Could you be one of The Kennedys?

Kennedys Poster
Calling all those creatively minded who would like to walk in Dave Kennedy's shoes. Our W+K co-founder Dave is a larger than life spirit known for his left-field thought tinkering, insightful art direction, and signature shaggy beard. In the spirit of this fearlessness, W+K London and W+K Amsterdam are each searching for six of today's brightest young creatives.

The Kennedys — not to be confused with the sitcom of the same name! — is a creative incubator program hosted here in our W+K London agency for the first time this year — and now for the sixth consecutive year in our Amsterdam office. Our very own Executive Creative Director, Tony Davidson, aptly describes it as a "crash course in creative chaos" — a chance to dive into the deep end of our cultural pool. From June to the end of the year, the chosen candidates will work as a 'shop-in-shop,' tackling real agency assignments and briefs under the guidance of our innovative, driven team.

It's an opportunity for movers, doers, thinkers, schemers, and plotters of all persuasions — from animators to tech developers and everyone in between — to grow and flourish at our agency and produce tangible work. In our search, we're widening the proverbial net: the final six may not have any agency experience, or have worked in a communications role in the past. It's vision and a unique point-of-view we're after, allowing us to cultivate the freshest new talent while learning from them at the same time.

Entries for The Kennedys are open now until 15 March to candidates eligible to live and work in Europe. Think you fit the bill, or know someone who does? Visit for more information, and to apply.

Just Doing it in Tokyo

A couple of weeks ago, we shipped one of our Nike account directors, Ollie, over to our Tokyo office to help out on some work over there. Between learning how to bow properly and belting out karaoke numbers, he wrote a bit about his first impressions:
For the next three months I'll be working at W+K Tokyo, helping to run a new Nike campaign. The work is actually for South Korea, but we're operating out of the Tokyo office. It's awesome for me, since I've never been to Asia before this, let alone Japan.  
Arriving at W+K's home in the hipster hangout of Nakameguro, it was like I'd never left 16 Hanbury Street. The same medley of random, bonkers stuff adorns the place. Rubber chickens, Kinder Egg toys, baseball gloves etc.
Two standout things among everything are the Nike shoebox speaker (I think it actually works) and the W+K button sign. My bowing attempt was subsequently ridiculed. Great sign though. 
Almost all Nike meetings are run in English. For the occasional meetings that aren't, a translator will be on hand to whisper the English to you via a headset. Proper Nathan Barley stuff. Love it.
In no particular order, these are some things I've learned since arriving less than a week ago:
The W+K Tokyo bunch are awesome. They're passionate about their work. They're passionate about their beer. It's a great combo. I already feel very at home here.  
Birthdays are taken seriously. Very seriously. 
The food is spectacular. Particularly the fish. Also, no one really cooks – you either eat out or buy pre-made food from the local convenience store. Well, at least that's what I do. 
Lots of people sleep on the underground. I haven't worked out if the Tokyo locals are expert power-nappers or if they've all been on a massive tear-up. Possibly both. 
Karaoke is a way of life here. I thought I'd hate it, but actually it's magnificent. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo and think you're too sophisticated for karaoke, think again. Have drinks, dinner, some more drinks and then hit the karaoke booths. You'll most probably leave at 4am, hoarse, after the night of your life. 
'What about the work?' I hear Neil cry. Don't worry, Neil, it's all in hand. Tokyo6
More to follow.

advertising beyond selling

The Guardian ran a feature this week titled "From Nike to Benetton: 10 powerful adverts that changed the way we think," featuring two shiny W+K nuggets from the archives. 

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First on the list was W+K Portland's Nike 'If You Let Me Play'. 72andSunny Amsterdam MD Nic Owen & co said, "This film is a mini masterpiece which tackles a big issue in a very elegant way, with swagger and irony. The film has been often 'quoted' in other work and even 'remade' recently. But this is the real thing, which opened the way for many conversations about women and sport. It also changed the way sports brands address women in their advertising."


And sixth was our Honda 'Grr' ad, of which they said, "The interesting thing about this film – apart from being beautiful – is that it managed to speak in a fun, charming way about one of the major issues of our time. It made people smile and think about the impact they have on the environment. This campaign opened the way for other car companies to put eco-consciousness at the heart of their communication and vision."


