Easter weekend is a natural point at which to scoff buns and chocolate, yes, but also to pause and consider how the year 2013 is going for us so far at Wieden + Kennedy London.
Winning new business was a key goal for us in 2012. We succeeded in bringing in a number of new clients, including Schweppes, Finlandia, Maximus, Southern Comfort, FUZE tea and arguably the win of the year, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco. We landed the Tesco account in September and at that point we shut up shop for new business so as to focus on existing clients and make sure we were not so busy that the quality of our work suffered.
Christmas 2012 and the first few months of 2013 have seen the fruits of that focus, with new work breaking for Honda, Lurpak, Tesco, Three, Visit Wales and more. Here are a few recent highlights at W+K London:
- We were delighted that Tesco was able to report its best Christmas sales results for three years, which led to a 3% rise in share price. Our Tesco Christmas campaign was described by Retail Week as ‘top ranking’ of all supermarkets’ efforts in terms of popularity on social media; they credited it with giving Tesco a ‘significant boost’. The results were certainly an encouraging start to our work with Tesco.
- In February the One Club teamed up with the American International Auto Show in Detroit to name its list of the ten greatest car ads of the last 25 years. Our work for Honda took the first and second places. And we helped Honda to launch the new Civic across Europe with a campaign that transcended language, despite/because of being based around a palindrome.
- As Britain grumbled its way through recession and winter, we launched a new campaign for Lurpak celebrating the power of “good, proper food” to put fire in the nation’s bellies.
This work also went down well at Campaign. “This, surely is why we are all in the business. A brilliant idea when it launched and one that just gets better with time and development. This latest execution is beautifully crafted, with the same perfect tone of voice we’ve come to expect from Wieden + Kennedy.”
AdWeek described it as “visually astonishing… another sensory masterpiece”.
Around the same time, one of our earlier Lurpak posters was inducted into the Outdoor Hall of Fame. (It’s a bit like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but with posters.)
- We created a psychedelically colourful London Transport campaign for Lactofree to encourage grumpy commuters to say yes to breakfast.
Gazillions of views, umpteen shares, a million remixes, Fleetwood Mac back in the charts - Socks the pony smashed Twitter, topped the world’s viral video charts and appeared on national news from the USA to Japan. The Mail wrote: “As the government's austerity programme rolls on, and the UK tightens its belt, Britain is a nation in need of something to smile about. And it seems a Shetland pony moon-walking to the strains of an '80s pop tune could be just the thing. An advert for mobile internet firm 3, which sees a pony tapping its hooves to Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, has been lauded as 'the best thing ever' by fans on Twitter.”
Moreaboutadvertising.com asked “Is W+K London’s ‘little pony’ ad for Three the most successful UK campaign ever?”
And went on to say: “Agency Wieden+Kennedy London is sometimes criticised for trying to be original and different with everything (often a rather painstaking process). But who else would be so brave?” *agency accepts criticism, blushes collectively at praise*
- Our print campaign for Tesco setting out their response to the horsemeat scandal was described as “poetry” by the Standard and compared to a Shakespearean sonnet by the BBC, who said the copy had "an incantatory quality, in the way it repeats certain phrases, trying to cast a spell on the reader with words”.
- We helped launch a new initiative for Tesco – the Price Promise. Here’s how it works: when you shop at Tesco, online or in store, they will compare your basket against the prices at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. If your shopping would have been cheaper there, Tesco will give you a voucher for the difference for up to £10. The Price Promise campaign has rolled out nationally on TV, posters, press, online and in-store. Price Promise has been described as a potential ‘game changer’ by Retail Week.
No wonder the first quarter of the year seems to have passed so quickly – we’ve been busy.
2013 is shaping up to be another tough year for the advertising industry. I’m not particularly positive about prospects for the business in general (though UK ad spend is forecast by some experts to grow, I don’t necessarily see this translating into increased agency revenue), or the UK economy - forecasts seem to be generally gloomy - but, based on the first quarter of the year, with more hard work, continued focus on our people and the quality of what we do, and the support of some amazing clients, I am very optimistic, with custard on, about the outlook for Wieden + Kennedy London.
We went with our lovely Lactofree client Louise and a bunch of the other agencies to go and see our new Lactofree work in action on the tube today.
It was a little bit like herding sheep whilst avoiding the busy morning commuters but it was well worth it. The work looks very bright and cheery.
