Forever Curious, brilliantly bonkers as always

Last Friday morning a group of Forever Curious kids from Newport primary school visited W+K. They were here to take part in the pilot workshop for the third instalment of Forever Curious – ‘My Creative Future’.

The idea behind My Creative Future is to get everyone thinking about their creative past, present and most importantly future. These thoughts are then manifested in vibrantly decorated cards.

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Our volunteers eagerly awaited the children’s arrival and when they appeared; both sides were greeted with pleased enthusiastic faces. We gathered in a circle and remembered the fun we had at the workshops and exhibition in the summer.

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After some warm up games the kids and their buddies gathered around a table that was full of various postcards. Everyone had to pick three postcards from the selection on the table. One that in some way made them think of their past, present and future.

These postcards were then used to inspire the making of artwork at three different creative stations on larger cards.  The stations were themed, Black and White, Fluorescent and Primary Colours.

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After much cutting, sticking, painting and drawing some dazzling work was made. The themes were individual and varied; from “clumsiness” to “tidal waves” from their past.  One child showed how music made them feel inspired in their present. Their chosen future professions inspired some of the creative future cards – doctors, policeman and teachers to name a few while others showed how they wanted to continue learning creativity from role models like mothers in their future.

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After everyone had a chance to say a word about their cards we sat in a circle and said our heartfelt goodbyes.  We all had a magnificent morning and the volunteers from the agency were blown away as always, by the creativity of the children.

quizzes and cakes

Last night our very own W+Ker's Jen, Dom and Silvan hosted a cracking general knowledge quiz in the basement of the agency. To coincide with the quiz we also hosted a bake sale to raise money in aid of St Joseph's Hospice. We've been raising money for St Joseph's since one of our beloved WK-ers, Cheryl Rogers, passed away there in January last year. 
 
Apparently we have quite a number of talented bakers amongst us here as a plethora of sweet and savoury treats adorned the kitchen.
 
But the best part was that we managed to raise over £300 for St Joseph's Hospice last night. Well done everyone.
 
Take a peak at some of the culinary delights that were on offer.
 
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Fresh new faces

We've welcomed a host of lovely new people into the W+K family recently; it's probably about time we introduced them.

Chris.chapman

This is Chris Chapman. He joins our design team from Grey where he worked on Volvo and Lacoste. Chris has some great fun facts. He once ate 43 Weetabix (and 2 litres of milk) in a talent completion. He came third. He has a genetic condition which makes him resistant to many common illnesses and fortifies his bones against injury. He has recently finished writing 'Sci-fi-orator'; a science-fiction book, which he describes as "not really science fiction". 

Patti.doxey

A big welcome to Patti Doxey. She has joined us from JWT and is now a member of our lovely PA department.  Patti grew up on the Chatsworth estate where the duchess taught her to drink tea and she recently got married to a chef, clever girl. Congrats Patti!

Manjinder.bal (1)

Manjinder Bal joins our Finance department ,working in accounts payable. In his previous life, before joining the media industry, he dabbled in real estate property management and also spent a number of years in the world of importing and exporting of ladies' shoes​. 

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Joining our HR team as lead HR manager is the lovely Amy Dunlop. After seven years at Hall & Partners, Amy decided to give good old W+K a shot. Something you should know about Amy: David Blaine once took a bit of a shine to her on a flight back from New York and left his seat in upper class to join her in economy where he fed her bread rolls. Strange!
 
Adrian.guerin
 
Our Studio welcomes a new (old) face in the form of Adrian Guerin. Adrian freelanced with us back in 2013 and loved it so much he's back for good. Before he returned to us he travelled to Australia overland via Turkey, Iran and India, where he got to dabble in photography, his other passion. Glad to have you back, Adrian!
 
To be continued…
 

giving something back

Last week we were honoured to be invited by St Joseph's Hospice to go and present a big cheque to them, have a tour round and meet some of the team there. 
 
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We've been raising money for St Joseph's since one of our beloved WK-ers, Cheryl Rogers, passed away there in January last year.  It's an incredible place and as usual the team visiting left feeling incredibly humble and moved by the experience.
 
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Anita showed us round as not all of us had visited before, and explained a bit about the Hospice's history. The level of care they give their patients both at home and within the hospital walls is genuinely amazing. They put a huge amount of thought and effort into helping people live their lives to the full to the very end (that's their mission statement) and it was incredibly special to learn a bit more about the work they do and how the money we've raised has helped them. Thanks everyone at St Joseph's for showing us round (and some delicious cake)

 

how do you build a winning ad campaign?

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Seeing as pretty much everything else seems to be happening online these days, why shouldn't we shift the classic panel debate format into a virtual space as well?

Our head of planning, Beth, was invited to take part in a Guardian live webchat about advertising, which is like a very clever and polite version of the debates that play out in a YouTube video's comment section.

The topic today was "How to build a winning ad campaign." Want to know the secret formula? So do we. But for now, you can see the discussion (in reverse order) in the comments section below this article on the Guardian's site, and see what Beth and some of her peers have to say on the topic, including Gerry Human, chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather London and Trevor Robinson OBE, executive creative director and founder, Quiet Storm. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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W+K does Cannes: women, maybe-murderers and golden halos

Read on for a Friday update from W+Ker Andy on his latest educational adventures in Cannes:

Today I saw Colleen, one of of our global ECDs, take part in a panel discussion around the subject of 'gender diversity' and what it's like to be a woman in advertising. Hearing them speak it seemed that, luckily, we appear to be an industry that is actually pretty good in this area comparatively, even though we all need to do more to level the playing field. Whilst some of the panel talked about certain issues that they've faced along the way, on the whole things seemed pretty positive. Now, as I am a man, clearly this is not something I have faced and so maybe I am not best qualified to comment, but equally I am thankful for working in an agency where I think gender quality isn't really an issue, and one that is actively trying to make sure it isn't one. What I do know is that when I go to our head of department meetings, I am the only man in the room. That must be a good sign. 

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I also went a to talk given by the three women (see what I did there?) behind the 'podcast phenomenon' Serial. It was brilliant. I was left in awe of the creative thinking, skill and vision behind something that is, in their own words, '10 hours of journalism about the American justice system.' They spoke about the difficulty of real-time production and wanting to make it feel real in every way, which is why they left in all the bits around presenter Sarah Koenig's uncertainty about what was happening and how she felt day to day.
 
When it comes to the art of 'storytelling,' their POV was clear: 'we should not be running away from details and moments in stories that reflect the way life is actually led. Don't mimc it, or create it in the way you think it should be told. Telling stories in a real way is artistry and what makes it emotionally meaningful.' I think this might be one of the best things I've heard all week, and it reminded me of how we often say to prospective clients in new business meetings that at W+K, we don't really do the 'advertising bullshit thing,' but that we always look for human, brand and product truths and then try to articulate them in new, creative and engaging ways. Try
 
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Then to wrap up the week of talks, I saw the 'Cannes debate' with Martin Sorrell and Al Gore. Martin was as smooth as you would expect any £50M+-a-year CEO to be. Al was as smooth as you would expect any ex– Vice President, friend of Steve Jobs and Google and Apple board member to be.
 
In fact, they were so smooth, so powerful and so rich they actually glowed gold on stage. A true wonder to behold:
 
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