Guardian open platform at W+K

David Fisher and Matt Gilbert of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications.

David Fisher and Matt Gilbert of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications.

David and matt

David Fisher (Head of Brand Partnerships) and Matt Gilbert (Head of Business Development) of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications. It's a fascinating initiative that aligns commercial strategy with editorial vision. While competitors are putting up walls, The Guardian is opening its doors. As editor Alan Rusbridger said in his Hugh Cudlipp Lecture:

Many of the Guardian's most interesting experiments at the moment lie
in this area of combining what we know, or believe, or think, or have
found out, with the experience, range, opinions, expertise and passions
of the people who read us, or visit us or want to participate rather
than passively receive.

So, watch this space for news of tools and apps developed by Wieden + Kennedy using Guardian content, for ourselves and for our clients.

Geometry Is Never Wrong

W+K has been lucky enough to team up with Jotta in order to put on a series of exhibitions showcasing the wealth of emerging creative talent from their network. Last week we opened the first in our series of collaborations with them, Geometry Is Never Wrong. This show brings together the work of artists Andrew Beedle, James R. Ford and David Wightman, in order to explore the relationship between graphic and fine art techniques.

Thanks to the fabulous Millie and Ellie from Jotta, and all the artists involved.   

Here are some installation views:



Here's a little more about each of the artists involved:

Andrew Beedle

studying at London College of Communication; his varied and vivdily hued body
of work includes typography, photography, a range of "disgustingly
bad/good" illustrations of women's faces and some retina-burning graphic
prints. Andrew has been delving deeper into moving image production, editorial
output and rigid grid systems. Some of his biggest inspirations include M/M
Paris, Gregory Crewdson, Steven Klein and Pocahontas.

David Wightman

Wightman studied Fine Art, Middlesex University and completed an MA in Painting
at Royal College of Art, London in 2003. He has exhibited his paintings of
textured geometric works and flat plane landscapes widely across London and the
UK since then. His current work juxtaposes geometric abstraction with cheap
wallpaper,  drawing on his own background and oscillating between
working-class interiors and formalist colour-field paintings.

James R Ford 

A British artist whose practice is
engaged with pastimes, pursuits and obsessions, Ford delves into the activities
and influences of his childhood as a way of both embarking and staying put, exploring notions of repetition, boredom and idiocy with a sense of humour and
pathos. His body of work consists of projects and investigations based around
observations, process and play: ranging from inventing a new home-based sport,
to covering a Ford Capri in over 4,000 toy cars, to spending countless hours
scribbling loops. Having recently relocated from London to Wellington, Ford's
first engagement with New Zealand audiences rests between two locales. His
project A Tweet a Day, 2009-2021, will continue an 11 year word-for-word
reading of a childhood book through Twitter. His Twitter name is @JamesRFord. 

more lions than longleat

Wieden + Kennedy did pretty well at the Cannes Lions Festival this
year. (Wieden – "
Makes my
ancient chest swell."
) Particular congrats due to W+K Portland for their work on Nike, P&G, Levi's and more. For the trainspotters and stat freaks, here's the full run-down.


2nd place – Independent Agency of the Year
3rd place – Agency of the Year
3rd place – Interactive Agency of the Year


Grand Prix Integrated Lion – Nike Livestrong, „Livestrong Integrated


Grand Prix Film Lion – Old Spice, 'The Man Your Could Smell Like'
Silver Film Lion – Old Spice, 'Different Scents for Different Gents'
Silver Film Lion – Old Spice, 'Kiss'
Silver Film Craft Lion (Direction) – Old Spice, 'The Man Your Man Could
Smell Like'.
Bronze Film Lion – Nike, 'Nike Music Shoe'
Bronze Film Lion – Levi's, 'O‚Pioneers'
Bronze Film Lion – P&G, 'Kids'
Bronze Film Lion – P&G, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'
Silver Film Craft Lion (Best Use of Music) – Nike, 'Nike Music Shoe'.
Bronze Film Craft Lion (Cinematography) – Levi's, 'Go Forth'.
Bronze Film Craft Lion (Special Effects and Computer Graphics) – Nike,
'Human Chain'.
Bronze Film Craft Lion (Editing) – Brand Jordan, 'Slap'


