Take a Gulp

We've been squirreling away on a special project of late. Working with our friends at Arla on their new-to-market ready-to-drink milkshake, Gulp. Available in three lip-smacking flavours it's on sale NOW so you can all rush out, buy and try.

Our role has been to create the brand tone of voice and from that devise the package design. We've made a bespoke wrapping for each of the chocolate, strawberry and banana flavours.

Gulp isn't just a name; it’s an attitude. It’s a way of
behaving. The design is born from the fact that milkshakes need be to shaken to be enjoyed to the max. The typography literally shakes things up expressing Gulp’s
cheery personality. The stripes running through the design bring to life the
stages at which you should enjoy the drink to full effect – in big, bold

can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love a milkshake but Gulp is expected to be
of particular appeal to mums buying treats for kids. It is after all a fun way to
ensure kids enjoy the goodness of milk – something dear to Arla's heart.

We'll leave the final word to Bowtox who designed the packaging: We feel we've created something that’s really going to shake up the world
of milkshake! 


lucky number seven

We've had no less than seven new starters in the last few weeks. It feels like they've been coming in by the coach load! The agency is full of life, Thursday nights at the Golden Heart are (once again) heaving with W+Kers and the sun is shining. Good times. 

So, in no particular order, please welcome…

Toby Moore + Selena McKenzie


They join us as Creative Directors from W+K Amsterdam. However, they are no strangers to the London Office; they worked here for a few months on Nokia and loved it so much they have returned for good. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that we parted ways with Nokia two years ago.

Luckily we now have Tesco. It’s taken three months to get Toby and Selena here, but finally they’re legal.

Andrew Kay

Andy kay

Andy is also formerly of this parish and has been tempted back from W+K Amsterdam to be a GAD here in London again.

Andy has been with Wieden's for donkeys' years – putting in some time here in London before
heading to Amsterdam in 2008 to work on Coke and Powerade amongst other things. He is now back and getting stuck in on Fuze and Stride.

David Mannall

David M

Joins us as a GAD, running Tesco Bank and helping Bestie out on a few other Tesco bits and pieces. Prior to WK, Dave worked at Dare on Gocompare, Tetley and Virgin Holidays. And before that worked on BBC, Eurostar and Cadbury.

Samantha Bloch


Sam had been freelancing as an Account Manager and was doing such a great job that we managed to convince her to stay full time. She's currently working on Orange and Honda. Before WK, she worked at Dre Beats and Fallon after starting her career client side.

Matthew Ellingham

Matt Ellingham

Matt is another WK Freelancer that we managed to make a permanent member of the team. We have lured him away from the likes of Fallon, Anomaly and Mother to make him the 'only other male TV Producer in the village'.

Amy Leach


Amy joins us in Creative Services as a Project Manager. She has spent the last four years at Karmarama and is working on Lurpak UK, and a few other projects in the pipeline.

John Cherry


We also welcomed John back to the W+K creative department. John's first stint here was back in 2003, when he created the Honda IMA 'Sense' spot and more importantly the world famous 'Dan Wieden musical ruler', http://www.suck.uk.com/products/musicalruler/. Rumour has it he retired for a while on the back of the royalties, but got bored after few years in the Cayman Islands, so resumed his advertising career at Mother and then Fallon.

We're super-pleased that they are all here and settling brilliantly into the world of W+K optimism.

words from a planning intern: ninth week at Wieden’s

Summer’s finally here! Hurrahs all round. But work continues apace. As I've got further involved with various projects, something about the ad industry continues to be of interest – the amount of interaction everyone has with each other. Maybe it doesn't seem unusual, but it's particularly striking for me, coming
from a background where it’s quite normal to spend weeks talking to nobody but
yourself and the odd librarian. 

Thinking/creating appears to be hugely collaborative in advertising. Creatives seem to work mostly in pairs. They talk to each other all the time to figure out whether things feel right or not. Then there are the reviews, the constant
refinement and tinkering to get things just right. As I said last week, everyone gets involved. Then a client presentation –
more refinement and tinkering, tweaking and so on. It
doesn’t leave a huge amount of room for ego, and it means that the work itself comes first.

I reckon it suits the nature of the
business. The more input from people around you, the broader the appeal. And if you can’t easily explain your
point of view to your colleagues, how would a mass market get what you’re saying? To
me, there’s something cool in the way an industry, centered on connectivity and
relationship-building, reflects what they do in the way they think.


(Thoughts courtesy of Planning Placement newbie James.)

ASA gets pussy-whipped by cheeky drinks brand

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 11.36.59

It's not often that I amuse myself by reading transcripts of ASA disputes, but this is an exception. 'Cheeky' energy drink brand Pussy has been running a deliberately provocative poster campaign.

