a merry christmas to all our readers

Christmas card 

It's about time to close down Welcome to Optimism for the year and make the customary valedictory remarks about 2008. Things are a bit frantic here as people depart for the holidays, so this will have to be brief.

2008 has not been an easy year for our industry.


At the start of the year no-one would have predicted that within 12 months high street banks would crash, Woolies and MFI would go bust (well, OK, you might have predicted Woolies) and General Motors would be on the brink of bankruptcy, along with the entire country of Iceland.


Our clients have also faced an increasingly challenging climate and the the economic crisis has inevitably affected our business.       


However, despite these difficult conditions we have had a successful year in 2008.  That success is due to the talent, determination and hard work of our amazing people. Big thanks is due to all our wonderful, talented, committed and unusually attractive W+K people. 


What can we look forward to in the new year? Well, forecasts for 2009 suggest that the situation will become increasingly tough. The Guardian on December 4th wrote, ‘The


media sector will fare the worst of any developed country in 2009 with total advertising spend set to fall 6% year on year.’


We aren't at the bottom of this recession yet and we shouldn’t expect recovery within the next 12 months. Businesses will continue to go under, unemployment will rise and we can expect to see widespread redundancies and probably some closures and mergers in the advertising business. All this will mean that our hard-pressed clients will expect more from us – creatively, strategically and commercially.


2009 will be a hard year. But there is good news for us.                        


We have a robust, profitable, growing business. We have no debt and are independent – two great attributes right now


We are not a 'generic' agency; our strong reputation and distinctive positioning separate us from most of our competition.


We have a roster of fantastic, healthy clients that other agencies would kill to get their hands on.


Here's to a merry christmas and, with some hard work and some luck, a prosperous new year.


Welcome to Optimism in 2009!



perkins in shanghai: the finale

Ian writes:

Well, it's almost time for me to leave wk shanghai after an unforgettable
experience. (Shanghai hen nanwang. 上海 很 难忘 .)

It's been an up and down ride.

Today's pictures:

Chiewling's shoes. Little mice. Ahhh.
Mice shoes
The icon for non-recyclable – nice – I'd not seen this in the uk.


I xi shanghai (double happiness).


Nike and China propaganda. (Hey, isn't advertising product propaganda

Dixon, one of the guys from our office, who had to be our Nike athlete
as we couldn't find an appropriate model in Shanghai… He is tied to a shopping
trolly by a yachting harness while we photographed his "jumping" feet…
That's the Chinese "can do it" mentality…


I'm sad to leave. The office has so many lovely people who are working so so
hard. I'm very impressed with them for their effort. I'd love to come back
sometime. Great experience.

Thank you, wk.


logging off

Today was the last bake-off of 2008. A momentous occasion with a suitably festive theme: the Yule log or, for those in the know, Bûche de Noël. There were 4 logs on the table. Enough for a large fire.

There were some interesting takes on the recipe. Ryan threw in a bit of Malibu to give it an under age drinking twist. Luke’s bark-like icing was impressive, complete with authentic wood knot. Louise’s very realistic decaying woodland log, with sprouting foliage, was light and fluffy in texture. Sophie’s heart attack log won the day, and was so full of chocolate (again) that it made everyone feel mildly sick.


 Another triumph for Baking Club. Bring on the culinary delights of 2009.

Somebody else’s party

This season
finale of our Nokia campaign
/ drama Somebodyelsesphone.com took place in Paris last week, where our characters' stories came together at an exclusive party
held by Nokia and Collette.  

The party, staged in an amazing aquarium,
was attended by the stars of the campaign, Anna, Luca, Billy,
Lyle and loads of French hipsters.

Party 1

Party 2




And we had the fantastic Gossip playing
live (which hopefully didn't upset the fish).


Fans of
the drama could work out cluesembedded
in the online story, 
which took them to a series of microsites When
found, they
could enter competitions to win exclusive VIP tickets to the Paris partyjoining
the cast in creating the season finale and the last elements to appear on
the site
The competitions formed part
of each character's story, so fans were asked to apply to
camera assistant on margeaux-weddings.com

Margeaux weddings

…a caterer, serving champagne together
with Anna on the-catering-company.net

Catering co

…or as a model at jamiesmuseofthemonth.com.

