even a blind man can see the beauty in Blackpool

Blackpool gazette

Article from the Blackpool Gazette about our campaign for the Nokia N8 featuring blind photographer Gary Waite. Pat Francioni, owner of the Alumhurst Hotel in Blackpool says, "I think this is superb…It will almost be as good as a Blackpool advert on television."

Thanks, Pat.

There was also an item about this on London Tonight the other night.

what’s it really like to work at Wieden + Kennedy?

Portlandia is a new US comedy show set in the Oregon hometown of W+K's head office. Its star and writer Carrie Brownstein (probably best known as guitarist and singer for Sleater-Kinney) used to work at W+K Portland, so she knows whereof she takes the piss.

Of course, there's no need to make a UK sitcom about W+K London. Nathan Barley has already been there.


"Stay cool." (Please note the ironic quotation marks.)

Gavin Gordon-Rogers Joins W+K As ICD

Gavin Gordon-Rogers joins Wieden + Kennedy London on 7th March as Interactive Creative Director – working across all our clients as appropriate – but also specifically working with Nokia globally.  Gavin will report in to current ICD Andy Cameron and ECD Tony Davidson.

At Wieden + Kennedy, we believe that we need a true interactive dimension to our entire creative output.  Gavin will contribute to every account, as appropriate, building our 360 advertising and communication function, with digital and social media at its centre.

Gav’s career began with directing music videos, for the likes of Paul McCartney, Feeder and Belle & Sebastian, before getting nominated for a best direction Bafta.

He then got into advertising by freelancing at numerous well-respected, traditional advertising agencies from 1996, until he joined glue in 2002, along with his wife & creative partner Gemma. In March 2005 they moved to Agency Republic, where they reinvigorated the creative department and oversaw its expansion.

In February 2007 they both became joint Creative Directors of Agency Republic.  Gav became Executive Creative Director the following year. Agency Republic was named Digital Agency of the Year 2006 by Campaign magazine and Digital Agency of the Year 2008 by Marketing magazine.

Gavin says, ‘Wieden + Kennedy is one of the best agencies in the world, packed full of inspiring, talented people.  The potential for us to create amazing work across all media is huge.  I'm really excited to be helping to push the scope of digital at the agency and I can't wait to get cracking.”

Good artists borrow, great artists steal.

Our Interactive Creative Director Andy Cameron writes a column for Creative Review about digital creativity and stuff. Here is this month's column:


We've all heard the saying “property is theft”, first coined by French anarchist Proudhon in 1840. I'm appropriating it for today's column. I'm not just stealing it – I'm going to jazz it up a bit, improve it a little, make it my own. I'm going to change property is theft to creativity is theft.
All artists and designers know this to be true, that creativity is a form of daylight robbery, that the creative process is never entirely original, and that there are always references to, or borrowings from, prior art created by other people. Artists and advertisers have had a long and fruitful (and sometimes fractious) relationship based on the exchange of creative ideas. Where art goes, advertising follows. Artists are sensitive about advertisers making free with their creative property and nowhere is this sensitivity more acute than among media artists – artists who work with new and emerging technologies.
Media artists tend to push the boundaries of what you can do with technology, and in doing so, happen upon forms of engagement which advertising agenciesfind irresistible. The oft-repeated story sees the artist post a video of new work online, someone in an agency somewhere sees it, realises it's just the thing to put in that client pitch – and the client falls in love with the idea.

And the ensuing debate (like the furore that ensued online last year surrounding Chris O'Shea's Hand From Above billboard installation and Space150’s very similarly executed project for Forever21) probably isn’t going to go away. As media and interactive artists explore new forms of engagement, the solutions they come up are more and more relevant to agencies trying tofind new ways to keep up creatively. Media artists are increasingly being referenced in agency creative sessions. (It’s no coincidence that London's NexusProductions has launched Nexus Interactive Arts to represent media artists and bring their work to creative agencies and clients, in the right way.)
So whose work gets referenced the most in agencies at the moment? Chris O'Shea has got to be a contender – his Hand from Above demonstrates the awesome power of digital outdoor to engage passers-by in public spaces.

Hand from Above from Chris O'Shea on Vimeo.

Another favourite is Golan Levin who for more than 15 years has been exploring the links between nonverbal communication and interactive play in a series of works that are fresh, innovative and fun to engage with. And very much on the way up is Zach Lieberman, co-founder of OpenFrameworks, whose work with computer vision hints at broader creative opportunities in using cameras as primary interactive input – whether for commercial projects like the ToyotaIQ typeface, or to empower disabled artists as with his EyeWriter.

