some stuff wieden + kennedy has done this year

Here’s a quick recap of some of the creative highlights of the year so far at the international house of pancakes that is wieden + kennedy worldwide.

Here’s a quick recap of some of the creative highlights of the year so far at the international house of pancakes that is wieden + kennedy worldwide.

Q4 2010 is just about here already. Wow, that's gone fast. Here's a
quick recap of some of the creative highlights of the year so far at the international
house of pancakes that is wieden + kennedy worldwide. Apologies if I've missed
out your favourite. It's been a busy year and I can't fit it all into one blog post.

Coca-Cola

W+K Portland launched this campaign for Coke, the centrepiece
of which is the keyhole bottle icon, symbolising Coke's mysterious secret
formula and a signal that a “secret” is waiting to be unlocked.

There's a cryptic YouTube video designed with clickable
keyhole bottle annotations that lead viewers to a number of different experiences.

And you can follow the twitter feed of Dr. Pemberton, the
179-year-old inventor of Coca-Cola here.

 

Converse

The starting point for Converse in China was to create an
authentic connection to the Chinese independent music scene. W+K Shanghai took
two Chinese rock bands on a six-city tour of small independent clubs and captured
all of it on a microsite and blog that fed into the various indie music
community sites across China. The entire trip was recorded as content for a
broader communication campaign including print, documentary film, music videos,
downloadable content and retail activation.


Converse print
 

Dodge

This was the highlight of some great work for Dodge. Though it isn't a literal retelling
of history, it's a new American folktale about how American freedom was
created. In America.

 



Dodge print
And the Dodge Tent Event campaign caused buzz when,
following a complaint by PETA, we gave the world the amazing Invisible Monkey.


 

Electronic Arts

Dante's inferno
The Dante's Inferno campaign for Electronic Arts from W+K
PDX was one of the most complex campaigns in video-game history, taking
consumers down through the nine circles of hell. With a $200,000 guerrilla
budget it achieved 47 million impressions of coverage. For the full story,
follow the link.

http://adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/electronic-arts-marketing-of-dantes-inferno.html

 

eBay

This eBay campaign from W+K Delhi is a parody of the
state-run TV channels of the 80s and features two popular news presenters from
the time – only this time, instead of reporting the statistical rise of
agricultural produce, they are tasked with plugging eBay in a mock call-in show
called The eBay Way.

EBay Quality

Entertainment

DIY America

WKE, our long format content division, based in Portland,
released a wide range of films and series, including We Are All Workers, an episodic web version of an hour-long film
made for Levi’s;  Califunya, a variety show conceived as
an episodic “peace comedy"; Don't
Move Here
, a series using a combination of interviews and live footage,
focusing on the burgeoning underground music scene in Portland; and DIY America, a serialized show focusing
on leaders in the youth/punk/DIY movement including Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore,
Glen Friedman, Tony Hawk, etc.

Watch the films at http://www.wk.com/wke/shows

ESPN

"Invincible" is the anthem, W+K New York's tribute to
the men of NASCAR and the terrifyingly impossible trials they lock horns with
every day. Why? 'Cause it's racing.

 

 Fairtrade

In the UK, we helped make 2010 the biggest Fairtrade
fortnight ever. 


And we helped bring the Ziggurat of Flavour to the Big Chill Festival, in which people could inhale fresh fairtrade fruit.

Metro

 

Honda

W+K London's Impossible Dream 2 was bigger, longer and
impossibler than the original and relaunched the Honda brand across Europe.

 


And this film launched the CR-Z sports hybrid.


 

Levi's

Levi’s search for new frontiers and pioneers led W+K
Portland to Braddock and its inspiring young mayor, John Fetterman: who has a
degree in public policy from Harvard and Braddock’s zip code tattooed on his
arm. Working with Mayor John, we decided to produce Levi's entire new Go Forth
marketing campaign in Braddock. The campaign features Braddock’s citizens, the
real people doing real work in Braddock.


 
Levi's ad


Levis-go-forth-ad-campaign

Indigo

 

W+K Delhi's campaign for airline Indigo highlighted the
benefits of being on time.


