Brown-Forman has appointed Wieden+Kennedy London as the global lead creative agency for its Chambord brand, encompassing above the line, digital and social communications.

Chambord joins a collection of other Brown-Forman brands on the agency’s roster, including Finlandia Vodka, Southern Comfort and Maximus Vodka. The appointment builds on the successful relationship W+K has built with Brown-Forman, established with the win of the Maximus Vodka business in 2012 and developed through a series of bold campaigns across the agency’s Brown-Forman portfolio.

Chambord is a premium black raspberry liqueur crafted in France and presented in an iconic orb-shaped bottle. This summer, W+K will launch a fully integrated brand campaign that will initially launch in the UK in July before rolling out in subsequent markets including the USA, Australia and Germany.

Alex Sneen, Global Marketing Director – Vodka and Chambord, Brown – Forman, said: “We have developed a strong working relationship with Wieden+Kennedy through their work on Maximus and Finlandia Vodka and are now very pleased to be extending this to Chambord. Wieden+Kennedy are known for challenging clients with brave, fresh thinking, so we are looking forward to seeing them bring a step change to yet another of our iconic brands.”

Wieden+Kennedy ECD Tony Davidson comments, “It is always nice when a strong relationship leads to other opportunities. Having worked with Brown-Forman on Maximus and Finlandia Vodka and Southern Comfort, we are very excited about the creative opportunity on Chambord.”

A Few Transatlantic Accolades

We’re honoured to have had work recognised in two awards ceremonies over the past week. 

In London, Honda Hands and Three The Pony were included in Creative Review’s 2014 Annual.


For a closer look at Creative Review’s 2014 Annual, check it out here.

Further afield, at the ANDYs in New York, Lurpak Weave Your Magic received two golds for Direction and Cinematography, and Hands took home a silver for Animation and a bronze for Automotive.

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The ANDY awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of andyawards' Instragram.

How advertising really works


‘Advertising troubles both sociologists and financial directors: the former because they think it works, the latter because they think it does not.’ (Bullmore 1999.)

I promised a while back to return to Byron Sharp’s thought-provoking book ‘How Brands Grow’. It’s taken me some time to get round to it, but for those of you who've always wanted to know how advertising really works’ here’s some of what Sharp says in the chapter on that subject. 

He writes that recent discoveries in neuroscience and psychology indicate that advertising works by creating and refreshing memories, and that advertising influences non-conscious, emotional decision-making. This contradicts the traditional ad effectiveness model, which assumes people remember messages and make rational decisions based on persuasive communications. (Much advertising pre-testing is based on that traditional model. People are asked to examine consciously their responses to rationally persuasive messages, so they respond rationally – "That claim wouldn't persuade me to consider that product". Even asking people to try to express how something makes them feel causes 'cognitive bias', a tendency towards cognitive, conscious responses.)

Sharp looks first at the sales response to brand advertising. He argues that brand advertising does influence sales but that its effects are hard to identify because

a) few companies do enough advertising, of a good enough standard, to increase market share. So their advertising is only able to prevent competitors from stealing share. It causes sales even if a brand’s sales figures are flat, because it prevents decline in sales. If all brands in a sector advertise to increase share, they can't all be successful. But if one brand opts out, it is likely to lose share.*

b) the effect of today’s advertising is spread out over a long time, so spend doesn’t result in sudden dramatic sales gains. This is particularly true for large brands, where current ad spend is small in comparison to historical marketing, physical presence and established saliency in people’s minds.

Most advertising affects people who won’t buy the brand for weeks (or months or years, if it’s a high ticket item like a car or a computer). So a change in weight of advertising doesn’t produce an easily-seen change in short-term sales.

Sharp’s findings, based on “reliable methodologies, such as experiments” are:

advertising generates sales (Good news for advertising practitioners.)

some ad copy is much more effective than others; some hardly works at all (No surprise there, or success would be simply a matter of outspending your competitors)

creative copy without a persuasive message (rational reason to buy)  can still be very sales effective

media strategy that reaches more people is more effective than reaching fewer people more often; continuous advertising is more effective than intermittent bursts, because it counteracts memory decay.

