Nike GRID – Close Up

Nice essay in this week's Campaign about Nike GRID – compiled by one of the planners involved, W+K's Graeme Douglas

Campaign 30 April Nike Grid 

Here's the piece in full:

Nike is a brand built on running. Trace the company’s
lineage back and you eventually arrive about forty years ago, with running
pioneer and legendary Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s quest to build lighter,
more technologically advanced running shoes to better serve the elite athletes
with which he worked.


That quest for innovation is also something that’s
inherent in Nike’s DNA and drives not only product development but also how the
brand engages with consumers, so the creation of Nike GRID – an engagement idea
built around fluid, unrestricted running – seemed a fitting concept.




Nike set us the task of engaging young people with
Nike Running around the weekend of the London Marathon. The insight driving
this was that there are groups of young people running, but who were not yet
adopting the title ‘runner’.


Whilst it was vital that whatever we did was
consistent with and conveyed Nike’s POV on running, it was evident from the
start that a message-based campaign wasn’t going to be enough. We needed to get
people out and active; and introduce to them a new way to run. The main goal
was to make it accessible, both in its location and the format of the event. We
decided the best strategic option to deliver this would be to augment the
running experience; creating a layer of experience on top of the run that aimed
to alter how the activity would be interacted with.




We set six core objectives for the concept to deliver


A playful, game-like experience

Make it flexible and fun

Technology as an enabler, not a barrier

Consistent with the Nike running POV

Uniquely London

A platform that can be built on in the future


The basic premise of GRID turns London into a game board, challenging runners
to ‘claim their streets’ by amassing points for runs completed in their, and
other, postcodes. Points, badges and prizes are awarded for speed, attrition,
routes and various other ‘unlockables’ that became apparent as the game
unfolds. Players could play at any time of the day or night, in any postcode,
as casually or as seriously as they wanted. Players connected their GRID
profiles with their own social networking platforms, and a central Facebook
group allowed GRID to engage in a live dialogue with players as events


Advertising also played a role: digital out-of-home in
each postcode celebrated the leaders in real-time throughout the day. This had
a dual purpose: not only did it motivate the participants; it also amplified
the game to a larger, non-participating audience, turning the idea into a wider
Nike Running brand campaign.


The GRID itself – or how we pinpointed player location
– was the biggest question that we faced. Partnering with one of the major
mobile location services du jour was
an obvious option, but instead, we focussed one of the massive pieces of
pre-digital infrastructure still lying around London: BT phone boxes.


This re-appropriation of an iconic system achieved a
few things. Firstly, it completely removed technological barriers to entry.
Secondly, it delivered a surprising, subversive and urban tone to the game.
Thirdly, it grounded the game firmly in the real world, and provided a unique
‘sense of place’ that simply wouldn’t be achievable solely through mobile




GRID is part of a growing category of ideas that sits
within, as Tom Coates of Yahoo! describes, the ‘real world web’; connected
things that blur the physical and virtual spaces – things that thrive primarily
because they excite us as humans, rather than being a vehicle for demonstrating
technical capability. Fun and competition ruled over technology and tradition,
which led to almost 3,000 individual, runs being logged on the day. Further
performance data is not yet available, but given some of the initial feedback
via the group, the experience was a rewarding and enjoyable one for those


GRID was a collaboration between W+K London,
AKQA, Mindshare and Nike. Planning, creative, media and production
responsibilities were shared between all agencies.

James Ramsden makes it top of The Times’ Table

Wieden + Kennedy has been working with food explorer and cook James Ramsden for some time now, helping him to develop his blog and broader culinary exploits.

Wieden + Kennedy has been working with food explorer and cook James Ramsden for some time now, helping him to develop his blog and broader culinary exploits.

W+K has been working with food explorer and cook James Ramsden for some time now, helping him to develop his blog and broader culinary exploits. Check out his front page evaluation of the best cookery apps on the market in today's The Times Food & Drink section, a quick article he whipped up whilst cooking for his massively popular Secret Larder Supper Club tonight. Spot the dodgy breast joke.

James 2_2236

Blood, sweat and phone boxes.

After an intense, sweaty and nerve-wracking twenty-fours over the weekend, Nike GRID is complete. Challenges were set, personal-bests were beaten, phone calls were made and winners were crowned.

We’ve learnt a lot. Real-time communication and distributed events are very, very hard to control. Phone boxes don’t always work (but they’re fixable). Self-organising communities are remarkably helpful, efficient and powerful. And sometimes, the odd person will try to cheat (but the GRID always works it out).

40 postcodes were claimed. Over 2,700 people joined the Facebook community. Around 3,000 individual runs were logged at all times throughout the day and night. A few hardy players even ran marathon distances. We had requests from around the world asking if we could replicate GRID in other cities. And judging from most of the anecdotal feedback, lots of fun was had. But this is only the start.

Will we do it again? Let’s see what happens.

Below: Ben Satchwell, SW3 winner, basking in the glory of his very own phone box.


