Nike celebrated the launch of the new England shirt in spectacular style by showing what two of England’s star players are really made of, revealing the individual daring attributes and fearless mentality that makes up each of their games.
A huge street art installation has appeared on London’s Southbank, and features murals of Arsenal star Jack Wilshere and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney proudly wearing the new England shirt. Viewed from one angle, the players can be seen wearing the new England home and away shirts. But viewed from another, passers-by are served up a dramatic representation of the risk-taking game that lives inside of them. The game that we see them deliver every week for their clubs, in the toughest league in the world.
Rooney is depicted as England’s heartbeat and Talisman. When he trusts his instincts and attempts the unthinkable, he is unstoppable. Jack Wilshere is famed for his creative, pinball passing game, always daring to play the final killer ball. Each player’s unique, daring style of play is brought to life using striking visual metaphors and bold illustration.
This is just the start of a campaign celebrating the risk that is in the England players’ DNA. Over the coming weeks, Nike’s goal is to inspire the players to unleash their fearless games in the new shirt, and to deliver the kind of daring, phenomenal football we all know they’re capable of in Brazil this summer. Daring is in their DNA. When they unleash it, anything can happen.
Nike launched the first part of its 2014 football #riskeverything campaign recently with a film created by W+K Portland, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney. The film shows the pressure felt by some of the world’s greatest players as they prepare to play on the world’s biggest stage.
On 10th May, London’s Victoria Park will host an exclusive 10K run, WE OWN THE NIGHT. It's an electrifying night-time run through the city, seeing 10,000 girls taking part with Nike in a memorable race experience full of music, lights and surprises.
We’ve been rallying our crew here at W+K, hosting our very own run club on a Wednesday evening to get everyone prepared for the race. We have never-run-before-newbies to seasoned pros taking part. That's what's exciting about this race, it's so far from the boring 10ks your dad might have run, it's designed specially for women to make it a race like no other. From fashion designers to pop stars getting involved, this is the race that reinvents what running means today. This is a race designed to start a movement of runners on the streets of London.
Fashion designer Holly Fulton has designed the race pack and t-shirt - something you'll definitely want to wear again after the race.
We’re also lusting after the winners' medal too, a specially designed necklace by Alex Monroe. Only available for those who finish the run, it's a complete reinvention of the traditional finisher token.
Once you sign up for the race, Nike offer free training to help you get race ready. From run clubs to Buckingham Palace, yoga on the roof of Shoredtich House and High Intensity Training in the Oval Space, the experience is anything but traditional. We've been to a few sessions, and can vouch that they HURT.
So whether it’s your first 10k, or you are seeking a new personal best, get involved here.
What are you waiting for? Sign up now and COME RUN WITH US...
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the digital world suddenly jumped out of our screens and became physical? If you could "like" street art or watch the unread mail count ticking over on a letterbox? Enter Real Life Notifications, a new art project by W+K creative Artur, which translates the iconography of notifications from popular social platforms into the real world.
Artur and a few of his friends got together and posted notification icons around town – from Gmail to Instagram and from front doors to street art, the simple idea cleverly blurs the line between our digital lives and our physical ones.
Artur tells us a bit more about the inspiration for the idea:
"This idea came to me one day when I was looking at ROA’s Street Art in East London and I wondered what was happening with it on social media? How many people took a picture and shared it on Instagram? I shared the idea with a couple of friends and we decided to make it happen and push it further to other digital platforms and have some fun."
Look out for some notifications when you're out and about in Shroreditch, and keep an eye on the Tumblr page for more: www.reallifenotifications.tumblr.com. You can even share photos of them on your social channels and get notifications about your notifications. Meta!
Oh look, it's our office! Yikes, looks like it's time to tackle those LinkedIn requests...
What a glorious day. Not only is the sun shining, but we also got to feast on Patty&Bun's wonderful fare. The agency was invited to a soft launch of their brand spanking new Liverpool Street store, and what a delight it was. Buzzing atmosphere and cool staff, the perfect spot for a quick bite.
Thank you Patty&Bun (especially Miss Ashley Barker) the 'Hot Chic' chicken burger was out of this world!
W+K London are excited to have a new stairway exhibition courtesy of Wyatt, Clarke and Jones by photographer Adam Hinton.
Here's what Adam says about the work:
Mara Salvatrucha and the Barrios of El Salvador.
I decided to travel to El Salvador as part of a long-term project I’m working on about life in the ever-growing Urban Slums that an increasing number of the worlds population find themselves in.
I’d heard about a gang truce that had been negotiated between the two rival gangs in the country, Mara Salvatrucha (or MS) and the 18 Street gang (or simply the 18). Gangs had been something I had avoided up till now, as I wanted to show what life was like for the vast majority of people who have to live in these environments. I didn’t want to dramatise the subject by showing hard-core gang members and follow the drugs and violence stereotype. However when I heard about a truce between the two rival gangs in El Salvador on the BBC World Service it made me stop and think about it.
