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Wieden & Kennedy

W+K NY Celebrates Arrival of College Football Playoffs for ESPN

W+K New York has been hyping the new College Football Playoff for ESPN since July. Now, with the inaugural edition of the contest impending, W+K New York is launching the conclusion to its “Who’s In?” campaign — which launched back in August with “Different Ways In” — with two new spots promoting the College Football Playoff on ESPN: “New Year’s Spread” and “Playoff Ride.”

In “New Year’s Spread” (featured above, in its 60-second version) W+K New York displays some truly impressive game day spreads, including a Rose Bowl stadium made out of hors d’oeuvres and a Sugar Bowl cake. The ad ends with the voiceover, “Six classic bowls, two playoff games: all in 36 hours on ESPN. New Year’s will never be the same,” followed by the “Who’s In?” tagline. “Playoff Ride” takes a different approach, focusing instead on the agony of defeat. To visualize this the spot shows two walls closing in on a series of televisions showing college football games. Gradually, the televisions are crushed, representing teams being eliminated, until only four are left. 30-second versions of both ads will be broadcast in anticipation of the College Football Playoff on ESPN, with the 60-second extended versions living online. Stick around after the jump for “Playoff Ride” and “The Making of New Year’s Spread.” Read more

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W+K NY Flies to the Grammys with Delta, Ryan Lewis

W+K New York teamed up with M ss ng P eces and producer Ryan Lewis (of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fame) for this spot promoting Delta Air Lines’ and LinkedIn’s Innovation Class offering.

The “Innovation Class” program from Delta “offers LinkedIn members the opportunity to meet and fly with select industry leaders on designated flights,” with Ryan Lewis its latest mentor. In the spot, Lewis talks about his experiences in the music industry, how he got started making music (playing guitar) and his upcoming involvement in the program en route to the Grammy Awards.

If, after watching Lewis make obnoxious airplane noises, you’re somehow still interested in paying to sit next to him for an entire flight, you can apply for the Grammy edition of the Innovation Class series hereRead more

W+K Delhi Celebrates ‘Warrior Princess’ for Forest Essentials


In international campaign news, W+K Delhi collaborated with production company Gang Films Paris for this lavish “Warrior Princess” ad promoting Forest Essentials.

Directed by Carole Denis, the spot has a cinematic feel and scope that makes it truly ambitious. “Warrior Princess” tells the story of “the transformation of a warrior maiden sent to battle,” according to a press release. While not all viewers will pick up on that, the spot is beautifully shot and produced while also incorporating the product well. It depicts a woman bathing and having a Forest Essentials cream rubbed on her forehead before suiting up, sheathing a small sword and riding off with a small group. While it’s hard to say a lot more without knowing much about the product in question, this is certainly one of the most visually stunning ads we’ve seen in awhile. Read more

W+K Plants Tongue in Cheek for Andy Awards

W+K finds a unique and amusing way to call for entries to the 2015 Andy Award in a new campaign featuring a a member of a bomb squad, neurosurgeon and firefighter all discussing a career that takes real courage: advertising. Each of the spots, which were directed by Clay Weiner of Biscuit Filmworks, ends with the tagline, “Where only the bravest get rewarded.”

In “Neurosurgeon” the discussion happens during brain surgery, as the surgeon in question asks, “How do you know when you sell an idea to a client that the idea is actually going to work?” He asks for the scalpel and then continues, “It’s like its one big conceptual umbrella and then what do you do with that?” He goes on with his hypothetical scenario, in which the client kills the idea in favor of a brand manifesto with “hard hitting VO,” he sighs. “And then wait ’til AgencySpy gets it,” the surgeon ads. “It’s brutal.”

In the other spots a firefighter marvels at the difficulty of balancing TV, digital and social, and the bomb squad member trembles at the thought of having to “come up with a groundbreaking social media campaign in a week.” Obviously the point of the ads is to point out that advertisers aren’t doing anything as courageous or important as saving lives, knocking down the self-importance of award shows a peg or two in the process. The videos are supported by display and social media ads depicting big name creatives like Gerry Graf, Susan Hoffman, Jeff Benjamin and Dan Wieden being congratulated by firefighters, astronauts, surgeons and the like. Stick around for “Hurt Locker” and “Firefighter” after the jump. Read more

W+K Amsterdam, Blake Griffin Rise ‘Above Expectations’ for Foot Locker, Nike

W+K Amsterdam looked to Blake Griffin to celebrate the arrival of the new Nike Jordan collection to Foot Locker with a new ad entitled “Above Expectations.”

The 30-second spot, filmed in black and white by director Paul Hunter, addresses Griffin’s naysayers, who pigeonhole the Clippers star as “just a dunker.” Addressing those expectations right away, the voiceover advises viewers, “If you expect another Blake Griffin dunk compilation, change the channel,” before going on to commend the star on his rebound, passing and ball-handling skills. Thankfully, it doesn’t highlight Griffin’s slam poetry skills. “That’s the thing about expectations,” the spot concludes, “you can live up to them, or rise above them.” Playfully, the online version of the ad then advertises a link to “See the jump man dunk, man” which links to a video where Griffin concedes “Alright, you’ve come this far, I’ll give you just one.”

