fresh talent, fresh perspective

Ben Polkinghorne and Scott Kelly are our newest creative team, joining us all the way from New Zealand. Having now spent four weeks in London and two weeks with us, we asked them to share their thoughts so far. Here goes:

Perspective is pretty interesting.

Most people – including us – think New Zealand is at the bottom of the world.

Which is only the case because maps show north as ‘up’.

Which only happened because a long time ago Europeans designed the maps and decided to put themselves up there.

Which means this map is as correct as the one we’re all used to:

Map

Ask Jeeves if you don’t believe us.

Turning the world upside down for a fresh perspective is one thing, but closer to or indeed, inside of home the humble power plug is also blowing our minds. They’re literally upside down.

Or are they?

Plug

Truth be told, there are many differences between our two great countries.

We’ve listed a few of our favourites below, keep in mind while this stuff may seem normal to you; it ranges from interesting to truly bizarre for us.

-       You can drink on the street.

-       There’s no point running to catch a bus.

-       The money is made out of paper. Paper!

-       Traffic lights flash before turning green.

-       Squirrels run freely.

-       Amazing things happen with food, everywhere.

-       It’s your responsibility to make sure the bus is going the right way.

-       Chips are called ‘crisps’.

-       …and Queen size beds don’t exist, which is fairly ironic.

Moving to the other side of the world definitely changes your perspective; we’d highly recommend it. But moving to the other side of the world and getting to work at a place like W+K is a no brainer.

There’s only one downside – it’s hard to know where to find the best burrito.

That aside, we’ve been lucky to land here and are looking forward to doing the very best work of our lives, with some of the nicest and smartest people we’ve ever met.

People who just might feel compelled to swing past our desk, with a fresh perspective on finding the best burrito. 

W+K and Rovio launch some Angry Birds

Wieden and Kennedy have teamed up with Rovio to launch a multi-channel campaign for the sequel of one of the biggest mobile gaming hits to date, Angry Birds. The launch of Angry Birds 2 kicked off on the 30th July with a 60” online film, putting the smug pigs and their feisty feathered enemies back in players’ hands.

A big, fun, over-the-top live action film, directed by François Rousselet through Riff Raff leads the campaign, promoting the game’s release and helping to recruit players.

Set on Piggy Island, the film transports viewers to a luxurious and delightfully surreal paradise, where happy pigs frolic in the sunshine and swim in crystal clear waters. But Piggy Island is soon revealed to be the setting of an attack by a furious squad of Angry Birds, who have been plotting to take their revenge on their arch enemy, the sneaky, flightless egg-thieving creatures who share the island with them. The film imagines a real-world adaptation of the game’s narrative, weaving fantastic imagery into the familiar world of Angry Birds.

The film was shot in the lush real-life surroundings of Pig Island, also known as the “Home of the Swimming Pigs” or Big Major Cay, in the Bahamas, known for its unique inhabitants: a group of swimming wild pigs.

Cinematographer Martin Ruhe, known for his work on feature films such as ‘The American’ and ‘Harry Brown,’ lent the film an epic, cinematic look while post-production was completed by the visual wizards at The Mill.

Ahead of the launch, co-ordinated activity across social media helped to build anticipation, rallying fans to join the fun and take revenge on the smug, thieving pigs of Piggy Island.

On Instagram, a “smug pigs of Instagram”  (insert link) account (a play on the famously gauche ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ account) gives fans a taste of what life is like for the lucky pigs living the good life on Piggy Island.

Activity on Angry Birds’ social channels features posters in the visual style of propaganda with a playful Angry Birds twist, counting down to the launch and helping to recruit players, as well as a bespoke poster commissioned by prominent online artist Paul Shipper.

Post-launch there will be supporting social content to help sustain interest in the campaign including Birds vs. Pigs Spotify playlists, re-skinning of the Angry Birds Tumblr,  ‘Wanted Pigs’ posters and ‘Got Eggs?’ social posts.

Iain Tait, ECD at Wieden+Kennedy London, commented: “It's not every day you get to work with one of the world's most iconic entertainment brands. And are asked to do something totally bonkers to launch an amazing sequel. To say that we loved working on this launch would be a massive understatement”

Jussi Mäkinen, VP of Marketing at Rovio, commented: “Getting our fans to experience Piggy Island like never before is what the sequel to the first mobile blockbuster game is all about and what drove the creative vision for our launch campaign”

pigs might fly

We don't know about you, but we've clocked quite a few hours over the years firing flightless birds at green piggies, in an attempt to conquer the addictive and massively popular mobile game that is Angry Birds. So imagine our joy when Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, asked us to help promote the release of the game's long-anticipated sequel and recruit players. We've certainly done our research! 

W+K - AB2 - Taking of Piggy Island 2

Today, the smug pigs and their feisty feathered enemies are back in players’ hands. Angry Birds 2 is here! And it's bigger, badder and birdier. Our launch campaign is led by a 60”, fun, over-the-top live action film, directed by François Rousselet through Riff Raff.

 

Set on Piggy Island, the film transports viewers to a luxurious and delightfully surreal paradise, where happy pigs frolic in the sunshine and swim in crystal clear waters. But Piggy Island is soon revealed to be the setting of an attack by a furious squad of Angry Birds, who have been plotting to take their revenge on their arch enemy, the sneaky, flightless egg-thieving creatures who share the island with them.

  W+K - AB2 - Taking of Piggy Island 3

Shot in the lush real-life surroundings of Pig Island, also known as the “Home of the Swimming Pigs” or Big Major Cay, in the Bahamas, the film imagines a real-world adaptation of the game’s narrative, weaving fantastic imagery into the familiar world of Angry Birds. 

W+K - AB2 - Taking of Piggy Island 8

We teamed up with cinematographer Martin Ruhe, known for his work on feature films such as ‘The American’ and ‘Harry Brown’, who lent the film an epic, cinematic look while post-production was completed by the visual wizards at The Mill. 

W+K - AB2 - Taking of Piggy Island 6

On Instagram, a “smug pigs of Instagram” account (a play on the famously gauche ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ account) gives fans a taste of what life is like for the lucky pigs living the good life on Piggy Island. Activity on Angry Birds’ social channels features posters in the visual style of propaganda with a playful Angry Birds twist, counting down to the launch and helping to recruit players, as well as a bespoke poster commissioned by prominent online artist Paul Shipper.

There's loads more fun stuff to come from this campaign. Keep your eyes peeled! 

walking in stupid: a week of work experience at W+K

Summer means school holidays. School holidays mean work experience. And work experience means an extra-enthusiastic, extra-curious extra pair of hands around the office. We had the pleasure of welcoming one such young man last week, Ché, and giving him a week long peek into agency life. He wrote us an account of his time at W+K, and we think we didn't embarrass ourselves too much, so here it is:

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[photo courtesy of Paul Barbera]

Strange and unfamiliar are words which cannot describe enough the extent to which W+K was a new environment to me. Prints on ceilings. Statues made of awards. Rooms made to look like old libraries, mental hospital facilities and diners. Irreverent is one word that perhaps best sums up the overall vibe as I walked in on Monday morning, with a feeling of acute unknowing as to what the week would bring. Who are these people walking around purposefully with a dazzling array of Nike trainers on, carrying MacBook Airs everywhere? And are they really ‘walking in stupid everyday’ as the man with a blender for a head in reception implores them to?

I can safely now answer these questions and more, because my week was better than these first impressions could have ever suggested. W+K London holds the Nike advertising account, hence the trainers, and the reasons behind the purposeful MacBook walking became clearer each day. Dynamism is one main one, as I understood when I got my own laptop, and myself became a purposeful-MacBook-walking Wiedener (life goal reached). Everything felt like it was always moving, whether it was other people whom I had displaced from their seats (sorry Tom and Indiana :/) or the work itself, which the Finish team truly included me in. I really have to thank everyone on the Finish team, especially my supervisors Frankie and Holly, whose enthusiasm for their work made me delighted to find out more about dishwashers – something I never thought I’d say – and who were more than forthcoming with information on W+K and the advertising industry as a whole.

My encounters with everyone left me with a much greater understanding of the unique space W+K inhabits; as an independent company extremely appreciative of the efforts of its staff, all of whom say they love working there. By the end of the week, I believed them, because my work experience was helpful in making me understand how work can be done differently, yet still to the highest standard and with a level of attention to detail that continually astounded me.

Even though it flew by like a lightning bolt, the week taught me about the basic rules of work, as W+K is a place that doesn’t seem too fixated on rules, and so just lets the work just get done. But also, I learned that work can be fun. Busy, stressful and tiring, but still fun. And if there is one tip I can offer the next lucky hopefuls who are at Wieden+Kennedy for a week or longer, it is this: don’t wear Adidas. But seriously, that not what matters most – just remember to ‘walk in stupid’ every day. 

we won Nurofen!

NEUROFEN_BRAND_LOGO_RGB

We have some very exciting news to round off this week: we've welcomed another new brand to the W+K London family, winning the global Nurofen account from RB after a competitive pitch. 

Back in May last year, RB awarded us the global Finish account, and we're delighted to have the opportunity to work on another one of RB's brilliant, leading brands.

Roberto Funari, Executive Vice President global category development at RB, says ‘We are delighted that Wieden+Kennedy London will be partnering with us on this key brand. The quality of the strategic and creative thinking we have seen throughout the review has been superb.”

A big warm welcome to Nurofen. Now, we're off to celebrate!

Taxi Fabric: design can take you places

A couple of years ago, W+K designer Sanket launched a project close to his heart and one he's been working on in his spare time. Taxi Fabric sees him bringing emerging Mumbai design talent to the public, by upholstering the interiors of the city's taxis with their designs.

TaxiFabric_YouandIbyPranitaKocharekar_1

Taxi Fabric started off as a simple blog, and today it is a platform for designers in Mumbai to showcase their work in a unique way. Through this project, Sanket is hoping to raise awareness in India of the impact design can have on people's lives. 

Working with a small team, Sanket has fitted five taxis with five designers' work so far. They are currently working with designers sponsoring their own taxis, but are looking to develop the project further and give even more of the city's taxis a striking makeover. Sanket has self-funded this project so far but after investing a lot in research and sampling with suppliers, and in order to help emerging designers showcase their work, he has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the necessary funds to support this growth.

If you'd like to get involved, please head over to his Kickstarter page where all sorts of great rewards are up for grabs including the chance to design your own Taxi Fabric. 

TaxiFabric_JungleBookbyTasneemAmiruddin_2

We're also pleased to say that Sanket is the winner of this month's Spore Fund grant, which sees W+K awarding a small grant to someone in the agency for a creative project unrelated to work, based on a proposal and budget plan. Congratulations Sanket! 

Stay tuned for more updates on Sanket's lovely project.

TaxiFabric_CuttingbyGauravOgale_3

 

D&AD New Blood work shop: How to get into a creative department without getting arrested

Ah, D&AD New Blood season. When Shoreditch fills with bright young things showing off their wares and trying everything and anything to get a job. 

As any creative knows, getting that all-important first foot in the door is bloody difficult. That’s why Jason and Joris, who look after our placement scheme, thought they’d do a talk that shows students that there are other ways to grab the attention of prospective employers. Thus “How to get into a creative department without getting arrested” was born.

It all kicked off with a chat from Iain Tait about advertising’s constant struggle to create the “world’s first”, no matter how ridiculous that world’s first is. He said that instead of looking at the newest tech, we should be looking a little further back at more mainstream tech and using it in smarter ways. 

Which (sort of) neatly segued into Jason and Joris’ talk. They showed smart student projects that had caught their eye, and then talked about other clever ways that people had gotten their portfolios in front of prospective employers. 

Saving the best until last, they finished with urban legends of people going to extreme lengths to land a job. Examples of ‘what not to do’ included everything from dogs testicles being posted to us here at Wieden+Kennedy (that one’s true – please don’t try it), to chickens being let loose in an office with CVs attached to their necks (again, also true) and even a team who had an agency’s logo tattooed on themselves (100% definitely true)*.

* If you’re reading this and thinking “oooh, that was me”, what were you thinking?! 

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Such was the excitement that we forgot to take our own photo.

Be Brainwashed!

A few weeks ago, our friends from the super local East End Film Festival got in touch to chat about a collaboration to coincide with the festival. We're big fans of the EEFF and their dedication to helping develop new filmmaking talent and give people in our local area access to a rich cultural programme. So naturally, we jumped at the chance. 

We put our thinking caps on and, flicking through the programme, discovered director-in-residence Noaz Desche's 'DEPROGRAMME' series of films about brainwashing and cult behaviour. It seemed like the perfect fit. After all, we in the advertising industry are accused of brainwashing people all the time, so why not use it to help spread the word about a great cultural event?

The result of our collaboration is a window installation in our Hanbury Street window space, where we regularly host self-initiated projects and collaborations with interesting creative people and companies. 

Brainwash

The idea of the window is simple: show people how easy it is to influence their thoughts and how they see the world. Quite literally. Using an optical illusion technique called 'after image,' we found a way to make sure visitors to the window would take an EEFF-themed impression away with them. 

Strong, propaganda-themed visuals on the window grab the attention of passers by and invite them to approach the window. When they put their eyes against the goggles and activate the installation by placing their hands on the sensors, a short abstract film plays. During the video, a bright camera flash magically leaves the EEFF's logo temporarily imprinted on their vision, whenever they close their eyes for a couple of minutes after the film ends. 

Brainwash1

It's perfectly safe – trust us, we've tried it many, many times. But we do hope our experiment will make people think twice about how easily they accept the information that is fed to them on a daily basis. And we also think it's pretty cool.

If you're in the area, come and see how weak your mind is.

Brainwash2

You can visit the festival until 12th July – more information here: www.eastendfilmfestival.com.

Big thanks to our everyone at East End Film Festival and to our guinea pigs (we mean, the team) here at W+K. 

 

New Friends in the L Gallery

The L Gallery has been inhabited by some freakish but friendly felt figures made by the inimitable Felt Mistress, Louise Evans. The UK based stitcher and prolific tea drinker creates a range of one-off bespoke creatures with her partner-in-crime, illustrator Jonathan Edwards.
 
Originally trained in fashion design and millinery and with a background in bespoke dress design, Louise brings her whole sewing kit and tricks of the trade to the world of Character Design.
 
With the likes of Coca-Cola, Nickelodeon, Selfridges and Stylist Magazine amongst FM's collaborations, and counting Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals and Pete Fowler of Monsterism as special furry friends, Felt Mistress is the ultimate in creature couture. 

So let's give the newest members of the W+K fam a warm and heart-felt welcome! 

The Twins 

Frib and Drib (the Prib twins) are never apart. They appear like clockwork every winter and work their magic on the landscape. They enjoy placing frosted mittens on gateposts and shaking a snowy branch just as you're walking below it.

Felt_mistress_2

Trunk & Loggins

Trunk and Loggins are the two main members of the woodland quiz team, The Tree of Knowledge. Winters are spent revising obscure trivia and testing each other's knowledge for future quiz tournaments. They are based in the countryside surrounding Cardiff as they like to be close to the Only Connect studio. In their spare time they perform in the UK's only Dr Seuss-themed Add N to X tribute band "Add Ham to Eggs".

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Anton Trench

Owner of Lemon Goon Records. Signed (amongst others) : Hot Mortar, Pale Nancy, Bag For Life and Ian's Dream. If you've heard of them then chances are he doesn't like them.

He's eager  to sign leading lights of Hoxton's "Bin-core" scene – Fronto Bonto and Ponto and is in the process of re-issuing The Grimble Twins long deleted experimental album "Vienetta Sunrise”.

 

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Follow on Twitter: @mcfelty

Instagram: @feltmistress 

Blog: Felt Mistress

Photo Book 'Creature Couture' is available to purchase via Blank Slate Books.