El Salvador has had a history of extreme violence going back to the civil war.
This was between the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front or FNLM and the US backed government and military. Ten’s of thousands were killed and 20% of the population displaced. After the so called peace accord many refugees returned for the USA were the young men had become versed in the gang culture that existed in LA at the time. They brought this culture with them in the form of two gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha or MS and the 18th Street gang or 18th. In the Barrios the death squads continued to roam the streets and execute ‘trouble makers’. The gangs formed as a protective reaction to this violence and the extreme poverty that many communities found themselves in and in violent revelry to each other. In the last year leaders of the two gangs got together in an attempt to halt the seemingly endless violence and killing and have agreed a truce between themselves.
For many of these communities gangs form an interlude part of the infrastructure and often dictate how the places are run. The truce gave me the chance to talk to gang members about the reasons behind them and also for me to add another chapter to my on going Urban Slums project. I decided to go and investigate the situation in El Salvador.
What I found when I arrived were communities that were almost totally lifeless in terms of daily activity. The communities seemed almost semi abandoned and my fixers Alex and Uzziel told me that they all suffered from extreme poverty and economic activity was practically zero. The unemployment rate in El Salvador is 50% and in that situation you can bet as always it’s the poorest that fair the worst. I was soon introduced to some young gang members in one of the communities, Las Victorias, who were very relaxed about me hanging out with them and taking photographs. The guys seemed to accept my presence and just carried on as usual. As I spent more time with them I got a clearer picture of the conditions they found themselves in and discussed this with them and my fixers Alex and Uzziel as I worked. It became very clear that these guys really didn’t have much option if they wanted to do anything beyond unemployment or the most poorly paid menial jobs, of which there are practically none. Whilst I was working with them they never asked me for money, what they wanted was food, fried chicken to be precise. This was because they are very poor, drug dealers and extortionists don’t live the life these guy’s do. Chatting to Uzziel who was one of the senior guerilla commanders for the FNLM during the civil war I told him that 20 years ago these guys would have been fighting the government in that war. He agreed and it became clear that whilst these guys are caught up killing each other in a vicious gang war it stops them getting political and turning their guns on the government. The gang war provides a cover for the continuing war on the poor waged by the rich and powerful. It felt to me that the gang war was the dark conclusion of the failure of the FNLM to seize power in the civil war. No meaningful social and economic reforms had taken place, the rich and powerful remained and these young guys in the frontline just rot and die.
I only spent a week in El Salvador focused around Las Victorias, and even though there is a truce on there were two gang related deaths there. On the second day we where told that an imprisoned young woman, Valeria Michel Hercules, girlfriend of a local MS member had delivered a still born baby. They named the child Gabriel Alexander. This was apparently due to the fact that the guards at the prison had deliberately delayed her admission to hospital despite her plea’s to be allowed to go and that the child died before she arrived. That night the child was delivered to the community for the wake. Rumor had it that Valeria the mother would not be granted day release for the funeral. The community was furious and explained to me that this is the way the authorities treat them, like dogs. My fixers Alex and Uzziel were connected to the setting up of the truce and had close connections with one of the negotiators who had the ear of the Minister for Prisons. The next day several calls were to various departments and eventually it was agreed to allow Valeria to attend the last 20 minutes of the wake but not the actual burial. We were assured there would be an internal investigation of the events that lead up to the death of Gabriel, though nothing has been reported so far. It was clear that if it had not been for our presents Valeria would never have attended the wake and the whole matter would have gone unreported. That is how the system works for these people.
The next day we where given permission to visit one of the country’s most notorious prisons, Penal de Ciudad Barrios. This is a prison just for MS members. It was built for 800 inmates but currently houses 2600. The prison is guarded from the outside by the army with prison staff manning the entrance and check point. Once you enter you soon relies that there are no guards inside the place, the MS themselves manages it. Walking around it’s difficult to know that it’s a prison. The corridors are filled with men standing around chatting, watching football in the central exercise square or playing chess. There are food stalls and the heavy buzz of hundreds of conversations in a very confided space. All this exists the filth of a dilapidated prison with it’s foul smells and stagnant pools, whilst the men stand around aimless with nothing to do except kill what must seem like an infinity of minutes, hours, days. We met up with Carlos, one of the spokesmen for the MS who is campaigning for prisoner’s rights and for the basic needs the prisoners such as simple health care and training. They have managed to organize a space that acts as a hospital. It’s basically an empty storeroom with a dozen dirty mattresses on the floor. If you're ill you go there and hope for the best, I didn’t see any medical staff in the entire place. They’ve also managed to set up basic art, sewing and woodworking rooms and some of the inmates make toys and furniture. It’s a start but a very small one. Carlos is also involved in the truce negotiations and has a very sincere desire to see an end to the violence, but he understands that this won’t happen without real economic and social support for the communities blighted by poverty. As I leave the prison it’s clear that this is a place they literally dump you and forget about you and every inmate is made to feel just that.
