Shots success!

An advertising award which shares its name with a style of an alcoholic drink! Sounds good to us. So when our brethren in Portland couldn't be there in person to collect their Shots prize, we saw it as our duty to step into the breech. W+K Portland were tucking into their Thanksgiving Turkeys when Karyn and Alex from the London office popped down to W1 to wave the W+K flag.

The accolade was given for Agency of the Year and PDX beat off stiff competition to win the gong. There was a shout out, too, for shortlisted W+K New York.

As the cherry on the cake, there was an additional award for Portland on the night. In recognition of the interactive excellence of the Old Spice Muscle Music game which launched in August. Congrats on your double whammy, PDX.

The evening of glory:


The morning after the night before – awards ready for transatlantic transit: 


Wieden + Kennedy at Cannes Lions 2011 – indie agency of the year + results

So, the leathery old lags and hopeful young turks of the world's advertising industry have finished drowning themselves in a vat of overpriced rose wine and, as they nurse their hangovers, the results of the Cannes Advertising Festival are in. We did OK, maybe slightly better than we did last year.

Cannes independent agency of the year, for most awards accumulated across all categories – Wieden + Kennedy Portland.

And for the trainspotters, stat freaks and mothers of those who work at W+K, here are the individual awards for Wieden + Kennedy work. (I think I've got the full list here, but I may have missed one or two.)


Grand Prix – Nike ‘Write the Future’

Gold – Heineken ‘The Entrance’, Chrysler ‘Born of Fire’

Silver – Old Spice ‘Questions’, Nike ‘Rise’

Bronze – Cravendale ‘Cats with Thumbs’, Heineken ‘Date’, Heineken ‘The Entrance’, Nike ‘Throwdown’


Grand Prix – Old Spice ‘Response’

Gold – Nike ‘Write the Future’, Old Spice x2 (for writing and for viral)

Bronze – Nike ‘Black Mamba’, Nokia ‘Dot’, Nokia ‘Own Voice’


Gold – Old Spice ‘The man your man could smell like’


Gold – Old Spice ‘The man your man could smell like’

Silver – Nike ‘Write the Future’,  Levi’s ‘Ready to Work’ 


Gold – Chrysler ‘Born of Fire’ (x3, for direction, script and music), Nike ‘Write the Future’ (x2, for editing and script), Heineken ‘The Entrance’ (direction)

Silver – Nike ‘Write the Future’ (x2, for production design and sound design), Lurpak – ‘Kitchen Odyssey’ (cinematography), Levi’s ‘Ready to Work’ (x2 for script and cinematography), Heineken ‘The Entrance’ (Music)

Bronze – Levi’s ‘Ready to Work’ (direction), Nokia ‘Dot’ (production design), Chrysler – ‘Born of Fire’ (editing), Nike ‘Black Mamba’ (editing), Nike ‘Write the Future’ (special effects).


Grand Prix – 2

Gold – 13

Silver -10

Bronze – 12

Big congrats to all the winners and their mums.

big night for Wieden + Kennedy at D&AD awards

A D&AD black pencil, last night. This is a rare sighting of the semi-mythical, totemic object sought by creatives worldwide but only rarely glimpsed, much less grasped.

Wieden + Kennedy's Old Spice campaign was the big winner at this year's D&AD Awards, picking up two Black Pencils out of the six awarded. W+K's The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign picked up five pencils and a total of nine awards in all, its Black Pencils coming in the TV Commercial Campaign Category and the TV Commercials 21-40 Seconds category. D&AD President Simon Sankarayya said in this week's Campaign, "After creating one of most well-received spots for some time, the 'Response' campaign was a 'digital' extension that was, in my eyes, pretty much perfect." (But not perfect enough to get a black pencil in digital!)

These wins continue an award-winning run for the campaign which has also won the top awards at Cannes, One Show, the NY Art Directors Club and many more over the past year.

This posting (above) alone now registering over 33 million views on YouTube.

Wait, there's more.

Our Write the Future campaign for Nike also picked up four pencils: for TV Commercials over 120 seconds, Integrated, Direction for Film Advertising and Editing in Film Advertising.

Stu freddie eric

W+K's Freddie, Stu and Eric lark about with their WTF pencils.

Stu freddie

Stu and Freddie looking a bit shellshocked and wondering where they're going to find a big enough pencil case. Congrats, lads.

Here it is one more time…

new work from W+K: Chrysler, Coke, Old Spice, Nike

Some awesome new work out of the Wieden + Kennedy mothership in Portland over the last few days. First up: a new Chrysler spot featuring Eminem that premiered in the Superbowl yesterday.