Meanwhile, Across the Atlantic…

It's been a busy week for our Portland counterparts, who have launched a virtual reality experience, a new film, a mobile game, and an event featuring the USA's tallest freestanding cuckoo clock. 
Chrysler | Beneath the Surface
Chrysler is taking the factory tour to a new level with the help of virtual reality. Following the release of Chrysler 200 Factory Tour earlier this year (view film below), “Beneath the Surface” launches at the LA Auto Show this week, in the form of a four-minute, 4D-immersive experience that uses the Oculus Rift DK2 headset to show how the vehicle is made.
Nike | Choose Your Winter
It can be pretty hard to get out of bed at this time of year, let alone be motivated to train. But it doesn't have to be. Choosing Your Winter is the first film in a multi-part series, debunking the myth that just because it’s cold outside, you have to stay inside. By wearing Nike Hyperwarm baselayer, Nike athletes can lock in their performance while simultaneously locking out the elements. 
Old Spice | High Five For Friendship
Old Spice ventures into mobile gaming with High Five for Friendship, an 8-bit mobile game demonstrating the riches that result when two things join forces for good, like using Old Spice deodorant plus body wash together. To navigate a series of 12 challenges, each player taps their screen to throw their hand forward for a high five with their teammate.
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Travel Portland | Portland Is Happening Now
It's always a good time to visit Portland. To celebrate this idea, W+K brought the tallest freestanding cuckoo clock in the US to Seattle and Vancouver. The clock is made from a single Oregon maple and features a number of Portland icons: Mt. Hood, Portlandia, beer, wine, bikers, farmers markets, roses, rivers, bridges and even Sasquatch. Every hour on the hour, hand-painted, wood-carved miniatures appeared when the clock chimed and fans were treated with various Portland-themed surprises, like coffee and donuts, a tax free tea party and naked bike riders.

A Visit from W+K Tokyo


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).

new work from the wonderful world of Wieden+Kennedy

Here's a brief round up of some of the freshest work from the wide world of the Wieden+Kennedy network this week.

The miracle of imagination,

The marvels of earth, sea and sky,

These wonders untold are ours to behold

In the funny world, the sunny world,

The wonderful world of, er, Wieden+Kennedy.

F R O M   W+K A M S T E R D A M

Nike Turkey | Human Printing Press
To motivate the youth of Istanbul to get moving, W+K Amsterdam created The Human Printing Press, designed and built to capture the movements of athletes and transfer them onto paper to create a series of totally unique ‘Made by Movement’ posters.


In the online film, young amateur athletes are teamed up with Turkish pros. Together they power the printing press and make the limited edition posters.

Challenges issued via an online hub and Nike’s social channels offer a chance to earn posters signed by the athletes who made them. See how it was made over here.

EA Sports | We Are FIFA 14
The campaign compares the scale of the FIFA universe to an armada of football fun, made up of lounges, couches and apartments, starring Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, Stephan El Shaarawy, Tim Cahill, Javier Hernandez ‘Chicharito’ and Drake.
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The 'We Are FIFA 14' journey continues online with the FIFA 14 World Tour, a website taking the form of an interactive 3D map that incorporates a further series of short celebrity films.

Get involved over here at EASPORTS.COM.

Heineken | Final Instalment of 'Dropped'
W+K Amsterdam has just released the final episode of the very popular 'Dropped' campaign for Heineken, which follows men who have been plucked out of their daily lives and dropped far from home into the great unknown – places like Cambodia, Alaska and Poland.

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In the last grueling test, two unsuspecting guys are dropped on a desert island in the Philippines, handcuffed to each other and with only one survival kit between them. The castaways quickly realise that if they are to succeed in their adventure together, they have to build a friendship.

All the episodes can be viewed on Heineken's Dropped Youtube channel.

F R O M   W+K S H A N G H A I

Levi’s® Revel Jeans | Let Your Body Do The Talking
This campaign aims to make encourage women to try on a pair of new Levi’s® Revel Jeans, possibly the best-fitting jeans – whatever your body shape – in the history of denim. The campaign comprises a TVC…

…and a print ad, an innovative 360 degree photo booth…

…and a site that lets consumers see and experience the body language of confident women.

