Christmas is fast approaching, and for everyone behind the scenes at Tesco and our own W+K Tesco team, we’re excited. We're thrilled to say that our new Christmas ad will at last be hitting the nation’s screens tonight, launching with a suitable bang the new campaign we’ve been working hard on together for so long. The 60" film airs tonight, but you can see the full 90" version right here, right now:
With this campaign, Tesco want to invite viewers to celebrate the enduring brilliance of Christmas. Forget Scrooge and those picture-perfect Christmases you so often see on TV – we want the real stuff. We want the good stuff, the silly stuff, the rough-around-the-edges stuff. The tinsel strewn memories lodged in all our heads just waiting to be unleashed. We want Christmas in all its glory: dancing in paper hats whilst doing the washing up, wrestling with wrapping paper and playing football in the snow.
Christmas isn't about the stuff we have, it's about the spirit we enter into, the memories we make and the ones we carry with us, year after year. Together, wanted to show that when we embrace it and really go for it, there's nothing better than Christmas.
This is a campaign particularly close to our hearts. Inspired by true Christmas stories of staff, friends and families, our film sums up everything Christmas means to all of us and we hope you'll see a little bit of your own Christmases in it too.
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.
Sign on the door of Iceland's Head of PR. (Yes, really.)
The final episode of BBC's documentary on the Iceland supermarket chain, 'Life in the Freezer', screened earlier this week. It's essential if uncomfortable viewing for anyone interested in a behind the scenes peek at what an advertising pitch can be like. If you missed it, it's watchable on iPlayer here.
The show presented the pitch for Iceland's account in terms of two conflicts: the one between London ad agency Karmarama and their regional rival, The Tom Reddy Agency; and the one between Iceland's marketing director and their more conservative CEO.
Karmarama apparently never actually got to meet the Iceland CEO. But he confidently characterised them as a London agency "all out of the same mould... sharp suits, pony tails and beautiful girls". Tom Reddy by contrast was a large, northern bloke, "well into his seventies and fifteen stone overweight." Karmarama were shown brainstorming ideas as a team in their colourful offices, while Tom Reddy apparently bashed out concepts on his own while driving up and down the motorway in his Honda, no doubt on his way to another dreary client meeting in some grim industrial estate.
Iceland's marketing director started off talking about bold approaches and the need to "challenge ourselves" and convert new, more upmarket customers. No bullshit CEO Malcolm Walker wasn't convinced by this: it was clear from the outset who was going to get their way. By the final pitch the marketing director was saying, I'm not sure I want to take on this challenge at Christmas... the creative needs to be a bit more mainstream, traditional Iceland campaign."
Karmarama went on a journey too. They started off saying, "We're not going to come back with a Kerry Katona campaign... or a division five celebrity... If you're doing advertising with Kerry Katona what are people going to think about your product?"
(Cut to Malcolm's view: the Katona Kampaign was "Absolutely brilliant. Jackpot. A hole in one.")
Karmarama's initial pitch idea seemed to be identical to the client brief: "Iceland - it's better than you think." Tom Reddy tried to nobble this approach by saying, "Admen and politicians are told: never explain, never apologise." Er, maybe that's why nobody trusts admen and politicians.
By the final pitch Karmarama, apparently beaten into submission by the marketing director's flagging commitment to boldness, were in desperation presenting... a Kerry Katona campaign.
It didn't go well.
It seemed clear that "comfortable old jumper" Tom Reddy was going to win the pitch.
I've done some disastrous client presentations myself. But, thank God, the TV cameras weren't there to broadcast my shame to millions. This scene of Karmarama's Kerry Kapitulation was the most uncomfortable thing to watch since that Channel 5 documentary about the fella with the five-stone testicles.
What I don't understand is - why do agencies, composed of smart, savvy people who understand better than most the way that the media work, agree to appear on things like this and The Apprentice? Experience must tell you that the only possible outcome is that you will be made to look foolish and stereotyped as "London creative types". Is the lure of the temporary celebrity of appearing on telly so strong that people do it regardless?
The last word from Karmarama on the show was, "They're not the easiest client to deal with." But it seems that they have found a way of striking a deal. I read in Campaign that Karmarama has won the job of creating the idents for Iceland's sposorship of "I'm a Celebrity..." This is the result of another pitch against Tom Reddy. So, congrats to Karmarama for proving that persistence can pay off. (Curry flavoured lasagne for the whole agency to celebrate!) I'm amazed that anyone would have the sheer bloody mindedness to sign up for another pitch like the previous one. But perhaps the pitch didn't play out exactly as presented by the programme. And perhaps Iceland's CEO isn't totally opposed to London agencies.
Hmmm... wasn't Kerry Katona on I'm a Celebrity? I wonder if we can expect to see her make a comeback in those idents...