Some awesome new work out of the Wieden + Kennedy mothership in Portland over the last few days. First up: a new Chrysler spot featuring Eminem that premiered in the Superbowl yesterday.

Some awesome new work out of the Wieden + Kennedy mothership in Portland over the last few days. First up: a new Chrysler spot featuring Eminem that premiered in the Superbowl yesterday.

In many ways, this spot is a kind of love letter to the city of Detroit—an acknowledgment that the city has experienced tough times, and that it is primed for a comeback. The script, while recognizing the difficulties the city has been through, reflects pride in what Detroit is capable of and emphasizes the greatness this city has in its DNA. Visually, the spot is set up like a driving tour of the city, highlighting its landmarks and its people. W+K felt Eminem was the perfect person to lead us on this tour because he (like Chrysler) is a Detroit native who has experienced huge success, suffered setbacks and returned stronger than ever. The lyrics to “Lose Yourself” are about that very story. So the pairing of Chrysler and Eminem seemed natural.

Advertising Age said: 'Sure, U.S. automakers have previously tried to convince us that "We are all Detroit" before, but not with creative this captivating. And after a few years of a battered economy, most Americans are more inclined to identify with Detroit than with, say, New York or Sin City, both of which are name-checked here. As the spot says, "We're certainly no one's Emerald City." What starts out as a down-on-our-luck tribute to a broken city morphs into a defiant, we're-back rallying cry faced by none other than Eminem, another broken thing out of Detroit who happens to be staging a massive comeback. Tea partiers and labor unions alike will cheer this one, including the tagline: "Imported from Detroit."'

Two new Coke spots also broke in the Superbowl: 

Also this week, Old Spice and Wieden+Kennedy announced 16-year-old Chris Gatewood is the official Old Spice Super Fan, controlling the release of the next Old Spice ad.

And Old Spice's Super Fan released the new :30 spot titled "Scent Vacation" via his social media channels

And finally, here's a new Nike Free commercial that launched on SportsCenter after the Superbowl.

wieden + kennedy ‘getting handjobs under the papal robes’

Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186 customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old Spice Body Wash sales over the last month.

Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186 customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old Spice Body Wash sales over the last month.

Five Questions With W+K, the Ad Agency Behind the Old Spice Ads

You've likely now seen those incredibly charming Old Spice body wash commercials (and the "custom vial video" campaign
accompanying them) that have taken over the Internet/everything! Well,
lots of people have talked to the commercial's star, Isaiah Mustafa, but
we wanted to talk to the agency behind it all —
Wieden+Kennedy — last week to get some answers. They emailed us back on Monday, and since then, the Old Spice story has developed! That's really no excuse to hold out on this interview, but honestly, it
just wasn't a priority. Also, it's about an ad campaign we're not even getting paid to run.*
Anyway: Interview Time! Presenting questions answered via email by
Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin, the two W+K Creative Directors behind the
Old Spice campaign:

1. Who's the person responsible for the initial idea? Has he or she been given some extra vacation time?
The initial Smell Like a Man, Man idea came from Craig Allen and Eric
Kallman. They established the Old Spice guy voice and came up with the
two spots, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" and "Questions." They
have not been given any extra vacation time as we decided to shoot 186
response videos in three days.

2. How'd you guys find [Old Spice advertising star Isaiah Mustafa]?
Through a traditional casting, supplemented by burnt offerings to the God of pec muscles.

3. What's the most outlandish reaction you guys have had to it?
Well, Isaiah and the campaign have been featured on Oprah and
Ellen, among others. And during the social media response videos, a guy
asked the Old Spice man to propose to his girlfriend for him. She said
yes. The response overall has been nuts. Apparently we're now the #1
most popular sponsored YouTube channel in history, more popular than
"Twilight." That's saying a lot.

4. What's the most challenging part of making these ads?
The most challenging part was the follow-up to the first spot.
The entire team was feeling the pressure. We didn't want to let people
down and we didn't want to repeat ourselves. It was tough to find a way
to make it as surprising as the first, but Kallman and Allen came up
with question/answer technique, which we liked because it felt
consistent with the character but also new and surprising.

5. How do they do the thing where Isaiah ends up in jeans at
the end of the "SWAN DIVE" ad? Because that is magical. Do not do the
thing where you don't tell us because it's magical. We want answers.

Isaiah puts his pants on one leg at a time, like everyone else. He is just a man. An incredibly handsome and talented man.

