Last night, on the eve of the hottest day so far this year, agency and production house friends of Cut + Run escaped the heat amidst cold fans and delicious pineapple cocktails for the July edition of The Quarterly, an event that brings together and celebrates the talent in the creative industries.
On the agenda this month was our very own work for - and relationship with - Lurpak, which has been recognised in high places recently. In a talk and Q&A hosted by Toby Abbott, MD of Cut + Run, and Jason Stone of David Reviews, Client Christian, AD Katja, and CD Sam, supported by Planning Director Theo, tapped into a Star Trek analogy to explain the creative process behind their latest campaign for Lurpak Cook's Range, Adventure Awaits. From JFK speeches to Ratatouille quotes, their presentation provided a fascinating insight into the client-agency relationship, creative risk-taking, working with Director Dougal Wilson, and what makes the Lurpak brand it is today.
A few of our favourite learnings from the team include:
_Put aside received knowledge to seek out alien wisdom.
_Logic can only get you so far - instict makes the difference between what's right and what's brilliant.
_Artifice is the enemy, authenticity pulls the viewer in.
_If it doesn't scare us, we're doing it wrong.
We'd like to warmly thank Toby and the Cut + Run team for their generous hosting, Jason for his perceptive Q&A session, and our wonderful Lurpak client, Christian for coming down to London for the talk.
Oh, and the caterers, for those delicious little glasses of Lurpak ice cream on offer around during the evening.
For more photos of the event, check out Cut + Run's Facebook page.
W+K Lurpak account director Katja shares a story about a memorable client briefing the team attended this week:
We were not sure whether to be excited or terrified about the idea of hosting our Lurpak briefing session in Dans le Noir (in darkness), a concept restaurant in London. The idea was to have a different kind of food experience whilst receiving our new Lurpak client brief.
Dining in the total darkness, when guided and served by blind people, is a unique experience. One that changes our view of the world by reversing our perspective, prompting and helping us to re-evaluate our perception of taste and smell… well, that's what it says on the restaurant's website.
We decided to be brave and give it a try. Actually, the client pushed us to be brave. And that's exactly the kind of client we all want to work with, right?
The team, led by Bart, didn’t overpromise. Roberto, our waiter (at the front of the chain), who some of you may know from the movie About Time, looked after us and made the experience unique.
All in all it was a great day. A juicy, new brief. A new food experience. Team motivation up.
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.
We have some very exciting news to start off the New Year: we're delighted to announce that we've been appointed to UKTV's agency roster for creative communications after initially meeting with UKTV in December through Oystercatchers. UKTV reaches over 42 million viewers per month through a portfolio of ten distinctive TV channels including Dave, Watch, Alibi, Gold, Good Food and Yesterday.
Our MD Neil Christie says, "We're delighted to be working with the team at UKTV. We spent all of Christmas watching telly in preparation."
Simon Michaelides, Marketing Director at UKTV says, “I'm very excited to be adding W+K to our roster of agencies. With such an outstanding creative record, they're ideally placed to help unlock the full potential of our key brands and shows, and maintain UKTV's consistent track record of growth in an increasingly competitive environment."
We're looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting started on some work with our newest creative partners, whose industry has such close ties to our own.
We'll be in front of the magic box if you need us – all in the name of a research, of course.
Yesterday the Lurpak team were at a Wash Up Session with all our Global Lurpak clients and partner agencies to discuss the key learnings from our Weave Your Magic campaign, so far launched in Denmark, Sweden and Australia (watch this space for more markets). It was a good meeting. Relationships with the markets, clients and partner agencies are strong and the campaign is improving brand scores and sales are up.
So what better way to celebrate than a giant cake with our campaign on it?
Thank you to the clients for this lovely surprise! We look forward to more brilliant work and more cake.
This week we welcomed the lovely Leah to spend a week with us, giving up some of her precious summer holiday before going into her final A level year. This is her own account of the last five days in E1:
Approaching the office door early on Monday morning was certainly daunting but the tantalising aromas of toast, toast and… toast put me at ease. Alex and Nicola warmly introduced themselves and I was later given a tour of the office which, at first sight, looked like an art exhibition. It’s that cool.
This past week has been filled with meetings for Cravendale, Finlandia, Honda and a top secret new business project. However my most memorable moment was going to Wave Studios with Matt and Ray for the voice recording of the new 3 advert as part of the ‘Pay As You Go’ campaign. After being served food and drinks at its luxurious bar, we awaited the arrival of Alistair McGowan himself in the studio. His presence in the booth was surreal but his playful and powerful voice made the ad really come to life. What I found most interesting was the attention paid to different tones, volume and character of his voice, changing the flavour every time. A couple of hours of detailed note-taking and various different recordings later, a glossy ad starring a cute pug and a hilarious voiceover was complete.
In the midst of fancy studios and meetings in library booths, my involvement with various projects, such Tesco and Stride, were stimulating and enabled me to find out what the brands stand for, who their target audiences are and their competition with other companies.
