Sam & Becca, from Creme Eggs to Halls

On this glorious Monday morning, we are very pleased to introduce a new creative team, Sam McCluskey and Becca Pottinger.  

Photo

Having spent nine months doing what they describe as "creative speed dating" on the Watford Ad Course, Sam and Becca landed at Fallon. As things tend to go with speed dating, one thing led to another and before they knew it, they had spent two years working on various accounts with a bit of a dairy-esque theme, like and Cheese Strings and Cadbury's Creme Eggs

Now they're here, they'll be lending their creative magic to Halls. 

A little tidbit for you: Becca once worked on Britain's Got Talent, where she found herself having to wrangle a David Bowie impersonator with a live owl away from children. Which naturally led her to a career advertising. Sam has no owl-reltaed stories (as far as we know), but for some reason, he never cut his hair whilst working at Fallon. No word on whether his plans for W+K involve a full-on ZZ Top look yet, but watch this space. 

Congratulations, W+K Toyko

Here at W+K we fill our agency receptions with pictures of our people, not trophies or gongs. So when we do shout about winning an award you'll know it really means something to us.

And today is one of those days for our friends in Japan. Last night W+K Tokyo won both the Grand Prix and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communicaions Awards at the ACC awards. Loosely translated it means the Japanese ad industry and officialdom decreed the Nike Baseball 'Pledge' TV spot the best work produced in Japan in the past 12 months.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 6.06.28 PM

It's the first time Wieden+Kennedy has won an ACC Grand Prix and we think it pays testament to the talent, intelligence and crazy hard work put in by everyone who touched that project. W+K Tokyo Team Nike: we salute you.

If you read Japanese, you can see the official announcement here.

If you love outstanding Nike creative, you can view the spot here.

Sell your pursuit not your product

When our planners aren't planning, they're doing. And Collyn Ahart, one of our senior planners, does an awful lot (like squeezing a quick bike race or two across France into her weekends).

She recently shared some strategic knowldedge on behalf of Do Lectures in Wales and gave a talk about how brands identify cultural and social roles and opportunities. Do Lectures recorded the whole thing and put it online for everyone to enjoy. Here it is.

 

will Google grant us eternal life?

For
most of us there aren’t many things that Google and the internet can’t do. (Apart
from for my Granny who is still convinced she’s on the internet when playing
spider solitaire from the games tab of Windows ’98). Now, like an ancient Aztec
god, our online leader wants to find the secret to immortality. Ok, this might
be going a bit far, but Google’s latest initiative has high ambitions: to add
twenty years to the average human life span. Their philosopher’s stone? The
huge wealth of data Google holds combined with enhanced genomic information. In
a nutshell the aim is to take this genomic data, combine it with clinical data
and in turn produce personalised medical care. 

Eternal life 1

Google
have christened the new health programme “Calico”. I’m pretty sure this is a
fabric used for backing curtains and the like, but TIME
magazine
claim it refers to a breed of cat. Cats have nine lives and Calico
attempts to extend life itself. The concept of “digital health” has been
growing for a while. A couple of months ago I did a little dig around the
wearable tech sector for one of our clients in relation to sport. I found loads
of things that were pushing tech far beyond simple fitness tracking. There was
a wealth of new gadgets to track our emotions, and indeed our physical health.
It turns out one of these “23andMe” is
actually owned by Google already. Their mission statement is to be: “the world's
trusted source of personal genetic information”. Basically they provide super
fast genetic testing via a small kit that could forewarn you of potential
problems.

23andme

[a 23andMe kit, not a Shewee]

Calico
takes this further. It wants to prolong our lives. According to this article:
“the new project will leverage Google’s massive cloud and data centres to help
facilitate research on disease and aging by mining its trove of data for
insight into their origins”. Sounds great doesn’t it? This could be used for
everything from type II diabetes to fighting cancer. But the author also makes
a good point in relation to the Google CEO: “Larry Page is brilliant, but his
message also seems to imply that diseases (and their cures) are reducible- that
all the world’s problems could be cured if we just had snappier algorithms.” I see
what he means. Tech can help us so much, but then we are not in the end always
fixable machines. You can’t just pop in a new battery. If only. I’m all for
anything that can improve people’s lives and reduce suffering, but new problems
are likely to rise from the ashes of this immortal phoenix.

Do
we even have the resources to cope with a population living twenty years longer? It
could get so overcrowded, especially on our own little island, that people will
be possessed by an ancient tribalism where they murder each other for the new
iPhone, let alone food: brother, get between me the till and that last packet
of hula hoops and I’ll taser you. Seventy year olds will be bench-pressing
200. Let’s face it a lot of Google’s wackier schemes are flashes in the dream
pan, but it will be interesting to see how this one develops.

[Thoughts
from Planning newbie Alexa]

Endless possibilities + 25 years of Just Do It

Nike has always known we're all capable of a little more – a little faster, a little higher, a little stronger, a little more. 

 

For 25 years, the brand has been inspiring us to 'Just Do It', and this weekend we launched 'Endless Possibilities', a new campaign celebrating the anniversary of the idea that moves us to defy our limits, whoever we are and whatever our ability.