UGH! Ad people! Always so crafty with their crafty answers and
"creatives" and "creative concepts" or whatever they're working on to
charm us into buying things. These guys could sell their way into
getting handjobs under the papal robes. We didn't do a very good job
pressing them with this interview, especially because there's obviously
some trick to the pants thing they're not going to answer. Sorry. But:
If you do know, please tell us,
so I can write a post headlined "BLOW ME, ADVERTISING GUYS: This Is How
the Old Spice Guy Puts His Pants On." In the meantime, all of this
makes selling out and going into advertising sound very appealing, and it's not like it hasn't been done before. Just saying.

Meanwhile, in other news, this just in via PR Week:

'The brand's (Old Spice) ad agency Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186
customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old
Spice Body Wash sales over the last month, according to Nielsen data
from Mike Norton, director of external relations for male grooming at

The brand's Twitter following also exploded 2700% to over 83,000 followers since launch"

On. A. Horse.

Old Spice is ‘the future of marketing’ says Mashable

Couldn't resist republishing part of just one more article on Wieden + Kennedy PDX/NY's Old Spice campaign. This one from Mashable.

Old Spice: The Archetype Of a Successful Social Media Campaign

By Stan Schroeder

The social media onslaught, in which the Old Spice guy – as actor Isaiah Mustafa, which starred in most of Old Spice’s recent commercials, has come to be known on the Internet– has ended today. In his final tweet and video, Mustafa says that “like all great things this too must end.”

And then he catches a giant fish that falls from nowhere.

In this amazingly well-run campaign, the team behind it managed to engage half of the Internet, and provoke almost unequivocally positive results from social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter. Hell, even the comments on YouTube were overwhelmingly positive – and that never happens. The Old Spice Twitter account accumulated tens of thousands of new followers; the YouTube videos amassed hundreds of thousands of views.

Old Spice did it by doing everything perfectly. The Old Spice guy recorded his video responses in rapid succession, an amazing feat in itself which cannot be truly appreciated if you’ve never been in front of a camera. His answers were a perfect mix of coolness and the stuff internet memes are made of. The actual brand – Old Spice – was never shoved into viewers’ throats. Most importantly, all of it was incredibly fun to watch.

The team behind the campaign took great care to engage celebrities, influencers, common folks and popular social media sites in equal amount. And it knew exactly how to talk to them. In his penultimate video, the Old Spice guy talks directly to his daughter, explaining that until recently, he was just a struggling actor no one has ever heard of. When was the last time a marketing campaign spoke directly to you in such a frank way, making you laugh and cry at the same time?

Wieden + Kennedy have set the standards all marketing experts will worship and follow in the years to come. This is the future of marketing.

I’m on a horse.

what’s behind old spice guy’s towel?

One of the modern Holy Grails of advertising is to translate a successful TV campaign into a monster viral Internet phenom. Working with their client Procter and Gamble, the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy opened the ark with its online work for Old Spice.

One of the modern Holy Grails of advertising is to translate a successful TV campaign into a monster viral Internet phenom. Working with their client Procter and Gamble, the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy opened the ark with its online work for Old Spice.

An interview with Wieden + Kennedy's Iain Tait from Fast Company.

The Team Who Made Old Spice Smell Good Again Reveals What's Behind Mustafa's Towel

BY Mark Borden Wed Jul 14, 2010

One of the modern Holy Grails of advertising is to translate a successful TV campaign into a monster viral Internet phenom. Working with their client Procter and Gamble, the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy opened the ark with its online work for Old Spice. The campaign is simple: The manly star from the TV spots responds to queries on Twitter via humorous 30-second YouTube videos that are being watched and re-tweeted with abandon. I spoke to Wieden's global interactive creative director Iain Tait about how they choose which tweets actor Isaiah Mustafa replies to, why they are using YouTube, and what it's like to produce nearly 100 spots a day.

Mark Borden: How did the Old Spice online campaign come about?

Iain Tait: We had this character who is not only loved by ladies, but equally loved by guys. A woman's man that was okay for men to love. And we realized there were no edges to where he could exist.

Why did you choose to respond to Twitter tweets using video and why employ YouTube versus a dedicated Old Spice site?

By locking the campaign into any proprietary place would have just severely limited the exposure it would get and diminish it. This whole idea of responding to people and being very smart about who we decided to respond to, and in what manner, that wouldn't have worked if we hadn't done it in a format like YouTube where we are able to embed it. People are very familiar with the ways of sharing it, liking it, and favoring it, and just the fact that it can go everywhere very quickly was a huge positive.

We knew it couldn't be just responding to tweets in words, that wouldn't have felt so special and had been done before. The fact that we were able to do this in video feels appropriate in relation to the prior TV ads.