We then visited the Lactofree sampling van, which is currently making its way around London handing
out delicious breakfast porridge and milky lattes to passers by.
Our clients at Lactofree (the UK’s only range of lactose-free dairy products) have done some research into Brtain's breakfast habits. They are bad breakfast habits. So, to encourage people to enjoy their mornings more, we have created for Lactofree a ‘Say Yes to Breakfast’ campaign. Because breakfast should be an occasion, not an inconvenience, even if you're lactose intolerant.
We have come up with a visual approach to target busy morning commuters in London, to encourage them to be able to enjoy more dairy. Bright colours: that's what people need on the dreary old morning commute. And a Lactofree-based breakfast item. That should set London up for the day.
The ads will kick off on Monday 25th February with digital escalator panels in London Underground stations (on a 10” loop) showcasing a variety of colourful breakfast executions featuring the product range.
The year 2012 was quite good in bits for Wieden + Kennedy London. Come with us now, as we go back in time to review some of the stuff that happened to us, with us and by us in the last twelve months. You may meet polydactyl cats, you may fall down a rabbit-hole to play with a Nike-wearing Sonic the Hedgehog, and you might be enticed into The Great Unknown. You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop...the Wieden+Kennedy zone!
Nike - Make it Count
January 2012 marked the beginning of a very important year for sport in the UK. Not just for top athletes but for everyone. This was the year to step up and Make it Count. To celebrate we launched a campaign that saw top UK athletes make their pledges for the forthcoming year, whilst inspiring people to be part of the movement and make their own pledges under the hashtag #makeitcount.
In March, Campaign reported from the “Socialympics” panel debate on the London 2012 Olympics, which it described as “the biggest social media event ever”.
The article said: “Adidas is currently getting around 0.4% of all conversations around the Olympics associated with its brand. Its non-sponsor rival, Nike, is dominating Olympics brand buzz with 7.7%. A lot of this can be attributed to Nike’s #makeitcount campaign - a runaway social media success... The campaign resonates with sports fans by associating Nike with training for the Olympics and cleverly skirts Olympic ambush marketing rules.”
Early in 2012 we launched Lurpak Lightest, Lurpak’s biggest launch in 10 years. It was an important initiative, allowing Lurpak to compete with other low fat spreads on the market by offering health-conscious consumers a new low fat product that doesn’t compromise on taste.
We did everything from naming the product and designing the packaging to creating the launch campaign, which was described by The Drum as “Fantastic... marvelous... brave... mesmeric”.
The TV ad was ranked third best of the year by Campaign and the poster number four.
There were also some press ads:
“Significant new Honda TV work from Wieden + Kennedy London is typically an anticipated event, and the brand’s new “Spark” commercial does not disappoint. The beautifully filmed spot—narrated by the longtime voice of Honda Europe, Garrison Keillor—tracks the journey of an idea from the darkness of inception to its dramatic full realization.” AdWeek
Damon Collins wrote of it in Campaign:
“My favourite ad right now is “The Great Unknown” from Honda... Why do I like it so much? Is it because it’s beautifully produced, with stunning visual effects and immaculate sound design? (Have a listen - that’s what awards sound like.) Or is it because, as so often with the campaign, the thinking behind the words is so alluring?”
The spot was 2012's most popular with UK YouTube viewers, racking up over 3.8 million hits.
Cravendale - The Milk Matters
Megalomaniac polydactyl cat Bertrum Thumbcat – star of ITV viewers’ ad of the year 2011 - returned in 2012 with a plan.
A big, evil plan to steal our Cravendale milk: he was brainwashing innocent milkmen to work as his milk-pilfering henchmen. Yes!
But we’re on to his scheme, and Cravendale sent a message to Betrum and his gang: NOT ON OUR WATCH, PUSSIES!
And your cat can join his Thumbcat army.
Our 2012 work for Three, the UK’s fastest-growing network, highlighted the fact that it’s the network built for the mobile internet.
We pitched and won the Maximus vodka business in February. Our first work recently launched in the brand’s home market of Poland and will roll out across other parts of Europe later this year.
This is a world in which a generation of young men is inheriting a legacy of economic worry and doubt. It’s a world in which traditional masculine values are under threat. This has been described as a ‘he-cession’. (Really, it has.) It’s difficult for men to remain confident or upbeat and this is having a direct effect on their most precious gift, their manliness. Tests have shown that testosterone levels are in general decline.
