wieden+kennedy’s experience of google glass


Fun with tech.

Jim Hunt writes:

Google Glass. It's a bit odd. 

With everyone staring and pointing at the metal and plastic unibrow it's hard not to be self conscious. It being very orange probably didn't help. Not exactly inconspicuous. And it gets hot. Like mega hot if it's doing any sort of processing at all, which also runs the battery down in minutes. And it doesn't really do anything useful just now. And it's madly expensive.

But it's easy to get very excited about how its clunky star trek style, overheating and general lack of utility will disappear in future iterations leaving a slick, smart, and capable device with a number potential uses only limited only by the ingenuity of app creators.

Having tried Glass out I understand how incredible a tool it could be for situations where remote assistance is important. Glass included in a medical kit to enable a specialist to assist a doctor or untrained bystander in an emergency. Like an upside-down 'Mechanical Turk', the device providing smarts (from another person or artificial intelligence) leading a real person who brings the dexterity and understanding of the environment that's so hard to recreate in a robot. Telepresence is a powerful tool with many applications.

And wearing Glass for just a couple of hours I'm now also sure society will quickly become accustomed to devices like this, with understood rules on when it's appropriate to leave them in your pocket, even if just they make the average person initially uncomfortable today.

But trying Glass brought to mind these wider questions about wearables and portable computing that I found super interesting. I don't have answers, so if you've any thoughts please do comment below.

Remembering vs. what actually happened.

The first thing many people asked was if it was recording. Did you see this?


Your experience of an event as it happens and how you remember that same event are different. Really different. Dan Ariely put it well when he said "One of the ways time works in our favour is to help us forget or misremember the past in a way that makes us feel better about ourselves."

Sensors like Glass record everything exactly as it happened. But your memories are the main moments sequenced into a coherent little story. This story might not be quite true, events might not even be in the right order, stuff is missed out, and importance is weighted towards the strongest (happiest, most painful, most exhilarating) moment and how you were feeling at the end.

What happens to someone with fast, easy and 'always-on' access to what actually occurred in its entire unedited, unsympathetic detail? How often is your memory a more pleasing version of the real event? Would sticking with memory instead of the recorded reality leave you more or less happy in life?

Interacting with wearables.

Glass is bit of a contradiction. Very private with a screen only you can see. But Glass has the least private and subtle methods of control as it currently is.

"OK Glass". Everyone in the room knows what you're searching for. Reach up to your head, make twitches and winks or other obvious tics and your friends are bound to see. Using a touchscreen might seem antisocial but it wins hands down for keeping things private. 

Iris tracking might make these interactions more private and robust, or some completely different way to interact with the device will solve this problem. But the current ones don't work well in public situations. 

(I once had a lunch with one of the Google team that was developing voice recognition and automated speech. He was adamant that the reason people didn't use voice to control devices more was all down to it being imperfect. He suggested that if you made the algorithms accurate then everyone would use it. I didn't agree then, and still don't now. For me the lack of privacy when using voice as a control method is a major issue. But then I am rather shy.) 


Flow - the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task – is considered a strong contributor to creativity. I can't think of a better tool to bring yourself out of flow than a set of glasses pushing the latest social media update straight into your eyes.

"Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking of it," wrote Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow. An omnipresent screen is making you consider that information as it arises. With that always going on how can anyone correctly prioritise their focus?

Are devices like this are actually making us more productive in the most valuable way? Sure, it'll help if you've a long stream of little things you have to do. In this case the timely reminders can certainly be useful. But shouldn't computing be helping by doing these small tasks for us, rather than controlling our day to make sure they get done?  

This would free all of us up to do what people still do best: creative and conceptual thought, and problem solving. Surely that should be the ambition of technology and innovation, rather than just a more complex way to keep yet another list.

Book crit image-01
After three years, four months, two weeks and six days, Hollie Newton is hanging up her sequinned book crit gloves.

It's truly a sad day.

But don't worry, there's a bronze lining.