It's not just responding to tweets, it's looking at the environment right now. YouTube is the place where people share video. Twitter is the place where–celebrities dying or whatever it is–those things blow up so quickly. We know we can only run this thing for a short time so Twitter felt like the place to create the explosion.

It's keeping the allure and mystique of this guy alive. Finding that balance between exposing him to the world, (not literally), without overexposing him is really important.

Obviously it doesn't have the same level of high production value as the TV ads, but just enough to make it feel like it ties into everything people have seen before. The production level is key there. If we had done it in a really low budget way, it would have been horrible.

How do you choose which tweets to respond to? I see responses
have been made to Alyssa Romano, Rose McGowan, and Guy Kawasaki.

It's not just those guys. It's great that you're hearing from those
people, we sort of knew that would happen. But we've gone literally up
and down the levels of people from those with millions of followers down
to people with hardly any followers.

And that's a really
important part of the mix.

One of the unique things taking place in the studio is we have a team
of social media people, we have the Old Spice community manager, we
have a social media strategist, a couple of technical people, and a
producer. And we've built an application that scans the Internet looking
for mentions and allows us to look at the influence of those people and
also what they've said. They're working in collaboration with the
creative team that are there to pick out the messages that: 1. Have
creative opportunity to produce amazing content; or 2. Have the ability
to then embed themselves in an interesting or virally relevant

It's not just picking people with huge followings, it's a really
interesting combination.

Do you guys have a working definition of what influence is?

For different products, there are different types of influence that
are all very different. For something like this–which is so mass
appeal–I think influence can come from anywhere.

There's been lot's of stuff recently about how celebrities have huge
followings, but actually their level of influence is quite limited.

That said, we don't have a concrete definition. We looked at how we
can go to whatever the right definition of influence is and we've kind
of nailed people who exist in all of them. From celebrities like Alyssa
Milano to being incorporated into 4chan, which is perhaps the weirdest
most anarchistic community that exists out there. To have managed to do
that without them jumping on top of it and hating it–we've had more
likes for the video that has gone out on 4Chan than anything else.

We've reached Mashable and TechCrunch and those places which have
credible amounts of influence in the online community. I think really
we've been quite clever in trying to, not knowing the right answer, but
making sure we tick all the boxes where the right answer is.

Who writes the spots?

We're actually keen not to lift the curtain on that right now. One of
the things that is quite nice is that people are speculating. People
are wondering, on the very naïve end, if it's an intern there with a
video camera and a guy just delivering the lines. On the other hand
people are going, you must have a huge army of copywriters to produce so
much so quickly.

I'd kind of like to keep that curtain up for now.

It is fair to say that the team involved in writing the TV spots are
at the core of it. That's why that level of authenticity and great humor
we've seen in the TV ads has come through very strongly online.

You manage to have such a quick turnaround. How do you
execute at such a high speed?

We could be destroying our own business here, right? We've made
nearly 100 commercials in a day (laughs).

Again, we've built an incredible system which takes the comments and
highlights the ones we want to respond to and feeds them through to an
auto cue (I'm lifting the curtain here aren't I?), and it's incredibly
sophisticated on one end, but quite simple on the other in that it
allows the spots to be created very quickly.

But let's just say, we have a team of editors along with a team of
creatives making this stuff happen in real time.

Why does the real time nature of this have such power?

Real time is what drives the Internet. New news is what everyone
wants to get a hold of. Everyone is a publisher in their own way.
Everyone wants to be tweeting or blogging about something that they are
first to be in on. What we've done here is blur the lines between things
that people don't expect to be able to be done in real time. So that's
the surprise, that "Hang on, you're producing these things kind of in
real time? How on earth are you doing that?" Every time one comes out
and nails it again, it's seen as almost a new piece of news.

Who is that handsome fit man with the deadly stare?

Isaiah Mustafa.

Is he just sitting around in a towel all day?


I'm not going to tell you what he is wearing on his feet. That would
destroy everything.

How did you gain enough trust from P&G to just be able to
run with their brand in real time?

That trust base is so important. We are operating under a set of
principles that we've agreed on in terms of these responses, which means
that not everything needs to go through stringent sign off and legal

At the same time they know that because we love this thing, we're not
going to be irresponsible with it and throw it away and lose the chance
to do it again.

We've found that balance which in my experience is so rare to get to
with a client.

One thing you can sense if you're lucky enough to be there in the
studio is that they're all having such fun doing this thing. Isaiah is
loving it. Everyone who is writing it is loving it. The social media
guys are loving it. And that really shines through.