Footnote: can we please have a spin-off series for Iceland's scary head of security? He revealed that his role model is boozing, brawling Jack Regan of the Sweeney. His catchphrases were: "I hate bastard shoplifters" and "drag them out the back and give them a good kicking". Awesome telly.
Last week, our normally bright and buzzing basement fell under the spell of a little black magic and turned into a dark, cobweb-covered cavern for our annual fright night.
It was quite the memorable Halloween party here on Hanbury Street, complete with a pumpkin carving competition and tunes provided by W+K designer and our resident DJ Kevin Macey, AKA Amp+Deck. One thing's for sure: team W+K certainly pulled out all the stops when it came to fancy dress. In fact, we're still finding fake blood all over the office. Well, we certainly hope it's fake.
The costumes ranged from the truly terrifying...
...to the clever and factually accurate...
...and the Hollywood vampire teen heartthrob-esque. It's just non-stop Blue Steel with these two.
We're putting our fangs away until next year, but with Christmas just around the corner, rest assured we'll be back with more festive W+K fun soon.
This month the L-gallery hosts some
little sculptures made mostly out of painted canvas and glazed ceramic. But in fact the artist who made them, our very own Abi Freckleton, is more
interested in their relation to painting than to sculpture. Her five works for the
L-gallery are, she says, intended to “propose painting as something that is
more than just putting paint onto canvas. Challenging its flatness, edge and support".
Her use of paint on canvas is certainly pretty
unusual - unstretched canvas is painted, then folded up into little pedestals
on top of which she stands her little shards of ceramic. Most of these pieces of ceramic began life as
simple smears of clay – brushstrokes you could call them. She’d argue that they aren’t really that
different from a brushstroke made in paint. These brushstrokes stand up on
their own though, propped up, rather than bounded by, the canvas that supports
Abi graduated from a
BA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art in June, and since then has been
continuing her investigation into how making – specifically using paint and clay
– can become a way of thinking. This is
where it starts to get a bit too philosophical; suffice to say she’s into seeing
and feeling rather than pondering and reasoning and conceptualizing. The
physical and visual experience of making stuff is what interests her.
Her degree show works combined ceramic with
other painted or printed elements. And, as with the works here, the arrangement
and grouping of things is as important a part of the ‘painting’ process as the
making of the individual elements. These elements are constantly fluxing from
studio to exhibition and back again – meaning the works themselves only ever
exist temporarily. Lets hope they stick around in the L-gallery for the rest of
the month at least.
Rounding off the new starters extravaganza with our final (until next week) lot of lovely new W+Kers.
Let me introduce you to Emily Rudge. Our lovely new-ish junior producer. She has worked on both Agency and TV Programming and we
have stolen her away from O&M. She's slotted in to our TV department nicely.
Chris Lawrence is the newest addition to the accounts payable team in our finance department. He’s fresh from working at
Queens Park Rangers Football Club, but is probably quite glad to get out of
there considering he is an Arsenal fan!
Charlene has also joined the finance department as finance controller. She returns to us full-time after a period of maternity cover two years ago. she couldn't keep away!
Nick Hill's been
freelancing in Studio for the past month or so but we're delighted that he's agreed to join us permanently, thus adding more beard, more youth, and a
strong collection of 'Destination Sweaters' to further strengthen the Studio.
Ilse Baca is our fab new creative PA. A few interesting facts; she has been documenting random hearts found in unusual places for
about ten years, like heart-shaped clouds or squished chewing gum on the pavement that
looks like a heart, etc. She also plays the bass. Awesome.
Following on from our warm welcome to our new Account Execs, we now have the pleasure of introducing you to a great team of Account Managers and Account Directors.
Jumping straight in at the deep end...
Chris Condron is back! After a stint away from the agency, Chris has joined the
Tesco account team as an account director, chiefly taking responsibility
for helping to bring the many different functions of the Tesco business
together and generally
Another familiar face on the front part of the head of the lovely Lucy Crook. After a few years' globe trotting, Lucy has returned to W+K as an Account Director on Nike and Cravendale. It's great to have her back.
This is Matt Shaw. Another new recruit to the already-winning Nike team. He joins us from M&C where he was working on a combination of
insurance, cider, gambling and the internet – a heady mix of vices.
Big up Alex Budenberg. He is the latest addition to the Honda account, and joins them as an Account Director. Alex was previously at BMB, and after the world's longest notice period, we're glad he's finally here.
Hannah Gourevitch joins the Arla team as an AM fresh off the boat from
Toronto where she spent a couple of years working at a small agency. She's already got off to a flying start on Arla and we're very glad she
decided to join us.
Alex Blacklock is our
new AM on Halls. Before joining us he was at Saatchi and Saatchi, having joined their grad scheme a few years back.
Lastly, the very latest addition to the Account Handling team is Maria Kofeod. Over the past 12 months Maria was working at a branding agency and
before that was at the Copenhagen business school. She joined the Arla team last week, and they're extremely happy about her arrival.