Wieden + Kennedy named ‘most viral’ agency of 2011

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Wieden + Kennedy tops the list of 'most viral' creative agencies in 2011, according to Ad Age's round up of the most-viewed videos in social media in 2011. Spots for Old Spice and Chrysler by W+K Portland racked up over 190 million views, more than twice as much as the next agency.

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W+K Amsterdam also made it into the top ten, at number nine, with 29.5 million views for Heineken and Nike spots.

Wieden + Kennedy scoops ITV’s 2011 Ad of the Year

Thumbs up

It's a big thumbs up from W+K's Freddie Powell and Helen Foulder at the news that our Cravendale 'Cats with Thumbs' spot was voted number one best TV ad of 2011 by viewers of ITV, the UK's biggest commercial TV channel. ITV's top 20 ads of the year were featured on TV a couple of nights ago in a show called Ad of the Year. It has to be admitted that Freddie and Helen, who were interviewed for the show as representatives of the Cravendale team, do look slightly sheepish about being made to appear on prime time TV wearing giant furry cat gauntlets. But for the rest of us that moment above is TELLY GOLD!

Here's the extract from the show featuring the top of the poppermost Cravendale spot.

Some people find the Cravendale ad a bit scary, but I have to say I personally don't find the prospect of world domination by polydactyl cats nearly as unnerving as the luminous teeth of the man below. I couldn't pay any attention to what he was saying in the clip because I was distracted by his fluorescent chompers.

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Also in the top twenty ads of the year were two more Wieden + Kennedy spots. At number 13, from W+K Portland, Old Spice's 'The man your man could smell like'. Apparently, according to the celebrity lady interviewed below, this causes 'an actual physical reaction when you watch it'. Mind-boggling.

And at number 11, from W+K Amsterdam, Heineken's 'The entrance'. Fantastic suggestion from the actress interviewed that a follow-up ad should be set in Coronation Street's Rover's Return pub.

Well done to all involved in making these ads and big congrats to our clients. And many thanks for your votes, ITV viewers.

W+K goes Off the Grid for Honda


To support the launch of the 2012 Honda Civic, Wieden + Kennedy London has created a unique 360º video experience that lets viewers venture into the unknown. Inspired by the Street View experience, ‘Off the Grid’ is an interactive film that explores incredible environments.

The Civic design team threw out what they knew and started afresh, exploring every path. Off the Grid reflects how rewarding a journey into the unknown can be.The experience takes users to places they’d never get a chance to see otherwise, or lets them experience familiar locations in an entirely new way. From a previously unexplored Alaskan ice cave to an underwater art museum where growing reef means the sculptures won’t be visible in a few months’ time.


From the afternoon of December 19th, Off the Grid will be live at www.youtube.com/hondacivicUK 

Find out more about the locations and filming at http://hondaoffthegriduk.posterous.com/

Off grid intro screen shot

W+K worked with Partizan and film director Michael Geoghegan to capture the stunning imagery, TTX for the filming and yellowBird for the 360º player.

Off the Grid is the final of three interactive experiences Wieden + Kennedy London have created to support ‘The Great Unknown’ pan-European marketing campaign. Like this latest experience, the web film ‘Happy Dog’ and HTML5 game ‘The Experiment’ each relayed part of the journey the Honda engineers undertook- how they got to the final design of the Civic and the lessons learned along the way.

Off grid final cliff screenshot
The first phase broke online with the launch of a destination hub on YouTube www.youtube.com/hondacivicUK.This phase introduced the campaign idea and was car-specific: the content relates to the various improvements and enhancements of the Civic. The Civic launch television spots will air in January 2012.

W+K London’s 2011 in review

I don’t go to many ‘industry’ get-togethers, but when I do I’m always struck by the relentless positivity of people in this business. Even when Soho’s burning, there are sten guns in Shoreditch and hungry wolves are running wild in the streets, the happy folk of adland talk about what a great year they’ve had, how business is booming and how they’ve never been busier, ha ha. But not so much this year. Most of the people I’ve spoken to over Christmas drinks admitted that 2011 was a tough year and that 2012 looks like being a slog too. People are tired. ‘Roll on Christmas and a few days off,’ seems to be the popular sentiment. And to be honest, here at W+K we too had a tough year in 2011. After a number of years of steady and even rapid growth, 2011 saw the agency contract as a result of economic factors and the parting of ways with Nokia, which had been our largest client. Of course, we’re still optimistic here at W2O and we’re hoping for a prosperous 2012. We recognise that we’ll all have to work hard next year to achieve that success.

In the meantime, here’s a summary of the year that was 2011 for Wieden + Kennedy London.

Creative highlights

Our ‘The Milk Matters’ campaign for Cravendale launched with ‘Cats with thumbs’. This was named one of the top ten ads of 2011 by Adweek and nominated for campaign of the year by ITV and Campaign magazine.

The thing that really made this campaign special was the integration of TV and social media, with Bertrum Thumbcat facebooking, tweeting and generally getting his polydactyl paws all over the internet.

