new business league

New_biz_league

The AAR published its annual new business league table today, looking at which UK agencies were most successful at winning new business in 2007. Nice (for us) to see that Wieden + Kennedy had a pitch conversion ration of around 80% for the third year running. But we’ve slipped from the number one spot we held for the last two years; the unfeasibly successful Fallon had a perfect conversion score of 100%. Meanwhile, AMV did an astonishing 17 pitches last year and even more amazingly managed to win 14 of them. All I can say, apart from ‘congratulations’, is that they must be absolutely knackered! A pitch every 3 weeks sounds like an insane workload. Hats off to them for somehow making it work. Next question: can an agency absorb 14 new clients within 12 months without it affecting quality control?
The scary thing is that the average number of pitches done by agencies with a conversion rate of below 50% is 10.7. Five unsuccessful pitches a year must be incredibly debilitating for any agency, emotionally and financially. No wonder agency senior staff seem to be dropping like flies round London at the moment.

W+K Therapy

Wieden + Kennedy London tried out a massage session as a bit of a treat last week. Massage is a brilliant stress buster.

Massage1_9

Did you know it releases the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, called endorphins, which introduce relaxation, happiness and a natural high?

It also helps increase immunity to colds and flu. Brilliant!

It went down really well, although there were a few who would say going to the pub is just as good, if not better.

Pub

what the hell?

Cravendaletrio

Genuine customer email to Arla about our Cravendale campaign:


What the hell are these Cravendale adverts all about? Were you all high when
you dreamt up this stuff?  You have some guy that likes to ride a bike living with a pirate and a cow. What kind of a household is this? Are the cyclist and the pirate a couple? Is the cow their pet? What is going on here? Are these people employed? Your protagonists appear to live on a farm, but I fail to see how cycling or piracy might adequately equip a person with the skills required to successfully run a farm. To find out more, I contacted five farmers and asked them. Three of out five owned bicycles, but none could think of a way in which this aided their farming. Not one of them had ever dabbled in piracy.
And since when did cows drink milk? This simply doesn’t make any sense.
What’s next for your advertising team? Maybe they could promote pork products by showing us a pig tucking into a bacon sandwich.
A more troubling aspect of your ‘last glass’ advert is that the moment the pirate wakes up he screams ‘Milk! Milk!’ This is patently a sign of addiction. This view is supported by the events that take place in your new ‘out of stock’ advert where the unavailability of milk at the local supermarket drives your characters to hijack a delivery van in order to obtain their lactose fix. Is it reasonable that the pursuit of milk should turn people to criminality? I for one do not think so. All you need to advertise milk is a celebrity of some sort with a big smile, a white ‘milk moustache’ and an empty glass in front of them. What could be more wholesome than that?
                  
Yours sincerely,

xxxxx

Well, we do say that we ‘re here to create ‘strong and provocative relationships between good companies and their customers’. Job done for one Cravendale customer.

“CIDER” anyone

So we’ve landed. Hello people. Salutations, one and all.

With a grand old age of 110 (collectively), we are officially the new bumper value lot of WKSiders – here to get in the mix and hopefully add a certain tangy fizz to life at Wiedens. Tasty.

Ciders_2
Hick

Thus far it’s been about a week of orientation and getting to know the inner-workings of the big WK; The well stocked cupboards, meetings galore, lots of lovely people, where the toilets are.

For Swedish Dom, his time also included the sheer joys of getting to
grips with London transport, moving in and IKEA (hang on a second!). More crucially (to us anyway), Dom has also had the all-important inductions to fine British institutions such as Nandos and Marmite.

On the subject of Dom. We’d like to add that his vocab is ever expanding by the day:

“Guff”
“Gunge”
“Splurge”
“Knackard”
“Cor Blimey!”
“The long and short of it”

(Essential additions, we’re sure you’ll all agree)

Noelgunge2_2

A quick nostalgic look at Noels House Party circa ’92 pretty much covered both gunge, splurge and cor blimey in one go.

Last but by no means least! We have also been set our first few briefs. Exciting stuff. These include the WK window and ways in which to detract pesky parkers from pinching the sacred wk moped spaces outiside WK headquarters. All are pleased to have such meaty first projects to sink all 138 gnashers into.

We are also working on a few other bits and bobs of our very own. So watch this space. Here’s a sneak preview…

stressed?

Metro_stress

This morning’s Metro front page story was about a study linking stress at work to heart disease. (The juxtaposition with the picture of Heath Ledger, found dead after an apparent drug overdose, is an unfortunate coincidence.)

Work-related stress is the biggest cause of working days lost through injury or ill health, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (What, even more than hangovers?) It apparently loses UK industry more than 13 million days a year at a cost of £3.7 billion annually. Between 30% and 60% of absence is thought to be stress-related.

Cynics might say that this is because it’s easy to fake stress to your doctor to get a sick note. Tired? Fed up of your job? Hate your boss? Feel you need a break? That must be ‘work-related stress’. Of course, I would never suggest such a thing.

The article got me thinking about stress in the advertising industry. You hear much more talk about stress these days than you used to. There’s no question that we are sometimes under pressure to deliver for our clients, and that the industry in general has become much leaner and harder-working, which puts pressure on people. But are our working lives in this business really “stressful”? It’s not like working in a hospital or on a trawler or an oil rig where lives are at risk if someone makes a mistake.

Here’s a test I found – ask yourself these questions to see if you might be experiencing work-related stress:

I take work home most nights of the week and / or at weekends
I think about work problems at home
I voluntarily work long hours
Work affects my sleep
Family and friends complain that I spend too little time with them
I frequently talk about work at home and with friends
I find it difficult to relax after work
I find it difficult to say ‘no’ to requests to undertake additional work
I find it difficult to delegate
My self esteem is largely based on my achievement at work
I report directly to Tony Davidson
I work on the Woolite account

Yes to one or two = you may just be dedicated to your job. Yes to more than four = you may appear obsessive about work to others. If you answered ‘yes’ to either of the last  two, consult a doctor at once.

What do readers think? Are you stressed at work? Does it make you ill? Do you blame your agency or the state of the business in general?

problem playground

We already previewed this execution from our new Honda campaign about the joy of solving problems and how they apply their ingenuity to environmental issues:

When_problems_are_a_joy

The rest of the campaign is now rolling out. Here are some more of the print executions. (Click to enlarge.)

Things_in_wrong_place

Whats_the_difference

Match_pictures

You can preview the ‘teaser’ phase of the website at problemplayground.com

More to follow soon…