don’t shoot the messenger

You know the expression "don't shoot the messenger"? Our account handlers take it pretty seriously but now they've taken it to the next level. Because sometimes, when approaching Tony and Kim's desk, it's better to be safe than sorry…

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[Andy Kay, W+K GAD, not quite camouflaged but still feeling pretty confident. Let's see how this pans out.]

the art of storytelling

W+K creative Katie Harrison went down to The Story 2014, an annual one-day conference about storytelling. She wrote a piece on Medium.com about the most inspiring things and people she came across on the day. Here's her recap in full, but be sure to follow Katie on Medium for loads more interestng stuff: https://medium.com/@harrison_katie

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The Story 2014: the art of storytelling

The Story can now be placed in the “classics” section of annual events: simple yet wonderfully considered, ahead of its time yet void of pretention, and most importantly, it leaves you with a lasting impression once it’s over. We were told tales of horse riding, live Vine-ing, celery chopping and a voyage to America with a puppet. But with even the best stories, we tend to skim some sections. So here are a few of my bookmarks, somewhere between the beginning, middle and end.

Preface: Tony Ageh

“Media is the movement of thoughts and ideas through time and space”

Chapter 1: Bryony Kimmings

We might have a little snigger at TOWIE or a peep at Rihanna’s bottom, but do we ever really question how such consumerism is affecting children? In collaboration with her nine-year-old niece, Bryony Kimmings invented “Catherine Bennett”, a credible pop star for a modern child. In the true style of modern making, Bryony reached out to her contacts (including Beyonce’s hair stylist!?) to help create her image and launched a clever social campaign to raise awareness to adults. Plus a musical mash up of “Lilly Allen, The B52s and Gorillaz ” and some awesome After Effects skills makes Catherine Bennett a cultural icon for an Internet effected generation.

Chapter 2: Iain Forsyth + Jane Pollard

Introducing yourself by stating that you are working with both Scott Walker and Nick Cave on separate projects defines cool. Visual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard shared their story behind 20,000 Days on Earth a documentary on the 20,000 days of Nick Cave’s life. Nick Cave is famously elusive, so they set out to reset expectations, both for him and his audience. A short clip highlighted this by sharing how they used a psychoanalyst to question Nick until, to his own admission, “it was too much effort to try any more”. This resulted in a moving scene where Nick explains that his one great fears is losing his memory, stating, “memory is all we are”.

Chapter 4: Kenyatta Cheese

Kenyatta emanates the culture in which he lives, a YOLO, LOLZ, whirlwind of enthusiasm, the Internet is his party and we are all invited. Anyone who knows me will understand how much I loved his story: the history of the animated GIF, told with the (slightly butchered) narrative of Snow White, illustrated by Snow White GIFS. What I also loved was Kenyatta’s understanding that a GIF is a multifaceted piece of content – from a form of expression to a piece of art to a useful tool, with many more stories to tell.

Chapter 7: Bill Wasik

It is easy to understand why Bill vehemently denies inventing the flash mob, but it is not so easy to disprove. However, a bored summer resulting in thousands of strangers congregating outside Claire’s Accessories beats spending it doing work experience. The proof that Bill is now senior editor of Wired can be used to inspire a new generation that the internet is there to make and do, whatever that may result in.

Chapter 12: Lisa Salem

In contrast to Kenyatta, I expect Lisa is someone who perhaps finds the Internet a little more troublesome. The ability to be connected to everyone can often leave us feeling more isolated. Please Hold With Me, a project inspired by the loneliness felt whilst put on hold, would connect Lisa to you whilst waiting on the line. The musak would stop and a soft, unknown voice would say, “hello, how are you?” Through her work, Lisa is doing something extremely important in modern society – making real connections – and this is something we can all learn from.

Appendix: Philip Larkin



 

Mrs Christie, Michael Gove and old school strictness

The Press & Journal reported this week about Education Secretary Michael Gove's return to his old primary school in Aberdeen. Mr Gove paid tribute to his teacher, the 'strict but brilliant' Mrs Christie.

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The same Mrs Christie is the mother of Wieden+Kennedy's MD, the equally 'old school' and 'strict' but certainly less brilliant Neil Christie, who turns out to be of far less consequence than his mum in terms of influence on the country's leadership.

the search continues

After Tony decapitated himself last night, we all went down to the Heart to continue the birthday shenanigans over a few pints.

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Inspired by his cakey effigy, Tony found himself behind the bar looking for other things that resembled his mug. 

Is it this guy? 

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Nope. Candelabra?  

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Nope. The pope?  

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Nope. Or maybe this guy?

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Yep. Nailed it. 

50 years young

We held a little celebration in our basement last night in honour of Tony's 50th birthday. Of course, we thought a near-life-sized cake sculpted in Tony's likeness was appropriate for the occasion (thanks Fancy Nancy!). 

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Staying true to his ECD nature, Tony critiqued the cake in front of the entire agency. Apparently the waxy ears are spot on, but he's not quite sure about "that much grey hair". Sure, Tony. We also put together a book of everyone's favourite stories about Tony over the years to mark the occasion. Boy are there some gems in there…

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It was also W+K creative Freddie's birthday, so Tony kindly let Freddie behead him before proceeding to stab himself in the back and dig out chocolate cake for everyone to enjoy. Well, we have always thought he was a bit soft on the inside…

Happy birthday Tony and Freddie!

the ideal client

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Throughout the month of February It's Nice That, one of our favourite destinations for the very best in design, teamed up with recruitment agency and design career service Represent UK to lift the lid on what makes for a perfect creative-client working relationship.

During the Ideal Client project, 20 industry professionals share their insights into the secrets they've discovered in their quest for creative alchemy. Our MD, Neil, was one of the industry folks they interviewed for the dedicated Ideal Client site.

 

Head to the Ideal Client site to read more from Neil about how truly understanding a client's company and being picky about which brands we work with helps us do the best work of our lives at W+K.

sing it kitty!

Today, the nation woke up to the sweet sounds of 'We Built This City' from laptops, mobiles and headphones everywhere. That's because our new campaign for Three has launched, celebrating the nation's love of sharing silly stuff and its power to bring people together. 

The 60 second ad, which was directed by Traktor through Partizan and is set to Starship's 80s anthem 'We Built This City', makes its debut on TV today. It turns a shared moment between a young girl and her adorable pet kitten into an epic journey that sees the duo belt out a powerful rendition of the song whilst tearing up the cul-de-sac on a pink tricycle.

Because Three is the network built for the internet, wanted to salute what we love most about the web – the act of sharing silly stuff online – by allowing fans to create and star in their own version of the ad. 

We brought Stinkdigital's skills in to create a web-based app (hosted at www.singitkitty.com) which takes a still photograph of fans and through a bit of smart face-morphing technology, lets them star in their own  seamless and hilarious lip-synching version of the ad.

It's simple and completely addictive. You can use your phone, tablet, laptop…whatever floats your boat. 

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All you need to do is upload a picture of your mug, bring your mates…

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 …let the app work its magic…

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…and boom! You and your sidekicks are rockstars. 

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Now imagine the possibilities. Try it with your friends, your family, your boss (those are ours, by the way).

We want to see all your best performances, so bring your best game faces and share away! Be sure to join the fun online and share your videos via the #singitkitty tag.