W+K's President Dave Luhr and Global ECD Colleen De Courcey were in the agency yesterday and so we forced them to say a few words to the agency then had our people interrogate them about the network's future plans. It all seemed to go OK.
For the past six months we were lucky enough to have a pair of extra hands helping out and adding value around the agency.
Mark Burrell joined us for an internship as part of the Hackney 100 programme. This scheme offers young people aged 16 or 17 the opportunity to gain work experience at high-profile local companies in Hackney. We were happy to welcome Mark into the office and extremely proud to be part of the programme for Hackney.
Mark has written up his thoughts about this time with us and by the sounds of it he enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having him.
Don't be a stranger Mark - come back soon!
My name is Mark Burrell and I was lucky enough to be awarded a six-month internship at W+K through a scheme called Hackney 100. This project, set up by Hackney Council, aims to “bring the Saturday job into the 21st century”. Hackney 100 required a personal statement and numerous interviews in order to be part of the “100” whom get interviews with companies/institutions. At this stage I was awarded an interview with W+K and thankfully a week later I received an email giving me the thumbs up for the internship. The interview wasn’t your standard “what makes you qualified for this role” structure, I was actually surprised to find how personal yet professional the interview was. The question, which stood out for me the most, was “What’s your favourite dish to cook” – I still think my answer shocked my interviewer.
As soon as I walked into W+K for my interview, I knew that I would love it here. The office is so full of life and personality – the complete opposite to a standard, white-washed office. The office seems alive with its own identity: when you walk in, a suited mannequin greets you with a blender as a head. I was shocked to see that a global company like W+K can be so diverse in itself and also allow the people who make it up to express themselves so freely; more companies should take on this approach. The moment I first ever walked into the office I saw people with vibrant hair colours, tattoos and piercings, which my school and many other people consider inappropriate in the world of work. They couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone I’ve seen and met around the office takes their work very seriously so the client receives the best work. The people here are very passionate about the work they produce and they’re not afraid to stand up for it.
I joined W+K when I was 17 and at this age thought people here would consider me as immature or not give me much work to do. I couldn’t have been more wrong: on my very first day I was helping making Vines for a client campaign. Not once have I been treated like a “child” which I thought would happen as I’m just an intern, and I’ve been given advice and had the opportunity to meet and talk to many different people from a range of different departments, which has made my time here even more valuable.
I’ve had an amazing time working for W+K London and I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss it. The people but also the work have made this an amazing experience for me, one that I won’t forget in a hurry. My 6 months here have taught me so much about advertising as a whole but have also helped me grow in confidence and the ability to express myself more freely. I’ve been given so much advice and have even changed my university choice from geography to fine art. I honestly think that my time here gave me the confidence boost to do so. I have even considered advertisement as a career path and would love to come back to W+K in the future. Thank you for giving me this experience. My advice for anyone considering doing an internship or work placement here is DO IT! I’ve learnt so much in such a short period of time and have developed skills, which I am now able to take on with me at university and hopefully return with.
On Thursday 3rd December we will play host to YTFN - that's the youth offshoot of The Funding Network - for spot of charity crowd-funding.
YTFN is a group that holds regular events in London featuring free booze, good-hearted folk and the opportunity to hear fantastic pitches from youth-orientated charities followed by crowdfunding, as those present donate to the organisations that have impressed them the most.
Tickets to the event here at W+K London are available here.
Entry is £10 which includes booze (kindly provided by Kernel Brewery), nibbles and your first £10 to pledge.
If you haven't experienced the feeling of euphoria you get after getting slightly trollied and pledging £75 to a wonderful charity who've just bowled you over with their dynamite pitch then you need to try this.
Last night our very own W+Ker's Jen, Dom and Silvan hosted a cracking general knowledge quiz in the basement of the agency. To coincide with the quiz we also hosted a bake sale to raise money in aid of St Joseph's Hospice. We've been raising money for St Joseph's since one of our beloved WK-ers, Cheryl Rogers, passed away there in January last year.
Apparently we have quite a number of talented bakers amongst us here as a plethora of sweet and savoury treats adorned the kitchen.
But the best part was that we managed to raise over £300 for St Joseph's Hospice last night. Well done everyone.
Take a peak at some of the culinary delights that were on offer.
Summer means school holidays. School holidays mean work experience. And work experience means an extra-enthusiastic, extra-curious extra pair of hands around the office. We had the pleasure of welcoming one such young man last week, Ché, and giving him a week long peek into agency life. He wrote us an account of his time at W+K, and we think we didn't embarrass ourselves too much, so here it is:
Strange and unfamiliar are words which cannot describe enough the extent to which W+K was a new environment to me. Prints on ceilings. Statues made of awards. Rooms made to look like old libraries, mental hospital facilities and diners. Irreverent is one word that perhaps best sums up the overall vibe as I walked in on Monday morning, with a feeling of acute unknowing as to what the week would bring. Who are these people walking around purposefully with a dazzling array of Nike trainers on, carrying MacBook Airs everywhere? And are they really ‘walking in stupid everyday’ as the man with a blender for a head in reception implores them to?