He goes on, “As people screen out so much advertising, the challenge is to get past the brain’s screening mechanisms and generate that little emotional reaction in the direction of acceptance: ‘I will pay attention to this’.  Therefore the primary task of advertising agencies is to generate ideas that viewers will notice and and will be willing to process over and over. This process must be brand-centric; it must refresh the memory structures that relate to the brand. This is a difficult task, which is why most advertising fails.”

This seems to be a scientist’s way of saying what we know to be true from experience: work that is original and relevant is effective. It was perhaps best expressed by Howard Luck Gossage in the ‘60s."The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad."  Our job is to make things that are more interesting and engaging than all the other distractions and entertainments that compete for people’s attention.

This approach is different from "traditional" wisdom about advertising, as put forward famously by Rosser Reeves in his theory of the 'Unique Selling Proposition' – that a brand must if possible differentiate itself through tangible product attributes and communicate those attributes positively. This view is still highly influential with many advertisers today.

Sharp continues, “We know that very little thinking, if any, can be described as purely rational. Emotion is a primary source of human motivation and exerts substantial influence on attention memory and behaviour… People watch movies, listen to music and read books largely for an emotional ride. They enjoy gaining the same from advertising and when they get it they pay more attention.”

Or, as we say here at W+K, Move me, dude.

Here’s our founder Dan Wieden on the topic:

“It’s been the same since people gathered around the campfire to hear a story. Are you a good storyteller or a bad storyteller? Make me laugh, make me cry, make me do something. Whether you do it on the Internet or on a balloon floating above me, I don’t care. Just move me, dude.”

More from Sharp: “Many companies are trapped in the intentions / preference paradigm. (The belief that persuasive advertising that influences stated brand preference is more likely to affect sales.) They brief their agencies and evaluate their work in line with this model.  Consequently, they produce advertising filled with persuasive arguments (often about trivial benefits) that are rejected, misunderstood or ignored by viewers. They also produce advertising that fails to refresh or build appropriate memory structures because management’s attention is on the selling message. Such advertising fails to communicate consistently the distinctive aspects of the brand.”

It’s not that easy to remember examples of campaigns like this. Because, duh, they are unmemorable. But one that comes to mind from my past experience is Citroen. This is a company that has resisted attempts to build consistent associations and emotional attributes, and seeks to distance itself from the brand heritage that does persist as a result of provenance and product design. (French and quirky.)

So they produce generic car ads like these, which describe features like ‘the most sensational panoramic windscreen in its class’ and ‘CO2 emissions from only 99 grammes per kilometer’. Wow, I've been dreaming of owning a car with just that level of CO2 emissions.

Sharp:  “Advertising works largely by refreshing memory structures; occasionally it also builds memory structures and creates a preference or intention to purchase. Advertising maintains and builds brand salience via creative publicity. Brands don’t need to worry about having a persuasive message, even when they have one, the message needs to be embedded within a framework of brand links and cues, salience and long-term distinctiveness.”

To contrast with Citroen, an example of a brand that does as Sharp suggests might be Andrex, which has been a leader in the toilet paper category since the early ‘60s. The Andrex puppy is an instantly recognisable symbol of the brand’s softness and strength. Commercials often show the puppy running off with the roll and extending it to great length – emphasising that it goes a long way.

These associations and memories, evoked and reinforced over 40-odd years, make it easier for people to remember Andrex and what it stands for (soft, strong and long). The message content is pretty much generic to toilet paper but Andrex has been highly successful in sales for many years.  When I see Andrex on the shelf I notice it and I remember it’s the one with the playful puppy. The infamous ‘scrunch or fold’ campaign of last year, which broke with Andrex's familiar approach, provoked a negative reaction for several reasons (and it now seems to have been removed from YouTube) but even that campaign was not so grievously misguided as to remove the puppy altogether.