Our campaign aims to inspire today’s generation of young men to feel empowered to be manly and take on the world. Maximus Vodka embodies the qualities which make men, men and is a celebratory toast for all young aspiring men who dare to reclaim their manliness. Rise and conquer!
Our innovative ‘My Time Is Now’ global campaign for Nike celebrated the ‘next wave’ of young footballers, from young kids to elite athletes looking to make an impact on the world stage.
Launched online first, the campaign was driven by a variety of different interactions and experiences. By following ‘tunnels’ hidden in the film, fans could do everything from playing a Nike-wearing version of Sonic the Hedeghog, to booking a footballer’s haircut, to – of course – buying Nike kit.
Sports Industry news reported: “Nike football has revealed that the ‘My Time Is Now’ campaign has been named the brand’s most successful football campaign ever. Featuring global icons including Cristiano Ronaldo, the ‘My Time is Now’ film has received over 39m views (30m flat film views & 9m interactive film views across all platforms) and is the fastest growing Nike film ever.
Consumer engagement has reached record levels for the brand, with fans reportedly spending an average of 6mins
18secs viewing the film and the “hidden tunnel” content that
rewards consumers who engage with the film.
It was the world's most viewed ad on Youtube in 2012.
We picked up the Stride gum business from Kraft at the end
of 2011. Our first work broke in the US this year and, timed to
precede the launch of iPhone 5, we launched the Mintacular
variant with a spoof of Apple’s product launches.
In the run-up to the launch we posted a mystery billboard in Apple style, featuring nothing but a date. Two weeks later we revealed Stride Mintacular – “Chewing redefined. Again.”
We also launched a viral film that spoofs Apple’s product launch videos, featuring gum engineers talking with awe and wonder about the amazing new Mintacular, “the most advanced celebrity-endorsed chewing product we’ve ever launched.”
“A great parody and hilarious,” said the New York Times.
W+K won the Tesco business in autumn 2012 following
a competitive pitch. The scope of our assignment covers all aspects of the Tesco business, including food, general merchandise, banking, delivery services and clothing. Our first task was to promote Tesco’s products and services in the run-up to Christmas.
Tesco was looking for a single thought to focus all their activity and communications. One that could help them to connect with customers, and to unify all their 300,000 staff. The idea we came up with was, ‘We make what matters better, together’.
This helps to give new meaning and focus to the familiar Tesco line ‘Every little helps’. As the country’s largest retailer, Tesco is in a position to understand what really matters to people, and to help make that better.
The Christmas campaign highlighted the little moments that go to make Christmas special, and showed how Tesco could help make them possible. This was a fully integrated campaign, with the story played out on TV, in print, in store and online.
FUZE Tea - when this meets that
Coca-Cola awarded us the Fuze Tea business without a pitch early in 2012. The new campaign, now rolling out across 27 markets, is based on the thought that everything great in the universe is the result of ‘when this meets that’. Simple. From when Big met Bang, to when Tea met Fruit, everything great is always a combination of things. Fuze Tea is just another example of this.
MoreAboutAdvertising said of the work: “Wieden + Kennedy London has produced some brilliant ads in the years since the celebrated Hall of Fame favourite for Honda Grrr announced a major new force in agency-land but, arguably, nothing quite to match this new mini-masterpiece, ‘WhenThis MeetsThat’.
Nando's - Find Yourself
The idea attributes different levels of the PERi-PERi spectrum to different character traits.
On Twitter, Nando’s predicted people's spice levels based on their past Tweets. We also created a Facebook app, so the curious could answer situation-based questions to ascertain their spice orientation.
On Spotify, ads offered up a different spice for listeners, based on the music they’re into. So if you appreciate distorted power chords marinated in barbaric bass, you’ll like your chicken Extra Hot. Whereas if you’d rather something a little more alternative, Drum ‘n’ Yodel perhaps, then Mango and Lime’s for you.
Tactical press extended the idea by tying in 'Find Yourself' with current events.
If you haven't tried it yet, click here to find out which PERi-PERi spice reflects your personality.
Lactofree - Listen up, hedgehogs!
In February 2012, we launched the new Lactofree campaign. The star of the ad was a hedgehog (Madison), because hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. The spot showed our lady hedgehog wandering around her local supermarket and daydreaming about all the wonderful dairy moments she misses out on- creamy coffees in Paris, buttery crumpets round a campfire, cheesy pizza on a romantic date.
