jai&wal at adam&eve

We’ve been on a placement at adam&eve since Monday and it’s quite sweet. Being a start up it’s around 20 people big and everyone is a busy bee. Originally we were penciled in for a month, however it's now two weeks as there aren't many briefs floating around. So out of desperation we're performing daily rain dances after everyone leaves asking for more briefs.

yet we were informed that they might cut it after two weeks if work won't be around.

Our first brief is for the Telegraphs online dating service, Kindred Spitis. Wait, no, don’t bother looking up our profiles, we disguised those quite well (they are for research purposes only). The office is near Leicester Square, that makes it our first agency in Central London, as before we’ve been either West (Lowe & Leo’s) or East (W+K). Central ad ghetto's fun.

Of course there is an apple tree here, we are yet to bite into one. Would you?

After W+K

Five weeks go by fast. Too fast. Wieden+Kennedy was a fantastic place to be. We’ve got some good work produced and met some really friendly people on the way. Before we started we had heard how committed and positive WKers were supposed to be towards their work, it was true. In fact most the rumors we had heard were true – Amazing amazing amazing office. Friendly people. All about the work. Long hours. More Nike than at Nike Town. Pushing for work simply for the sake that it hasn’t been done before. No glass walls or closed doors.

One we’d like to add is the enormous amount of all staffers that are sent, approximately one every 10mins we’d say. ‘can I borrow a Nokia charger pretty please?’, ‘come get, brownies at reception’, ‘anyone remember the name of that guy on bbc1 last night, you know, white hair, big ears, kinda funny, probably cute when he was younger?’. We even got one from Dan Wieden (Jai is gonna nail this one on his wall).

A place we’d love to be but it’s not our time yet, however it’s not a dream we’ll be giving up anytime soon. All we can do is say a big thanks to W+K. What's next? We'll see. For now you can find us on the streets in various cafés around town, working on our book and other stuff.

Creative Direction

Today we had an hour and half sit down with Tony Davidson, we talked about work, W+K and random things that popped into our heads. Boy does that guy knows his stuff, we walked away from it with our heads spinning.

Full of insight, he talked about where things are going, how he thinks brands should be engaging with people, stuff he likes to do, where he goes looking for ideas and how he wants his agency to evolve. The guy is a motivated genius and wanted to genuinely give us his time and help us. If we’re honest, we probably learnt more over that short casual chat than we have done over our entire month here.

It wasn’t like most reviews where we talked about the ads and strategies. Today we sat there and talked about issues, people, problems, emotions and solutions; very few of them being ads. It was eye opening and inspiring. Cheers Tony.

Some good news, we’ve been extended a week to finish up some work we’re having produced.

WKStatus

Woo, Wednesday, middle of the week. The last couple of weeks have gone by way too quick. It's our fourth week here at Wieden+Kennedy. In our time here we've worked on Nike & Lurpak. The latter bought our idea for a digital campaign which is going into production soon if all goes smoothly.

This week's been pretty quiet for us, although we constantly keep bugging traffic and everyone else there are no briefs on our table. So we're spending our time making a short movie, an assignment every placement team gets here. It has to include a horses head.

Come Friday we'll have a review with Tony D, so all is good and exciting.

Food for thought

It's our second week at Wieden+Kennedy London and things are going good, optimism on every corner. After the first five days were all about Nike the next few we'll be working on two Lurpak briefs. A great occasion to continue work after work at home in the kitchen, messing about with potatoes and other simple ingredients that go smoothly with slightly salty butter.

There's another brief on our desk, one that finds its way to every placement team here – to make a short movie. So time in between butter and sneakers is spent on a film with no restrictions. Quite a healthy creative diet we think.

Who to cheer for?

Being Russian I am a huge fan of the national football team. I am very proud of their games in the EC2008 tournament so far. For me their will to win reflects the comeback of a whole nation. But as I also lived in Germany for many years, I cannot deny an affinity towards their team, especially as I am watching every match with German friends. I've been waiting all week for tonight's game, I couldn't wait to cheer for the Russians kicking some Spanish butt.

However this has now changed. We are working on Nike, as they are sponsoring Fabregas who plays in the Spanish team, and if we're lucky we might get some work through. That is – if Spain wins and the client doesn't change their mind. Inner struggle.

Door to stupidity

Back in the day when we used to visit W+K with our portfolio we never managed to open the door on the first attempt, consequently we felt a bit stupid. I mean it’s only a glass door with a plus-shaped handle and a buzzer on the right side which once rung informs Holly who then opens you the door to their Shangri-La. Now, normally you would push the door open because that's how doors are opened, but not this one.