The campaign encourages women to push their boundaries and reach new personal goals, making the extraordinary into the everyday. To get up earlier, work out harder, run faster and go that extra mile. It's a celebration of every woman who has tested her limits and embraced her potential.

In our TV spot, directed by Adam Berg, our heroine is put through her paces in a series of challenges and scenarios, even meeting a couple of familiar faces that truly embody the Nike 'Just Do It' spirit on her journey: Jessie J and FC Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué. From overtaking Piqué to soaring over the final hurdle, the film proves that we all have a little more in us.

Jessie J says, "Nike challenged me to Just Do It, so I’m doing it. I’ve been hitting the gym hard already and I hope that in some way I can help inspire more women to take up the challenge.” 

The women of W+K accept your challenge, Jessie.

To read more about the campaign, head over to Nike's site www.nikeinc.com/news/nike-inspires-women-to-justdoit#/inline/23472

shaping our world: how shapes inform our lives

Recently
I’ve been reading a lot about cognitive psychology and the way we can be primed
to make decisions based on certain cues. One of these is colour. In an
experiment people were asked to fill out a survey with either an orange or
green pen. They were then asked to pick an object from a large selection laid
out on a table. Some of these were orange. Some of these were green. But there
were a lot of other colours too. Low and behold those who’d used the green pen
picked a green object and the same happened for orange [Berger, J. &
Fitzsimons, G  2008]. Scary stuff. I
started to think about whether the same thing could be said for shapes.

Shape1

We
learn to recognise shapes at an early age. You’re probably familiar with the
wooden box game where a toddler has to fit the cube through the square hole and
the cylinder through the circular hole and so on. I remember it was pretty satisfying
when you got it right. In this experiment it turns out young kids
actually find circles and squares much easier than triangles and rectangles.
Points are confusing. It doesn’t really say why a rectangle is harder than a
square, maybe it’s something to do with proportions and symmetry. In any case shape
recognition stabilises at around 6 years old but we’re still fascinated by them
as we get older. For instance studies have shown that men prefer women with a
waist to hip ratio of 0.7 (Waist Measurement ÷ Hip Measurement = Ratio), and women prefer men
with broad shoulders and a skinny waist that creates a V shaped torso. So this
is why superheroes have ridiculously tiny waists the diameter of my right
thigh. 

SHAPE2

Shape
can also help the way we live, and not just by making things ergonomic. It’s a
way of categorising stuff. Take this innovative design by student Amanda
Savitzky. Her brother has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This condition makes
a hectic space like the kitchen a crazed sensory minefield.  He couldn’t cook for himself and was missing
out on the pleasure the rest of the family got from creating meals. So what’s
big sister done? She took the concept of some fancy French way of cooking
called ‘mise en place’ (which is a way of organising all your ingredients
before starting to cook) and used shape to make cooking steps accessible. Each
of the different shaped pans below is actually a measuring cup.  She then took lots of common recipes and
broke them down into cups. A red pentagon is one cup. A yellow square is half a
cup. Again colour is working with shape to help create a code. The recipes are
available on a specially designed app so her
brother could follow a guide step by step. It’s really snazzy. 

Shape 3

So
shape can make something useful. It helps us make the best use of a product. It
can also just make a product stand out. Take Toblerone. You could remove all
the text and branded colours on the bar below and you’d still be able to guess
what the object was. You’d know it was a Toberlone and not any other chocolate
bar. 

Shape4

Shapes
are the perfect signals. Sexy shapes, solid shapes, see-through shapes, they
all help guide us, both as conscious tools and subconscious frames of
reference.

[Thoughts
from Planning newbie Alexa]
 

Only the finest* for Downton Abbey

Sunday nights in autumn can only mean one thing. It’s time to kick back, pour yourself a drink and switch the telly over to ITV for an hour of opulent and compelling drama.

The nation’s – and one of the world’s – favourite shows, Downton Abbey, is back at last.

The show returns to the screens of its 15 million regular viewers today for its fourth season, very fittingly sponsored by Tesco finest*. It’s a perfect pairing – the finest* range sees Tesco deliver premium food and drink, and Downton Abbey is a quality viewing experience.

 

We created a set of 5, 10 and 15-second idents to bookend the ad breaks during the season, as well as digital banners. The idents were directed by Jim Gilchrist through MJZ and echo the show’s unmistakable tone, delivered by a modern family in the home.  

The idents feature an extended family enjoying the finest* range in the home, borrowing from the show’s witty and warm moments. Each spot is a lighthearted mini-drama of its own, sprinkled with some loaded looks, some tense moments and the sort of clever quips the Dowager Countess would be proud of. 

Sit back, crack open a bottle of your favourite finest* and enjoy the opening 90 minute blockbuster. 

To find out more about Tesco's finestsponsorship of Downton Abbey, head over to Tesco's blog here.

Our new phone box

Photo 1

It's pretty crowded and noisy here at WK Towers. There's a shortage of quiet spots from which to make a phone call. So we've acquired a phone booth which, as you can see, has been customised in special Welcome to Optimism house colours. Nice.

Photo 2

It's already generating some interest. Probably won't be long before it's covered in prostitutes' cards and being used as a toilet.

Photo 4