Instead of lovely Hollie, you will be getting us — David and Ollie.

We hereby promise to do our best to fill her sparkly boots and jazzy frocks.

Just don't expect gardening advice.

So, if you want a book crit, drop us an e-mail.

It's david.goss@wk.com and ollie.wolf@wk.com.

And we'll be seeing you and your ideas soon.

Try not to bring us a book of just ads.

We like to see other stuff too.

Bring us tapestries if you're into tapestries.

Angry letters to flatmates and noisy neighbours are always fun to read.

Even funny text messages.

Whatever floats your boat.

Whatever you're passionate about.

It matters.

behold the plucky little wonder pony


Laughing babies, photobombing squirrels and cat videos – just some of the seemingly frivolous content we like to post on Facebook, share on Twitter or email to family and friends. Just to make them smile. Or cry (with laughter, of course). And when you think about it like that, this stuff isn’t silly at all. Because it’s sharing this silly stuff with each other on a daily basis that connects us to one another. Wieden + Kennedy has embraced this trend in our latest work for our clients, mobile network Three. Because when it comes to silly stuff, they know it matters. That's why they do everything they can to help you live up to their brand line, ‘Keep on internetting’.

But rather than just play back the crazy things online that we all like to share, we wanted actually to contribute to it. We wanted to celebrate the seemingly silly stuff and also provide the means for people to mess with it and create their own little pieces of joy that they can share.

Shot against the dramatic backdrop of the Shetland Islands, the 60” spot follows the story of a stocky little pony. But this is no ordinary Shetland pony. With the scrape of a hoof, and a flick of his Tina Turner-esque mane, he effortlessly moonwalks along to the sound of ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac.


And what could be more silly than a moonwalking Shetland pony? Only the ability to customise him, make him your own, and then share him.

So we created The Pony Mixer, a dancing-pony-remixing tool where you can make our pony shake it to anything from Boyband to Bollywood. Unleash your creation on the world via Facebook or Twitter and you might be hailed an internetting hero in one of many 30” TV spots.


Try it out here, or watch the clip below for a snippet of what you can do.


The TV was directed by the wonderful Dougal Wilson from Blink Productions. MPC burned the candle from both ends to bring the little fella to life, and Wave added the finishing touch of brilliance. The mixer films were down to the hilarious Tom Kingsley and a band of dedicated heroes at Munky.

(Update: see below for initial response.)


‘quite good in bits’: a review of 2012 at wieden + kennedy London

The year 2012 was quite good in bits for Wieden + Kennedy London. Come with us now, as we go back in time to review some of the stuff that happened to us, with us and by us in the last twelve months. You may meet polydactyl cats, you may fall down a rabbit-hole to play with a Nike-wearing Sonic the Hedgehog, and you might be enticed into The Great Unknown. You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight
and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination.
Next stop…the Wieden+Kennedy zone!

Nike – Make it Count


January 2012 marked the beginning of a very important year
for sport in the UK. Not just for top athletes but for everyone.
This was the year to step up and Make it Count. To celebrate
we launched a campaign that saw top UK athletes make their
pledges for the forthcoming year, whilst inspiring people to be
part of the movement and make their own pledges under the
hashtag #makeitcount.

In March, Campaign reported from the “Socialympics” panel
debate on the London 2012 Olympics, which it described as
“the biggest social media event ever”.

The article said: “Adidas is currently getting around 0.4% of
all conversations around the Olympics associated with its
brand. Its non-sponsor rival, Nike, is dominating Olympics
brand buzz with 7.7%. A lot of this can be attributed to Nike’s
#makeitcount campaign – a runaway social media success… The campaign resonates with sports fans by associating Nike
with training for the Olympics and cleverly skirts Olympic
ambush marketing rules.”

Goes to show, if you don’t have a huge marketing budget, you
need to #makeitcount.