The day before I left we heard of another death in the community. This time a non MS member, Reynaldo Melgar age 25, had been shot at a bar simply because he lived in Las Victorias, an MS community. He had been beaten up and then shot at point blank range in the chest. His ID card was placed on his chest. The killers do this to show that a person has been killed because of where they came from.
Two days later he was buried. Once again I ended up in the same crematory as the one the stillborn child had been buried in only four days previously. I wondered just much of a routine this must be for the people of Las Victorias.
For more images check out Adam's website: http://www.adamhinton.net/
Exhibition courtesy of: http://wyattclarkejones.com/
Oh hi there. How are you? Has anybody told you that you look wonderful today? Well, they should have. Because you look fantastic. Just remember that.
I'm starting to think that I should always start these with a compliment. That way, you'll be slightly more forgiving if the content disappoints. And I'm not saying that this week's jammy filling to the internet sandwich is off this week. If anything, it's a little too sweet. A gooey, oozing treat of fruity viral goodness*. *Not really that sure about that last analogy but I'm going to roll with it. Yolo.
This week has actually tossed up two of my favourite YouTubes of the year so far. I know, bold claim to make. But I'm willing to stick my neck out there and say they're likely to be sniffing around the best of lists at the end of 2014. Trust me. They feature a future winner of America's Got Talent belting out a song about social media (I feel like she just gets me) as well a family band who have penned the feel good hit of the summer. Screw Pharrell. Screw the robots. Screw Get Lucky. It's summertime and isn't it great.
Click my friend.
Every year, we celebrate the day two guys dived head first into the world of independent advertising, asking themselves "what's the worst that could happen?" That day was April 1st 1982, the day Wieden+Kennedy was founded. Was it a coincidence the agency was started on April Fool's Day? Who knows. But what we do know is that our annual Founders' Day celebrations are a chance for the whole agency to get away from the office, be together, get inspired and be creative.
Our organising committee meets under the cover of darkness (the padded cell) and schemes up an event to remember. This year, all we were told in advance was: don't wear a skirt and bring wellies. So no kilts for Mr Christie then.
After a couple of hours in a bus with our hooded guides, we found ourselves on Osea Island in Essex.
It's only reachable for a few hours a day when the tide is out, and the island's history includes and World War I military base and a treatment facility. This was our home for 36 hours. This year's theme was 'W+Kult', because from the outside, well... here's what original W+Kult leader Dan Wieden, beamed in from Portland on the day, had to say to us:
And so we zipped up our Kult-issued boiler suits, and after a spot of wellie-clad yoga on the beach, got stuck into the brief: form a cult.
These were our spiritual guides on the day:
Who made us eat worms:
And put on masks:
And compose our own mantras:
After a (not so) gruelling day of creativity, fun and games, the whole thing culminates in a party. This year, we celebrated with with a hog roast and fire dancers.
A big thank you to our W+K Founders' Day organising crew: Paulo Salomao, Laura McGauran, Mike Waywell, Ronny Harmes, Nicola Yurman, Laura Barker and Lara Wahab, and to Wonderland Events, for putting so much work into giving us all a day to remember. We bow down to you all.
Check out photos of our Kults after the jump.
This morning, we announced that as of September, Iain Tait (most recently ECD of Google Creative Lab and previously global ECD of W+K) will be joining us in London as ECD. One of our current ECDs, Kim, is stepping down, but he's staying on in a senior creative role so we're pleased to say we're not losing him, we're just squeezing another bright mind into Hanbury Street. Iain will be partnering with Tony, our ECD, and completing the management team with MD Neil when he joins. In the meantime, Tony, Kim and Neil will continue in their roles.
Over the past twenty-nine years Kim and I have tried hard to do the wrong thing.
The thing that people question: “Why would we do that?” Maybe it’s because we felt the places we were at were too formulaic. ‘Irreverence’ is a word that many of you will have heard us use. And in a funny way, looking back, our previous roles have been to fuck things up.
Then, thirteen and a half years ago, Dan offered us a job at the totally fucked up Wieden+Kennedy London. For the first time in our careers together, we had to be the sensible ones. Going back to the basics, gaining trust of clients, hiring people that could actually write ads, making the work better, removing the large string underpants from our reception and not being the ones to fuck things up.