On Thursday afternoon I was asked to take photos of Mark and Paddy at the ‘Artstart’ talk at the Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch. The ‘question and answer’ layout gave young people a clear insight into advertising from a creative perspective and what it takes to gain a foothold into the industry given our current economic climate.
(Mark is on the far left. Paddy is on the mic.)
So now my journey has come to an end. The positive and fast-paced energy at the agency is amazing and everyone I’ve worked with has been so approachable and friendly. This experience has inspired me to seriously consider a possible career in advertising. I am really excited to see everything that I have been a part of presented as finished products.
Interactive Strategist Sammy King wrote some words for our pals at Twitter. And here they are:
There’s no doubt that real-time marketing can work extremely well when brilliantly executed and done at the right time. Look at Oreo or Lynx for great examples.
At the moment though it seems as though there seems to be a consensus that unless your brand or agency has a 24-7 social newsroom staffed by at least 40 people scouring the web, then you’re lagging way behind. I disagree. All it takes is a keen eye, a sense of restraint and where possible, a little forward planning.
We recently ran a campaign with mobile phone network @ThreeUK, aimed at celebrating the fact that it is a network built for the internet (it was the first with 3G – hence the name). We wanted to give a point of view on people’s internet usage, focusing on the silly content that they share every day. More specifically, on how important this stuff is in building and solidifying relationships. We wanted to create something that people would see and say, “I like this and I think you’ll like it too.”
Then this little guy came along.
In addition to the Dance Pony Dance film we created the Pony Mixer, a YouTube gadget that allowed people to remix the ad using one of eight different tracks – anything from Hip Hop to Bollywood. They could then send these on to their friends with a personalised message, creating a custom piece of content that was unique to them.
Hashtags become integral to TV campaigns
One of the key elements of the film, and one that turned out to be one of the most important, was including the hashtag on the end frame. It became integral to the campaign, linking all of the different elements together and bringing together the conversation. It allowed us to capitalise on the interest that the ad generated online. Our main goal was getting people to share the video and with this, 25% of all mentions of #DancePonyDance included a link to the ad.
We also saw that mentions of the hashtag, particularly at the start of the campaign, were intrinsically linked with appearing on TV.
Now, when I was talking about real-time marketing earlier I mentioned how we can try and react to the noise that we create ourselves. With #DancePonyDance we had thousands of people creating and sharing content which we wanted to reward. So we took some of our favourite Pony Mixes that people had made and hoisted them up on the TV – something we saw as a bit like a massive retweet. This was our way of being reactive. Perhaps not in the same way as the brands I mentioned earlier, but by planning ahead in order to try and achieve a similar effect.
Planning for real-time moments
‘Planning’ for real-time moments as well as reacting to them have always been on the agenda at W+K. Where joining a conversation that is relevant to your audience often prospers is that you are able to talk to them about something that they care about. Nine times out of ten, people couldn’t care less about what you have to say. So, talk to them about something that they are interested in.
Being reactive and commenting on culture can also help add context to your brand, or the story that you are trying to tell. For example, on Three, we are trying to say that we believe sharing silly stuff online is important, so if the opportunity arose to help contextualise this in a real-world example, it might be one that we decide to comment on.
The key word though in that last paragraph is ‘relevant’. The post-Super Bowl free-for-all has meant that lots of brands just seem to get stuck into whatever topic appears to be trending at the time. Pick those that mean something to your audience as well as those that you, as a brand, can have a point of view on.
Laughing babies, photobombing squirrels and cat videos – just some of the seemingly frivolous content we like to post on Facebook, share on Twitter or email to family and friends. Just to make them smile. Or cry (with laughter, of course). And when you think about it like that, this stuff isn’t silly at all. Because it’s sharing this silly stuff with each other on a daily basis that connects us to one another. Wieden + Kennedy has embraced this trend in our latest work for our clients, mobile network Three. Because when it comes to silly stuff, they know it matters. That's why they do everything they can to help you live up to their brand line, ‘Keep on internetting’.
But rather than just play back the crazy things online that we all like to share, we wanted actually to contribute to it. We wanted to celebrate the seemingly silly stuff and also provide the means for people to mess with it and create their own little pieces of joy that they can share.
Shot against the dramatic backdrop of the Shetland Islands, the 60” spot follows the story of a stocky little pony. But this is no ordinary Shetland pony. With the scrape of a hoof, and a flick of his Tina Turner-esque mane, he effortlessly moonwalks along to the sound of ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac.
And what could be more silly than a moonwalking Shetland pony? Only the ability to customise him, make him your own, and then share him.
So we created The Pony Mixer, a dancing-pony-remixing tool where you can make our pony shake it to anything from Boyband to Bollywood. Unleash your creation on the world via Facebook or Twitter and you might be hailed an internetting hero in one of many 30” TV spots.
Try it out here, or watch the clip below for a snippet of what you can do.
The TV was directed by the wonderful Dougal Wilson from Blink Productions. MPC burned the candle from both ends to bring the little fella to life, and Wave added the finishing touch of brilliance. The mixer films were down to the hilarious Tom Kingsley and a band of dedicated heroes at Munky.