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.]
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...
The latest exhibition to feature in our stairwell gallery is a series of photographs by one of our creatives, Jason Scott, very cleverly titled 'Pictures of People Taking Pictures of People'.
It's pretty self-explanatory, you see. They're Jason's pictures of people taking pictures of other people. And that's what makes them so very brilliant. To coin a new phrase (or maybe not), it's tourism-anthro-voyeurism.
Here's a bit more about the project, in Jason's own words:
"Pictures of People Taking Pictures of People explores the way people interact with each other when they pose for photos. Well, that's how I've post-rationalised it.
All images were discreetly taken on an iPhone 4 so as not to disturb anyone or ruin their snaps.
Like an urban David Attenborough, I wanted to capture people acting as naturally as possible. And avoid arrest."
We're pleased to say that Jason has thus far avoided arrest. Phew!
You can see more online http://yes-peopletakingpicturesofpeople.tumblr.com and there's a zine and exhibition to follow. And if you're on Instagram, the awesome #PicturesOfPeopleTakingPicturesOfPeople tag will point you towards more of Jason's discoveries.
Like everybody else, we had one of those photobooth things at our Christmas party. They print out the pics on the night and also upload them to their website so you can look at them all the next day. Each party is represented by one thumbnail image. Interesting to see that, while all the other agency parties (hello Adam&Eve, Syzygy, etc) seem to feature festive revellers in their party frocks and dickie bows, the W+K party icon is a fucking scary panda straight out of David Lynch's Christmas nightmare.
The IPA asked me to write a few words for a piece on how we encourage creativity. It's been published here.
Here's what I wrote:
We’ve got all that wacky creative cultural stuff at Wieden+Kennedy. Yes, we have a padded cell meeting room, we have office baking competitions, wild parties, free booze on a trolley, in-office band performances and art exhibitions. We encourage and enable people to do volunteer work in our local community and send people as far afield as Rwanda to enable them to achieve things they never thought they could do. We have furniture made out of dodgem cars and junk stall finds. We have a Dude of the Month award that bestows a special ceremonial jacket upon the winner.
We have sing-songs, and pie-offs, and stitch and bitch sessions, and art outings, and portrait painting, and interactive window installations. We have creative bursaries to help everyone broaden their minds, we invite in all sorts of interesting visiting speakers and, yes, our reception is so filled with bric-a-brac it looks like a jumble sale and we have to keep turning away passers by who mistake our office for another Shoreditch vintage store. We even have the obligatory agency table football table somewhere under all the junk.
We have all of these things, but they don't happen by management design, they just evolve organically out of the environmental slime. They are the products of our culture, not the cause of it. Everyone knows we’re here to do the best work of our lives. That’s what W+K was founded to do. It’s our promise to our people and our clients. We have remained fiercely independent so that we can stay true to this principle. It’s what we are and it affects everything we do.
It's pretty crowded and noisy here at WK Towers. There's a shortage of quiet spots from which to make a phone call. So we've acquired a phone booth which, as you can see, has been customised in special Welcome to Optimism house colours. Nice.
It's already generating some interest. Probably won't be long before it's covered in prostitutes' cards and being used as a toilet.