Say hello to…
Donna on reception:
Kate, new account exec, beehive queen, burlesque performer, sixties chick:
Mel Draisey: creative department assistant and member of hot beat combo The Clientele. (New album God save the Clientele now available.)
David Lee – just joined our creative department from AKQA San Francisco where he was Associate Creative Director.
Now all ingredients in the human gumbo / ongoing experiment that is W+K London.
This is the rather excellent Ikea robot bottom, on display in the store we visited yesterday. It demonstrates how their seats are torture tested to ensure quality and durability.
Two girls posted video of themselves singing along with our Honda diesel ad on YouTube.
Now we really have stormed the final remaining barricade of popular culture.
We’re pitching for Ikea in the UK. (Against BBH, Mother and BMB.) Visited their offices, which are above the Brent Cross store.
Ben and Sam sign in:
David and Sam outside the store.
Ikea is a fascinating company and the brief for this pitch is a very interesting one. Pluys, we get the opportunity to play in the magic forest of Smaland.
While the builders work on our rooftop extension we’re using the hoarding on the front of our building to display specially commissioned artworks. The current one is by Sim Marriott. Born in 1971 (along with Nike and Costa coffee) Sim has always drawn. He produced his first freelance work back in 1990. In the same way that Willem De Kooning used to express himself by slapping a bit of paint around on a canvass, Sim expresses his often dark sense of humour through his trusty Wacom tablet. He’s worked for a broad range of international clients, and is currently working alongside director Sylvain Chomet, making TV commercials for Kwik-Fit.
Sim’s view on the hoarding brief :
"It was lovely to have such an open brief for a change, where I could really have a bit of fun and get ‘virtually’ messy! It’s also nice to be working on such a large scale too". Sim Marriott
Sim is represented by jelly, a Creative studio that merges the boundaries between the two disciplines of illustration and motion. Launched in 2006 and designed to fit any mould, jelly provides a bespoke service offering finished illustration and moving image across all platforms and media.
If you are not familiar with jelly’s work, take a moment to look at the site
Perhaps combining fire and copious quantities of alcohol was never going to be a good idea. Whatever, things got a little out of hand for one or two people at the climactic final founders’ day 25th anniversary party.
Mild mannered Matt Gooden went from this…
And then there was the letting off of fire extinguishers, the raiding of the bar and the ultimate, unfortunate Torching of The ‘Burning Dan’ effigy. This had been strictly forbidden but the revellers were not to be denied their pagan ritual. A fracas ensued but I’m happy to say we had no hospitalisations or incarcerations.
Things were a lot more subdued the next morning as we prepared for the return home to London.
Tired but happy…
‘Adforum eurosummit’ – there’s an event title to strike fear and dread into the heart. It sounds like the advertising industry equivalent of some sort of G8 conference. But in fact it is a series of meetings organised by Adforum, an agency search and selection specialist, between agencies and the consultants who draw up pitch lists on behalf of clients. The consultants come to Amsterdam from all over Europe and the USA and get to see a number of agencies over a couple of days of meetings. We agencies get to talk about who we are, what we do and show examples of our work in an attempt persuade them they should recommend us. As no actual clients are involved at this stage, I think this is one new business meeting we can blog about without ending up splashed across the pages of the trade press.
We set up our presentation on the top floor of W+K Amsterdam’s new building. The room was a vision in white. But the building is still unfinished, covered in dirt and dust so we had to take our shoes off while setting up so as not to get the white carpet mucky!
Johan was master of IT for the show. It all worked. Mostly.
This is what it looks like to be confronted by 30-odd cynical new biz consultants. ‘Go on then, impress us.’
Dan Wieden spoke about the agency and its values in the way that only he can. When the chart about global billings growth came up he said, ‘You know, I really don’t give a shit about this.’
There was an interesting moment where someone asked, ‘Can you speak about your network?’ Dan misheard this as ‘Your net worth’ and was thrown for a minute. How we laughed.
Neil Christie talked about W+K London and Tim O’Kennedy did the same for Amsterdam.
The consultants were all very polite and seemed to like what we showed them. But it was kind of hard to get a feel for how they rate us in comparison to the others they’re meeting, who include Lowe, Strawberry Frog and Saatchi.
After the talk we took them off on a boat and to a lovely old restaurant for dinner. The full Amsterdam experience.
This is Herve de Clerk of Adforum, the organiser of the event. He assured me that his pics would be posted on their site before ours were up here. He was right.
On day 2 we had a number of short presentations from a diverse and eclectic list of speakers. They included environmental thinker and statistician Professor Bjorn Lomborg, speaking about climate change, strategist and blogger Russell Davies talking about the stuff that surrounds us, artist Bob Van Dijk talking about making clothing for flies on bikes, Andrew Shoben of Greyworld talking about art in public spaces, a dominatrix, a guy who talked about rabbit genitalia and sex with dolphins, and many more whose names I can’t remember just now, but they were great, too.
Then it was off to the seaside for yet more brutally punishing drinking. We had a rather scary Wicker Man-style effigy of Dan that had been constructed outside the bar:
‘Burning Dan’ you see – geddit?
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Reggie Watts…
And Lemon Jelly. It was a bit of a big night.
Afternoon of day one involved running around Amsterdam in teams for a sort of complicated treasure hunt thing. The sunshine, the canals and the many bars of Amsterdam conspired to gradually lure away the less competitive team members to spend the afternoon less strenuously. The afternoon ended with drinks on the rooftop terrace of the new building.
Then, inevitably, there was more drinking and a disco with music themed to 1982, the year the agency was founded. More pics on Flickr here, if you want.