Nike

One of our biggest campaigns of the year has been the global
football campaign 'Write the Future'. This joint effort between our Amsterdam/PDX/London offices
(with Mindshare and AKQA) premiered not on TV but on Facebook and Youtube. The
epic film set a new record for viral video. In one day it was viewed online 12
million times and Nike Football facebook fans tripled from 1.1 to 3.1 million.
The spot was deliberately complex, designed to reward multiple viewings and to
encourage online discussion. The broader campaign used social media to allow
fans to get involved and write their own futures.

 

Also awesome: W+K Tokyo's 'music shoe' promotion for
Nike Air, featuring Hifana.

 

And W+K London's Nike Grid, which turned the streets
of London into a game for runners.

 

And of course, Nike Chalkbot picked up the Grand Prix
in Interactive at Cannes and 'best in show' at One Show Interactive.

Chalkbot

Nokia

Our N900 onedotzero installation picked up a Media
Guardian Innovation award.

 

 

onedotzero – Nokia N900 – Case Study from Sermad on Vimeo.

Old Spice

Portland has been on fire with Old Spice this year. 'The
man your man could smell like' won Film Grand Prix at Cannes, picked up an
Emmy, and the online response campaign has been hailed as 'the future of
marketing'
. Blimey.

 

Visit Wales

Our proper holidays campaign for Visit Wales involved a ten-minute documentary, six two-minute films,
and two 40" TV films. All the content is housed in an
interactive map where visitors can explore the destinations, create their own holiday itineraries, and click through to book.


Picture 2

WK
TokyoLab

Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo's music label has just launched the
new album 24H by awesome breakbeat crew Hifana. Hit number one on the Japanese
iTunes chart.

 


 

 

A short rant about games, play and storytelling

Three weeks after new-to-agency-land Dan Hon joined Wieden + Kennedy we put him under no pressure whatsoever and thought it’d be a good idea for him to explain himself to everyone. Which he did by doing a show and tell about games, play and storytelling.

Three weeks after new-to-agency-land Dan Hon joined Wieden + Kennedy we put him under no pressure whatsoever and thought it’d be a good idea for him to explain himself to everyone. Which he did by doing a show and tell about games, play and storytelling.

Three weeks after new-to-agency-land Dan Hon joined W+K we put him under no pressure whatsoever and thought it'd be a good idea for him to explain himself to everyone. Which he did by doing a show and tell about games, play and storytelling. He only had to follow Eric Cruz so it's not like there was a quality bar or anything.

He promised that there'd be lots of swearing and that it would be entirely well-researched and hyperbole-free so we knew we'd be in for a good time. Here's Dan:

Three Simple Rules

Number one: Games and Play are Mainstream Culture now. 

Deal with it. Games are just a medium. Just like telly or film or print. They're not defined by a particular genre, but have a whole bunch of different genres. Shooty games. Racing games. Word games. Stuff like Farmville. They're all games. 

Dan hon.015 

 

Look, the BBC did some proper serious research and found that 100% of 6-10 year olds play games, just under 100% for 11-15 year olds, trailing off to about 20% for 51-60 year olds. 

The thing is, that proper serious research the BBC did was back in 2005. So now all the 6-10 year olds have grown up. 

The Nintendo DS was only a year old in 2005. The Nintendo Wii, that thing that your parents use to play tennis at Christmas, that wasn't even due out for another year. And that's before all of your Facebook games.

Dan hon.031 

 

Look, in March this year, there were nearly 90m people playing Farmville. That's a lot of people spending a lot of time and money clicking on their farms. 

Is this is a big deal?

Of course it's a big deal.

The Sims, one of the most successful "traditional videogame" franchises around has sold about 100m copies worldwide. But it did that over 10 years. Grand Theft Auto, a franchise which has been around for about 13 years has sold about 90m copies. For comparison, Grand Theft Horsey, also known as Red Dead Redemption, is the second in its franchise series and sold around 5m copies in 2 months. Halo, one of the standout successes of Microsoft's Xbox, has sold around 25m copies. That's about 2m more than Nintendogs, the well-known (still with me?) dog simulator. 

