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Wieden & Kennedy

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

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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

W+K, Sony Focus on the Products

Wieden+Kennedy’s latest spot for Sony, titled “Script to Screen,” has already earned more than a million YouTube views since its debut this weekend. But it’s new to us, and it’s the opening of the Fall edition of the brand’s ongoing “Be Moved” campaign, which started during the Golden Globes in January and continued in February with a profile of the New Jersey man behind “the world’s largest model railroad.

“Script to Screen” is a bit less…quirky than that offering:

In case you missed it, the point is that Sony doesn’t just make movies, music and games — they also make the tools.

Since this work is all about the products, we have two product-specific spots after the jump.

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W+K Amsterdam Takes ‘Leap of Faith’ for Audi

W+K Amsterdam have launched a campaign for Audi’s new TTS Coupe.

The campaign is built around a broadcast spot entitled “Leap of Faith.” Rather than build a case for the car in the usual format touting various features, W+K Amsterdam lets the vehicle speak for itself (sort of). The ad begins with what looks like a meteor in the sky. Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that it is in fact an Audi TTS Coupe rapidly approaching the ground. Luckily, rather than crashing into the land below, the car lands on an elaborately staged landing track and speeds off to the road ahead. A bit over the top, maybe, but it’s at least does something a little different for its category, ending wih the tagline, “The New Audi TTS Coupe. You Dare or You Don’t. Read more

W+K Keeps Things Short for Gap

Last week we met Wieden+Kennedy’s new work for Gap in the form of family-centric spots directed by Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter Sofia (we were partial to the super-awkward mistletoe scene).

The ads were very different than the darker, more abstract work by David Fincher — and the agency’s latest additions to the brand’s holiday campaign are even more unusual. The theme of the “Play Your Stripes” series is clothing items recast as musical instruments.

As W+K explains it, the agency “re-imagined” the client’s holiday catalog and made a short film for each of ten individual products, tying it to sound in some way. Here’s the first one, “Hi-5 Machine,” with the tagline “These girls mittens hi-5 each other whether they want to or not.”

While these ads won’t air on TV, Gap is promoting them on its social channels and sending them to various music pubs.

Nine more gallery-ready shorts after the jump.

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W+K Creates Interactive Video for Honda Civic Type R

W+K London created an interactive video ad for Honda’s new sportier Civic Type R which allows viewers to toggle between two stories.

Using the “R” key, viewers can switch back and forth between two story lines featuring the same main character. Seemingly an everyday dad, one story features the man picking his daughters up from school. But switch to the parallel story using the “R” key and you’ll see that by night he uses his Civic Type R for a more exciting type of mission. We’ve included a (very) short trailer above, but you really need to head to Honda’s YouTube page for the full experience. It’s a clever idea, echoing the experience of drivers toggling on the vehicle’s “Racing Mode,” and W+K and director Daniel Wolfe execute it pretty brilliantly.

We wanted people to feel Honda’s other side as well as see it, W+K London wrote in a blog post yesterday, “so we dreamt up a technique that brings together both narratives through a simple interaction.”

W+K Brings LeBron, Cleveland ‘Together’ for Nike

W+K has a new ad for Nike, promoting the launch of its new LEBRON 12 sneaker today with a celebration of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland directed by the Malloy Brothers.

Yes, that’s right: another LeBron James ad about the star’s return to Cleveland. This follows on the heels of Translation’s spot for Sprite (which we wrote about yesterday) and R/GA’s “Re-Established 2014″ for Beats, which deal with the exact same subject, as well as the recent Kia spot from David&Goliath, also starring James. Nike’s new spot will run tonight during the Cavs first home game, when it’s theoretically possible that ads featuring James will run back-to-back-to-back.

So there’s a bit of an oversaturation issue with this message, to put it mildly. But how does W+K’s version compare to the others we’ve seen? It might actually be the most melodramatic of the bunch. It opens on James giving a pep talk to his team about giving their all for the city of Cleveland. Soon the entire city is in a huddle, chanting, “Forward! Together!” It’s well-shot, in black and white, but the message comes across as a bit over-the-top, all the more so given the story’s overexposure. The spot will continue to run through November 17th. Read more

W+K, Sofia Coppola Craft Holiday Efforts for Gap

Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) is the latest marquee Hollywood director enlisted for Wieden+Kennedy’s “Dress Normal” campaign for Gap, following David Fincher‘s efforts in August and taking the reigns of four holiday  spots — a pair each for broadcast and online.

The ads spin the “Dress Normal” tagline by showing some abnormal (and often cringe-inducing) family holiday moments. But then what’s more normal than pondering the family you’ll never understand? Each spot ends with the message “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” preceding the tagline. It’s an interesting approach, positioning Gap as a gift for those family members you have no idea what to give to, but it sits well with the “Dress Normal” tagline and Coppola and company do a good job of making it work in most of the ads.

In perhaps the most successful of the spots, “Gauntlet” a girl returns home to her large, boisterous, and often odd family. Perfectly set to the Johnny Cash song “I Got Stripes,” she makes her way through the house greeting her relatives with an awkward expression on her face that says a lot about the effort she’s putting in to deal with these people. It feels like a telling glance into the lives of a particular family, which is the approach taken throughout these efforts and, along with some great song selections, what makes them charming. The other broadcast spot, “Mistletoe,” documents a particularly cringe-worthy moment under the mistletoe at a holiday party. It’s almost hard to watch, but then that makes it fit the “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap” all the more.

In addition to the two online ads — “Crooner” and “Pinball” — the campaign is supported by print and OOH elements, as well as digital banner ads launching on Gap’s social media channels and GapGiftGuide.com on November 3rd. Read more

W+K New York and Jordan Go West Looking for Sketch Comedy

Here’s some new work from Wieden+Kennedy New York for a client listed as “Jordan” (note the lack of “Air” there).

The story: Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, both of whom happen to play for the LA Clippers and both of whom happen to be launching new shoes around the same time, have scored a couple of sketch comedy shorts on Adult Swim. Developed with the co-creator of the much-missed Chappelle Show, the project “BGCP3TV in HD” is a promotion for Jordans and “a shout out to the city of Los Angeles.”

The first episode aired several hours before our dog rudely woke us up this morning:

So they can’t even operate without their shoes. Since these episodes aren’t technically ads, do we call them “branded content” or “sponsored content?”

Promos and credits below.

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W+K Offers Cute Take on Modern Romance for Facebook

W+K crafted a cute little 30-second broadcast spot for Facebook taking on the subject of modern romance in a promotion of Facebook Messenger.

Entitled “Say Love You Better,” the spot shows a young couple attempting to bridge a long distance to communicate their love for each other. Beginning with a simple “I miss u” message, the spot uses the couple trying to find better ways to say “I love you” as a means to demonstrate the different ways Messenger lets you communicate: audio, photos, video, various emoji, etc. The couple, initially separated on opposite ends of the screen, fly towards each other and embrace, symbolizing how Messenger helped bring them together, ending with the “Say love you better” tagline. It’s an effective way to deliver the message, and perhaps rebuild the reputation of Facebook’s often-maligned mobile service (without addressing any of the criticism).

The campaign will also include OOH elements, a first for Facebook, with billboards in Los Angeles and Chicago rolling out next month.

Read more

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