Hanne talks TIE in The Guardian

A few months ago, W+K account director Hanne packed her bags and waved goodbye to her everyday Shoreditch surroundings to try something completely new – putting her skills to use with an NGO in Uganda for a few weeks, as part of the TIE programme. Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 15.12.03

Hanne has penned a story for The Guardian about her time there, and it's up on their site now. Read the whole piece over on The Guardian or right here on this very blog. 

In October I found myself in an unexpected place: rural Uganda. I am normally at an adverting agency in Shoreditch called Wieden + Kennedy.

The opportunity to go to Uganda arose at work. You could apply do a placement with an NGO, through a programme called the International Exchange (TIE). TIE pairs the expertise of communications professionals with the needs of non-profit/NGOs to create sustainable change – contributing skills that these organisations need but rarely have the resources to pay for.

To be considered you needed to articulate your motivations. It felt like the right time in my career to take a risk and, on a personal level, I wanted to gain a different perspective on what I do, on the world and on myself. 

Before I was fortunate enough to get picked, I knew that I wanted to go to Africa. It felt like the furthest removed from normal life and I knew it would challenge some of my preconceptions about the continent.

I looked into a few Africa-based projects, but The Kasiisi Projectstood out for its focus and what it wanted from me. They work to improve the poor educational opportunities available to children in the areas surrounding the Kibale National Forest – east Africa's largest primate habitat. Through a range of educational programmes in local schools, the project supports the community as well as instilling in it an understanding of the importance of its natural environment. The project helps children stay in school, opening up opportunities for them beyond subsistence farming.

kasisi education project founders in uganda 

Hanne Haugen with the members of the Kasiisi Project. Photograph: Hanne Haugen

Close to 100% of The Kasiisi Project's funding is from abroad but its long-term ambition is to become self-sustainable, with income-generating initiatives to support the school programmes they run. My brief was to create a business and communications strategy to this end. 

The assignment was in and of itself a meaty challenge. I'm involved in strategy in my role at work, but rarely tasked to do it on my own. Add to that a foreign culture, a complex issue and board of directors comprised of local academics, who had to vet and agree to anything I proposed. There was a lot to contend with.

Some of the biggest contrasts to my life back home were practical. Power and internet connections were, if not quite luxuries, then unreliable at best. Particularly during the rainy season power-outages were frequent. The heavy rain also meant that the roads – and I use the term loosely – were so bad that a journey of a few miles could easily take hours. I learned to work around, even embrace this. There's something wonderful about letting life happen and not try to control it all.

Professionally, what felt like the biggest revelation was the change in my perception of the advertising industry and the skills I've developed as a result of being a part of it.

I've always enjoyed working in advertising and taken pride in what I do, but to some extent I've been guilty of seeing the industry as a bubble, divorced from the real world. Most people are inherently distrustful of ' "big business'", and ofsee advertising agencies as their henchmen. There are also misconceptions around what an agency actually does – as the general public only see the output of a long process, involving months, sometimes years, of insights work, big strategic and creative debates, problem-solving, hard work, sweat and tears.

What I saw through my TIE placement is that the skills we develop from this process are hugely beneficial for an NGO. Budget and resource constraints require innovative approaches to solving problems. Complex problems require the ability to understand underlying issues, finding the pertinent insight and drilling down to a workable solution. And the crux of what we do – making sure a message is clearly articulated and heard by the right people – will have a big impact on an organisation's development, which in turn drives social change.

At the Kasiisi Project I was not met with scepticism. Rather, a new way of thinking was welcomed. There was no lack of understanding of the importance of communications and the need for a clear strategy – the problem was not having the resources to develop it. My experience from advertising gave me licence to present some challenging ideas to the board. The work I did gave them a clear idea how to move from being an NGO operating within a community, to being more of a community-based social enterprise.

Advertising's ability to help affect social change may become more explicit as time passes. The more people who benefit from an experience such as TIE, the more likely this is to happen.

By Hanne Haugen, account director, W+K London.

new work for Nestea and The Guardian

We've put out a bunch of new work recently. Here are some more examples.

We followed on from last year's 'Start Happy' new year campaign for The Guardian with a series of initiatives under the theme of 'head start'. Once again, we collaborated with designer Anthony Burrill on the graphics.

Head start

Win future

Results after first two weekends were promising: sales were ahead of target  and in a survey conducted of readers, campaign awareness was up from last year’s total.

We've just launched another phase in the "Start of Something Different' global campaign for iced tea drink brand Nestea. Here's the new TV spot:

And here's a short but entertaining film about how the ad was made:

And continuing the 'Start something different' theme for NESTEA online we have been asking fans to tell us what that something different is that they would like to start. Inspired by the responses, we have been working with Jeremyville to bring these starts to life on our NESTEA Facebook page each day throughout January.

Nestea facebook

Here's an explanatory video:


We shared some examples of this before. But they're lovely, so here are some more.

Start 1
Start 2
Start 3
Start 4

Start 5
Start 6
Start 7
Start 8

meanwhile, in a hammock, on Grand Cayman, someone is reading…

Books print

A few images from our campaign with The Guardian & The Observer for their Books Season.

Books site

Tube card



Inner sticker

Part of the season is the Book Swap initiative, which encourages people to leave recommended books for others to find, using these stickers.