The spot is airing on broadcast in France and Italy, as well as online across Europe, where it is supported by digital and social initiatives.

“The Jordan brand has a long tradition of showing athletes in a unique light, so it was nice to show the world a whole other side to Blake Griffin,” said David Smith, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam creative director, in a press release. Read more

W+K Portland Launches First Work for Weight Watchers

W+K Portland has launched a new campaign for Weight Watchers, its first for the brand since winning creative duties back in April.

In a new 60-second spot, W+K drops the celebrity-driven approach taken by previous agency McCann (whose latest work featured Jessica Simpson), instead going for a universal theme of “eating your feelings.” The ad, entitled “If You’re Happy…” is set to an adaption of the popular children’s song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” by Tony Babino. “If you’re happy and you know it, eat a snack,” he sings at the beginning of the spot over shots of people happily enjoying ice cream, burgers and cake. Around 15 seconds in the tune changes to “If you’re sad…” and later on to such feelings as “bored,” “lonely” and “sleepy” before finally ending with “If you’re human and you know it, eat your feelings, eat a snack” and ending with the tagline, “Help with the hard part” before finally showing the Weight Watchers logo.

It’s an interesting tactic, tapping into the insight that people associate eating with all types of emotions rather than relying on a celebrity endorsement, which seems to be the standard for the category. W+K seems to be banking on the empathy and relatability of the message being more persuasive than association with celebrity.

According to The New York Times, the ad will “be introduced broadly on Sunday” with an emphasis on “programming apt to draw multiple members of a household” like “the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday and the season finale of The Voice on NBC on Dec. 15.” The ad will also “appear widely in cinemas,” which Lesya Lysyj, president of Weight Watchers in North America, told The New York Times “…is great because you’re sitting there with your huge thing of popcorn.”

“We’ve never actually said that weight loss is easy, but when you use celebrities and show before-and-after photos, what you’re doing is kind of implying that it is easy,” she added, explaining the move away from celebrity endorsements. Read more

W+K Sings ‘Dadsong’ for Old Spice

W+K has a new spot for Old Spice’s “#SmellcometoManhood” campaign entitled “Dadsong,” a follow-up to to the goofy musical “Momsong,” in which mothers lament Old Spice turning their sons into men while engaging in some pretty creepy behavior.

The follow-up, with music and lyrics written by Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets), reprises the sad moms of that spot, but with an answer from the dads. It opens on one of the moms from “Momsong” singing, “Where’s my little boy, I miss him so? Who’s this man living in our home?” while clutching her sons teddy bear as he slow dances with a girl. Soon a chorus of fathers replies that they’re “overjoyed” that they’ll be using their son’s room “for storage pretty soon.” The song is a step up from its predecessor — not a surprise given McKenzie’s involvement — and strikes more of a balance between goofiness and creepiness (which mostly comes across through visual gags). And while it deals in over-the-top portrayals of stereotypical motherly clinginess and fatherly aloofness, it’s also pretty clear that it isn’t dealing in anything resembling reality. Fans of McKenzie’s distinct style of musical comedy, and anyone who enjoyed the original “#SmellcometoManhood” installment, should get a kick out of “Dadsong.” Read more

W+K Explores Virtual Reality for Chrysler

Heard of Oculus Rift but still not sure what it is, exactly? Now you can become a little more familiar with the experience thanks to Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

But first, this September entry from W+K for client Chrysler is less an ad than a short “making of” documentary about the company’s interactive factory tour project:


New work after the jump.

Read more

SportsCenter Experiences Technical Difficulties in W+K’s Latest, Starring James Harden

Houston Rockets star James Harden takes center stage in W+K’s latest “This is SportsCenter” installation, entitled “Satellite,” which also features SportsCenter anchors Neil Everett, Kenny Mayne and Stan Verrett.

In the 30-second spot, which will run for six weeks, Harden fields a call from a mission control center as Everett and Verrett call with a technical problem on the set of SportsCenter. From here things take an unexpected turn, with a cameo by Houston Astros mascot Orbit. Without giving too much away, we can say that as far as “This is SportsCenter” spots go, this one is certainly on the stranger end. Harden, who also appeared in this memorable spot for Foot Locker a few months back, plays his part well, but we think this one will leave some people scratching their heads. Read more

W+K Asks You to ‘Choose Your Winter’ for Nike

W+K Portland launched a campaign for Nike’s Hyperwarm line with the 60-second broadcast spot “Choose Your Winter.”

The spot enlists an unexpected guest for the brand in Chris O’Dowd (who you probably remember as Kristen Wiig‘s love interest in Bridesmaids). O’Dowd plays an alarmist newscaster making dire predictions about a “snow-mageddon” or “snow-tastrophe” — even claiming that ancient man went extinct during the Ice Age. His over-the-top warnings about the cold and snow are contrasted with images of athletes — including NFL stars Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, figure skater Gracie Gold, soccer players Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans, middle distance runner Mary Cain and snowboarder Johnnie Paxson — decked out in Nike Hyperwarm and powering through the cold. The message is clear and effective: you can exaggerate the effects of the cold and use it as an all encompassing excuse or you can tough it out with help from Nike. 

Nike told Adweek the spot is the first in a series. Athletes who will appear in future spots include NHL star Dion Phaneuf and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who is currently playing in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series. Read more

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