Grand Prix Cyber Lion (Other Interactive Digital Solutions) – Nike
Livestrong, 'Chalkbot'
Bronze Cyber Lion (Digitally Led Integrated Campaign) – EA/Dante's
Inferno, 'Highway to Hell'


Silver Media Lion (Best Use of Ambient Media – Large Scale) – Nike
Livestrong, 'Chalkbot'


Silver Outdoor Lion – ESPN/Monday Night Football – 'Interactive


Bronze Design Lion – Selfridges, 'Future A-Z 2109 Window Installation'

3 grands prix for Wieden + Kennedy at Cannes Festival

Wieden + Kennedy took home three
Grand Prix trophies this week at the Cannes advertising festival, one for Old
Spice in the film category, the other two for Nike in the cyber and integrated


Nike ‘Chalkbot’ by Wieden +
Kennedy Portland was awarded Cyber Lion Grand Prix in Interactive. The campaign
was acclaimed as a
example of two themes that emerged from the best work seen during the judging
process: invisible technology and "real-time" interaction. The
greatest innovations supported "this notion that technology will reach its
peak when you don't even realize it's there," said Jury President Jeff
Benjamin (of Crispin Porter Bogusky). "The stuff that was so innovative
was the stuff that seemed magical. It had technology, but that's not what was



The Nike's Livestrong campaign, of which Chalkbot was a part, took home the integrated Grand Prix. The campaign incorporated everything from events, outdoor, online,
web films, and "Chalkbot”.
"We saw brilliant work
in every aspect of the campaign – print, broadband, an event and specifically
Chalkbot, that in itself showed true innovation in numerous channels,"
said Jury President Bob Greenberg. "The execution was flawless in every
way shape and form and we voted unanimously." And while
"Chalkbot" has been the most celebrated aspect of the campaign so
far, some jurors found the campaign's most brilliant component to be its
opening gambit — Armstrong's decision to return to the Tour De France in the
name of Livestrong.


"We have
to look at that as part of the advertising," said juror Rob Reilly, CCO of
Crispin, Porter & Bogusky. "That's where integration is going. It's
not just another TV spot. His coming back was a calculated move to start this
campaign. To me, that's the most important part. Chalkbot is an incredible
tool, but the decision to come back in the first place, as a marketing idea, is


The Grand Prix for film at this
year's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival was awarded to a TV
commercial for Old Spice, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like", also by
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland.

"It took an old, sleepy brand and woke it up,
and overnight wove its way into popular culture," said jury President Mark
Tutssel, global chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide. He noted that
the commercial showed "the power of creativity to ignite a sleeping

We're on a horse!

wieden’s stupid approach endorsed by Harvard Business Review


attention has been paid to ignorance as a precious resource. Unlike knowledge,
which is infinitely reusable, ignorance is a one-shot deal: once it has been
replaced by knowledge, it can be hard to get back. And after it’s gone, we are
more apt to follow well-worn paths to find answers than to exert our sense of
what we don’t know in order to probe new opinions. Knowledge can stand in the
way of innovation. Solved problems tend to stay solved – sometimes disastrously


David Gray. “Wanted, Chief Ignorance Officer”.
Harvard Business Review November 2003

(Via Grant McCracken “Chief Culture Officer”).


This reminded me very much of our own ‘Walk in Stupid’
philosophy, as described here in a 2007 interview with W+K founder Dan Wieden
in The Independent.


Step into
the London offices of Wieden & Kennedy, one of the world's most cutting-
edge advertising agencies, and the first thing you see is a mannequin in a
pinstriped suit and buffed shoes, his head replaced with a kitchen blender and
the words "Walk In Stupid Every Morning" inscribed in pink on his


Man" embodies the chaotic creative spirit of the agency that Dan Wieden
founded with David Kennedy in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, but the motto is just
one of many slogans found in this strangest of workplaces. "Fail
harder" is another, "Welcome to Optimism" is another.


(says Wieden) still thrives on a culture "built around a friendly
relationship with chaos", a concept represented by Blender Man. "I
think it's important that if you're going to be innovative, that there's not a
process for everything. Sometimes it seems that if you're never lost you're
never going to wind up any place new. It's only if you're willing to be
completely fucked-up that you're going to do anything important."