Dan hon.039 

 

Then we've got all the online games like World of Warcraft. 12 million subscribers, making Activision/Blizzard, at about $15.99 per subscriber, a bajillion dollars a year. Then you've got sites like Pogo.com, the EA-bought Playfish, Kongregate, Miniclip… but Facebook is where the action is. It's the giant elephant in the room that lots of people are staring and pointing at wondering when it's going to crush them.

Dan hon.053 

 

There's some good news, though. Zynga – the guys behind Farmville – and all the other new entrants, they don't have everything that easy either. Farmville's been losing players since March this year, around the time Facebook stopped developers from sending messages directly to people's Facebook accounts. 

Dan hon.030 

 

So. Recap time! Ignoring games is like ignoring TV, interactive or print. Your audience is already there. It's a rich and fertile medium with tonnes of creativity, bursting at the seams. The costs to entry are all over the map, from tens of millions of dollars to bedroom developers. You know. Just like video content. And what's happening to all of old media is happening to games too. Digital distribution, disintermediation, all of that stuff. 

OK. Number two: Gameification. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. People are giving you points and badges for EVERYTHING. 

Dan hon.063 

 Thing is, though, it's more complicated than that. If a mediocre ad is a mediocre ad, then adding a mediocre game to it just means you've added a mediocre game. It doesn't make what we do anything better than a cargo cult that's slavishly copying what we think works: we need to really understand games, fun and play. Gameification is much more than adding points, badges and prizes. 

Dan hon.074 

 

It's not really that complicated. It's just that in the West we've got a bit of a hang up about play. It's probably something to do with protestantism or something. Play is just, well, playing. Noodling around. Seeing how little bits of culture fit together. That kind of thing. Layer goals on top of play, then you've got a game. Look: sitting with a big pile of Lego and putting it together in bits and pieces – that's playing. Saying to someone "who can build the tallest tower with just the red bricks?" – that's a game with goals. 

Dan hon.075 

 

So if we look at play like that, then fan fiction is playing with words, characters and settings.

Games are complicated. They're not a genre. They're a medium that's got genres. Look, here's a great history of games from Jon Radoff.

HistorySocialGames1-1 

 Okay. Here's another game. It's a cheap-and-dirty version of romance. There's rules. There's a win/lose situation. There's cheats, tricks and hacks. Everyone's a player. The very survival of humanity is at stake. And it can even be fun.

Dan hon.078 

 

So what are we doing in advertising?

Well, first we copy what other people do. Crispin worked on the Burger King games. Or we make Flash games. 

Or, we do what we normally do, but in other places. 

Dan hon.084 

 Also known as pissing in other people's swimming pools. I mean, really? Burnout Paradise was a game that took years to make. It's been beautifully designed. And we want to put repurposed banner ads in it? Who wants that?

I don't think that's the right thing to do.

We should be doing better than that.

OK, recap time! Making good games is easy like making print or TV is easy. Which means it's not. It's actually really hard. But that's never stopped us from making great print or TV, has it? But: there's lots of great people out there dying to make awesome stuff. 

Last bit. Story.

Games tell stories, right? Like Halo? Which tells the story of a man with a gun shooting aliens in the face? I kid. There's Dante's Inferno, too. That's where a guy with various bladed weapons descends into hell to rescue the girl. You know, like the book. Or Uncharted 2, which doesn't want you to think about Indiana Jones. Or Professor Layton, which "leverages the shared culture around the concept of Pandora's box". Or World of Tolkien. 

So most of these games, they're linear. The story is exactly the same for everyone. Well, the narrative is. The plot is. The point isn't that all games need story – Tetris is the canonical example of a game that does perfectly well without one – but that game with stories can be good. And that good games with stories tell linear stories that are explored in non-linear ways. Also, I'll punch anyone who says that Grand Theft Auto has a better story than The Godfather. 

Storymaking, though – that's non-linear. That's more interactive. 

So, next.

Dan hon.114 

 Steve Jobs, eh?

Apparently he's a big deal. Lots of people have bought kit from him. He's even got a bookstore that sells eBooks.

Dan hon.118 

This isn't an eBook though. It's an app. Confused yet?