If you are doing something in a social environment, you want it to
feel like a place you want to be at.

It's a really strange thing, but that sense that people are having
fun actually manages to transmit itself through the Internet. People
gravitate toward things that feel like they're being done by people who
love it. That sense that everyone involved with this is loving it is a
huge factor in why this is so successful.

Why do you think social media and online influencers are so
important to business right now?

One of the questions that keeps coming up is people saying, "Ok, this
is great, but will it make me buy more Old Spice?" If you look at the
comments that are publicly saying, "I'm going to go and try Old Spice
after this, I'm going to wear more Old Spice," the groundswell of people
saying that they are going to consume more Old Spice, I don't know
whether that is true or not, if people are actually going to go to the
pharmacy and buy Old Spice, but…

Picture 2
But I bet a whole load of them are going to go into the aisle and
take the top off an Old Spice and smell it. People that may never have
done it before. That peer recommendation and seeing that real people are
actually talking about this, in a way that not only says they enjoy the
entertainment, but that there are smart people in these networks making
the connection between the content, the product and the experience of
the product.

It's just incredibly powerful and we're only just beginning to see
how powerful that can be.

And here's another article.

This one, from ReadWriteWeb, deals with how the campaign was actually put together in real time.

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick / July 14, 2010 3:25 PM

How do you take the social web by storm in a day, winning over even the coldest of hearts and gaining international acclaim – with commercials?

A team of creatives, tech geeks, marketers and writers gathered in an undisclosed location in Portland, Oregon yesterday and produced 87 short comedic YouTube videos about Old Spice. In real time. They leveraged Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs. They dared to touch the wild beasts of 4chan and they lived to tell the tale. Even 4chan loved it. Everybody loved it; those videos and 74 more made so far today have now been viewed more than 4 million times and counting. The team worked for 11 hours yesterday to make 87 short videos, that's just over 7 minutes per video, not accounting for any breaks taken. Then they woke up this morning and they are still making more videos right now. Here's how it's going down.

Setting the Stage

Old Spice, marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy and actor Isaiah Mustafa are collaborating on the project. The group seeded various social networks with an invitation to ask questions of Mustafa's character, a dashing shirtless man with over-the-top humor and bravado. Then all the responses were tracked and users who contributed interesting questions and/or were high-profile people on social networks are being responded to directly and by name in short, funny YouTube videos. The group has made videos in response to Digg founder Kevin Rose, TV star Alyssa Milano (now big on Twitter) and many more people, famous and not.

It is well done and it appeals to peoples' egos – but there is something more, too. It feels very personalized, even if it wasn't directed at you. Those people that got responses, and many people who didn't, have Tweeted, Facebooked and otherwise shared links to the videos back out across their social networks.

Iain Tait, Global Interactive Creative Director at Wieden, is leading the effort. "In a way there's nothing magical that we've done here," he explained by phone this afternoon. "We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we've also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time."

How They Are Doing It

Tait says that the primary differentiator between this campaign and others is how closely technical and social media specialists are working with the creative team. "We brought social media experts right into the creative process," he told me. Tell that to the next person who claims that all so-called social media experts are just hot-air. Tait's own savvy no doubt played a large role in the success of the campaign as well. He's just been at Wieden for 3 months, after leaving a UK agency he co-founded 8 years ago. He was voted the Most Influential Person in the UK's New Media Age Top 100 Interactive Agencies Guide last year.

"In the room there are two social media guys and a tech guy who built a system pulling in comments from around the web all together in real time," Tait says.


"We're looking at who's written those comments, what their influence is and what comments have the most potential for helping us create new content. The social media guys and script writers are collaborating to make that call in real time. We have people shooting and we're editing it as it happens. Then the social media guys are looking at how to get that back out around the web…in real time."
The videos aren't being posted in chronological order immediately after the Tweets and comments they are in reply to. They get moved up and down a queue in a deliberate, orchestrated, if very fast way.

Tait: "Those people are having more fun than I've ever seen anyone have in a shoot like this. That's part of why it's doing so well. It's genuinely infectious, it transmits itself through the internet in a massive way."

How loved has the new campaign proven to be? 4Chan, the anonymous nihilist obscene messageboard from whence sprang memes like LOLCats and RickRolling, was the subject of what's now the 3rd most-watched of the Old Spice videos made yesterday, after the ones made for Perez Hilton and Kevin Rose. 4channers hate everything, especially people who talk about 4chan – which this savvy man in a towel did not do. But 200,000 views later, that absurd video response to "Anonymous" has received more than 4000 thumbs up from viewers and less than 100 thumbs down.