Lurpak Lightest


Early in 2012 we launched Lurpak Lightest, Lurpak’s biggest
launch in 10 years. It was an important initiative, allowing
Lurpak to compete with other low fat spreads on the market
by offering health-conscious consumers a new low fat product
that doesn’t compromise on taste.

We did everything from naming the product and designing
the packaging to creating the launch campaign, which was
described by The Drum as “Fantastic… marvelous…
brave… mesmeric”.

The TV ad was ranked third best of the year by Campaign and the poster number four.
There were also some press ads:

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 12.25.53

Honda – The Great Unknown

“Significant new Honda TV work from Wieden + Kennedy
London is typically an anticipated event, and the brand’s new
“Spark” commercial does not disappoint. The beautifully
filmed spot—narrated by the longtime voice of Honda Europe,
Garrison Keillor—tracks the journey of an idea from the
darkness of inception to its dramatic full realization.”

Damon Collins wrote of it in Campaign:

“My favourite ad right now is “The Great Unknown” from
Honda… Why do I like it so much? Is it because it’s beautifully
produced, with stunning visual effects and immaculate sound
design? (Have a listen – that’s what awards sound like.) Or is it
because, as so often with the campaign, the thinking behind
the words is so alluring?”

The spot was 2012's most popular with UK YouTube viewers, racking up over 3.8 million hits.

Cravendale – The Milk Matters

Megalomaniac polydactyl cat Bertrum Thumbcat – star of ITV viewers’ ad
of the year 2011 – returned in 2012 with a plan.

A big, evil plan to steal our Cravendale milk: he was brainwashing
innocent milkmen to work as his milk-pilfering henchmen. Yes!

But we’re on to his scheme, and Cravendale sent a message to Betrum and his gang: NOT ON OUR WATCH, PUSSIES!

You can also follow Bertrum on Facebook and Twitter.

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 11.11.38
And your cat can join his Thumbcat army.

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 11.09.56

Three – built for the internet

Our 2012 work for Three, the UK’s fastest-growing network,
highlighted the fact that it’s the network built for the mobile internet.

Three 1
Three 2
Three 3

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 12.26.24

Maximus – Rise and Conquer!

We pitched and won the Maximus vodka business in February.
Our first work recently launched in the brand’s home market
of Poland and will roll out across other parts of Europe later
this year.

This is a world in which a generation of young men is inheriting
a legacy of economic worry and doubt. It’s a world in which
traditional masculine values are under threat. This has been
described as a ‘he-cession’. (Really, it has.) It’s difficult for men
to remain confident or upbeat and this is having a direct effect
on their most precious gift, their manliness. Tests have shown
that testosterone levels are in general decline.

Our campaign aims to inspire today’s generation of young
men to feel empowered to be manly and take on the world.
Maximus Vodka embodies the qualities which make men, men
and is a celebratory toast for all young aspiring men who dare
to reclaim their manliness. Rise and conquer!

Maximus 1
Maximus 2
Maximus 3

Nike – My Time is Now

Our innovative ‘My Time Is Now’ global campaign for Nike celebrated the ‘next wave’ of young footballers, from
young kids to elite athletes looking to make an impact on
the world stage.

Launched online first, the campaign was driven by a variety of
different interactions and experiences. By following ‘tunnels’
hidden in the film, fans could do everything from playing a
Nike-wearing version of Sonic the Hedeghog, to booking a
footballer’s haircut, to – of course – buying Nike kit.

Sports Industry news reported: “Nike football has revealed
that the ‘My Time Is Now’ campaign has been named the
brand’s most successful football campaign ever. Featuring
global icons including Cristiano Ronaldo, the ‘My Time is Now’
film has received over 39m views (30m flat film views & 9m
interactive film views across all platforms) and is the fastest
growing Nike film ever.

Consumer engagement has reached record levels for the brand, with fans reportedly spending an average of 6mins
18secs viewing the film and the “hidden tunnel” content that
rewards consumers who engage with the film.

It was the world's most viewed ad on Youtube in 2012. 