As the nearly sunken ship gradually floated back to the surface and started to function properly, we slowly began to mess with things again: a garden shed for an office, a horse’s head as an agency mascot and re-introducing folks that you wouldn’t normally find in advertising. The first ‘Run London’ campaign that put us firmly back on the map was initiated by a running friend that wasn’t working in our office. Honda, one of our big successes that people often talk about, was won by not working in a traditional linear way: walls of non-advertising ideas that got turned into a book because at the time, on the bank holiday weekend before the pitch, we had nothing else. You see, Kim and I have always thought that you never really get anywhere new if you don’t keep on ‘walking in stupid’. It’s a large part of the reason why we have stayed here for so long. This company’s independence is more valuable now than ever in a world of mergers. It gives us the opportunity to fuck with things and to embrace ‘failing harder’. And trust me, Kim and I have failed big time during our time here. Indeed it’s been a large part of our success.
So my friends, Kim and I have been chatting for over a year now about how we could really fuck things up here again. We want to challenge W+K London and change it for the better, because if you don’t change, you die. The technological revolution has disrupted the creative industries, some for the better and some for the worse. Which form advertising takes in the future is up for grabs. Google have been stealing many of our best folks. No longer my friends, say Kim and I. It’s time to fight back. Change or die.
With this in mind, Kim has decided to step down from his ECD responsibilities in order to continue to disrupt this ship in a positive way. Before you press the panic button, Kim is not leaving. His new role has yet to be decided by him, but I know it will still all be about making the work better somehow and continuing to fuck things up. He is doing this to help us question what the agency might be in the future, to get to different solutions quicker. And the good news is, the person who is taking over his ECD role is a friend of ours. He is an amazing talent that understands our culture and has been responsible for some amazing work. Yes, Google are losing one of their key players. Iain Tait is returning to the fold. He has a different skill set from me, and we intend to make the most of that.
The tide is turning my friends. Strap ten large speedboat engines to the ship and hold on tight. Nobody knows where this may lead us but we’ve got a funny feeling this is going to be one hell of a ride.
To celebrate the launch of Adventure Awaits, our brand new campaign for Lurpak Cook’s Range, we enlisted the talented Juliet Sear of Fancy Nancy Cakes, our social media baker for Cravendale (and creator of Tony's life-size birthday cake) to create a truly adventurous cake to reflect our creative executions – both figuratively and literally speaking.
And yes, it tasted as good as it looks!
What glorious weather we're having, a wonderful day to welcome some lovely new faces.
This is Anna-Claire Clendon. She joins our thriving interactive department as a creative community manager. She joins us from online kids designer garms emporium Alex and Alexa, and originally hails from New Zealand.
Ceceila Hund is back as the new account manager on Three and Honda. She has come to London from The Monkeys in Sydney where she worked on "booze and food", and to keep the Australia vibe going she has most recently been freelancing at Droga5 here in London.
Ryan Teixeira joins our design department on a permanent basis, having lured him away form the world of freelance. Ryan is a Canadian. Which means he knows geography, has a passport and can give you a knowing side-glance when overhearing an American talk politics.
This is Martyn Powell, he joins our IT boys on the 2nd floor. Originally from Wales, Martyn has been living in Sydney and Auckland for the past seven years. He brings a wealth of Apple knowledge to W+K.
Finally, a big W+K hug to Sophie Lake, who joins us an account manager. She's previously worked at Lean Mean Fighting Machine and VCCP. Sophie is an unashamed fan of RnB slow jams and and helps a friend run a club night called Twisted Hearts.
We’ve grown rapidly over the last 18 months, going from around 100 to nearly 200 full-time staff, plus freelancers, friends, temps and trainees. To manage this growth we need to reorganise a bit. This allows us to share out some of the responsibility for making the madness manageable and to recognise the contribution made by some of our senior people.
So, we have a couple of promotions to announce.
Helen Foulder is promoted from Head of Account Handling to Deputy MD. Helen has been with us for six years, and has done brilliant work running our Three and Lurpak accounts. She has also built one of the best account handling departments in London. She’ll be stepping up to become Neil's right-hand woman, taking on some of his management responsibilities and applying her brilliant combination of strategic smarts, people skills and unflagging enthusiasm to the agency as a whole. Specifically she will be responsible for ensuring the excellence of delivery of our work and service across our clients.
Andrew Kay, currently Group Account Director on our Mondelez and Coca-Cola business, is promoted to take over Helen’s former role as Head of Account Handling. Andy has also been with Wieden+Kennedy for 6 years, some of that here at the London office, and a couple of years over in Amsterdam. Andy is always cheerful and calm under pressure, a trusted advisor to clients and a tireless worker who is always supporting, cajoling and pushing his teams to do more and better. He will build on Helen’s excellent work running account handling, taking responsibility for all aspects of resourcing, training, development, and performance of our account handlers.
