a series of objects, revealing the beauty inside each: from a golf ball and a toy robot to a guitar amp and finally, of course, the Civic Tourer.
With Nexus, we stitched together a variety of techniques. The ‘inner worlds’ of the objects were a mixture of CG effects and stop motion ‘slicing’, and the exterior of the objects and driving sequences were shot in live action on location in Teruel, Spain.
[our ECDs Tony & Kim show us just how vast the desert really is]
This spot, which has already been picked as Creative Review's Ad of The Week, will be supported by 60, 30 and 15 second spots on TV and video on demand, as well as print and digital media.
To celebrate this new campaign, Honda (UK) will be running a five-day Twitter competition, also launching on Monday 3rd February. A short hypnotic loop from the ad will be tweeted daily, each clip featuring a cleverly concealed word that relates to a great prize. Fans will need to find the hidden word and tweet it to @Honda_UK, using the hashtag #CivicTourer for the chance to win. Prizes include a camera, a department store shopping spree and a holiday for two. Keep an eye on the @Honda_UK Twitter account for more on the competition.
If you're going to do one thing today.
Other than read the internet round up.
Download Flappy Bird.
It's a hideously addictive game which has taken the internet by storm.
Although I can't be responsible for how angry it may make you.
You have been warned.
What's interesting though is that it's been available on the App Store since May.
Yet now it's topping charts and having it's time in the spotlight.
The internet is a funny place.
But there's a lesson to be learnt.
As much as the internet likes shiny new things.
I like shiny new things.
Everything and anything can have it's time.
So never write anything off.
Because it may still have its day in the sun.