Stu Pooh-Poohs The Blues (6)

Cheerupkiddo

Here’s this week’s Monday morning podcast of flapdoodle and frippery.  Listen out for an example of ‘Dirty Fan Male’ – somebody reading out real letters sent to porn stars.  All a bit strange.  There’s the odd explicit word, here and there, so sorry about that.  But mainly the word ‘bum’.  Not in an American homeless person sense.

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WK Supper

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When I was growing up, ‘supper’ was the name given to the little treat you got just before brushing your teeth and going to bed.  Orange squash and a digestive, or similar.  But apparently, ‘supper’ is also a posh word for ‘dinner’.  Which is a posh word for ‘tea’.

Last night, we held our very first ‘WK Supper’.  We’ve been trying to organise it for about 17 years, and it finally happened, in our offices, last night.  We held it in our Oval Room, which makes it nearly sound as important as The Oval Office (in The White House).  Which it possibly isn’t.

The idea was to bring together a group of interesting people we know, feed and water them, whilst stimulating and provoking some debate around a chosen subject.  There are far more interesting people outside of advertising than in it, so this was our attempt to bring a bit of that into the agency.  Last night’s subject was Corporate Social Responsibility.  Which is important enough to capitalise.

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Our agent provocateur for the evening was Wayne Hemingway.  He and his wife won MBEs in the last round of honours, but he’s much prouder of the fact that they recently designed the top tile in Topps Tiles.  It’s well worth clicking on the link above to find out more about what they think and, more importantly, get out there and do.

Wayne shared some of his philosophies and projects with the group.  He was hugely inspirational, energetic and thought-provoking.  And one thing’s for sure… that lad can talk!

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Wayne’s presentation was intercut with, and followed by, a range of healthy and spikey debate amongst the whole group, who shall remain named:

Nicki Kinnaird (the ‘NK’ in SpaceNK), Jeff Dodds (Honda and ex-wrestler), Dave and Claire Hieatt (Howies… Cardigan Bay’s third largest clothing retailer), the lovely Jessie Brinton (Sunday Times), the also lovely Eugenie Harvey (We Are What We Do… new book out now, ish), Paul Colman (Yakult hard man, less lovely), Dick Powell (D&AD head honcho and all-round design guru), Simon Jordan (Jump Studios, who helped us design our space) and then Neil, Tony, Kim, Sam and Stuart (W+K hangers on).

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The food and drink was all organised by Jamie Oliver’s (ooh get me, name dropping) ‘Fifteen To You‘.  As you may know from the TV show, the purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvantaged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business.  They catered for us superbly last night.

The night was a great success, we think.  Well, we hope.  Well, no fights broke out, at least.  Oh wait a minute, one nearly did after ‘The Jeremy Clarkson Incident’.  Anyway, a big thank you to all those who came, and we hope it beat a night at home in front of Big Brother.  What happened in it last night, by the way?

motorshow

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Visited the  Motorshow to check out what was going on and see how the stand of our client Honda compares to others. (Bizarrely, the Motorshow website says that Honda are presenting the ‘world debut’ of the new Civic, a car that has been on the streets for several months now. However, they do have previews of the new Legend and the new Civic Type R.)

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Overriding impression of the show was that all the stands look very much the same. There’s little attempt by any manufacturer to provide any kind of ‘brand experience’. (Apologies for the use of that phrase.) They all have a big illuminated logo you can spot from far away…

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They all have a selection of highly polished, fairly similar looking cars sparkling under the lights, some promotional girls in various degrees of embarrassing costume, a vehicle which you can look at but not touch – ‘concept’ model, vintage classic or racing car…21072006355

…and they all have some interactive screens and display stuff. I’m sure there are many practical reasons why all the stands are like this but perhaps all this homogeneity gives an opportunity for stand out and brand differentiation. It can’t be right that the Jaguar stand looks pretty much identical to the Kia stand. Bizarrely, one of the things all the car manufacturers seem to be keen to dress their stand with is…bicycles:

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Are we really expected to believe that the average Hummer driver would rather be cycling?

On the Ford stand there was for some reason a bloke making ice sculptures. Of cars? Nope. Bicycles.

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The Honda stand is backed by a large display of material from our Impossible Dream print campaign, which gives some context for the vehicles on show.

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Full marks to the chap on the Honda stand who, when I asked him what all this Power of Dreams nonsense was about, gave me a brief and cogent explanation of the the brand’s heritage and philosophy. He also told me it was the most inspiring and passionate company he’d ever worked for.

Stu Pooh-Poohs The Blues (5)

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Another Monday morning heatwave here in London.  A cabbie over the weekend said to me, "it’s gonna be mental ‘ere when this global warming thing kicks off".  Well quite.

Anyway, here’s this week’s half-arsed, half-baked, half-hearted attempt to deliver us from the evil of Monday morning mopery and melancholia: Download stu_poohpoohs_the_blues_5.mp3

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Tra la la.

russell’s rubbish

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This is Russell Davies. Planner, author, blogger, man for all seasons. He popped in today to host a session about stuff that’s happening in the world of web for wieden + kennedy folks and a few guests. He is our guide because he has all day to surf the net and can call it working, whereas we have clients to serve.

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In a probably unfairly disparaging way, we billed this session as ‘Russell’s Rubbish’. Not as in ‘Russell is Rubbish’ but in the sense of ‘The Rubbish of Russell’. Of course, if you struggle with that abbreviation/possessive distinction with apostrophes then you could misconstrue the whole thing.

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Anyway, it wasn’t rubbish in any sense. Themes seemed to be: if you do something good, people will find it; everyone is creating their own stuff online now; corporate blogs only work if they’re not corporate; don’t make it perfect, just get it out there; aren’t peas good?

If you’re interested to see the sort of stuff he showed us, links to some of it can be found on his blog here.

Thanks, Russ.

old spitalfields market

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This is old spitalfields market. It’s just around the corner from Wieden + Kennedy’s palatial offices in London’s fashionable East End. A busy market has stood on this site since since 1638, when King Charles gave a licence for flesh, fowl and roots to be sold in what was then known as Spittle Fields. Why did Chas think the idea of spittle was going to make shoppers snap up groceries? Ask a historian. The old market now stands on the fringe of a massive new development of the financial district around Liverpool Street. It acts as a kind of marker between the new world of the city and the old world of Spitalfields, some of which still remains little changed from the 18th century.

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These are Seb and Fiona of the eponymous Sebandfiona. They work on marketing, publicity and events for the market and, since wieden + kennedy are neighbours, they came in to see if we could perhaps help out. Because, even if we know nothing about markets, we are local. And, since we’re here to try to do good and be of benefit to the local community, it seems like a good idea to try to help. So, we’re going to look at what we can to do to work with them to help publicise and popularise the old market, which nowadays has much more to offer than flesh, fowl, roots and unwelcome oral lubricant associations.

post-pitch

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We’ve been pitching a lot. A big lot. We’re tired and it’s hot. And the people who haven’t been working on the pitches wonder what everyone’s been up to. So having just pitched for Yell (unsuccessful) and Lurpak (undecided) we decided to present the pitches to the agency so they could see just how spiffy the ideas are. Plus we supplied free beer to encourage them to turn up and held it in the comparatively cool basement. That’s Rebecca above, running through the Yell strategy.

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This is Ben presenting the ‘brilliant’ creative work. Shame we didn’t win it, but there was some good stuff in there, worth sharing with the agency. Should get a result on Lurpak in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed. Also still pitching for the Guardian. It’s a long, hot summer.