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The ‘Milk Matters’ campaign continued with ‘Milk me Brian’, a spot that asked the question, ‘Who first thought to milk a cow?’

The latest execution in the ‘Good food deserves Lurpak’ campaign was called ‘Kitchen Odyssey’. This suggested that even the humble omelette could make for an epic meal if done properly. (Properly, like with Lurpak.)

The TV ad was supported by posters celebrating the greatness of simple food and a range of on-pack foils following the theme.

Lurpak salvation
Lurpak Advert Empires
Egg lord
There were a few interesting things for Honda this year. We launched the Honda Jazz across Europe with the ‘This Unpredictable Life’ TV campaign.

The campaign also included an innovative mobile app that enabled you to interact live with the TV ad.

And we did our first ever Motorshow stand for Honda at the Frankfurt show.

Most recently we launched the Honda Experiment HTML 5 game, which has been getting lots of positive buzz online and was named FWA site of the month.

Our Kaiser Chiefs bespoke album creation thing turned the concept of an album on its head and allowed fans to create their own version of the Chiefs’ new LP ‘The Future is Medieval’ and promote and sell their version. It was named ‘Best artist promotion’ of 2011 at BT Digital Music Awards.

Kaiser Chiefs The Future Is Medieval Case History from Wieden + Kennedy London on Vimeo.

Following on from ‘Dot’, the record-breaking world’s smallest ever stop frame animation, we created for Nokia ‘Gulp’, the world’s largest ever stop frame animation, entirely shot on a Nokia N8.

You can see how it was all done here.

Our campaign to support The Guardian’s Book Season contained lots of fun and thought-provoking elements, with the Big Book Swap at its heart.


Left books
The campaign even made it onto Russian TV.

Our campaign for soft drink brand Nestea rolled out globally.


Wales Wants Piers was an innovative campaign that used social media to get the people of Wales to create a proper holiday for one man (and his girlfriend).

We wanted to help shift entrenched perceptions of Wales by acting in a different, more progressive way. This campaign aimed to open up the conversation about Wales by giving the people of Wales and lovers of Wales a platform to talk about the stuff that they do or love best.

More info here.

Loads of work done on Nike this year and a ton more in production now for 2012.

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Yeah, yeah, awards, blah, blah, etc. But we entered them and won some, so here they are.

– 5 x golds at BTAA (more than any other agency, er, I think)

– Nike Write The Future topped the Creativity League Table as most awarded campaign of 2011 (including Cannes Grand Prix + 2 gold lions)

– Webbys Agency Of The Year 2011

– Blades Digital Agency Of The Year 2011

– Creative Review Agency Of The Year 2011

– Marketing Week / Engage – runner-up Agency of the Year 2011

– APG Awards 2011 – gold, silver and special award

– Campaign BIG awards – 6 silvers

New biz wins

2011 was a tough year for new business. There wasn’t much around and what there was, was harder than ever to bring in. For the first year in a long time we lost more pitches than we won. (Must try harder in 2012.) But we’re very proud of the ones we did convert. We won the business for mobile network Three.co.uk earlier this year. We also picked up the Lurpak global account. This one was particularly sweet: we lost out in the pitch a couple of years ago, so it was nice to have the client come back to us, based on our work for Lurpak in the UK, and ask us if we’d extend that relationship.

And we’ve just picked up the US account for Kraft’s gum brand Stride. This will run out of WK London and will be our first work for Kraft.


It was not an easy year. After a turbulent time in which they faced unprecedented competitive challenges and went through massive upheavals, we parted company with our largest client, Nokia. There’s probably a book to be written about that whole story. We did some great work with them, sometimes, but we just didn’t seem to be able to implement the across-the-board reinvention and relaunch that the Nokia brand needed. We wish all our friends at Nokia the very best for 2012 and hope that they settle with an agency partner to do the work that this brand deserves.

As a result of parting with Nokia, we had to lay off a significant number of people. That was as tough and shocking as redundancies are at any company, and it perhaps felt even more difficult at somewhere as tight-knit as W+K.

The Guardian is another client that’s been through well-publicised commercial challenges. Like Nokia, they have seen many recent changes of structure and personnel in a time when technology is causing huge upheaval for their business. One result of this was a brand relaunch project that they decided to brief out. We held on after the first pitch, but a second pitch was called immediately after the first and we lost out that time round. That was a blow, I must admit.


2011 is pretty much done. It wasn’t totally an ‘annus horribilis’ but it certainly wasn’t an ‘annus mirabilis’. Economic forecasts suggest that, despite the Olympics, 2012 will be another commercially challenging year. But difficult times are the times in which brands rethink what they’re doing and look to agencies for fresh ideas and new approaches from which to gain competitive advantage. We just need to make sure we are smart and responsive so as to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise. So, here’s to a happy Christmas and a prosperous 2012.

Have a good holiday break. See you back here again in the new year, rested, refreshed and ready for whatever 2012 holds, with an optimistic attitude, of course.