Alongside his new responsibilities Andy will continue with his current responsibilities heading up the Fuze, Stride and Halls accounts at a senior level. Neil, Tony and Kim will continue in their current roles.
'Shall I play it safe with my well-rehearsed standby dish, or shall I take on that unattempted new recipe?' It’s a daily conundrum for every cook mulling over what to make for dinner. So with our new Lurpak® Cook’s Range campaign, which launches today, we wanted to inspire those teetering on the edge of bravery to take the path less trodden.
The recently launched Lurpak® Cook’s Range is a collection of butter-based products for food lovers embarking on exhilarating food adventures. We wanted to show what each product enables cooks to do in the kitchen; like a trusty wooden spoon or a well-aged skillet, we wanted to position the Cook’s Range as companion that cooks can rely on when they venture out of their comfort zones, whether they’re conquering unchartered recipes or simply tweaking old favourites.
The 60” TV spot, directed by Dougal Wilson, breaks in the UK this weekend. Borrowing from the rhetoric of motivational speeches in the voiceover, the spot compares the pioneering spirit of the cook to that of space exploration. That’s the beauty of adventurous cooking – the greatest meals are yet to be had.
The print and outdoor campaign was shot by photographer Ryan Hopkinson, bringing to life the imagination of a cook dreaming up a new dish. The ads capture the glory of cooking in action and celebrate each product’s ideal uses, rallying cooks to forge new territory in the kitchen.
We developed the global Cook’s Range work in close collaboration with Arla’s Global/UK Lurpak® team, and we also designed the range’s packaging. It’s inspired by visual ‘expressions’ of cooking and draws on the brand’s DNA, using the Lurpak® colours of grey, white, blue and red.
Cooks can also join the conversation and share their adventures on Twitter via the #foodadventures hashtag. We wanted to do more than just inspire people to be more adventurous in the kitchen, we wanted to enable and reward them. So with Lurpak’s digital agency, Outside Line, we came up with of ways for people to interact with the brand and get a deeper experience.
Last weekend, we introduced a tasty new character to Cravendale's marvellously milky world in our new Barry the biscuit boy campaign.
We baked up the TV spot in a fittingly hands-on way with two clever BlinkInk directors, Andrew Thomas Huang and Joseph Mann, mixing live puppeteering with stop frame animation. Curious? Well, Cravendale has just released a 'Making of' film that lets you look behind the scenes to see how Barry and his intricate world were brought to life: a lot of milk and a little magic.
(Like we just did with the Biscuit Cupboard Lounge.)
We despatched a crack team of creatively oriented W+Kers – art director Karen Jane (aka KJ), talent manager Ashley (aka Shack-Attack), and head of studio and design, Maya (/\/\/\\//\) – over to Dublin last week to check out the OFFSET design conference. Here's a roundup and some highlights from KJ:
Last weekend Maya, Ashley and I were lucky enough to escape London and attend the Offset conference in Dublin, Ireland. Offset – which is held over 3 days – is a showcase of talks and interviews from a selection of acclaimed Irish and International designers, animators, illustrators, artists, photographers and advertising folk. The 2014 event saw 24 speakers take the stage and share their thoughts on working process, inspiration and influences.
Housed in the relatively new Bord Gais theatre, the conference was smaller than I imagined it would be, but in a really good way - an intimate affair with a friendly feel rather than a vast sprawling event.
Over the weekend we saw 18 x 1-hour talks, of which almost all yielded fruit of some kind or another. Here are just five of the highlights:
Marina Willer from Pentagram talked about embracing theories of 'out of control', which she applies to her practise of creating flexible identity systems with her team. She praised being 'not practical' in the expression of design and colour, her influences from her homeland of Brazil and how her children's view on the world was always refreshing and imaginative. Favourite quote from one of her twins: "Is is dark inside me?"
Jessica Walsh praised the benefits of creative play, following your gut, and getting off the computer to make stuff. And how this free working process can feed back into your daily practise and client work. She used examples of her impressive self-initiated typographic works, and numerous naked photoshoots from the Sagmeister & Walsh studio, alongside client pieces that were highly influenced by their play-infused processes.
From Bertrum and his merry band of milk pilfering polydactyl cats to miniature milk loving pirates, our campaigns for Cravandale have attracted a faithful following over the years for being just a little bit “out there”.
We’re hoping to surprise and delight fans with our new ‘Barry the Biscuit Boy’ campaign, which launched this weekend. The integrated campaign kicked off on Saturday with a 30” TV spot celebrating the irresistibly delicious flavor of Cravendale’s ‘filtered to be marvellous’ milk, cementing its reputation as the brand for serious milk lovers and appealing to Cravendale’s core family audience.
Inspired by fables of old, the ad takes Cravendale’s milk-related musings in a deliciously dark new direction, with the twisted tale of Barry the biscuit boy and his near fatal attraction to the cool charms of a refreshing lake of Cravendale.