Grid winner 

mars bar-related stoicism from wieden + kennedy


From Advertising Age:

Skies Reopen but Ad Execs Are Still Trying to Get Home
Online Travel Tales: Disco Party Boats and Stranded Bridesmaids

Posted by Emma Hall on 04.22.10 @ 03:18 PM

LONDON ( — The planes are back in the air, but it could be another two weeks before Europe gets back to normal following the six-day flight ban caused by the ash from an Icelandic volcano. Meanwhile, some stranded ad folks are finding online fame after discovering bizarre transport like Scandinavia's overnight disco party boat and the travails of a Publicis exec in wedding finery trying to get home to Brazil from London to be a bridesmaid.

Around 150,000 Brits have been trapped abroad, including Neil Christie, managing director of Wieden & Kennedy, London. He and six others took a one-day trip to see their Nokia client in Finland, and ended up staying for six days, sampling everything Helsinki has to offer.

"It's not so bad," he said stoically, "People are not fighting over Mars bars. It's relatively civilized. We've been waiting in a hotel, not camped out at a ferry docks."

Mr. Christie eventually traveled overnight with his team from Helsinki to Stockholm on a disco party boat, complete with a drag show at 9 p.m. They arrived in Stockholm, only to find the city's airport was the only major European airport still closed. They finally went by road to Copenhagen and then by air to London via Paris.

‘harvest the day’: our carpe diem app in The Observer

This is the Carpe Diem app Wieden + Kennedy London created for Nokia in partnership with The School of Life. You can download Carpe Diem from the Ovi Store.

This is the Carpe Diem app Wieden + Kennedy London created for Nokia in partnership with The School of Life. You can download Carpe Diem from the Ovi Store.
Picture 1

From yesterday's Observer.

This is the Carpe Diem app we created for Nokia in partnership with The School of Life. You can download Carpe Diem from the Ovi Store.

Carpe diem

new suit

Jonathan lawton

We are very pleased to announce the arrival of Jonathan Lawton to the
W+K family.

Jonathan has most recently been at BMB, sitting opposite Ben Walker and Matt Gooden, formerly of this parish, so he probably knows all of us and all our secrets already.

He's come to work on the ever expanding team that is Nike and we're
really quite excited about what he can bring to the team.  He's
properly a digital thinker and a top notch account man.
Before entering adland he was in the city for a while and most probably
wore a suit to work, but let's not hold that against him.

the impossibler dream for honda

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Wieden + Kennedy’s campaign for Honda – Impossible Dream 2010 – rolls out today across Europe.

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Wieden + Kennedy’s campaign for Honda – Impossible Dream 2010 – rolls out today across Europe.

Bigger, longer, awesomer and impossibler: Honda Impossible Dream 2010 rolls out today across Europe.

Three years after the original Impossible Dream ad, in which a moustachioed hero moved between
vehicles from a speedboat to a Formula 1 car (each vehicle the realisation of an 'impossible' Honda dream) we are releasing a new extended version, to air across 28 markets across Europe featuring the Honda jet, the
CR-Z Hybrid Coupe, the
hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, the Honda robot Asimo and Honda solar panels.

Honda's extended version, which
runs to two-and-a-half minutes – 30 seconds longer than the original –
substitutes the original hot air balloon ending with a Honda jet rising from the waterfall to take our hero on his fantastic voyage. It takes the previous spot, which showcased Honda's heritage, and brings it up to date by including current and future products.

This pan-European ad
campaign forms part of new strategy by the car maker, under European
communications director Ian Armstrong, to develop a consistent brand
across the region.

"'Impossible dream' is a fantastic opportunity
to showcase both historic and future products in a film that truly
generates a strong reaction from everyone who sees it," said Ian.

yet more new creative hires

Picture 3
Oli Beale and Alex Houlder join Wieden + Kennedy London from WCRS.  They were placed in Campaign magazine’s ‘Top 10 Young
Creatives’ list in 2006 and were ‘Faces to Watch’ in 2007.  They have created award-winning
campaigns for clients including Brylcreem, Samaritans, The Navy, BMW and


>Oli Beale says, ‘W&K seem like a bunch of seriously nice people
doing lots of seriously interesting things and we're seriously excited about
getting involved.’



is another creative hire whose talent spans many platforms.


Picture 4 

Picture 5

His work includes interactive design, motion graphics,
photography and film. He has worked on varied projects ranging from a Vodka
brand launch at the Cannes Film Festival to a feature film shot in Cuba,
directed by Lucy Mulloy.  He also worked with leading fashion photographers John
Lindquist and Can Evgin on two fashion films.

is an interaction designer and creative technologist who worked on
brands such as
Shell, Marks &
Spencer and the Eden Project while at Digit.   

He now works across
all clients at Wieden + Kennedy, helping to engage brands with technologies new
and old in meaningful ways. In his own words, ‘Sometimes a new technology will
inform an idea, and sometimes it’s a case of “How the hell do we do that!?”  From there we can then prototype,
on-screen or with sensors and electronics’.


is a senior
creative, originally hailing from Australia, but with experience in Asian
markets, such as China, where he joined the W+K family, working on Nike. 


Scott moved
to the UK a year ago and now heads up creative on Nokia mobile computing,
having worked freelance on the business since his arrival at W+K London. Scott
says, 'I might be a little biased, but I think Nokia, with its business
grounded in such an interesting and exciting business sector, holds the most
creative potential in the agency.'