A Visit from W+K Tokyo

BlakeHarrop

This week we’ve been graced with the presence of Blake Harrop, the MD of our Japanese cousins W+K Tokyo. Accompanied by mountains of pizza and a presentation featuring heart-shaped watermelons, Blake spent Tuesday lunchtime enlightening us on life and work at the 40-strong Nakameguro office.

Speaking to the challenges faced by an independent, creatively-led agency in the Japanese advertising industry – a market driven by media reach and celebrity endorsement – Blake illustrated how W+K Tokyo have given their clients distinctive voices amidst highly traditional arenas. 

We caught up with him briefly afterwards.

How would you describe the culture of the W+K Tokyo office?

The culture is the thing that is most similar between the Tokyo & London W+K offices. In Tokyo the layout and design of the office is different, the client list is different, but the vibe you get from a group of people trying to create the best creative work of their lives is very similar to London. The smaller size of Tokyo makes it feel very tight-knit, like a family where everyone is the strange uncle or aunt.

What’s the secret to creating work that resonates universally whilst still respecting cultural distinctions?

I think it’s important to set out with that as your explicit intention. This transcends the brief – we’re always starting from a place of love and respect for Japanese culture, and always want to create the most interesting work. At the end of the day though in any culture, I think great work comes down to being honest, interesting and nice. The Nike Baseball spot we created last year was a good example of that.

Can you recommend a good book, blog or documentary for those keen to know more about the creative advertising industry in Japan?

For books, I’d recommend "Beauty and Sadness" by Yasunari Kawabata (won the Nobel prize in 1968) and for something more contemporary, “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami. For blogs, there aren’t many that cover the ad industry, but for creativity & culture Spoon & Tamago is great. 

As for documentaries, it’s well-known already, but for a good reason: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Really wonderful journey into the mind of the shokunin (craftsman).

The Future of Design – In Tweets

 

Last night The Event Space played host to The Future of Design, an open discussion with 6 designers. Alongside our very own Ben Terrett, Mark Holt, Stuart Watson (VentureThree), Marina Waller (Wolff Olins), Carl Burgess (More Soon) and Mills (ustwo™) all took to the stage. 

Click on the image below to see how the event played out in tweets! It was a fantastic night that raised as many questions as answers. Thanks to all who, came, saw, spoke and tweeted.

 

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 11.28.31

 

 

Culture Hack Day 2011 at W+K

Culture Hack Day is

a weekend for the arts, software and hardware hackers to get together and create exciting things.

It's been produced by The Royal Opera House, and as part of Wieden + Kennedy Inspire, W+K London are providing the event space, and some of our account people, creatives (and creative technologists) and planners have come along, too.

Here's a crowd gathering for the 'lightning talks' session in the afternoon. There's a good bunch of people talking.

Culture Hack Day 2011    

If you're reading this on Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th January 2011, it's happening right now. Keep an eye on on @culturehackday and #chd11 for updates and highlights, and the official photos.

Big thanks to Donna and Pete and Gav for helping sort out the building and IT for everyone – they've been working through the day to make sure everyone has a good day.

code play with stewdio

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New York who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio.

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New York who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio.

Donna writes:

Last week we were lucky enough to have the talented Stewart Smith in
to give an inspiring talk on code play. Stewart is an artist / programmer from New
York
who currently operates a consultancy in London called Stewdio. Stewdio approaches art and software through the lens of graphic design.


Stewart 

He has a real enthusiasm for playing with digital tools; not
just making things for clients, but following through on ideas that come out of
play and experimentation.

One project Stewart spoke about was Windmaker. This is an
ambient weather widget which applies the current wind conditions to (almost)
any Web site.

Picture 2

It uses United States ZIP code to grab local conditions from
the Yahoo! Weather RSS feed. It then breaks down a Web site into individual pieces
such as text blocks and images. Finally, WindMaker sets the pieces in motion
according to the strength of the wind.

See it in action here:

WindMaker from Stewdio on Vimeo.

http://stewdio.org/windmaker/

Stewart 2 

Take a look at some of his work on his website below:

http://stewdio.org/

And watch windmaker in action on wklondon.com here.

Brilliant stuff.

Thanks for coming in, Stewart.

Guardian open platform at W+K

David Fisher and Matt Gilbert of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications.

David Fisher and Matt Gilbert of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications.

David and matt

David Fisher (Head of Brand Partnerships) and Matt Gilbert (Head of Business Development) of The Guardian visited Wieden + Kennedy today to talk about Open Platform, which makes Guardian content and resources available to developers to allow them to create tools and applications. It's a fascinating initiative that aligns commercial strategy with editorial vision. While competitors are putting up walls, The Guardian is opening its doors. As editor Alan Rusbridger said in his Hugh Cudlipp Lecture:

Many of the Guardian's most interesting experiments at the moment lie
in this area of combining what we know, or believe, or think, or have
found out, with the experience, range, opinions, expertise and passions
of the people who read us, or visit us or want to participate rather
than passively receive.

So, watch this space for news of tools and apps developed by Wieden + Kennedy using Guardian content, for ourselves and for our clients.

Delighted by Dominic Harris

Platformer Teemu writes:

Last week W+K London got a chance to meet the charming Dominic Harris, the founder and
creative director of Cinimod Studio.

CinimodStudio_DominicHarris_0114EDIT3lowres_thumb
This London-based, cross-discipline
practice specializing in the fusion of architecture and lighting design. It
has gained wide publicity with their latest works, such as the Snog store
concepts in Soho and Westfields along with the interactive light installations
commissioned by the Itsu chain.

2
In a brief and intense one-hour presentation
Dominic managed to talk about building UFOs, re-creating wonderlands, his
creative passion for butterflies and a whole bunch of LED inspired things. 

3

Wieden+Kennedy London highly recommends a visit into http://www.cinimodstudio.com/ to check
out Cinimod’s impressive resume.