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Wieden & Kennedy

WPP’s TAXI Begins Brewing New Relationship with Maxwell House

old maxwell house adThe year was 2010 when WPP rolled out the red carpet and doled out the cash for yet another advertising agency — TAXI.

The Toronto-based shop was bought to stand alone within the group and grow its own offices rather than merging with other units, according to Y&R Brands CEO Peter Stringham.

Apparently that was a good strategy: TAXI just wrangled itself a strong cup of the Kraft Foods empire with Maxwell House. Previously, the account was with W+K Portland.

The change comes only a couple of months after the coffee brand launched a new campaign called “Say Good Morning to a Good Day“; mcgarrybowen ran the account prior to W+K.

Seems that “the last drop” arrives more quickly each year. Stay tuned.

W+K NY Unveils New, High-Tech SportsCenter Set

W+K New York unveils the new high-tech SportsCenter set, complete with a few bugs, in the latest in their long-running “This Is SportsCenter” series.

SportsCenter is set to debut their new studio on June 22nd, and the new spot takes place on the set of the 194,000 square foot Digital Center 2. In the 30-second spot, entitled “Universal Remote,” anchor Kevin Negandhi shows off the studio’s capabilities to fellow host Hannah Storm using a universal remote. The button on the remote that’s supposed to control the desk appears to be faulty, however, with Washington Nationals’ mascot Theodore Roosevelt, along with anchors Jay Crawford and Jay Harris, taking full advantage of the unintended and comical consequences. It’s a fun introduction to the new studio that manages to show off some of its new capabilities without taking itself seriously. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K Amsterdam Calls on American Heroes for EA Sports

With the World Cup kicking off today in Brazil, W+K Amsterdam has a new campaign for EA Sport’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (out now on PS3 and Xbox360), aimed to “appeal to every gamer, and to every American with a star-spangled heart.”

The campaign calls on viewers to be “The next American hero” in a 75-second online spot as Team U.S.A. faces the “Group of Death” in Brazil. “The Next American Hero,” which also appears in 15 and 30-second online advertisement iterations, features a “team of soccer heroes representing a cross-section of American society” — such as an  astronaut, cowboy, tech entrepreneur and cheerleader — take the field for the US. Set to the song “Real American,” the spot is built around the idea that with 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the fate of the US soccer team is in your hands. And odds are they’ve got a better chance at advancing past group stage than the real team. We’ve got credits following the jump. Read more

W+K Gets Animated in ‘Short Film’ for Nike

Back in April, we covered “Winner Stays,” part of W+K’s “Risk Everything” campaign for Nike, which feature some of the world’s best soccer talent and clocked in at over four minutes long. Now, with only three days to go until the 2014 World Cup kicks off, W+K is back with an even lengthier effort for Nike.

Like “Winner Stays,” the new spot, entitled “The Last Game,” features some of the best players in the world — only this time they’re animated and voiced by voice actors. The over five-minute long “short film” tells the story of a scientist who creates clones of the great players which remove risk-taking in favor of efficiency and decision-making abilities. The results on the game are disastrous, turning it into a complete bore. Brazilian legend Ronaldo decides to do something about it, and gets together a team of superstars, all now leading “normal” lives, to take on the clones in a sudden death match.

Somehow the lengthy “The Last Game” doesn’t feel as long as its predecessor. While the trend of calling long ads “short films” is a touch ridiculous, W+K comes closer to earning that title than most do with “The Last Game,” which, in addition to some fine animation, has a plot that convincingly tells a story that viewers (especially children) may actually feel compelled to follow to its conclusion. While “Winner Stays” felt like an idea drawn out past the point of effectiveness, “The Last Game” actually uses all of its extended run time in service of a story. Whether or not it’s the most effective way to market Nike, the results are certainly entertaining. In addition to the full-length online spot, the campaign also includes 30-second trailers and athlete-specific teasers, and will run for six weeks. We’ve got a full list of credits after the jump. Read more

Working Not Working Lists Most Desirable Full-Time Gigs

wnwlogoanimated1Freelance network Working Not Working has unveiled a list of the top 46 companies its freelancers “would kill to work” for full-time, and the list includes several advertising agencies. Among the agencies Working Not Working freelancers would most like to work for are: 360i, 72andSunny, Barton F. Graf 9000, BBDO, BBH, Droga 5, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Mother, Periera & O’Dell, Venables Bell & Partners, and Wieden+Kennedy. The list also included a wealth of design and production companies, as well as Google, HBO, Cartoon Network, Tesla, and NASA (for some reason). Stick around for the full list after the jump. Read more

W+K NY Celebrates the World Cup’s ‘One Time Zone’ for ESPN

Yesterday we brought you news of Adidas’ World Cup spot from TBWA featuring Lionel Messi, a host of other international stars, and a Kanye West track. Now here’s a look at the latest in W+K New York’s World Cup campaign for ESPN.