Barry and his milky world were brought to life by Blink Ink directors Andy Huang and Joe Mann with veteran puppeteers Johnny and Will, creating a world that felt like nothing we’d seen before. Mixing puppetry, stop-motion and CGI, we were able to marry visually striking modern techniques with the warmth of old-school charm.
The campaign is aimed at milk lovers, positioning Cravendale as the ultimate dunking partner. Alongside the TV and print executions, the campaign will be supported by social media activity featuring our very own social media baker, with baker extraordinaire Fancy Nancy engaging with Cravendale fans and creating edible masterpieces in response to cultural moments. The results will be shared on Cravendale’s social channels at facebook.com/Cravendale and twitter.com/cravendale as the campaign unfolds – watch this space!
A big thank you to everyone involved in bringing Barry to life. Go pour yourself a cool glass of Cravendale and dunk away, but heed Barry’s warning: don’t dunk too long.
Tesco's annual Mum of the Year Awards, which were held last night, honour women who go above and beyond the call of duty to help others. It's a wonderful way to recognise ordinary mums who do extraordinary things. To support this year's event, Tesco asked us to create TV Idents and a social campaign.
We wanted the campaign to be inclusive of all mums and celebrate the everyday, not just the super mums seen in the show. The ultra-short stories each capture a sweet and fun moment, including what is possibly the most creative home-made fancy dress costume ever.
If you'd like to reward an extra-special mum in next year's 10th anniversary awards, head over to Tesco Living to read more about how you can nominate her: http://www.tescoliving.com/mum-of-the-year/nominate
Last week saw our Hanbury Street offices taken over by kids. In partnership with Enabling Enterprise, we hosted a challenge day for a select group of 20 Pupil Premium students from Stamford Hill primary school aged between 7 and 10.
Over the course of a day, we attempted to give these kids a taste of what it’s like to work in the creative industry. Split into teams and paired with volunteers from WK who acted as their mentors, we set a challenge to design the perfect office space, inspired by a tour of our offices. At the end of the day, the kids presented their work back to a panel of WK judges, like a baby version of Dragon’s Den. Our panel featured our very own office manager Ronny, ECD Tony D, art buyer Laura, and creatives Katie, Laurie and Toby.
After much deliberation and some tear-jerkingly cute presentations, which included talks of dinosaurs and time machines, the winners were The Kool Kajad Kids (Kajad being an amalgam of the first letters of each of the group members’ names; K=Kyran, A=Ajja, J=Jean-Baptiste, A=Arad, D=David). Presenting with impressive charisma and confidence, their vision included a giant fish tank spanning across an entire wall, containing whales of course, and a castle/fjord entitled ‘Jean-Baptiste’s Design Studio’. They even used 3D effects on their poster, incorporating collage techniques to bring to life various French landmarks including a miniature obelisk and The Eiffel Tower. Thinking big but also within reason and in Ronny's words “presenting ideas that we could actually build,” they were the stand-out team.
Watch this space for some more exciting events to come as part of WK’s Doing Good Initiative. In the meantime, check out the pictures from the big day.
A few months ago, W+K account director Hanne packed her bags and waved goodbye to her everyday Shoreditch surroundings to try something completely new - putting her skills to use with an NGO in Uganda for a few weeks, as part of the TIE programme.
Hanne has penned a story for The Guardian about her time there, and it's up on their site now. Read the whole piece over on The Guardian or right here on this very blog.
In October I found myself in an unexpected place: rural Uganda. I am normally at an adverting agency in Shoreditch called Wieden + Kennedy.
The opportunity to go to Uganda arose at work. You could apply do a placement with an NGO, through a programme called the International Exchange (TIE). TIE pairs the expertise of communications professionals with the needs of non-profit/NGOs to create sustainable change – contributing skills that these organisations need but rarely have the resources to pay for.
To be considered you needed to articulate your motivations. It felt like the right time in my career to take a risk and, on a personal level, I wanted to gain a different perspective on what I do, on the world and on myself.
Before I was fortunate enough to get picked, I knew that I wanted to go to Africa. It felt like the furthest removed from normal life and I knew it would challenge some of my preconceptions about the continent.
I looked into a few Africa-based projects, but The Kasiisi Projectstood out for its focus and what it wanted from me. They work to improve the poor educational opportunities available to children in the areas surrounding the Kibale National Forest – east Africa's largest primate habitat. Through a range of educational programmes in local schools, the project supports the community as well as instilling in it an understanding of the importance of its natural environment. The project helps children stay in school, opening up opportunities for them beyond subsistence farming.