Stride Mintacular

We picked up the Stride gum business from Kraft at the end
of 2011. Our first work broke in the US this year and, timed to
precede the launch of iPhone 5, we launched the Mintacular
variant with a spoof of Apple’s product launches.

In the run-up to the launch we posted a mystery billboard in
Apple style, featuring nothing but a date. Two weeks later we
revealed Stride Mintacular – “Chewing redefined. Again.”

Stride poster

We also launched a viral film that spoofs Apple’s product
launch videos, featuring gum engineers talking with awe
and wonder about the amazing new Mintacular, “the
most advanced celebrity-endorsed chewing product
we’ve ever launched.”


“A great parody and hilarious,” said the New York Times.


W+K won the Tesco business in autumn 2012 following
a competitive pitch. The scope of our assignment covers
all aspects of the Tesco business, including food, general
merchandise, banking, delivery services and clothing. Our
first task was to promote Tesco’s products and services in
the run-up to Christmas.

Tesco was looking for a single thought to focus all their
activity and communications. One that could help them to
connect with customers, and to unify all their 300,000 staff.
The idea we came up with was, ‘We make what matters
better, together’.

This helps to give new meaning and focus to the familiar Tesco
line ‘Every little helps’. As the country’s largest retailer, Tesco is
in a position to understand what really matters to people, and
to help make that better.

The Christmas campaign highlighted the little moments that
go to make Christmas special, and showed how Tesco could
help make them possible. This was a fully integrated campaign,
with the story played out on TV, in print, in store and online.

FUZE Tea – when this meets that

Coca-Cola awarded us the Fuze Tea business without a pitch
early in 2012. The new campaign, now rolling out across 27
markets, is based on the thought that everything great in
the universe is the result of ‘when this meets that’. Simple.
From when Big met Bang, to when Tea met Fruit, everything
great is always a combination of things. Fuze Tea is just
another example of this.

MoreAboutAdvertising said of the work: “Wieden + Kennedy
London has produced some brilliant ads in the years since the
celebrated Hall of Fame favourite for Honda Grrr announced a
major new force in agency-land but, arguably, nothing quite to
match this new mini-masterpiece, ‘WhenThis MeetsThat’.

Nando's – Find Yourself

In partnership with our new client Nando’s, we launched ‘Find Yourself,’ a campaign taking people on a voyage of
self-discovery through the world of PERi-PERi chicken.

The idea attributes different levels of the PERi-PERi spectrum to different character traits.

Nando's 1
Nando's 2

‘Find Yourself’ demonstrates that, no matter what type of person you
are, there’s a spice for you at Nando’s.

On Twitter, Nando’s predicted people's spice levels based on their
past Tweets. We also created a Facebook app, so the curious could
answer situation-based questions to ascertain their spice orientation.

Nando's 3

On Spotify, ads offered up a different spice for
listeners, based on the music they’re into. So if you appreciate distorted power chords
marinated in barbaric bass, you’ll like your chicken Extra Hot. Whereas if
you’d rather something a little more alternative, Drum ‘n’ Yodel perhaps,
then Mango and Lime’s for you.






Tactical press extended the idea by tying in 'Find Yourself' with current events.

Nando's 4

If you haven't tried it yet, click here to find out which PERi-PERi spice reflects your personality.

Lactofree – Listen up, hedgehogs!

In February 2012, we launched the new Lactofree campaign.
The star of the ad was a hedgehog (Madison), because
hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. The spot showed our lady
hedgehog wandering around her local supermarket and
daydreaming about all the wonderful dairy moments she
misses out on- creamy coffees in Paris, buttery crumpets
round a campfire, cheesy pizza on a romantic date.

The ad explains that lots of us suffer from Lactose intolerance,
but that we can still enjoy dairy. Lactose is the sugar in dairy,
which is what causes digestive issues for most people.
Lactofree make real dairy products- milks, spreads, cheeses
ice cream, yogurts etc, that have the lactose taken out. So
with Lactofree, the dairy kingdom can once more be yours.