Muse of the month


10 super-fans, who had most contributed to the online drama, were
also selected by Nokia
and flown from all over Europe to attend the party.  



You can probably tell from the pics that there were
loads of fancy cocktails and a lot of dancing.  It was a great

another giant turkey from w+k

Fear not

If you travel on the
London Underground or drive on any major UK road this December, you
might be met with the innards of a giant turkey or some wonky-looking

Don't fear, it's only our seasonal new Lurpak posters, which are intended to inspire and
motivate the festive chef in all of us. Lurpak believes that if you can put your hand up a turkey's behind at least once a year, you really can do anything.
And of course the finest festive food deserves the best butter.

Odd pies

And to put all this theory to the test, we had our very own mince pie-off here in the agency. 

Pie making

Miss Hill came up trumps with a festive dinosaur design.

pitches: some you lose


Some you lose:

We learned late last week that a couple of pitches we'd just done at W+K London were
unsuccessful. Very disappointing after all the hard work everyone put
in. But that's the way it goes

Some you win:

W+K Portland heard on Friday that their
pitch for Levi's US business had been successful. That doesn't mean
we'll be picking up Levi's in the UK, but it's a great result for the network. Here's
the story as reported by Brandweek:

Levi Strauss has selected Wieden +
Kennedy to handle domestic creative duties on its core brand after a
review, the client has confirmed.

The other finalist was Omnicom Group's Cutwater, San Francisco, which
partnered with sister shop TBWAChiatDay in Playa del Rey, Calif.

The selection came a week after Levi's narrowed the field in its
review. Major U.S. media spending on the brand was nearly $80 million
last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Six shops made presentations to client executives the week of Dec. 1.
The pitches took place at Levi's headquarters in San Francisco.

The client previously identified the other presenters as Omnicom's
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, WPP Group units
Ogilvy & Mather in New York and Chicago and Young & Rubicam in
New York, and independent Anomaly in New York.

The incumbent, Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty here, did
not defend. BBH, which also works on Levi's in Europe and Asia, had
handled the account since 2001.

Levi's said last week that the domestic review would not impact the
European and Asia-Pacific assignments handled by BBH in London and
Singapore, respectively.

Nice job, Portland. Does this mean we get staff discount?

top ten virals of 2008

Thanks to Scamp for drawing my attention to a list in The Guardian of the top ten virals of 2008.

Immodesty compels me to report here that four out of the top ten were created by Wieden + Kennedy.

They are:
Number 3 – Kobe jumps Aston:

Number 4 – EA Extreme Street Football.

Number 6 – EA Tiger Woods walks on water.

Number 9 – Nike 'Fate' Leave Nothing.

Pink Squash Studentastic!

Lucy writes:

Over the last couple of weeks there has been a true advertising workshop frenzy here at W+K. The workshops have been great with all students involved really getting stuck into the creative brief set.
I was pretty evil and set the latest two courses, Bucks and Gloucestershire Persil soap powder as the brief, not exactly the simplest task on earth. But the guys and gals rose to the challenge. Dennis made us laugh. Aaron baffled us with stories of his enigma code complex washing machine dial. 
Some of the students won W+K T-shirts some of them didn't but I think we all came out of the experience having learnt a lot.
I learnt it's pretty much a Guinness World Record to fit 30 students, 30 chairs, myself, a tutor and a large plate of assorted biscuits into the pink room. I shall take that piece of wisdom forward with me for the next round of student visits in 2009.


The guys and gals of Bucks Uni and the ever so lovely Julie Wright.

The gals and guys of University of Gloucestershire and their tutor
behind the camera, Mr Frank Holmes.

lightning jack and the scary storm


Sorry, but this is one of W2O's rare bitchy posts.
It could just be me but this poster seems so badly punctuated as to be almost incomprehensible.
What is a 'lightning Jack'?
And who is 'Trembled Scary Mary'?
Surely this should have been written:
"Save me from the lightning, Jack," trembled Scary Mary as she cuddled in tight.
See, now the language is clear, it's just the idea that is apparently willfully obscure.