Hanne Haugen with the members of the Kasiisi Project. Photograph: Hanne Haugen
Close to 100% of The Kasiisi Project's funding is from abroad but its long-term ambition is to become self-sustainable, with income-generating initiatives to support the school programmes they run. My brief was to create a business and communications strategy to this end.
The assignment was in and of itself a meaty challenge. I'm involved in strategy in my role at work, but rarely tasked to do it on my own. Add to that a foreign culture, a complex issue and board of directors comprised of local academics, who had to vet and agree to anything I proposed. There was a lot to contend with.
Some of the biggest contrasts to my life back home were practical. Power and internet connections were, if not quite luxuries, then unreliable at best. Particularly during the rainy season power-outages were frequent. The heavy rain also meant that the roads – and I use the term loosely – were so bad that a journey of a few miles could easily take hours. I learned to work around, even embrace this. There's something wonderful about letting life happen and not try to control it all.
Professionally, what felt like the biggest revelation was the change in my perception of the advertising industry and the skills I've developed as a result of being a part of it.
I've always enjoyed working in advertising and taken pride in what I do, but to some extent I've been guilty of seeing the industry as a bubble, divorced from the real world. Most people are inherently distrustful of ' "big business'", and ofsee advertising agencies as their henchmen. There are also misconceptions around what an agency actually does – as the general public only see the output of a long process, involving months, sometimes years, of insights work, big strategic and creative debates, problem-solving, hard work, sweat and tears.
What I saw through my TIE placement is that the skills we develop from this process are hugely beneficial for an NGO. Budget and resource constraints require innovative approaches to solving problems. Complex problems require the ability to understand underlying issues, finding the pertinent insight and drilling down to a workable solution. And the crux of what we do – making sure a message is clearly articulated and heard by the right people – will have a big impact on an organisation's development, which in turn drives social change.
Advertising's ability to help affect social change may become more explicit as time passes. The more people who benefit from an experience such as TIE, the more likely this is to happen.
By Hanne Haugen, account director, W+K London.
Last night the British Arrows took place under the star-studded ceiling of Battersea Evolution. Our ECD Kim Papworth, Chairman of the Jury, accompanied the host Jack Whitehall on stage to present the awards.
Given this year’s outstanding shortlist, stakes were high, but our work picked up seven arrows, four of which went to Honda Hands (recently named as one of TED’s ‘Ads Worth Spreading'). Hands picked up gold for ‘Vehicles and Automotive Products’ and 'Best over 90” Cinema Commercial’, as well as two silver arrows for 'Best over 90" TV Commercial using Paid-for Media’ and ‘Best over 90” Web-Based Film’.
Three's The Pony received two silver arrows for 'Telecommunications Services (Networks) and Products’ and ‘Best 30” - 60” TV Commercial’, and Lurpak Weave Your Magic was awarded a silver in the ‘International’ category.
Here are a few photos of the evening.
Today marks the 27th anniversary of Nike's Air Max 1 model. We've got a pretty decent collection between us here at W+K – from the lived in to the brand spanking new – so we celebrated the occasion by lacing up our favourite pairs and getting stuck in to some birthday cake (which we ran off in our Run Club this evening).
Our planner, Georgia Challis, has just returned from a trip to Canada for the annual 'Ads Worth Spreading' event at the TED 2014 conference, where she was representing our Honda 'Hands' spot. She fills us in on what she saw, did and ate out there:
As we mentioned last week on this very blog, our Honda ‘Hands’ spot was named one of TED’s ‘Ads worth spreading’. The prize was a trip out to the TED mothership - or at least to the Whistler sister of the BIG TED Vancouver extravaganza.
[Georgia living the Canadian dream]
It was a pretty incredible, pretty full on couple of days. A LOT of stuff to take in.
The Vancouver conference itself is live streamed over hundreds of megascreens in several different conference halls, all lit like blue and red hued laser domes and scattered with the modern conference’s seating of choice – bean bags, recliners, the occasional sofa… and a couple of beds from which you could watch talks beamed on to the ceiling (for when the bean bags got a bit tiresome).
So, from my LED lit bean bag, a few of my highlights from the week’s sessions:
Ed Yong: a mind bending introduction to the manipulative world of parasites. Proper sci fi sounding stuff, except it it’s not only NOT fiction (just sci then), it’s pretty common stuff out there in the big, nasty natural world. It turns out nature’s a bit of a fucker. From the wasp that turns its caterpillar host into a “head-banging zombie bodyguard defending the offspring of the creature that killed it” to the virus toxoplama gondii, a virus which can live in most mammals but can only reproduce in cats. Hosts to the virus, rats and mice, become inexplicably drawn towards cats –the virus compels them to get eaten in order to reproduce . About one third of humans carry it with no observable side effects but I reckon it explains a LOT of the internet.