Finally, a couple of campaigns from over there that did rather well over here this year.

P&G – Proud Sponsor of Mums

Created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland for P&G's sponsorship of London 2012 to honour the amazing mothers behind Olympic
athletes, “Best Job” shows the hard work all mums do to
raise their children—a lifetime of chauffeuring their children
about, washing their clothes, providing meals on the run and
supporting them at practices and competitions—all to see
their children succeed. The hardest job in the world, is the
best job in the world.

Among many honours, this spot won the 2012 Emmy for outstanding commercial.

Southern Comfort – Whatever's Comfortable

The 'Whatever's Comfortable' campaign, created by W+K New York, launched in the UK this autumn and immediately made an impact.

James Brown wrote in Sabotage Times: "So have you seen it yet? The advert some are the calling the best ever made? Certainly the funniest around right now. Not only is the new Southern Comfort commercial the best
on television right now it also applies an aspect of feminism for barrel-chested, beer-bellied sex gods.


So, that was 2012 for us. How was it for you?

can YouTube hate be good?

Screen Shot 2012-07-31 at 09.01.48

Look under most YouTube videos, and you'll see comments.
And while a few may be nice, there is a reason why people refer to YouTube as an "engine of hate".

But today, Wieden + Kennedy Portland's tech posse unveiled an experimental art piece called #commenthaiku. #Commenthaiku grabs sentences out of the comments under your favorite YouTube videos and turns them into haiku. It's 'Satori-made-simple': Try it here.

Hattips to Grant Thomas + Nilesh Ashra (backend), Josh Perez + Steven Skoczen (frontend), Josh Boston (design), AND – as with most interactive things – the heap of other people who helped hammer it into shape and make it fun – and had to train a computer on what makes for a decent poem. Seriously. But you be the judge!

#commenthaiku joins W+K'er Jarod Higgins's recent "Ode to the Underbelly" (a book of poems handbuilt from YouTube comments) in the W+K fight to turn hate into art! And of course, there was that Honda campaign we did about the power of hate being used for good…

Give #commenthaiku a try!

Screen Shot 2012-07-31 at 09.01.00

the billionaire’s nine point plan for personal success


Currently reading "What they teach you at Harvard Business School" by Philip Delves Broughton because it's much easier and quicker than actually doing a Harvard MBA. Interested to learn that if you get in to Harvard it's actually quite hard to fail an MBA. Also quite liked this simple nine point philosophy for personal success, as laid out by visiting speaker/billionaire Meg Whitman, then CEO of eBay. (Now in the same role at HP.)

1. Do something you enjoy, because if you don't enjoy it you're unlikely to be much good at it.

2. Deliver the results whatever you're doing

3. Codify the lessons learned – what worked, what didn't and why.

4. Be patient and stick around good people and good things.

5. Build a team and share credit

6. Be fun to work with.

7. When there's something you don't know or don't understand – ask

8. Don't take yourself too seriously

9. Never, ever compromise your integrity

She had one further point: "Remember this. And this is something I have not been particularly good at. You probably won't look back and wish that you'd worked harder… In the end your family and friends are the most important thing."

The author then wonders if the speaker regretted her choices and whether, given the option, she would give up her fortune in return for getting back the years spent working. "What then? Almost everyone listening to her (at Harvard) was contemplating a future of ninety-hour work weeks, personal sacrifice in return for professional success. Could Whitman have done more to change their minds?"

Anyway, still working hard. Still haven't cracked that first billion.

we’re Apple and we’re on a mission from God

Apple welcome

Apparently this is the welcome message sent by Apple to all new staff. (No doubt someone will now point out that this is a well-known fake.) Anyway, it's interesting. I don't know whether to feel inspired by its appeal to ambition or to be cynical about the way it sneaks in the expectation that the Apple employee will work weekends. I do like the way it suggests to all employees that they're part of something bigger, which is what job satisfaction is all about.