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F R O M   W+K S Ã O   P A U L O

TIM | Chamada Imperdível

W+K Brazil has launched a digital campaign for TIM, one of the most prominent mobile network operators in Brazil, to announce their new promotion “Chamada Imperdível” (Unmissed Call).

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The campaign comprises 20 films, each one a surreal story that requires the viewer to interact with the screen by making phone calls in a bid to win a prize of smartphones or cash. The campaign will be online until October 12. Check it out here.

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Japanese voters get a sweet deal from W+K Tokyo and Ben & Jerry’s

Our pals at W+K Tokyo have teamed up with Ben & Jerry's in Japan on a new initiative to encourage more of the nation's youth to vote in the upcoming election on 21st July. And they're adding a very sweet incentive to the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with making a worthwhile contribution to society: ice cream. Think of it as the cherry on top, if you will. Or should that be the Cherry Garcia?

Friends in Japan, here's how it works: if you're a registered voter in Japan, stop by a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop in Tokyo before 4th August and prove you voted. You'll be rewarded with a FREE cone (Peach Party seems like an especially appropriate flavour, we think).

WK Tokyo Ben And Jerry

More details here for Japanese speakers.

Lou Reed, wieden + kennedy and advertising

Some have been surprised to find rock'n'roll legend Lou Reed speaking at the Cannes advertising festival this week and by the positive comments he made about the industry – "The advertising people actually pay you for what you did".
"What's he got to do with the world of advertising and marketing?" asked The Guardian.
Well, Mr Reed has some history there. Here's a blast from the Wieden + Kennedy archives – Lou pitching Honda scooters in a '70s spot by W+K Portland.  Why walk on the wild side when you could ride?

Wieden + Kennedy tops ‘Best Ads’ ranking 2012

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Wieden + Kennedy Portland has topped the Bestads 2012 rankings, with Wieden + Kennedy New York coming in at number five.

Bestads said:

"The prolific Wieden & Kennedy, Portland has been ranked the world's number one advertising agency in the 9th Annual Bestads Rankings, released today.

The world's hottest shop was ahead of second placed BBH London, followed by DDB Group New Zealand and DDB New York in equal third spot, and Wieden & Kennedy, New York in fifth position."

Wieden + Kennedy London was ranked number five in the UK.

wieden + kennedy is ADWEEK’s global agency of the year 2012

Yes, OK, we have gone on about this before, but now here's a scan of the actual article from ADWEEK detailing Wieden + Kennedy being named their agency of the year 2012.

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Here's what they said:

(The) work on Wieden’s global reel this year represents advertising
at its best—words and images that spark emotions and transcend

Even for a premiere creative agency like Wieden—Adweek’s Global
Agency of the Year for 2012—this was an exceptional year. The most
memorable Super Bowl ad. The Emmy (its fourth straight). The biggest
campaign ever for Heineken, celebrating the brand’s global sponsorship
of the James Bond flick 
Skyfall. A whopping 45 Lions
at Cannes (including 29 out of its Portland, Ore., headquarters, making
it Agency of the Year). Banner wins like Tesco, Sony, Facebook and
American Express Open. New business and organic growth from existing
accounts fueled a swift rebound from the loss of Nokia and Target, in
2011 and early ’12, respectively. The agency ends this year with global
revenue growth of 5 percent to an estimated $294 million. 

Among its peers, independent agency Wieden, now in its 30th year,
inspires both pride and envy. After all, in the past four years, Wieden
has won an average of 29 Lions a year. Agency co-founder and global
president Dan Wieden attributes that creative consistency to building a
culture that’s “just more fun than you can believe and harder than hell.
That generates ideas, great enthusiasm and new ways of looking at old

Tesco’s Matt Atkinson likes what he sees thus far in Wieden’s
London office, which, led by managing director Neil Christie, beat TBWA,
VCCP and JWT in July to claim one of the most coveted accounts in the
U.K. The retailer, which each year produces more than 1,000 ads and
spends about $175 million in media, last month broke a campaign that
centers around a familiar object in England this time of year: the
holiday hat. 

Wieden brings “an ability to help you express yourself in the new
world,” says Atkinson, Tesco’s group marketing and chief digital
officer. “That was what we were looking for.”

Read the full article on