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For a long time,Nike has been what we
talk about when we talk about Wieden.
And Nike still provides much fodder for
conversation—tongues, ours included,
sure wagged when the agency's second
skin client moved a piece of its running
business to CPB this spring. But, lately,
there have been so many, many more
Wieden talking points. Coke, for example.
The best of the agency's "Coke Side
of Life" campaign made doing work for
the notoriously difficult client look easy,
culminating in a truly sweet creative
victory—having the best spots in last
year's ("Video Game" out of Portland
and "Happiness Factory" out of
Amsterdam) and this year's Super Bowl
(Portland's "It's Mine"). The Factory, of
course, has proved especially longlegged,
with a sequel, a documentary
and, recently, a website added to the
franchise. Portland distinguished itself
this year with a strong new campaign
for Old Spice and New York continued
to demonstrate the agency's entertainment
chops with a well received TV
series, Nimrod Nation. Meanwhile,
W+K went on a new business killing
spree, landing big ones like the global
Nokia account,Visa World Cup duties
and a couple of Heineken brands. And
did we mention Nike? Among other
Nike highlights, W+K produced a skateboarding
film and threw in one of the
best spots of the year—"Leave
Nothing." A creative re-org put Jelly
Helm and Steve Luker in charge of
Portland and the agency forayed into
India, while Papa Wieden himself
remained the strong center, providing
that fierce independence, hands-on creative
leadership and spiritual guidance.
On getting big and staying good:
"From the minute someone contacts
you and says, 'Would you mind pitching
this or talking to us?' is the first thing
you ask 'What do you spend?' or is it 'Is
it an interesting category' and 'Are there
people there who are willing to experiment?'
That's the main thing we look
for. Because we are independent we
know that if we continue to do good
work the money will follow.We're not
really all that good at politics, and
sometimes our presentations suck, but
what gets us out of trouble is the work.
And the work may be a conceptual idea
or a business idea or production of film
and entertainment. And we're damn fun
to work with."