rat race


East London has always been home to rats. And now there are a few more. This is ‘rat race’, a thing we’ve done which can now be seen in our office window on Hanbury Street EC1. It was devised and made by The Siders, with help from Tom and David. It’s a tube map made from real tubes, living in which are real rats. Here’s one of them. It could be Richard. Or maybe Theo.



We’ve taken every care to ensure that these chaps are living in rat luxury. No rats have been harmed in the creation of this display.


A rat. On the tube. (See what we’ve done there?)


Rat lovers gather in Hanbury Street to marvel.


And there’s more. Yes, it’s interactive! You can click your mouse on our rats by visiting ratbook. It’s Facebook for rats. And you can ‘friend’ your favourite rats.

W+K still not about to lose Visit Wales – shock


Back in May 2007, Campaign magazine ran the above front page story. At the time, we posted on this blog:

Next year, in 2008, Visit Wales will be required, as are all public
sector accounts, to go through a formal review process on the third
anniversary of our winning the business. This tender process, which is
a matter of public record, is not referred to anywhere in Campaign’s
article. I hope that when that review happens we will be successful in
retaining the account. In the meantime, I contacted Noel Bussey who
wrote the article to offer him a bet — £1000 of my own money says we’ll
still have the business at the end of 2007. Funnily enough, he didn’t

The other day, this story ran in Marketing:

Visit Wales Halts Business Review

Visit Wales has temporarily suspended the review of its creative, digital, direct and media planning accounts due to funding difficulties.

I should have upped the stakes!

climate change / ad placement no change


Sunday’s Observer mag was a climate change special. Guest edited by rock eco-warrior Thom Yorke, the content was entirely devoted to environmental issues. Lead articles included a discussion with Mayor Ken Livingstone about transport policy in London, a piece on the future of eco-friendly cars and an article about Freiburg, ‘the world’s greenest city’. Even the fashion section and the restaurant reviews reflected the theme – second hand clothing and green, guilt-free food. This focus must have been flagged up to advertisers in advance, as ad content included messages from the Energy Saving Trust and Ronseal Eco decking stain. But not all advertisers seemed to have picked up on this. First of all, I was a little surprised to find a Land Rover ad…


Then, as I leafed through, I realised that the mag was full of ads for gas-guzzling motors.









And there were also ads for Suzuki, Saab and Lexus.
It seems unlikely to me that the context of stories about Amazonian deforestation and melting Arctic glaciers..


…is a sympathetic one in which to persuade people to consider the purchase of a "fully charged" Range Rover Sport or a "beautiful new special edition" RAV 4. These are exactly the sort of vehicles that will be subject to the new £25-a-day congestion charge plans discussed in the lead interview between Thom Yorke and Ken Livingstone.

So – is it just lazy media planning (Sunday supps = bung in glossy car ads), or did the media planners just think that the surrounding content was irrelevant to their messages? ‘A few articles about dead fish aren’t going to deter our target audience from lusting after "the murmuring power of the 3.0 CRD, its 215bhp tempered with traction control and ESP."’ (Chrysler.)

Or maybe… this is actually a brilliantly clever strategy that has been carefully thought out to achieve maximum effectiveness . The theory could be that placing a Land Rover ad where you would least expect it – in a magazine about climate change – makes the ad stand out like a dead penguin on a Hampstead pavement.


Time for a swift exit, possibly by bus in order to avoid ‘C-Charge in the Suburbs’.

Best since Best


Today’s Daily Mirror (among many other papers) picked up on our tactical Nike work last night at the Man Utd game. Ronaldo scored two goals, taking his tally to 33 goals in 37 games, meaning that he is the first Manchester United player to overtake George Best’s record. The Mirror says, "The digital advertising boards around the perimeter of the Old Trafford pitch provided the most fitting tribute to the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, simply stating ‘Best since Best’. Those at United and Nike who came up with the advertising tribute hoarding to Ronaldo, who last night beat George Best’s United record of 32 goals from a winger in a season, must have known something we didn’t."

United, Nike and Wieden + Kennedy, that is.


The Inaugural W+K Bring and Buy Sale

Following yet another office move (we get our kicks in different ways), we decided that rather than just move more crap around to different parts of the agency we would have a spring clean, make some money and do some good. All in a lunch time!
And so the first ever W+K Bring and Buy Sale was held: a somewhat motley collection of booze from production companies, assorted toys, a reindeer outfit for a dog, a complete man’s suit, a bong and a scary wolf puppet complete with mane.
We tried, but failed, to re-create a village hall country fayre atmosphere in the Sherlock Holmes meeting room, despite the gingham bedspread cum tablecloth and the obligatory cakes (bought not found). However, thanks to the kindness and inherent philanthropy of agency staff we raised £150 for Spitalfields City Farm – a little oasis of rural bliss in Tower Hamlets – which should keep some donkeys in hay for a while. You can see what they do at www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org.
So, some happy donkeys and some redistributed crap, what more could you ask of an otherwise standard Tuesday lunchtime?






Some new poster executions, continuing our brand work for The Guardian. All based around The Guardian’s original founding values. CP Scott, who was editor of The Guardian for 57 years from 1872, bought the
paper in 1907, and pledged that the
principles laid down in the founder’s will would be upheld by retaining
the independence of the newspaper. CP Scott outlined those principles
in a much-quoted article written to celebrate the centenary of the
paper: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred… The voice of opponents
no less than that of friends has a right to be heard."

In 1936, ownership of the paper passed to the
trustees of the Scott Trust. As well as pledging to ensure the radical
editorial tradition of the paper (that the newspaper "shall be
conducted in the future on the same lines and in the same spirit as
heretofore", in the words of the founder’s legacy), the Scott Trust
also has the duty to maintain a secure financial footing for the
business: "…to devote the whole of the surplus profits of the Company
which would otherwise have been available for dividends…towards
building up the reserves of the Company and increasing the circulation
of and expanding and improving the newspapers." These principles remain
the only instructions given to an incoming editor of the Guardian.

The above text is quoted from Guardian.co.uk

here I am

We’ve been working on a new Nike campaign aimed at women that features female athletes and the endline ‘Here I Am’ to encourage young girls to take pride in their love of sport.  Less than 5% of sports coverage in the national press relates to women’s sport.  As a consequence, there is a lack of public interest in women’s sport and a dearth of role models for young, aspiring female athletes.
The campaign launched with takeovers of Sport Magazine and the Dublin Metro and is being followed up with a 6 sheet campaign in gyms and postcard booklets which will be distributed in gyms and sports colleges. Here are a couple of examples:




We also made three short films for the campaign bebo site. Each focuses on one of Nike’s up and coming female athletes, showing not only what it is that makes them inspirational as performers, but gives an insight into their life off the track or pitch.