Dan hon.119 

Here's a magazine as an app, made by our friends at BERG.

Is Steve's magic tablet going to save us?

No. It's not.

Partly because if we start with things like this:

Dan hon.121 

We'll still end up with things like this:

Dan hon.122 

Which, OK, are interesting, but surely we can do better than that.

Dan hon.125 

It makes Wayne Rooney sad. It's the storytelling, stupid.

Oh, and finally? 

Alternate reality games, alternate reality experiences, all that stuff?

We're still doing it all wrong. There's still a lot of this stuff:

Dan hon.144 

 (viewing source code, "de-stegging" – which sounds like it could be a kinky sexual practice but really isn't, waiting, codebreaking, more codebreaking, esoteric knowledge, viewing more source code, solving stupid puzzles, buying UV torches, more waiting and having no idea what to do…)

Dan hon.145 

 (and even more "this is not a game" pretend reality stuff, lazy calls to action, helping a teenage girl, helping an attractive teenage girl, helping an attractive amnesiac teenage girl, "the order", treasure hunts, millions of blog entries and characters of bloghorrea, jumping through hoops and just using platforms because you can and because they're there)

Look, bad storytelling is just bad storytelling.

We're here to create strong, provocative relationships between great companies and their customers. Games and new ways of storytelling are a fantastic and incredibly exciting way of doing that.

Phew. That was long.

Wieden + Kennedy Platform Season 2 – call for submissions.

Platform season two is upon us! We are seeking talent to take part in Wieden + Kennedy London’s Research & Development lab experiment.

Platform season two is upon us! We are seeking talent to take part in Wieden + Kennedy London’s Research & Development lab experiment.


Picture 2
Platform season two is upon us! We are seeking
talent to take part in Wieden + Kennedy London's Research & Development lab
experiment.

We are looking for people from technology and
anthropological backgrounds. The aim of their work will be to provide W+K and
our clients with new ways for brands to engage and interact with people in the
future.
We need super-smart people who are keen to explore the future through themes
such as play, sustainability, mobile and story-telling. They will need to be proven in their specialist
field, and be free for a minimum of 3 months, up to a maximum of 9 months, to
work on multiple projects.The specific areas of skills we are looking for include physical computing,
social media, augmented reality, gaming and interaction design. NB: we're not
looking for budding designers, art directors or copywriters as part of this
initiative.
There is no deadline for entries, as we are
running a rolling recruitment program. However, we are ready to start, so if
you apply now you have a better chance of getting in.


Here’s
the deal: £350 per week, space in our office, royalty share of profit for
successful ideas and a link
to W+K's worldwide creative network.
All candidates will need
to be
resident
in the EU or have a valid work visa for the UK.
Apply now by sending your portfolio to
sam.brookes@wk.com, or contact her for further info.

We’d also like you to send an outline of
an R&D project that you’d like to carry out at W+K Platform.

For more info on Platform and to see some of what happened in season one, have a look at the Platform blog.

Blog3

It's not all just drinking beer and sleeping on the terrace.

Platform 2

Platform 

 

code play with stewdio

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New York who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio.

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New York who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio.

Donna writes:

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in
to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New
York
who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio. Stewdio approaches art and software through the lens of graphic design.


Stewart 

He has a real enthusiasm for playing with digital tools; not
just making things for clients, but following through on ideas that come out of
play and experimentation.

One project Stewart spoke about was Windmaker. This is an
ambient weather widget which applies the current wind conditions to (almost)
any Web site.

Picture 2

It uses United States ZIP code to grab local conditions from
the Yahoo! Weather RSS feed. It then breaks down a Web site into individual pieces
such as text blocks and images. Finally, WindMaker sets the pieces in motion
according to the strength of the wind.

See it in action here:

WindMaker from Stewdio on Vimeo.

http://stewdio.org/windmaker/

Stewart 2 

Take a look at some of his work on his website below:

http://stewdio.org/

And watch windmaker in action on wklondon.com here.

Brilliant stuff.

Thanks for coming in, Stewart.

prostitutes, pimps and twats: who is Viz’s schoolboy ad genius Dickie Beasley?