As was no doubt intended, this has provoked some controversy and people have complained to the ASA. Rather than responding in a formal way, Pussy has handled this with a sense of humour entirely appropriate to the way the outdoor campaign has positioned the brand.

Here's an extract from the ASA's website:

A poster, which appeared in various locations across the UK, stated "pussy" in large, bold text in the centre of the ad. Smaller text below stated 'The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem". Text on an image of the product stated "pussy natural energy" and text below the image stated "100% Natural Energy".

Pussy poster

Claims on www.pussydrinks.com stated "The drink's pure, it's your mind that's the problem. 100% Natural Energy". Smaller text at the bottom of the home page stated "Our goal is Global Pussyfication and we aim to bring Pussy within everyone's reach" and invited those interested in distributing the product to contact them.


There were 156 complainants about the ads.

– Most complainants challenged whether ad was offensive, because they considered it implied a sexually explicit reference. Some complainants also considered it was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.

– Two complainants challenged whether ad was offensive to those with religious beliefs and was unsuitable to be displayed near to a church.

– Many complainants also challenged whether ad was unsuitable to appear where it could be seen by children.

– Two complainants challenged whether ad was offensive, because it implied a sexually explicit reference, was derogatory, sexist and degrading towards women.


Pussy Drinks Ltd considered it ironic that complaints had been made about offence caused, given that their posters clearly stated that the drink was pure and it was the mind of the viewer that was the problem. They said the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) stated that a pussy was "a cat, particularly a kitten" and that was the correct meaning of the word. They said cats possessed all the appropriate symbolism for their product and Pussy was cool, beautiful, feline and natural, with attitude, which explained their choice of name. They stated that until the OED changed the meaning of the word, they defended their right to advertise their product. They questioned why the complainants were automatically referring to the slang meaning of what they believed to be an innocent word. They said it was not their intention to offend, that the slang meaning of the word was not one that they had created, and that any problems were only caused by those who were twisting the meaning of an innocent word.

They questioned which religion would be specifically offended by Pussy. They said the ancient Egyptians used to worship cats. They felt that people of a religious disposition tended to occupy an idyllic place away from the crassness that sadly existed in mainstream society and therefore felt it was surprising that the complaints had been made.

The advertisers questioned whether the complaints were from children and believed the complaints were from adults with an adult perspective on the slang meaning of the word. They felt that the complainants were assuming that children were aware of the slang meaning, and if that was the case, they considered it was likely that the children had heard the slang meaning from those adults, who now claimed they wished to protect those children. They stated that, to a child, a pussy was a cat or kitten and did not consider that was offensive. They said the inspiration for the product and white can design was a gorgeous white pussycat owned by a family member as a child.

The dictionary definition ploy is a classic, but I particularly admire the innovative 'ancient Egyptian cat-worshipping' defence.

The ASA made what I think is the correct decision, noting that the nature of the execution indicates that, despite their protestations of innocence, Pussy were well aware of the double meaning in their name and chose to refer to it. Therefore the poster was likely to be understood as an explicitly sexual reference that would give offence. They didn't accept that it was likely to give particular offence to any religious groups, ancient Egyptian or otherwise.

So, pointlessly, the ASA has ruled that Pussy's ad cannot reappear in its current form. (That'll teach them!) Pussy have achieved their objectives of gaining notoriety and distinctiveness on a small budget and had some fun at the ASA's expense into the bargain. It all reminds me of the FCUK advertising controversy of a few years back.


The FCUK work was instigated by Trevor Beattie, who nowadays happens to be the boss of Pussy's agency BMB. Coincidence? I think not.

Honda – the more we look, the more we learn

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.50.05

Our Honda Channel 4 idents have been selected by D&AD for their professional awards 2013.

That's a good excuse to share them again here. Each clip shows how observation of nature has inspired Honda engineers to create technical innovations. This seemed appropriate for Honda's sponsorship of documentary programming on 4.

"The more we look, the more we learn."

Learn more about the curious world of Honda here.

update from our friends at Solar Aid

Here's an update from our friends at Solar Aid, with whom we worked on our Off/On project.

Solar Aid managed to exceed their target for the year by getting over 400,000 lights into hands and homes by the end of March. We heard yesterday that as a result of their work to replace kerosene lanterns in East Africa with clean, affordable solar lights, they’ve been made a finalist for the 2013 International Ashden Award – which is fantastic news. The Ashden Awards recognise sustainable energy projects in the UK and developing countries that protect the environment and improve quality of life.

Solar aid

One of the biggest challenges in getting sustainable energy to the poor is getting to the ‘last mile’ – those remote rural areas where commercial distribution and retail networks simply don’t exist. SolarAid’s ingenious distribution methods are getting power to the people who need it the most.


Head Teacher Beatrice delivers some Solar Aid lamps.

