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.]
The Story can now be placed in the “classics” section of annual events: simple yet wonderfully considered, ahead of its time yet void of pretention, and most importantly, it leaves you with a lasting impression once it’s over. We were told tales of horse riding, live Vine-ing, celery chopping and a voyage to America with a puppet. But with even the best stories, we tend to skim some sections. So here are a few of my bookmarks, somewhere between the beginning, middle and end.
We might have a little snigger at TOWIE or a peep at Rihanna’s bottom, but do we ever really question how such consumerism is affecting children? In collaboration with her nine-year-old niece, Bryony Kimmings invented “Catherine Bennett”, a credible pop star for a modern child. In the true style of modern making, Bryony reached out to her contacts (including Beyonce’s hair stylist!?) to help create her image and launched a clever social campaign to raise awareness to adults. Plus a musical mash up of “Lilly Allen, The B52s and Gorillaz ” and some awesome After Effects skills makes Catherine Bennett a cultural icon for an Internet effected generation.
Introducing yourself by stating that you are working with both Scott Walker and Nick Cave on separate projects defines cool. Visual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard shared their story behind 20,000 Days on Earth a documentary on the 20,000 days of Nick Cave’s life. Nick Cave is famously elusive, so they set out to reset expectations, both for him and his audience. A short clip highlighted this by sharing how they used a psychoanalyst to question Nick until, to his own admission, “it was too much effort to try any more”. This resulted in a moving scene where Nick explains that his one great fears is losing his memory, stating, “memory is all we are”.
Kenyatta emanates the culture in which he lives, a YOLO, LOLZ, whirlwind of enthusiasm, the Internet is his party and we are all invited. Anyone who knows me will understand how much I loved his story: the history of the animated GIF, told with the (slightly butchered) narrative of Snow White, illustrated by Snow White GIFS. What I also loved was Kenyatta’s understanding that a GIF is a multifaceted piece of content – from a form of expression to a piece of art to a useful tool, with many more stories to tell.
It is easy to understand why Bill vehemently denies inventing the flash mob, but it is not so easy to disprove. However, a bored summer resulting in thousands of strangers congregating outside Claire’s Accessories beats spending it doing work experience. The proof that Bill is now senior editor of Wired can be used to inspire a new generation that the internet is there to make and do, whatever that may result in.
In contrast to Kenyatta, I expect Lisa is someone who perhaps finds the Internet a little more troublesome. The ability to be connected to everyone can often leave us feeling more isolated. Please Hold With Me, a project inspired by the loneliness felt whilst put on hold, would connect Lisa to you whilst waiting on the line. The musak would stop and a soft, unknown voice would say, “hello, how are you?” Through her work, Lisa is doing something extremely important in modern society – making real connections – and this is something we can all learn from.
The Press & Journal reported this week about Education Secretary Michael Gove's return to his old primary school in Aberdeen. Mr Gove paid tribute to his teacher, the 'strict but brilliant' Mrs Christie.
The same Mrs Christie is the mother of Wieden+Kennedy's MD, the equally 'old school' and 'strict' but certainly less brilliant Neil Christie, who turns out to be of far less consequence than his mum in terms of influence on the country's leadership.
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...
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.
Ask any successful creative how they got to where they are now, and you can bet the word "mentor" will come up. Mentoring is the bread and butter of the Young Creative Council, and they've found a pretty innovative way of helping creatives pay it forward to the next generation.
In partnership with YCC, our creative Jason Scott and his other (better?) half Victoria will be sharing their knowlege for free and opening up their home for an evening of folio feedback and tea. The pair aren't new to this game, they've dished out advice to aspiring creatives and students from all over the UK in their home once before. We're told it was a resounding success; creatives from top agencies looked at ten books and rumour has it, a few up-and-comers even bagged themselves jobs.
If this sounds appealing to you, they're doing it again next week on Tuesday 25th February at their home in Brixton. Creatives from Wieden+Kennedy London (that's us!), Mr President, R/GA, Poke, Leo Burnett and VCCP amongst others will give crits over a cuppa, hence the slightly punny name TEA & BisCRITS. Jason reassures us the name wasn't his idea – we'll let him off, just this once.
There’s room for ten folios, so email yours to Jason if you want to have a go. They'll also be doing Skype crits through the night as well, for those that can only be there in slightly pixelated spirit.
The deadline for entries is Friday, so get your hustle on and send all your best bits to Jason post-haste.
We're basking in the heady heights of stardom over here in Human Solutions. Our very own Sarah De Rosa makes it onto the front page of the Impact London website by starring in their 'HR in the Hot Seat' post.
Here she is talking about the glamorous world of HR. Enjoy.
Click on picture for more info.
HR in the Hot Seat - 5 mins with Sarah De Rosa, Interim HR Manager at Wieden + Kennedy
What do you love most about your job?
The diversity of my role, I never know what the day will throw at me when I walk through the door! Working with incredibly talented and creative people and laughing every day!
What are the three things you couldn't do your job without?
A great HR Assistant, a sense of humour and the ability to be adaptable to every situation, no matter how weird it is.
What do you think makes a good HR Professional?
Being able to communicate with people at all levels. Compassion, a good working knowledge of employment law and the ability to apply it to your environment.
Who has been your greatest influence?
Martina King was the MD at Yahoo UK & Ireland which was my first ever HR role, she was incredibly successful and always very busy, but had time for everyone. She showed compassion and was open and honest. All the things I hope I am.
What are your tips for success?
Always be yourself, chose the right working environment that suits your personality. I could never work in a corporate environment as it would kill my spirit! Don't take the first role you are offered when you are looking for a job, unless it is the right match for you.
What do you do after a stressful day?
I have just started going to a Jane Fonda inspired workout class. It is fun whilst being good exercise at the same time. Also a nice glass of cold white wine always helps wash away a stressful day.
We welcomed delightful new creative directors Carlos Alija & Laura Sampedro to our Hanbury Street family last week. They come to us from their homeland of Spain via sunny Sydney, where they were ECDs at BMF Sydney for two years.
Now that they've had a bit of time to get used to the rather unique experience that is Great Britain in early February (floods, power cuts, crocodiles), here are a few things you didn't know about the husband-and-wife pair:
Carlos is a frustrated comic artist and Laura a frustrated expressionist artist. A frustrated duo turned into happy advertising animals.
Nobody has more density of hair follicles than Laura, nobody. As for Carlos, his orange beanie says it all.
Carlos moves his hands dramatically when he talks. They can be a mortal weapon, keep a safe distance!
Laura has a very strong sixth sense. In a scary way.
Up Where We Belong is their karaoke hit.
So there you have it. Thanks to these two, we can now add telepathy and advanced gesticulation to our list of skills.