Our office looks surprisingly tidy through the lens of photographer Paul Barbera, who stopped by recently to capture 16 Hanbury St for his project Where They Create, a visual documentation of creative working environments around the world.
For more glimpses of life inside W+K London, click here.
Last Friday the sun shone down as the whole agency set off to have some fun and raise some funds in memory of a very dear colleague and friend, Cheryl Rogers.
Cheryl was a huge part of Wieden+Kennedy, working with us for 12 years. She threw herself into absolutely every thing that she did with passion from her early days on Nike, to her time spent in the Shanghai office, touching pretty much all our clients in one way or another during her time with us. She contributed a huge amount personally and professionally to W+K and helped make us the agency we are today.
Cheryl joined as an AM and was a Group Account Director by the time she passed away, growing up with us as the agency grew in size. Her positivity, kindness and enormous sense of fun made her much loved by everyone around her and made lots of us incredibly proud to call her a friend.
We wanted to get together as an agency to do something to celebrate her life, to get everyone together and have some fun; just the way that Cheryl would have organised.
And we also wanted to do something useful. Cheryl was cared for exceptionally well by St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney. We were humbled by the work they do every day for so many people and wanted to raise some cash to help them continue to deliver such an amazing service to those in need of it.
So last Friday we launched the first annual W+K WALK – setting off around the East End where Cheryl lived (and visiting some local pubs) for a 10 mile walk in the sunshine. We donned specially designed colourful T-shirts and set out in the bright spring sunshine to explore Hackney a bit. We are proud to say we raised over £24k in doing so.
We were touched by the number of donations we received from friends and family, clients, partners and even people who passed us on the street. We are pleased to have created an event which has raised so much and also felt so fitting - Cheryl would have loved every minute of it – we hope it's the first of many.
Thanks very much to every one who donated and everyone who took part. If you would like to donate to St Joseph's, so you can here:
On Monday night, a couple of us went to check out Southern Comfort's blogger event at Arts Theatre Club in Soho for a bit of whatever's comfortable inspiration.
During the evening, Southern Comfort's own expert mixologist was on hand to give the group of bloggers some New Orleans-inspired cocktail ideas, ranging from the classic Hurricane to a delicious cocktail made with apricot jam.
The bloggers were also invited to create their own fun concoctions behind the bar, which they then made official by using the Go Drink Yourself gadget on Southern Comfort's newly reimagined website. We had a little go too... you know that shaky-shaky thing bartenders make look so effortless? It's hard.
W+K copywriter Erin Swanson (one of the aforementioned Americans), gives us her view of OFFF 2014:
It comes as no surprise to me that the Americans were the best speakers at the OFFF Festival 2014. I say that because I'm American, and I believe Americans to be superior in most ways. I'm kidding of course, which is something Americans do. Actually, that might be why they make such good speakers. Also, they curse, which always makes things more exciting, goddamnit.
I attended OFFFF in a slightly different capacity as my Art Director partner, David Goss (see his review below. Never knew he was so into toilets). I'm a writer, and so most of the names of OFFF's design industry speakers and past speakers didn’t sound familiar to me. I went in with little knowledge and no expectations, and that's probably why I enjoyed it.
Did you know that it takes a full year to make one music video for Arcade Fire? Cause I didn't.
Did you know that a degree in geology can lead to some pretty baller illustration skills? Cause I didn't.
Did you know that sponges have happy faces in Tokyo? Cause I didn’t.
Have you seen Fleur and Manu’s Hate or Glory video? Cause if you haven’t then you should stop reading this post and watch it now...
Did you know you can make 150,000 smackeroos designing the opening credits for a single Robert Downey Junior movie? Cause I didn’t.
Did you know that all you have to do to make an audience laugh is wear a plaid tuxedo jacket and talk about fried chicken? Cause I actually already knew that one…
Obviously Chip Kidd was the most entertaining speaker at OFFF because his presentation was well written, comically timed and riddled with witty zings on the publishing industry. But I learned something, even from the speakers who read off notecards the whole time. Ok maybe I fell asleep for a second during the guy with the geology degree… but I was probably just fatigued from all the learning!
Overall, David’s right. The less you know about a subject, the easier you are to impress. That being said, an entertaining presentation makes a big difference after 10 hours sitting in a plastic folding chair. But that’s the case with most “festivals” of public speaking. I once went to a real estate convention at an airport hotel in South Florida with my father. There were no windows, no Spanish hipsters and by the end I had a carry-on packed with three ring binders full of laminated topography charts. At least they had cool tote bags at OFFF!
Nice mention of our Twitter account (@w2optimism) over on Creative Review today. Writer Paul Domenet, ECD of Johnny Fearless, gives agencies a Twitter primer based on the rather brilliant idea that Oscar Wilde would have been a prolific – and successful – tweeter. He even mentions us in his list of favourites:
Wieden and Kennedy London @W2Optimism: While issuing a pretentious Twitter handle alert on this one, its mix of agency news, great work from around the world and amusing events in Shoreditch is well worth following. Sample tweet: “Just had an all-staffer asking people to stop steaming broccoli in the office. Weird new low.”
