How does an agency follow a year like the one Wieden +Kennedy, Portland had in 2010? It won Creativity's Agency of the Year, scooped major awards and earned plaudits in particular for its work on Old Spice that had other creatives spitting with envy.
In 2011, Portland wasn't quite such a head and shoulders above the crowd standout, but it did create clutch of work better than most agencies can dream of, and continued to shovel in major awards (taking a Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes and One Show awards for Old Spice, as well as an Emmy for Chrysler). New work for Old Spice continued to keep the brand top of mind. A series of spots pit "New Old Spice Guy" and B-list beefcake Fabio against "Old Old Spice Guy" The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. But that was just an appetizer for the online fisticuffs to follow: for two and half days, the two competed in a battle for spokesperson supremacy, once again fueled by comments from fans.
Having spiced up one old-fashioned brand, W+K turned its attention to the flailing auto industry with work for Chrysler and Dodge. For Chrysler, W+K milked the brand's Detroit roots for all they were worth with Eminem in the Emmy Award winning "Born of Fire," directed by Sam Bayer. For Dodge, it sent viewers on a journey across the US looking for hidden cars in a campaign, "Journey," which drew heavily on social media.
A new campaign for Levi's, "Legacy," celebrated those looking to ensure a better future for the world, using lines from writer Charles Bukowski's uplifting poem "The Laughing Heart"(though, the ads had to be postponed in the UK after drawing comparisons with images of the London riots).
Among the usual inspirational stuff for Nike, such as "Throwdown." W+K also offered up inventive campaigns such as "Back4TheFuture," which saw the brand recreate the shoes from Back to the Future and sell them on eBay to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. There was some nice work for Coke, including Border Crossing. And, until its recent split with Target, Wieden kept the brand as fresh, and funny, as ever.