With the audacious goal of eliminating the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020, SolarAid’s sales teams work with schools in rural areas of east Africa to promote good quality, affordable lights to families. The benefits are immeasurable: children are able to study in the evening, polluting and dangerous kerosene is avoided, while families save money.

Solar Aid's big focus for the next couple of months is finding the money to enable them to grow at the same rate that the demand for lights is escalating.

For more information on Solar Aid, see here.

This short video shows their solar lamps in action.

“new advertising improving Tesco brand perceptions” says Marketing Week

Marketing Week has just released a brand audit of Tesco, which demonstrates that perception of the brand is improving, following a gradual decline in recent years and the impact of the horsemeat scandal. Tesco Buzz, Index and Impression scores all improved markedly between mid 2012 (when Wieden + Kennedy was appointed) and January 2013, when the horsemeat issue affected Tesco's reputation. Recent scores since January show that the steps Tesco is taking in response are having a positive impact.  Here's what Marketing Week said:

Tesco may have just reported its first annual profit fall for two decades but it does appear CEO Philip Clarke is right when he says the brand’s efforts to overhaul its advertising and marketing are already having a positive impact.

Perception of the brand is slowly improving, according to YouGov Brand Index tracking measures, following a gradual decline in recent years and the impact of the horsemeat scandal.

Following the issuing of its first profit warning in January 2012 Tesco’s brand perception fell dramatically across all measures, according to Brand Index, particularly Buzz which registers the balance of positive and negative things the public has heard about a brand.

To address the negative perception and falling sales, CEO Philip Clarke set out a series of improvements across six main area of the business including store formats, improving the quality of its products and services and overhauling marketing and branding.

Elsewhere, Wieden + Kennedy replaced Red Brick Road as Tesco’s creative agency in May and was tasked with generating love for the Tesco brand.

Tesco’s Buzz, index and Impression scores all improved markedly between May 2012, when W+K was appointed, and January 2013.

The positive gains made in the 12 months after setting out the overhaul were all but wiped out in January when Tesco was the first retailer to reveal traces of horsemeat had been found in a number of processed beef products. Tesco has scored consistently below its rivals in terms of Buzz, Impression and Recommendation scores in the last 12 months and was by the far worse affected by the horsemeat scandal than its rivals. It is, however, starting to recover.

The horsemeat scandal saw Tesco focus its communications efforts on being transparent about the issue in an attempt to limit the damage.

What we found

YouGov’s BrandIndex shows Tesco’s Buzz score has improved greatly in the last month, indicating the supermarket’s efforts to communicate its position over horsemeat has had some success.

However, Tesco’s Buzz scores have been predominantly below 0 since January 2012 and while it is gradually improving there is a way to go before it regains the largely positive Buzz ratings it historically achieved.

The supermarket’s Index score, which aggregates all six measures YouGov polls such as Impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and wether they would recommend it, remains below its pre-horsegate score but is gradually improving.

Clarke said last week at the supermarket’s full year results that the brand advertising being rolled out from Wieden + Kennedy is already “putting a warmer and more engaging face” on the brand. Tesco’s Christmas advertising, the first major TV activity launched with the new agency, helped buoy the brand’s scores across all BrandIndex measures.

The gradual improvement to Tesco’s BrandIndex scores shows it is slowly moving in the right direction and the steps it is taking to be open and clear over the horsemeat scandal as well as rebuild its personality through advertising are having a positive impact.

Read the full article here.

To the life less ordinary

If you are an avid reader of this blog you may well be aware of past Finnish adventures undertaken by W+K London's Brown Forman team. All in the name of research, of course.

Last week saw the completion of the new global repositioning work which is currently in transit to far corners of the globe. In this, our first work for Finlandia Vodka, we have capitalized on the less ordinary process and ingredients to make the vodka, and used it to help inspire a visual world that evokes a similar less ordinary attitude.

Or in the words of our creative director Mr Tony Davidson, "Finnish, quirky and focused on nature."

The print and posters include summer and winter executions that use the unique photography of Pierre Winther. His cinematic and slightly twisted quality helps shape the eclectic and alternative premium brand look.

So kick back, pour yourselves a shot (of Finlandia), and raise a glass to some work less ordinary. Kippis!




Welcome to the Internet: 22nd April


Download the PDF here.

I'll be brief this week, highlighting the most pressing points from around the web in a few truth bullets for you.

  • South Korean Internet-monger PSY continues to break YouTube after releasing his hotly anticipated follow up to Gangnam Style, Gentleman. It's basically the same song but with a different dance move. Hell, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
  • The Boston bombings devastated everyone, bringing people together in praying for the safety of those injured. As well as this, people worked together to catch the perps (particularly on Reddit) and created theories as to how it was actually the American Government who planted the bombs (mainly Fox News).
  • Twitter released a music app called #Music. I'm not 100% sold on it yet, however I'm willing to be proven wrong.