Ah yes. The broccoli. If that all-staffer didn't succeed, this certainly will. Cheers, Paul!
For the launch of her new lingerie collection, local designer Miss Crofton has teamed up with directors SON to release her new collection through Snapchat. One half of SON and W+K Creative, Katie Harrison writes:
The insight that underwear is only ever seen for a few seconds and the voyeuristic behaviour that Snapchat offers its users gave us the perfect opportunity to explore and experiment on this untapped platform. We wanted to upturn the platform’s notorious use for sending anonymous dick pics, (we’ve all had them), in favour of curated, beautiful and relevant content. As well as showcasing the new collection, each clip playfully subverts the representation of pornography in a social generation, empowering women to feel comfortable in their skins and embrace their sexiness.
Constantly challenging the representation of women in the social world, SON have already successfully turned their hands to Vine with their music promo for Rhosyn. However, it is the live element of Snapchat that has allowed SON to make content relevant in their audiences’ lives, from the day of the week to social commentary. The use of offers and giveaways is the icing on the (very pink and provocative) top.
The campaign runs over the next month, so make sure you are following misscrofton on Snapchat and they might just give you a sneak peak into the bedroom.
Over the last 20 years, Nike has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Arsenal: 3 Premier League titles. 5 FA Cups. The Invincibles. Ian re-Wright-ing the record. Thierry's Va Va Voom. Need we go on?
And over the years, W+K has had the pleasure of marking some special occasions about this great club for Nike. Two of our favourites from times gone by:
'Arsena' to mark 2003-04's extraordinary unbeaten season:
And the outrageous 'The quickest route into Europe' to mark Sol Campbell's switch to the red half of North London in 2001:
This year, W+K has worked with Nike to produce a commemorative shirt, following the Club's 2014 FA Cup victory, celebrating the 20 year partnership between the club and the Swoosh.
The shirt, which uses the current 2013-14 home kit as its base, incorporates a glorious medley of iconic Arsenal kits from the past two decades.
Limited-edition, individually numbered artwork prints of the shirt will be created and sold, with a number available to purchase at Nike's Phenomenal House in London. Phenomenal House will open its doors to the public from 26th-31st May for a unique and action-packed celebration of fearless football.
The shirt itself will also be on display at Phenomenal House from 26th-30th May, then at Nike Town in London from 31st May, before moving to its permanent home in the Arsenal Football Club Museum from 30th June.
David Goss, W+K Art Director, writes about his visit to OFFF in Barcelona last weekend:
OFFF. For those of you who don’t know what OFFF is, Here’s a little teaser for you...
They call it a 3 day festival of makers, I’d call it a 3 day conference.
There’s no mud, no drugs, no wellies and no rave tent.
It did however have overflowing toilets, poor to no wi-fi, and a huge queue for the (coffee) bar.
So maybe it was a festival.
It’s been going since 2001 and is run by this guy, Hector Ayuso.
Hector on why he created OFFF:
“What would happen if you brought the Worlds best creative minds together. Not just the best designers, best artists, or the best potters. But every sort of artist and maker. The answer is OFFF: a festival of creativity.” Sounds great right?
Well yeah, I guess. if you didn’t already know their work. The problem I had with OFFF, aside from the lack of wi-fi, the overflowing toilets, the huge queue for the coffee bar, and the ratio of boys to girls being 5:1, was that I didn’t really learn a great deal.
Ok. That's a lie.
I did learn a lot.
I learned that ideas come from putting odd things together.
If your reference points are different to others, then guess what, your ideas are going to be different.
We get to interesting ideas by stepping outside our daily thing.
We leave behind what we know for a bit.
So if you code, don’t got to a conference on coding.
If you design, don’t go to a design conference.
So next year I’m heading here... at least they’ll have decent toilet facilities.
I also learned that some people, although great creatives, aren’t great presenters.
Which I am most certainly guilty of.
It doesn’t matter how good your work is, if you can’t stand up in front of people and talk about it, you’re screwed. People zone out.
They check Instagram (if they can get on wi-fi).
This happened with a lot of the talks.
Most of the talks we attended we’re informative, engaging and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
But lacked any real storytelling.
Hardly anyone shared their thought process.
How they came up with their ideas.
What struggles they came up against.
Their failures. Their learnings
That’s the stuff I wanted to hear about.
But sadly it was never really touched upon.
It wasn’t all bad.
There we’re some brilliant speakers.
The ones that stood out were:
People like the legendary American Designer Chip Kidd. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.
He took us through some of his rejected work and why it didn’t get through.
Casey Neistat, the American for whom the New York Times coined the word ‘viral’ after he made this video...