The charming 60-second spot, entitled “Time Zone,” examines how the World Cup creates “one time zone,” as the whole world rearranges their schedule to watch the World Cup premiere. “Time Zone” opens and ends in Brazil, stopping over in destinations around the world as everyone prepares for the match. Some have an easier time adjusting to “Brazil time” than others. A businessman in Seattle is seen rushing out of the office while updating his voicemail to reflect that he will be “out of the office for the rest of the afternoon” — an accurate portrayal of kickoff times in the states — while an old woman falls asleep watching the game in Russia and in Japan a group congregates before the sun rises. The spot ends with the tagline, “Every 4 years the world has one time zone,” which is reminiscent of the earlier “Every 4 years the conversation starts again.” This newer spot reflects the heightened anticipation for the World Cup kickoff, which is just over two weeks away. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

W+K Presents the User-Generated Content Version of Coke’s ‘AHH Effect’

As the season finale of any major show approaches, advertising agencies and brands gather together around their chai teas, complicated brownies and erasable markers to determine how they can collectively take advantage of the ratings spike to come.

Coca-Cola figured out a way to win during the season finale of ‘American Idol’: user-generated contact.

Of course, the brand needed the help of Wieden+Kennedy to pull it off.

The video, which will premiere during tonight’s finale, was the result of a contest that began months ago under the “AHH” umbrella of ingenuity. Consumers created each clip, and editors completed the final cut of 40 AHHs by drawing from a group of more than 400 submissions from around the world.

While the “AHH Effect” campaign has been airing on VH1, MTV, and other channels broadcasting everything but music, this spot marked its network debut.

Credits after the jump.

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Layoffs at W+K Portland

wieden-kennedy

We’ve confirmed, via agency spokesperson, that a series of layoffs officially hit the Portland offices of Wieden+Kennedy today.

In summary: after parting ways with a few unspecified clients, W+K had to make some unfortunate decisions regarding the size of its staff.

Agency reps could not comment on totals or titles, but several anonymous tipsters told us the number of layoffs was greater than 30 and that it included more than one Creative Director.

Updates if/when we receive them.

W+K New York Taps Strasburg in Latest for SportsCenter

W+K New York called on the services of Stephen Strasburg for the latest in their “This is SportsCenter” series and the Washington Nationals ace doesn’t disappoint.

In the 30-second spot, “Frozen Lunch,” SportsCenter host Bram Weinstein angrily searches the break room for his Lean Cuisine while Strasburg ices his arm. Weinstein decides that the best way to find the culprit is to send out an angry email and storms out, while the true whereabouts of his “glazed turkey tenderloins” are revealed. Strasburg and Weinstein’s interactions make for some pretty entertaining moments, including a funny throwaway line from Weinstein near the spot’s conclusion, and it’s nice to see Strasburg getting the spotlight from W+K and ESPN. When successful,”This is SportsCenter” spots can be a lot of fun, and this latest entry from W+K New York definitely qualifies as a success. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Let’s Vicariously Enjoy One Lad’s Wild Night in the City Courtesy of Heineken, W+K

W+K Amsterdam is back with yet another sprawling, upbeat, frenetic spot for Heineken, which is part of the brew brand’s global campaign highlighting a man living it up in his cityscape. The latest spot, aptly dubbed “The City,” features a little Elvis swing as our hero goes on the hunt for a mysterious gal with the help of a host of lost business cards. Along the way, he experiences everything that makes his city so vibrant. The look, sound and feel is basically the template of what we’ve come to expect from Heineken ads in recent years, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Regarding the campaign concept, which revolves around encouraging men to explore their cities, Heineken global senior brand director Gianluca Di Tondo tells Marketing“Men of the world want to make the most out of their time in the city, because they know life only gives them one shot. So they really live their city by seeking out new experiences and adventures and they have an underlying fear of missing out on the best ones.” At the very least, it makes our desk job writing about such experiences rather lame. Credits after the jump.

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