David Epstein: Over the last century we’ve gotten faster, jumped higher and thrown further. In 1954, Sir Roger Bannister became the first man in the world to run the mile under four minutes, and last year 1,314 runners did that. But it turns out we haven’t miraculously evolved over an improbably short timeframe. Most of it is down to better technology (thank you Nike), a better understanding of specialised body types and a bit of mind over matter. Oh, and the bum. The bum hasn’t actually changed but it IS what makes humans so well placed for athletics, the not-so-hidden power that lets us run upright.
Randall Munroe: The former NASA roboticist turned cartoonist took us through the ‘simple’ calculation he made to estimate the physical size Google’s data would represent if it was all held on punch cards (the whole of New England, to a depth of 6 kilometers), plus Google’s encoded punch card response.
Amputee and bionic limb designer Hugh Herr gave us a glimpse of the future of bionics, from prosthetic limbs that are controlled by the nerve endings of the limb they attach to, to exoskeletons that remove the pressure on the joints of able-bodied runners. The ultimate ‘can do’ philosopher, he argued that “there is no such thing as a disabled person, no such thing as a broken person, just broken technology and an inadequate environment”. His talk ended with a dance performance from a dancer who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon terror attack. “It took 3.5 seconds to destroy her leg, it took us 200 days to build it back”. Even the four cynics in the audience were moved.
Rob Knight: Turns out microbes are a pretty big deal. We share 99.9% of our DNA with the next guy, but microbes? Apparently only about 10% of our microbes are similar to anyone else. You can link a computer mouse to a user just by their microbe profile. Microbes on our skin are the things that determine how appetising we are to mosquitos, microbes in the gut determine whether painkillers are toxic to our liver, microbes transplanted from the guts of obese mice into the guts of svelte mice make svelte mice decidedly less svelte.
And then there was Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden - beamed in from the Russian hinterlands and encased in a robot screen. Definitely a bit of an “I was there” moment for the crowd, not a redundant smartphone in the house.
And some stuff that you can’t watch from home:
1. Never before have I encountered quite so many functional foods. Water that smells of berries, chocolate flavoured quinoa and spirulina bars, freeze dried seaweed (NOT as “strangely addictive” as the pack suggests), almonds flavoured with cranberry. Pretty much nothing in its original form.
2. The general vibe is not unlike how I’d imagine the first heady ‘getting to know you’ days of some sort of freshers fair for the unusually gifted.
4. GINORMOUS name tabards. All the better to meet you with. It is genuinely nice to step out of the European ‘too cool for school’ ad world into one where people from the American Mid West to Bangladesh will happily walk up with no introduction and tell you how much they love, love, love your ad, before insisting on a selfie.
5. TED has tech hitches just like the rest of us. The next time you’re about to roll your eyes at a conference call gone haywire, just know that even when it’s the NSA in front of an auditorium filled to the rafters with everyone from the inventor of the internet to the queen of the romcom, that shit happens to everyone.
6. TED speakers have hitches just like the rest of us. Yup. They get edited out in the final videos, but I witnessed superstar DJ’s and brain meltingly clever physicists stalling up there on that stage. A glimmer of hope for the rest of us.
After being thought lost for many years, the first ads ever made by W+K (personally made by promising young creative team Dan Wieden and David Kennedy) have just come to light.
These ads are also Nike's first ever nationally (USA) broadcast work. They originally aired during the 1982 New York marathon. They were shot and cut within a couple of weeks, with a skeleton crew.
Last week, Nike and Swedish footballer/international badass Zlatan Ibrahimović managed to pull off an intense eight-hour Q&A session that almost broke Twitter.
Not only were tweets responded to in the form of words, but also in the form of video, images, charts, graphs, and the occasional eCard. Is there anything Zlatan can't do?
Luckily for the internet, the answer is no.
Here are a few of the highlights from the Q&A we liked most.
And here are a few behind-the-scenes videos of Zlatan’s training regimen. Please don’t try this at home. (Unless your home is a sub-zero netherworld, a volcanic hell storm, or some place in Utah.)
To see all the content from the day, check out Zlatan's Twitter page: twitter.com/ibra_official.
Cathinka Morch has dipped her toe in W+K waters on work experience - getting stuck in and seeing how the agency operates. This is what she made of her week here:
As a fresh graduate, it is amazing to see what 'reality' is really like. People actually care for what they do, and there's always something going on - busy-busy-busy. And details – how the details matter was one of the first things I noticed about W+K. I have always been fascinated by details, but I have never seen it like here. From the work and presentations being done, to the office itself (love the yellow phonebooth!) - every little detail is important. The fact that details are key to a successful result has definitely been printed in my brain. And although everyone is busy at all time, they showed interest and tried to help a Norwegian stranger, who has never eaten a Cadbury egg in her life, to find out what she truly wants. Impressive!