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):
4cl Finlandia Lime
Dash of fresh lime juice
Method: Flame and build over crushed ice
Garnish: Cucumber stalk and lime wedge
Fin and Tonic
4cl Finlandia Grapefruit
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?
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!
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:
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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
Tuesday. Happy Easter.
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 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!"
W+K creative director Chris Groom prepares to toast the win.