The ad explains that lots of us suffer from Lactose intolerance,
but that we can still enjoy dairy. Lactose is the sugar in dairy,
which is what causes digestive issues for most people.
Lactofree make real dairy products- milks, spreads, cheeses
ice cream, yogurts etc, that have the lactose taken out. So
with Lactofree, the dairy kingdom can once more be yours.
Finally, a couple of campaigns from over there that did rather well over here this year.
P&G - Proud Sponsor of Mums
Created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for P&G's sponsorship of London 2012 to honour the amazing mothers behind Olympic athletes, “Best Job” shows the hard work all mums do to raise their children—a lifetime of chauffeuring their children about, washing their clothes, providing meals on the run and supporting them at practices and competitions—all to see their children succeed. The hardest job in the world, is the best job in the world.
Among many honours, this spot won the 2012 Emmy for outstanding commercial.
Southern Comfort - Whatever's Comfortable
The 'Whatever's Comfortable' campaign, created by W+K New York, launched in the UK this autumn and immediately made an impact.
James Brown wrote in Sabotage Times: "So have you seen it yet? The advert some are the calling the best ever made? Certainly the funniest around right now. Not only is the new Southern Comfort commercial the best
on television right now it also applies an aspect of feminism for barrel-chested, beer-bellied sex gods."
There's a nice piece over on AdWeek about our new Lactofree 'Hedgehogs' spot. Here's what it says:
The folks at Wieden + Kennedy love their spokescreatures.
Last year, for Cravendale milk, the London agency filmed a charming pack of scheming cats with a thirst for milk—and opposable thumbs. (ITV viewers voted it the best TV spot of 2011, and it was on Adweek's list of the year's 10 best ads, too.) Now, W+K is out with another sweet commercial starring hedgehogs to promote the virtues of Arla's Lactofree dairy products. The spiny beasts are told they can enjoy treats like latte, crumpets and pizza if they use Lactofree—because they're not intolerant to dairy, only to lactose, which is the the sugar in dairy.
A wonderful detail in both campaigns is the element of truth in the whimsy: Hedgehogs really are lactose intolerant, just as there really are polydactyl cats with a genetic mutation that gives them extra toes. "Hedgehogs are a gift from the advertising gods," says Hollie Newton, the W+K creative behind the Arla spot. "They are lactose intolerant, wonderful and very sweet." Still, she adds, "they are rubbish actors."
Of the five African Pygmy hedgehogs on set, half of them ran really fast, while the others would just curl up in a defensive ball. W+K built a little seat for the one with the Parisian latte, while the two with the pizza have their own tiny sofa. Newton, who's still not sure how the agency was able to attach the blue bow to the supermarket-shopping hedgehog, says she would never have wanted anything but the real creatures in the spot.
Over the last six months, we’ve spent a lot of time talking and thinking about hedgehogs.
We’ve learned that hedgehogs probably do like campfires and crumpets, but are less inclined to hold their own cheese and wine evening (too posh).
We also learned that like many humans they are lactose intolerant (allergic to the lactose sugars in milk).
Happily, Arla make a special range of products called ‘Lactofree’ which is free of lactose sugars.
We found some photogenic hedgehogs (African Pygmies), filmed them doing their shopping in a local supermarket and then we captured their dreams on film to make an advert.
This was the result. It airs tomorrow night during the Coronation Street break at 8.45pm.
Hope you like it.
(This is the ad that led to the infestation in our reception blogged about previously.)
Lactofree, the UK’s first range of lactose-free dairy products this week launches a new print campaign across the UK. Created by Wieden + Kennedy (that's us!) the work will run in the Metro newspaper group through January and February. Like this:
The ads were illustrated by Owen Gildersleeve, using a range of hand-crafted methods.
The new creative seeks to unravel the sometimes confusing world of lactose intolerance, which is thought to affect up to one in seven of the UK population. The ads aim to help consumers recognise the symptoms of the condition. Which is useful, because over 90 percent of those who think they can’t have dairy can with Lactofree.
Our mission was simple, to help people have a really good cuppa or a tasty bowl of cereal. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is when you’re lactose intolerant. We realised that there’s a lot of confusion around the subject of dairy problems. So we wanted to help people navigate this world, avoid the pitfalls and confusion along the way and get to the holy grail – a cup of tea that doesn’t give you belly ache.