2013 so far at W+K London

Easter weekend is a natural point at which
to scoff buns and chocolate, yes, but also to pause and consider how the year
2013 is going for us so far at Wieden + Kennedy London.

Winning new business was a key goal for us
in 2012. We succeeded in bringing in a number of new clients, including
Schweppes, Finlandia, Maximus, Southern Comfort, FUZE tea and arguably the win
of the year, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco. We landed the Tesco account in
and at that point we shut up shop for new business so as to focus on
existing clients and make sure we were not so busy that the quality of our work

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:

– We were delighted that Tesco was able to
report its best Christmas sales results for three years, which led to a 3% rise
in share price.
Our Tesco Christmas campaign was described by Retail Week as
‘top ranking’ of all supermarkets’ efforts
in terms of popularity on social
media; they credited it with giving Tesco a ‘significant boost’. The results
were certainly an encouraging start to our work with Tesco.

– In February the One Club teamed up with the American International Auto Show in Detroit to name its list
of the ten greatest car ads of the last 25 years. Our work for Honda took the
first and second places. And we helped Honda to launch the new Civic across
Europe with a campaign that transcended language, despite/because of being
based around a palindrome.


– Our new work for Visit Wales launched and
seemed to go down well. It was described in Campaign as, “A great piece of thinking… clever stuff…charming… well executed…”

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.”

AdWeek described it as “visually astonishing… another sensory masterpiece”.


Another execution from the Lurpak campaign.

Around the same time, one of our earlier
Lurpak posters was inducted into the Outdoor Hall of Fame. (It’s a bit like the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but with posters.)

– We created a psychedelically colourful
London Transport campaign for Lactofree
to encourage grumpy commuters to say
yes to breakfast.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 17.23.40

– Our
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.

Gazillions of
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.

Moreaboutadvertising.com asked “Is W+K London’s ‘little pony’ ad for Three
the most successful UK campaign ever?”

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.

The art direction on the print work, meanwhile, has been described as "Exquisite. Crafted. Considered. Clever"


And in between making adverts, we survived
explosions in the street outside our office, attended the Vodka Cup in Finland,
reported back from TED and SXSW, picked up a couple of gold arrows at the
British Telly Advertising Awards, got an ‘excellent’ school report from
Campaign, hired some great new people, and created an online Easter egg hunt
for virtual eggs with real prizes.

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
Happy Easter.

In the name of Saint David

Men running against horses, tea on a steam train, a minute Italian village and a big slab of cheese.

Stand by for the latest Visit Wales ad. Which appropriately aired on St. David's day, no less.

This, the second of three spots in the campaign, celebrates more examples of the lesser-exposed sides to Wales.



Rhod Gilbert explains funny business about our campaign for Wales

The BBC show Funny Business, screened last week, examines how comedians can make large sums of money from corporate gigs and endorsements. Basically, the show aimed to make comics feel guilty for selling out to The Man. Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, who featured in our campaign for Visit Wales, was interviewed for the programme. In
the clip below he speaks about the experience. Rhod explains that, though he'd be uncomfortable with many ad campaigns, he was happy in this instance to help us bring tourists to his homeland.

Wieden & Kennedy presents ‘This Is Wales’

This week our lovely new spot for Visit Wales airs on telly. We're chuffed to show off the country in all its glory, especially as this time we've taken cues from the Welsh themselves. We sought out three couples to talk about their emotional attachment to a certain part of their country and brought their favourite places to life through a fabulously filmic ad. 

We go beyond the epic landscapes and stunning vistas you'd expect to see in marketing for Wales by unveiling an equally beautiful but less expected side to the country. We see Dafydd and Rhiannon at the haunted South Stack Lighthouse lauding the wild nature of this Northern spot in Anglesey; Rachel and Craig talk animatedly about the international art exhibited on their doorstep at the National Museumin Cardiff; Tony and Eileen share their experience of outdoor hot spas overlooking stunning west coast beaches at St. Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire.

This ad (along with two more which will be released in March) aims to entice more mature visitors. With more free time to travel and with more money at their disposal, they are an important group for Wales to attract. 

This is also the 'Welshest' ad we've made for Wales, featuring Welsh couples, shot by a Welsh director, and all to the soundtrack of an up and coming Welsh band (Trwbador – Red Handkerchiefs). Check in again in March for more ads starring Welsh couples sharing the best of their country.                             

W+K’s week in wonderful Wales

W+K's Team Wales is this morning back in the office after our latest adventure to shoot in, err, Wales. We sped around 6 locations, over 5 days, experiencing all 4 seasons. We felt the true warmth of the Welsh welcome from Holyhead to Abergwesyn, Brecon to Cardiff, Laugharne to Saundersfoot and Narberth. Thanks to everyone we met, who featured and who helped us on the way.

There were many highlights to the trip; here are just three…
The sunset at South Stack:

The view from the top of Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons (from l-r our lovely client Sam, Ali, Michelle, Alex and Benny):

And the brilliant sunshine by St Brides spa:

It was a poignant time to be in Wales as the search continued for Machynlleth's April Jones. Now we're all safely back in our homes, we hope to hear news that the same will soon be true of little April as well.

Watch the blog for updates on the new spots due out in early 2013.

