Advertising Agency of the Year 2019: Wieden+Kennedy
In 2019, the agency went from being a creative place with advertising to being a creative partner for product innovation, customer experience, employee communication, and more.
“When you’re a true partner, you care about the business from the ground up,” W+K said.
Fiercely independent, W+K’s work for longtime clients Nike, Old Spice and KFC proves he can discover new ideas and unveil new executions.
In 2019, that legacy led to major successes at Fisher-Price, Ford, HBO and McDonald’s – 20 new customers in all – from full partnerships to project work. Estimated revenue rose 14.1% in the US in the third quarter, ahead of W+K’s McDonald’s win.
This team of independent and creative minds is led by a stable management team consisting of Neal Arthur and Karl Lieberman in New York and Jason Bagley, Eric Baldwin and Karrelle Dixon in Portland. Co-Chairs, Colleen DeCourcy and Tom, oversee global operations. Blessington. Maybe this steady hand frees everyone to create.
Of all W+K’s work in 2019, KFC broke the boundaries of literal thinking. The Colonel brand campaign changed the front men from actors Jason Alexander to Sean Astin to Robocop, each playing the Colonel, playing their signature roles.
Outside of advertising, the agency commemorated Mother’s Day, a sales day at KFC, by creating sassy videos of the Chickendales dancers. The agency has taken to the ground floor of vegan options with the “Beyond Fried Chicken” launch, including painting a store green.
The stories of female athletes inspired many through 2019, few more memorable than Team USA’s women’s soccer team and Nike’s glowing campaign, which garnered more than 1.3 billion impressions.
Team USA’s winning season felt like it was written by a W+K writer. It started with a moving “Dream with Us” that connected viewers to the players and continued with “Dream Further” at the start of the matches. As the team showed up for a ticker tape parade in New York, the crowd cheered their fight for equal opportunity and pay for all women, holding up signs saying, “When this team wins, everything the world wins”. of the final “Never Stop Winning” advertisement.
A simple premise launched Fisher-Price’s work. As the industry tinkered with brain development toys, W+K seized on the fun positioning.
In the inaugural “Let’s Be Kids” commercial, John Goodman reminded all adults what childhood is really all about.
W+K’s secret sauce is a culture where wild ideas and pipe dreams are welcome. “Bring your whole self with you to work every day” is an HR mandate.
The agency is a strong supporter of industry inclusion efforts, including the 3% movement and ADCOLOR. In 2020, a partnership with TimesUp helps fight sexual harassment through workshops and training.
W+K continues to seek out creative minds outside of advertising agencies. A project neatly links stated beliefs together. He organized a branded content course for high school students at New York’s Ghetto Film School to nurture hidden talent. More than lip service, the students created social story videos for agency client Sprite, from concept to editing, giving the students real-life experience, something for their resumes, and maybe the launch of the next generation of W+K creations.