I can safely now answer these questions and more, because my week was better than these first impressions could have ever suggested. W+K London holds the Nike advertising account, hence the trainers, and the reasons behind the purposeful MacBook walking became clearer each day. Dynamism is one main one, as I understood when I got my own laptop, and myself became a purposeful-MacBook-walking Wiedener (life goal reached). Everything felt like it was always moving, whether it was other people whom I had displaced from their seats (sorry Tom and Indiana :/) or the work itself, which the Finish team truly included me in. I really have to thank everyone on the Finish team, especially my supervisors Frankie and Holly, whose enthusiasm for their work made me delighted to find out more about dishwashers – something I never thought I’d say - and who were more than forthcoming with information on W+K and the advertising industry as a whole.
My encounters with everyone left me with a much greater understanding of the unique space W+K inhabits; as an independent company extremely appreciative of the efforts of its staff, all of whom say they love working there. By the end of the week, I believed them, because my work experience was helpful in making me understand how work can be done differently, yet still to the highest standard and with a level of attention to detail that continually astounded me.
Even though it flew by like a lightning bolt, the week taught me about the basic rules of work, as W+K is a place that doesn’t seem too fixated on rules, and so just lets the work just get done. But also, I learned that work can be fun. Busy, stressful and tiring, but still fun. And if there is one tip I can offer the next lucky hopefuls who are at Wieden+Kennedy for a week or longer, it is this: don’t wear Adidas. But seriously, that not what matters most – just remember to ‘walk in stupid’ every day.
For once, the weatherman was right. It's a scorcher today and London is officially hotter than the surface of the sun.
We're all melting here in the office and our laptops are on the brink of exploding. So imagine our joy when we discovered that our very own Culture Club had called the heatwave hotline and summoned an ice cream van to rescue us with some icy treats.
Now that we've all cooled down, we've perked up a bit. All hail Culture Club! Rock stars.
Oh and don't tell IT, but our laptops are a still just as hot, but *little* bit stickier.
Earlier in the year we started our Design Placement scheme, and welcomed Sam Part as our very first willing guinea pig. Sam writes:
I recently spent three months as a design placement at W+K London, and I enjoyed every minute. I was given the opportunity to work on a self-initiated agency project about failure, as well as the 'InstaNapzzz' window installation during my time there. It's a fantastic agency full of very talented and welcoming people.
I learned a lot, but here are the top five things I came away with:
1. Asking questions is a good way to learn. Just make sure they are good ones.
2. Being confident in your ideas can pay off. I found that visualising the crazy ideas floating around my head helped others understand what I was thinking.
3. Crossing into different disciplines is surprisingly rewarding. I never had a way with words, but I had fun trying out copywriting, much to the amusement of my peers.
4. Talking about things I was doing outside of work helped shake up my thought process. It was refreshing, and I think it helped others understand the way I think.
5. I came across lots of amazing people with varying backgrounds at W+K. I learnt very quickly that anything is possible. You just have to talk and listen to the right people to help you make it happen.
After finishing my spell at W+K, I launched a dream project of mine in Selfridges in London, called ‘Candy Mechanics.' It's something I've been working on for some time and combines 3D scanning technology with good old fashioned sugar. For six weeks, my partner-in-crime Benjamin Redford and I will be making custom 3D-printed candy. Pop in and see us on the lower ground floor in the Ultra Lounge until the 7th of June, to have your own head replicated in lollipop format.
You can also see same examples of Sam's lollipops in the L Gallery here in our office, featuring a few familiar faces from the W+K London family.
Including these glorious candy versions of CDs Sanam and Anders:
At this month's agency meeting we were joined by some of the guys from St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney.
St Joseph's is a very special place for Wieden+Kennedy as last year our dear friend and colleague Cheryl Rogers passed away there. Cheryl was an amazing member of the W+K family and we still feel her loss every day. We were so moved and impressed by the work that St Joseph's carries out for people like Cheryl that we asked the team to come in and tell us a bit more about it
Here's Anita talking about the incredible work they do.
Last year we did a sponsored walk in memory of Cheryl and had an absolutely brilliant afternoon exploring our neighbourhood, celebrating Cheryl's spirit and getting some fresh air.
Most importantly, we managed to raise some money for St Joseph's through the kindness of our friends and family, who sponsored our walk.
We'll be doing a 12km walk again in a couple of weeks and we're once again raising money to help St Joseph's Hospice continue doing the fantastic work they do.
The dedication and care St Joseph's provides costs. A fan, to keep a patient comfortable in hot weather costs £1.84 a day, a box of syringes costs £15.29, a physio to help a patient manage their breathing and pain is £31.57 a session. Which means each day, it costs £41,000 to keep St Joseph’s going. Which means a whopping £15 million a year, half of which needs to be funded through donations. An awful lot of money for a charity to raise to keep such vital work going. All donations are welcome and no amount is too small!
Lots of people at W+K were wondering why a woman was taking lots of photos of them last week. Check out today's Time Out and you'll understand why. W+K has been included in an article based on London offices that serve up 'a healthy dose of fun.'