CIMTIG get it as Visit Wales win GOLD

This big week in the world of awards continued for WK London last night. Fresh from the BTAAs, it was off to the Park Lane Intercontinental for the CIMTIG Travel Marketing Awards. We awaited the awarding of the gong with green-cubed flashing lights in our cocktails and listening to the 'dulcet' Irish tones of Patrick Kielty. There was a hefty number of prizes to get through. 25 to be precise. But after all of those, 3 courses and few bottles of beverage, it was time to announce the big one:
The Integrated Campaign of the Year up to £1m.
With 4 other submissions in our category the competition was stiff. But we came out on top. The GOLD award (one of only 3 on the night) was soon safely in the hands of Visit Wales.


Whilst our agency team was a few men down we had the pleasure of Piers Bramhall's company on the night. It felt right to have the man who had fronted it all to be there working the room. A huge diolch goes out to everyone in the agency who worked on it. As well as our friends at KitCattNohrDigitas and Arena Media. And of course our lovely Welsh clients who put their trust in us to make this multi-layered, brilliantly ambitious idea come to life.

Here we are, just before it all kicked off on the dance floor.


One (cardboard) man stuck on a sunlounger. On the telly.

We've blogged about the shoot.

And now we want to share the work we've proudly produced.

6 beautifully shot 10” TVCs – teasers to this September’s big trip when Piers and Emma finally set off to Wales.

We didn’t want to reveal too much about the itinerary.

Or give Piers a sneak peak at the wonderful Wales he’ll experience.

So rather than take him with us on the shoot in August, we toured the country with a cardboard cut-out of Mr Bramhall instead. As you do.

You may have spotted him in our reception (thanks to whoever put a hat on him by the way).

He was recognised by an old school friend ‘on location’ at the Green Man festival.

And now he’s hitting TV screens across the UK.

Cardboard Piers is currently musing art, mountaineering, eating cheese and chutney, bobbing in an infinity pool, rambling and crowd-surfing.

The six 10” ads are peppering commercial breaks from Jeremy Kyle through to Corrie for the next 10 days.

And they are on video on demand, and YouTube, and Facebook, and twitter. And now on our blog, too.

Big shout to BigBalls Films who created the content and Zipline Creative who facillitated it all.

Watch and enjoy. And follow Piers and Emma's trip on Facebook etc.








Wales Wants Piers Bramhall

Screen shot 2011-08-08 at 21.35.44
Ray writes:

This is a strange job. And we’ve had some strange moments. But yesterday tops it off. Because I don’t think we’ve ever actually orchestrated strangeness like we have on the latest Visit Wales campaign. And I sincerely mean strange in a good way. Because this weekend we put the weight of one country, behind inviting just one unsuspecting man, on a proper holiday. One man called Piers Bramhall.

 The last holiday he had with his fabulous girlfriend Emma Foley was an all-inclusive job. A sitting by the pool and stuck to the sun lounger affair. Nothing wrong with that. Piers is a decent hardworking bloke who just fancied a bit of a rest. But we wanted to give Piers and Emma the chance to have a holiday together away from the lilo, and experience a proper holiday, courtesy of Wales.

This campaign is still about Wales standing for Proper Holidays. But we wanted to push even harder to help shift entrenched perceptions of Wales by acting in a different, more progressive way. This campaign will also see us opening up the conversation about Wales by giving the people of Wales and lovers of Wales a platform to talk about the stuff that they do or love best.

That’s the background. Here’s the mentalness of the day. A day that started in a park in Ealing at 7am with a Welsh choir limbering up their handsome vocal chords. Then the lovely Joanna Page joined us. And her lovely husband. And her equally lovely parents. Trust me. They’re lovely.

All 60 of us then tip-toed our way round to Piers’ house ready to make our grand invite. Then an IKEA van showed up so all 60 of us had to quickly tip-toe back again. Finally the choir assembled and sonorously belted out their version of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Wikipedia it). My goodness. Have you heard a Welsh choir? One that’s in front of you and not on the telly. It fills up your chest. It makes you stand a bit taller. It brings on goose bumps even if you don’t want goose bumps, damn it. These big voices flooded the street and sure enough brought Piers and Emma outside. I can’t explain the rest from here. No point. Just look.

Do you see what I mean? About the bonkerness? The choir. Twickenham. The newspaper. Ian Rush. IAN RUSH! Kelly Jones. Kelly Jones’ mum and dad. Kelly Jones’ mum and dad chatting to Joanna Page’s mum and dad. Enough already. You get it.

We really hope that Piers and Emma enjoy this trip. They are a brilliant couple who deserve a brilliant experience. You can see how it all unfolds here.

Follow the campaign on Facebook! www.facebook.com/visitwales

And on twitter! @wewantpiers

MEGA for Nike Grid, travel gold for Visit Wales

Last night saw a couple of good results for Wieden + Kennedy on the awards front. We picked up a Media Guardian Innovation Award (MEGA) for Nike Grid – the running/gaming real world /virtual world event we created for Nike last year with the help of AKQA and Mindshare. This campaign engaged young people in Nike Running by creating a running contest across London. Participants checked in on Facebook at rebranded London phone boxes to update their progress.

Our Nokia N8 launch campaign was a runner up in the MEGA media and technology section.

We also won a gold for our Visit Wales ‘proper holidays’ campaign at the Travel Awards last night.

Here are creative director Ray and account director Alice performing the time-honoured ritual of placing the award on the dancefloor and giving thanks to the Awards Gods by dancing around it and gesturing in its direction.

Ray and alice