But perhaps the single most referenced artist in agency creative sessions is Jonathon Harris and, in particular, his project We Feel Fine.

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 13.33.00
The reason that Harris's work is shown so much in agencies is probably down to the creative industry's preoccupation with social media: we know it's important and we know we're not quite getting it. Here’s a quote from Jonathon Harris about why he thinks We Feel Fine resonates so broadly.

"It is about creating an ever-changing portrait of the emotional landscape of the human world.  It is about creating a two-way mirror — where viewers simultaneously experience a God-like voyeurism (spying on the feelings of others) and a bashful vulnerability (realizing their own words and pictures are in there, too).  When these two feelings mix together (voyeurism and vulnerability), the hope is that they produce a kind of humbling empathy — demonstrating that individual experiences are actually universal."
Jon's work offers a glimmer of optimism – that crowd-sourcing isn’t just a creative cop out, but at its best can deliver a powerful emotional connection and tell the old story – the human story – in a new way.

We never really own ideas, we just look after them for a while. A creative idea ALWAYS starts with someone else's creative idea. Dizzy Gillespie got it right when he said “you can't steal a gift”. Or as Jean Luc Godard put it “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”
And do you know what? It goes both ways. Wieden+Kennedy Portland's Old Spice TV ad has been shamelessly copied by countless admirers, including Sesame Street and the Sun newspaper. Nobody seems particularly bothered.

So here's another idea – stolen from Iain Tait no less. Wouldn't it be nice to have a league table of those digital artists and artworks most referenced in ad agency creative sessions? It would give us a sense of where the creative market is right now – who's up, who's down and who's on the money. Yes – good idea, Iain. Cheers.

Andy Cameron 

For another view on a similar topic, see this earlier post: 'All creative work is derivative'.

FairTrade agency meeting



Harriet Lamb has been Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation since 2001. She has guided the Foundation through a period of staggering growth, which has seen estimated sales of Fairtrade products in the UK increase from £30m to more than £290m in 2006, with more than 3500+ retail and catering products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark. Harriet was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2006. Other accolades include Cosmopolitan Eco-Queen 2008 and Orange Businesswoman of the Year 2008. She is the author of the book Fighting The Banana Wars. 

We were lucky enough to have her join us for yesterday's agency meeting at W+K London to talk about the work that the Fairtrade Foundation does and the work that we are doing together.

Audience 2
Sophie and lucy

W+K's Sophie and Lucy took everyone through the work we've created for Fairtrade Fortnight 2011.
Audience 3

‘Cotton on’ to FairTrade fashion in today’s Metro

W+K London, in partnership with our client the Fairtrade Foundation, has launched a Fairtrade fashion initiative called FAIRTRADE COLLECTIVE, and we’ve got a range of beautiful scarves going on sale on Monday on asos.com

W+K London, in partnership with our client the Fairtrade Foundation, has launched a Fairtrade fashion initiative called FAIRTRADE COLLECTIVE, and we’ve got a range of beautiful scarves going on sale on Monday on asos.com

Fairtrade scarves in metro
Further to our earlier post, the above article has appeared in today's Metro. The story is that W+K London, in partnership with our client the Fairtrade Foundation, has launched a Fairtrade fashion initiative called FAIRTRADE COLLECTIVE, and we’ve got a range of beautiful scarves going on sale on Monday on asos.com

Metro says: "The Collective invites some of fashion's most exciting designers to create jaw-droppingly desirable, digitally printed scarves out of Fairtrade cotton."
It’s a wonderful and exciting project for us as it’s the first time Fairtrade has properly embraced, and been embraced by, the fashion industry.
Holly Fulton, Marios Schwabb, Hussein Chalayan and other leading designers are involved and are championing the use of Fairtrade cotton in ‘proper’ fashion. Find out more at FairtradeCollective.org.uk.

Scarves go on sale on Monday on asos.com.
Faitrade Fortnight is February 28 to March 13.

Job opportunity for an Account Director

We have a brilliant opportunity for a Global Account Director. 

We are looking for someone with at least 5 years experience, who has worked on global or pan-European business before, if you have previously lived in Europe that would be even better. We are looking for someone with strong strategic and creative judgement and a passion to make the best work of your life.

If you are interested in applying please send your CV to us at idloveajobplease@wk.com.