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The moral seems to be that you abandon your long-established brand associations at your peril, particularly if you replace them with an attempt to talk to people about how they wipe their arses.

So, how does advertising *really* work?

According to Sharp's research, to make your advertising effective, follow these guidelines:

– reach as many potential buyers as possible

– advertise continuously

– appeal to the emotions – be entertaining and interesting, so people don't ignore you

– use distinctive and familiar brand assets that build and refresh memories and associations

– the inclusion of rationally persuasive facts won't necessarily affect sales. If you have a piece of information that is genuinely persuasive, then say it, so long as it does not interfere with achieving the previous objectives.

Or, as we say at Wieden+Kennedy, move me, dude.

*See also: How Advertising Works: What Do We Really Know? Demetrios Vakratsas; Tim Ambler. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 63, No. 1. (Jan., 1999). This is somewhat dry and academic but worth reading if the topic interests you. You can find it here.

Lurpak Cook’s Range comes to Waterloo

A couple of weeks ago, we launched the new Lurpak 'Cook's Range' campaign, which rallies ambitious home cooks to venture into bold new territory in the kitchen. The story continues today with the launch of the experiental campaign at London's Waterloo station, which runs until 26th April. 


The campaign integrates the epic HD advertising screen at Waterloo with an interactive stand, where three food ambassadors including Lily Vanilli, Tom Sellers and Valentine Warner are aiming to inspire visitors to embark on their own food adventures.


Over the next couple of days, the screen will stream live content captured on the food stand, as the Cook's Range ambassadors whip up inticing treats using the product range and to inspire food adventurers, including cakes, lamb, steak and omlettes. If you're catching a train from Waterloo or find yourself at South Bank, stop by the stand in the main concourse and check out what's cooking. 

The campaign was brought to life with the help of BD Network, Carat, Posterscope, PS Live, Grand Visual, Liveposter, JCD and Outside Line, and will subsequently roll out at other stations across the country. 


meet our new creative team, Gustavo and Barnaby

Please welcome the latest creative team to join our ranks, Gustavo Kopit and Barnaby Blackburn.
[That's Barn on the left, Gus on the right]
They've come to us from leafy Regents Park (aka RKCR/Y&R), where they were behind some impressive work. If, like us, you were glued to the screen during the Sochi Winter Olympics, you'll know their stuff – they created the dramatic winter world surrounding the BBC's coverage, which included writing a poem for Charles Dance's voiceover. Remember the Hibernot campaign, that charming ode to our grey and pleasant land which bravely didn't feature any Land Rover vehicles? That was them too. 
The pair first met on the Watford ad course before joining RKCR/Y&R. Gustavo is Brazilian, which means he'll be answering a lot of questions about what time the World Cup matches actually start. Barnaby lives next door to our MD with another W+Ker (clue – it's one of these guys and you'll be pleased to know his tekkers have taken a turn for the better), so we're sure he can expect a few questions himself. Outside of adland, Gustavo is into developing iOS games and Barnaby makes music, so look out for some exciting stuff from them both soon. 
We don’t have any Royal Parks nearby, but we do have some brilliant clients, our own padded cell and the Golden Heart, so we think they'll be happy here. Welcome, boys! 

win every time with LUCKY JUICE!