Wieden + Kennedy names four new partners

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Here's the story, as reported by AdWeek:

Wieden + Kennedy, well-known for its careful selection in adding new partners, named four additional ones at the independent Portland, Ore.-based agency: Portland managing director Tom Blessington, London managing director Neil Christie, Portland executive creative director Mark Fitzloff, and global interactive ECD Iain Tait.

In a statement, agency co-founder Dan Wieden said, “We are very picky, slow, and deliberate when it comes to adding new partners. The truth is we have an abundance of talent throughout the network with new opportunities popping up quite regularly.”

The last two W + K execs to be given a stake in the shop was in 2009. At that time, Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth, executive creative directors in the agency’s London office, were the first new partners in 13 years.  

The agency’s other partners are Wieden, COO Dave Luhr, ECD Susan Hoffman, W + K Entertainment executive producer Bill Davenport and global ECD John Jay.

Among the new partners, Portland managing director Blessington joined W + K in 1990 after working at Hill Holliday, Boston. Since then he has run the Nike accounts at W + K Portland and Amsterdam. He was group account director for Miller Brewing Co. and Coca-Cola in Portland and was the first managing director of W + K, New York. Blessington spent four years at TBWAChiatDay before returning to W + K in 2006, when he assumed his current role.

London managing director Neil Christie began his career at ABM before moving on to Yellowhammer and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. He then spent eight years at TBWA, where he ran accounts like Nissan and Cadbury before he became client services director and then managing director. Christie joined W + K in London as managing director in 2004.

In Portland, ecd Mark Fitzloff joined the agency in 1999, working as a copywriter on the Alta Vista, Nike, and Coca-Cola accounts. He was appointed creative director on Old Spice, with the mandate to revitalize the brand, and has been associated with the brand’s prize-winning work in recent years. He was made an ecd in 2008.

Ian Tait joined W + K as global interactive ecd in 2010. He was previously a founder and creative director at London digital agency Poke, where he worked on accounts like American Express, Orange, and Yahoo. An initial initiative of Tait’s after joining W + K was working on the Old Spice “Response Campaign,” where Isaiah Mustafa, featured in the "Man Your Man Could Smell Like" pitch, responded to fans in a social media campaign.

Wieden + Kennedy wins Stride gum account


Great news! We have been awarded STRIDE gum’s advertising business in the US. Our responsibilities will cover the U.S. market and include digital and social media activity. The account will be led from Wieden + Kennedy’s London office. (That's us.)

Stephanie Wilkes, vice president US Confections at Kraft Foods, which owns Stride, says she is eager to partner with us. “(W+K's) understanding of the STRIDE brand and gum category is exceptional and we’re eager to see its creative be taken to the next level of success.” 

For our part, we’re absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work with Kraft Foods on the STRIDE business. And we’re looking forward to doing some great work together. We were gutted not to win the pitch for their Trident gum account, but we're chuffed about this appointment.

STRIDE, The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum was launched in 2006 to give gum chewers a fun, unique and long lasting chewing experience. STRIDE comes in 11 flavors – Winterblue, Spearmint, Sweet Peppermint, Forever Fruit, Sweet Berry, Sweet Cinnamon, Nonstop Mint, Uber Bubble, Stride Spark and Whitemint.  To find out more about STRIDE gum, its friends and what the brand is up to, visit: www.facebook.com/stride-gum

It's a nice bit of new biz news to see out the old year.

Happy Christmas to all our readers

A Choir Of You from Wieden + Kennedy London on Vimeo.

Here's our Christmas greetings thing. You can see it in action in the window of our offices on Hanbury Street. Or you can check it out at www.choirofyou.com

Here's what Creativity magazine said about it:

The agency holiday greetings are starting to pour in, and this bit of joy from Wieden + Kennedy London may just be our favorite. No doubt, the agency will manage to get even the Scroogiest of carolers to open their pipes with the Choir of You installation at the shop's Hanbury Street Home. Step in front of the festive window and you'll be inspired to sing your heart out and become a part of the season's good cheer, many times over.

W+K Awarded STRIDE Gum Advertising

Wieden + Kennedy was recently awarded STRIDE gum’s advertising business in the US. W+K’s responsibilities will cover the U.S. market and include digital and social media activity. The account will be led from Wieden + Kennedy’s London office.

Stephanie Wilkes, vice president US Confections at Kraft Foods, says she is eager to partner with Wieden + Kennedy. “Their understanding of the STRIDE brand and gum category is exceptional and we’re eager to see its creative be taken to the next level of success.” 

Neil Christie, Managing Director of Wieden + Kennedy London, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work with Kraft Foods on the STRIDE business. We’re looking forward to doing some great work together.”

About Stride Gum
STRIDE, The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum was launched in 2006 to give gum chewers a fun, unique and long lasting chewing experience. STRIDE gum, a Kraft Foods brand, comes in 11 flavors – Winterblue, Spearmint, Sweet Peppermint, Forever Fruit, Sweet Berry, Sweet Cinnamon, Nonstop Mint, Uber Bubble, Stride Spark and Whitemint.  To find out more about STRIDE gum, our friends and what the brand is up to, visit: