What’s the difference between a barman and a mixologist?

Last Friday afternoon we were lucky enough to have a visit from our Finlandia Global Brand Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen. He took a break from training London bartenders, advising the Finlandia account team on seasonal serves and entertaining the Finnish Embassy to teach us W+Kers a thing or two about mixing drinks.

He started out by explaining the 4 key elements to a perfect cocktail: something sweet, something sour, a spirit and a mixer, before we were let loose to try it ourselves on the DIY bar.



We were then taught how to make a wood chip smoked bloody mary, a flaming Finlandia bottle centrepiece and to saber a bottle of champagne – definitely an afternoon to remember.



As well as being the purest vodka in the world, the Finlandia range encompasses flavoured vodkas that perfectly lend themselves to mixing. We tried a few of Pekka's delicious concoctions that use them, including the Helsinki Mule and the Fin and Tonic. Here are a couple of Pekka's recipes so you can try them yourselves (no saber necessary):

Helsinki Mule

4cl Finlandia Lime

Dash of fresh lime juice

Ginger beer

Glass: Highball

Method: Flame and build over crushed ice

Garnish: Cucumber stalk and lime wedge


Fin and Tonic

4cl Finlandia Grapefruit

Tonic Water

Glass: Highball

Method: Pour over ice cubes and stir

Garnish: Square of fresh grapefruit

Thank you Pekka for coming in! It only seems right to end this post with his favourite joke – What’s the difference between a barman and a mixologist? 


A mixologist always wears a silly hat.

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!




2013 so far at W+K London

Easter weekend is a natural point at which
to scoff buns and chocolate, yes, but also to pause and consider how the year
2013 is going for us so far at Wieden + Kennedy London.

Winning new business was a key goal for us
in 2012. We succeeded in bringing in a number of new clients, including
Schweppes, Finlandia, Maximus, Southern Comfort, FUZE tea and arguably the win
of the year, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco. We landed the Tesco account in
and at that point we shut up shop for new business so as to focus on
existing clients and make sure we were not so busy that the quality of our work

Christmas 2012 and the first few months of
2013 have seen the fruits of that focus, with new work breaking for Honda,
Lurpak, Tesco, Three, Visit Wales and more.  Here are a few recent highlights at W+K London:

– We were delighted that Tesco was able to
report its best Christmas sales results for three years, which led to a 3% rise
in share price.
Our Tesco Christmas campaign was described by Retail Week as
‘top ranking’ of all supermarkets’ efforts
in terms of popularity on social
media; they credited it with giving Tesco a ‘significant boost’. The results
were certainly an encouraging start to our work with Tesco.

– In February the One Club teamed up with the American International Auto Show in Detroit to name its list
of the ten greatest car ads of the last 25 years. Our work for Honda took the
first and second places. And we helped Honda to launch the new Civic across
Europe with a campaign that transcended language, despite/because of being
based around a palindrome.


– Our new work for Visit Wales launched and
seemed to go down well. It was described in Campaign as, “A great piece of thinking… clever stuff…charming… well executed…”

As Britain grumbled its way through recession and winter, we launched a
new campaign for Lurpak celebrating the power of “good, proper food” to put
fire in the nation’s bellies.

This work also went down well at Campaign. “This, surely is why we are all in the
business. A brilliant idea when it launched and one that just gets better with
time and development. This latest execution is beautifully crafted, with the
same perfect tone of voice we’ve come to expect from Wieden + Kennedy.”

AdWeek described it as “visually astonishing… another sensory masterpiece”.


Another execution from the Lurpak campaign.

Around the same time, one of our earlier
Lurpak posters was inducted into the Outdoor Hall of Fame. (It’s a bit like the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but with posters.)

– We created a psychedelically colourful
London Transport campaign for Lactofree
to encourage grumpy commuters to say
yes to breakfast.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 17.23.40

– Our
plucky little wonder pony launched for Three at the beginning of March and quickly
moon-walked his way to the status of full-on internet sensation.

Gazillions of
views, umpteen shares, a million remixes, Fleetwood Mac back in the charts –
Socks the pony smashed Twitter, topped the world’s viral video charts and
appeared on national news from the USA to Japan. The Mail wrote: As the government's
austerity programme rolls on, and the UK tightens its belt, Britain is a nation
in need of something to smile about. And it seems a Shetland pony moon-walking
to the strains of an '80s pop tune could be just the thing. An advert for
mobile internet firm 3, which sees a pony tapping its hooves to Everywhere by
Fleetwood Mac, has been lauded as 'the best thing ever' by fans on Twitter.

Moreaboutadvertising.com asked “Is W+K London’s ‘little pony’ ad for Three
the most successful UK campaign ever?”

went on to say: Agency Wieden+Kennedy London is sometimes criticised for trying to
be original and different with
everything (often a rather painstaking process). But who else would be so
accepts criticism, blushes collectively at praise*

– Our print campaign for Tesco setting out their
response to the horsemeat scandal was described as “poetry” by the Standard and
compared to a Shakespearean sonnet by the BBC
, who said the copy had "an incantatory quality, in the way it repeats certain
phrases, trying to cast a spell on the reader with words

– We helped launch a new initiative for
Tesco – the Price Promise
. Here’s how it works: when you shop at Tesco, online
or in store, they will compare your basket against the prices at Asda,
Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. If your shopping would have been cheaper there,
Tesco will give you a voucher for the difference for up to £10. The Price
Promise campaign has rolled out nationally on TV, posters, press, online and in-store. Price Promise has been described as a potential ‘game changer’ by Retail Week.

The art direction on the print work, meanwhile, has been described as "Exquisite. Crafted. Considered. Clever"


And in between making adverts, we survived
explosions in the street outside our office, attended the Vodka Cup in Finland,
reported back from TED and SXSW, picked up a couple of gold arrows at the
British Telly Advertising Awards, got an ‘excellent’ school report from
Campaign, hired some great new people, and created an online Easter egg hunt
for virtual eggs with real prizes.

No wonder the first quarter of the year
seems to have passed so quickly – we’ve been busy.

2013 is shaping up to be another tough year
for the advertising industry. I’m not particularly positive about prospects
for the business in general (though UK ad spend is forecast by some experts to
grow, I don’t necessarily see this translating into increased agency revenue),
or the UK economy – forecasts seem to be generally gloomy – but, based on the
first quarter of the year, with more hard work, continued focus on our people
and the quality of what we do, and the support of some amazing clients, I am
very optimistic, with custard on, about the outlook for Wieden + Kennedy London.


OK, back to the buns and choccy eggs. Till
Happy Easter.

W+K at the Vodka Cup, Finland – Part 1

Intrepid W+K explorers Paulo Salomao, Matt Owen, Scott Dungate & Kevin Chesters ventured boldly to Northern Lapland last week for the XVth Finlandia Vodka World Cup.


After a full day of meetings on Monday the team was whisked up to Kittila above the Artic Circle for the annual vodka contest that began on Tuesday evening. The team was wrapped up rather warm but the temperatures had luckily risen to a balmy -12c by the time we arrived.


The contest, created and hosted by Finlandia, brings together the top barmen of the world to compete in finding the best aperitif and long drink made with Finlandia vodka.


The contest was fast and furious, and for those who spoke no English possibly a little confusing too! But everyone seemed pretty happy and the contest itself was pretty awesome.


I'll post more soon about what happened during the day before the contest began but as this was Finland it inevitably involved taking your clothes off. Here is a little teaser featuring the team, and our much-loved client Alex:


Oh, and this happened…


and Paulo was pretty happy about it



In the next instalment…..Ice Hotels….snowshoe racing…..and Kev Chesters gets appointed as a judge at the vodka cup.

Brown-Forman appoints W+K as lead agency for Finlandia Vodka

Brown-Forman has confirmed the appointment of Wieden + Kennedy as its new lead agency for the Finlandia vodka brand for greater Europe and Africa. This region accounts for more than 70% of the brand’s volume.

This follows our successful pitch for the Maximus Vodka business back in February, which resulted in us working on the new brand positioning and integrated campaign platform for the brand.

On Finlandia we will work alongside Story Worldwide, the digital comms planning roster agency, to develop a fully integrated campaign that will initially launch in Poland and then roll out across the complete region.

The pitch-winning work aims to build upon the Finnish vodka’s premium credentials and redefine themselves so as to give Brown – Forman a flexible and exciting platform on which to build the brand.

Neil Punwani, SVP, Global Managing Director Vodkas, Brown – Forman said: “We have developed a strong working relationship with Wieden + Kennedy through their work on Maximus Vodka. We are pleased to be extending this to our global flagship vodka brand, Finlandia, across our most important markets"

Neil Christie, Managing Director of Wieden + Kennedy London commented: "Finlandia is a fascinating brand with a great heritage and huge potential. We're excited to be working on its Greater Europe and Africa relaunch with the team at Brown Forman. Kippis!"

Photo (7)
W+K creative director Chris Groom prepares to toast the win.