Outer sticker


Ben T left Roald Dahl's autobiography for someone to find, apparently somewhere in the seafaring 16th century.
Flickr page

Many others left books and posted pics on Flickr to help others find them.
Eyre tweet

Lots of chat on Twitter…

Tweet 2
Tweet 3
Tweet 4

Wish I'd been in a position to find this one. A hammock on Grand Cayman with a copy of (the rather excellent) Poisonwood Bible, just waiting for someone. Nice.

We love the Guardian book season

Last weekend the Guardian and Observer launched their book season with a campaign created by us. And it's just everywhere…. 

On the tube:


The books don't bend, obviously, it's the panels that do.

Wrapping around the Guardian Review and Observer New Review:


On the masthead every day:


It's also on the radio with Bill Nighy and in the paper with many brilliant promotions. This week: a free John leCarre audio download every day, the demand for which gave AudioGo's server a little bit of exercise. Next week: CDs of all your favourite childhood stories and a celebration of Dickens' bicentenary; a bit of advertising for free there.

At the heart of the season is the big Book Swap in which 15,000 books have been released around the country for people to find, read, review and share again. We produced some bookplate stickers to stick in the participating books. If you didn't get yours in the paper you can download one from the website.

Inside bit.

Outside bit.

It has, as Ben Terrett would say, 'blown up the twitter'. Plenty of people taking part and tweeting where they've left their books. A sweet one here:

Thanks to whoever left Jane Eyre on the 38 bus. You probably wanted it to go to a sweet young lady, but I'll have to do. #guardianbookswap
And one that complements the work so OBVIOUSLY we'll share it:
Love the guardian books ads, beautifully bright. And I'm getting straight on t'internet to find out about #guardianbookswap

So, get involved at guardian.co.uk/bookswap or #guardianbookswap. Take a picture of your own book swap and post to the flickr page. Lots of people have:
And finally, it's even been reported on Russian news.

Lots more to come. Buy the Guardian and Observer this weekend (obviously) and for the next few weeks to find out what.


guardian’s ‘new band of the day’ gig

Wednesday night saw The Guardian's first ever 'New Band of the Day' gig at the Star of Kings. New Band of the Day is, as its name suggests, a daily column on guardian.co.uk/music which features a review of an up and coming band. The artists playing were Rumer, Summer Camp who recently curated an article for The Guide and Wretch 32. That's 3 and 2, not 32, just so you know.

Here's a picture of Rumer performing.


And Summer Camp.


A good fun night with the real star of the show clearly being the wonderful banner we created as part of the 'Music Loves Summer' season now running in the Guardian and Observer. The campaign launched May 13th, we talked about it here and continues for a few more months spanning many many different elements, including these.

No campaign would be complete without the obligatory beer mats after all. Note extremely strong art direction by Mr Ben Terrett here.

This weekend sees a series of brilliant features including the Music Power 100 list in Film & Music today, if you buy the paper tomorrow there is the chance to win 40 pairs of Glastonbury tickets and an exclusive interview with the Arctic Monkeys in the Observer on Sunday. But you knew that right? As you've seen these ads here…



Music Loves Summer


Probably the only thing that can make a summer's day better is music. As the Guardian put it this morning, "it's a truth well established by artists as different as George Gershwinand Sly Stone or Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and Olivia Newton John and John Travolta: music sounds better in the summer."


Today sees the start of our Music Loves Summer campaign for the Guardian and Observer. Over the next few months the Guardian are celebrating music with special guides, coverage of all the major festivals including groundbreaking digital features, classic rock photographs and a live version their New Band of the Day series. You can even win Glastonbury tickets.

Tomorrow there's an exclusive Lady Gaga interview – where she reveals why "pop culture is my religion".


We've worked with James Joyce to create a series of evocative graphic expressions of summer and music which we'll use in paper, digitally and at festivals throughout the summer. The first also being our badge for the series which is being used throughout the paper.


Find out more here and follow the series on Twitter with the hashtag #musiclovessummer

Client spotted in client area

Avid readers of Welcome To Optimism will know that we've been refurnishing our trendy East London offices.

One thing we've been doing is setting up client areas where teams can come together and work on a particular account. Katy, one of our clients from the Guardian and Observer, was in today and here is a picture of her enjoying our brand new Guardian and Observer area.


W+K diversifies into wallpaper design for SXSW

Guardian SXSW trade stand


Guardian wallpaper at the SXSW trade stand

This year the Guardian had a large presence at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. We helped turn their trade stand as a place to relax and with a cafe serving tea and scones and somewhere to charge your laptop.

Guardian SXSW trade stand


We also created these stickers with Andrew Bannacker who was the illustrator on the iPhone ad we made earlier in the year. Texas Monthly seemed to like them, which is nice because we wouldn't want to mess with Texas.


Phoographs kindly taken by Blech and E Smith

happiness, people, promotions

Some stuff we shared in our agency meeting this morning…

More of our Guardian 'Start Happy' work.

Start happy poster

Guardian page ads
Guardian covers Guardian site

People seem to be liking this stuff…

Start happy fridge
Start happy tweet

We heard from a few of our recent new joiners, who we hope have started happy:

New peeps

And we had some announcements about promotions. Helen Foulder and Penny Brough have taken over as joint heads of account management.

Helen and Penny
And Jon Tapper has been promoted to Director of Business Development, with responsibility for driving our efforts in areas beyond 'traditional' advertising. Additional responsibilities involve dressing like Don Draper and cultivating and maintaining the 'correct' amount of facial hair.
Welcome, congratulations and well done, all.