Dickie
Currently reading 'Rude Kids – The Unfeasible Story of Viz' by Chris Donald. It's quite good, if not as funny as the exploits of classic Viz creations like Roger Mellie, Finbarr Saunders and Johnny Fartpants. The book tells the story of how the foul-mouthed comic created by a few Geordie misfits became one of the UK's best-selling magazines. It contains many anecdotes based on confrontations between the Viz boys' no-bullshit geordie attitude and the media business pretension they encountered as Viz – almost despite their efforts – entered the mainstream.

One such is the story of how in the summer of 1991 the Viz team were despatched by their publisher to the country house hotel Huntsham Court to try to come up with ideas for comedy TV shows. The hotel was a bit of a media hangout and, though they failed to come up with any TV ideas (except for a proposal for a series called The Pond Makers, 'a bit like Dallas but with two large garden pond manufacturers competing for business in a sleepy English village') an encounter with some advertising types led to the creation of a new Viz character.

"Just before we left Huntsham, a group of young advertising executives arrived from London and we had the misfortune to spend a short period of time in their company. The loudmouthed little yuppies were full of themselves and very keen to brag about their respective CVs. They all seemed to be in awe of one particular bloke, a short-arse called Beesley Beesley – honestly, that's what they called him – whom one colleague described as a 'bladdy clever guy'. 'This is the man responsible for Mars Ice Cream,' he said, as if we were in the presence of a god. 'Did you really invent Mars Ice Cream?' Graham asked. 'No!' One of his colleagues snapped with obvious frustration. 'He was the guy responsible for the Mars Ice Cream advertising campaign.' In their eyes that was clearly far more important than the product itself. When we got back to Newcastle we set to work on a new character called Dickie Beasley, schoolboy advertising genius."

Dickie's jumble campaign

Chris Donald's contempt for the advertising industry can also be enjoyed in a Media Week interview of 1995, in which he says ‘Any artist who devotes their talent to selling products is a prostitute. People higher up the tree, like the Saatchi brothers, are pimps.’

This gives me the opportunity to reproduce for your amusement a couple of the Dickie Beasley strips. Perhaps not vintage Viz, but worth another look for their neat satirisation of the classic late 80s/early 90s advertising twat/prostitute.

Dickie-Beasley 1

Dickie Beasley2 

What I'm wondering is – do any of our readers know who this 'Beesley Beesley' was? Which agency did he work at? Who were the 'loudmouth little yuppies' with him at Huntsham Court in 1991?  And was the masterwork below the god-like Beesley's claim to fame?

Meanwhile, I recommend following Viz top tips on Twitter.

Wieden + Kennedy planning ‘best in world’, say world’s planners

The results of The Planner Survey 2010 are in. And the planners have spoken: W+K’s planning department is the best in the world.

The results of The Planner Survey 2010 are in. And the planners have spoken: W+K’s planning department is the best in the world.

The results of The Planner Survey 2010 are in. And the planners have spoken: W+K's planning department is the best in the world, sharing that top spot with BBH. The survey was completed by 1500 strategists from round the world, working across a range of different types of agency. Full results are available here.

The survey covers pay, job satisfaction and a number of other topics useful for planners looking to either feel smug about how well-paid they are in comparison to their peers, or alternatively demand a raise.

Respondents were also asked, 'In your opinion, which one agency has the strongest planning group?'

Results:

1. = W+K

1. = BBH 

3. CPB

4. Goodby Silverstein & Partners

5. JWT

6. Fallon

7. Anomaly

8. Ogilvy

Well done BBH and, of course, massive congratulations to our very own strategic geniuses. You rule. Research proves it.

Fairtrade Fruit In The Metro

Commuters this morning will have noticed an article in The Metro about our Fairtrade Ziggurat of Flavour, as previously mentioned here:

The Metro told the story in the 'Behind The Idea' D&AD page and explained the 'brilliantly bonkers' Ziggurat at The Big Chill.

Metro 17 August Ziggurat of Flavour

Our client Richard's lovely wife Jules Stobart took the photos, which are terrific.

 

Picture 2
Ray celebrates metro fame with a new Barley micro bike.