Hello gamblers! It's time to get your fix.
Our new LUCKY JUICE bar is NOW OPEN!
We've installed a giant fruit machine in our window space that lets you gamble for juice.
For the next month, Lucky Juice will be giving you 'sexy fresh life changing juice' on Hanbury Street.
It's £3 A PLAY (so you don't need to be a high roller), and you WIN EVERY TIME.
But like all good fruities, it's a gamble what you get…
It's simple: Cash in, watch the ingredients line up and DING-DING-DING! Its your juice hit for the day.
Ali Baba Juice + Matcha of Peckham fame are powering the machine, so all the juice is fresh, healthy and 100% delicious. The fruity visuals were designed by illustrator Sam Coldy, the films and photography are courtesy of Oskar Proctor, the sweet sound design by Wave and the animations were the handiwork of Hans Lo. Big up to the W+K Lucky Juice crew of Laura Barker, Toby Treyer-Evans and Laurie Howell for giving us a healthy antidote to all that Easter chocolate. 
Come on down to 16 Hanbury Street and take a spin, and spread the word on Twitter and Instgram: @wkluckyjuice #wkluckyjuice
Here's what W+K creatives and window curators Toby & Laurie had to say about the whole thing, "Round here, just like gambling, buying a juice can cost you your life’s savings. So we wanted to make the addiction healthy by creating a fruit machine that, for a few quid, makes getting seriously good juice a big game of chance – pushing people’s taste buds and giving them something to talk about. Our pals Lady Luck and Ali Baba Juice +Matcha couldn’t have been better companions…"
And here's a sweet little bit from Chris Abitbol and Sienna Murdoch, the brains behind Ali Baba Juice: “We're so stoked to be collaborating with W+K as we share a vision of fun and flavourful juice vibes – not just health, cleansing and alkalise – yadda yadda. The idea of fruity gambling paired with Sam's rad illustrations totally hit the nail on the head."

risk everything

Nike celebrated the launch of the new England shirt in spectacular style by showing what two of England’s star players are really made of, revealing the individual daring attributes and fearless mentality that makes up each of their games. 


A huge street art installation has appeared on London’s Southbank, and features murals of Arsenal star Jack Wilshere and Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney proudly wearing the new England shirt. Viewed from one angle, the players can be seen wearing the new England home and away shirts. But viewed from another, passers-by are served up a dramatic representation of the risk-taking game that lives inside of them. The game that we see them deliver every week for their clubs, in the toughest league in the world.

Rooney is depicted as England’s heartbeat and Talisman. When he trusts his instincts and attempts the unthinkable, he is unstoppable. Jack Wilshere is famed for his creative, pinball passing game, always daring to play the final killer ball. Each player’s unique, daring style of play is brought to life using striking visual metaphors and bold illustration. 


This is just the start of a campaign celebrating the risk that is in the England players’ DNA. Over the coming weeks, Nike’s goal is to inspire the players to unleash their fearless games in the new shirt, and to deliver the kind of daring, phenomenal football we all know they’re capable of in Brazil this summer. Daring is in their DNA. When they unleash it, anything can happen.

Nike launched the first part of its 2014 football #riskeverything campaign recently with a film created by W+K Portland, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Wayne Rooney. The film shows the pressure felt by some of the world’s greatest players as they prepare to play on the world’s biggest stage.

Risk Everything.

our W+K journey to WE OWN THE NIGHT

On 10th May, London’s Victoria Park will host an exclusive 10K run, WE OWN THE NIGHT. It's an electrifying night-time run through the city, seeing 10,000 girls taking part with Nike in a memorable race experience full of music, lights and surprises. 

We’ve been rallying our crew here at W+K, hosting our very own run club on a Wednesday evening to get everyone prepared for the race. We have never-run-before-newbies to seasoned pros taking part. That's what's exciting about this race, it's so far from the boring 10ks your dad might have run, it's designed specially for women to make it a race like no other. From fashion designers to pop stars getting involved, this is the race that reinvents what running means today. This is a race designed to start a movement of runners on the streets of London.

Fashion designer Holly Fulton has designed the race pack and t-shirt – something you'll definitely want to wear again after the race.


We’re also lusting after the winners' medal too, a specially designed necklace by Alex Monroe. Only available for those who finish the run, it's a complete reinvention of the traditional finisher token.


Once you sign up for the race, Nike offer free training to help you get race ready. From run clubs to Buckingham Palace, yoga on the roof of Shoredtich House and High Intensity Training in the Oval Space, the experience is anything but traditional. We've been to a few sessions, and can vouch that they HURT.


So whether it’s your first 10k, or you are seeking a new personal best, get involved here.

What are you waiting for? Sign up now and COME RUN WITH US…