As far as we know Wieden+Kennedy has the one single door in the industry that opens the other way.

You have to pull it, sounds simple but it's quite unnatural. Honestly said it was a bit annoying as we looked like a pair of idiots rigorously trying to push a door open when all it needed was a little pull.

Perhaps it’s just us and we’re a bit slow, but we’d like to believe it fits with their motto of walking in stupid every morning.

It’s our third day and we’ve just about got used to it. Now we thought wouldn't it be great if the door had a shuffle mechanism that would always change the direction the door has to be opened? That would be so stupidly great.

Just after the first day

It finally arrived, after months of anticipation our first W+K day – so far so good! The people have been super friendly - big smiles and warm handshakes. Our work desks are 10 feet from the kitchen so lots of tea, toast and orange squash. And the office looks and feels really fun, busy and vibrant. As expected we were given a brief on the first day and it's a Nike one at that, how cool! We are reviewing tomorrow morning, so we'll keep this one short. Happy monday evening.

Just before the first day

It's our first day of work. We'll have to be there at 9.30, Jai is travelling all the way in from Osterley while I can snooze a bit longer, living in Aldgate East. Ten minutes walking time to W+K – one of the reasons I moved east in the first place.

We have been wearing big smiles for days. We are curious, excited and hungry for a challenge. So good morning everyone, it's time to go.

Birds, Trees and TBWA

I guess it is lucky, perhaps we should hang out under trees waiting to get shat on more often?

A few weeks ago we got a call from LIZH telling us that when they sent our portfolio to TBWA and out of the lot 'Steve Henry has seen your book and wants to see you guys’. So we bobbed along to Charlotte St for a short meeting with the big man and got on brilliantly. He gave us some great advice and offered to get us in front of the team in charge of organizing placements. Yesterday, we finally got a chance to go in and see Julia Taylor, and it’s now confirmed. We’re scheduled to start September, happy as we are we have our fingers crossed to have our names on a contract by then. So for now, 18 days to Wieden+Kennedy.

Bye Bye Burnett

Ah, leaving is always tough, especially after meeting a bunch of great people. After two months at Leo Burnett London we packed our seven things and said good-bye to the friendliest agency we've been to. It's been a fabulicious time, we enjoyed it a lot. Cheers to Trevor, Ed, Tony, Bertie, Phil, Christen, Ollie, Richard, Ed, Rob, Nikki, Gaynor and lots of other people we were lucky to meet.

Now – entering portfolio mode and starting the countdown. 24 days to Wieden+Kennedy. Impressions from Leo's:





We call him Shmoo

This is how the mugs look like here at Leo Burnett. They have the green man on them. One of our favourite teams here, Christen & Ollie had this idea. We like this green guy, he's cool.

You ask us why we post a mug? Well, we're cheating really, as we don't have time for a 'proper' post. We're working on a pitch. The tissue meeting (we hate that expression) is tomorrow. So, we better get going. Chop Chop.

Down to two

Leo Burnett, our first month's over. We're still on our toes. At day, carving campaigns for McDonald's and alike. After dark, only a handful days left until Portfolio Night keep us awake. Shaping the book, preparing. More carving.

In the meantime, the first casualty echos from the Leo Lab. The creative duo Chris & Rob, one out of the three placement teams, had their last day today. Before you start accusing us and looking for case evidence, we're innocent. The two are alive and well. They are off to start at Ogilvy on Tuesday. We're saying thanks for the fish, the competition and good luck.

This is Jai & Wal, Creative In London, post 201.
Let the weekend begin.

Leo Playground

When we started the Leo Lab we were told it's was going to be a period of live briefs to gather experience. In the beginning it was pretty much what they promised. Now things have changed. All three Leo Lab teams were gathered on Tuesday for a meeting. The creative leadership wants to change the direction of the Leo Lab - instead of putting us on daily work briefs that need solving and have lots of limitations we are asked to do stuff that's 'really great'. Literally Leo Burnett's client list is our brief, pick a brand, do something great for it. Sounds good to us. It lowers the chances of getting work out, but if something does get through, it'll be pretty damn good.

We think it's a great way of using placement teams, agencies have enough teams who can crack briefs and please clients. Seems like they want a team who will challenge the norm. Exciting times for us.

What would you prefer? Getting the real briefs? Or working on whatever you like, trying to turn it into something amazing? The Leo Lab experiment commences.

Two weeks at Leo Burnett London

Fourteen days, three placement teams, two briefs and one big table. Time for a short recap. We've spent most of our time on a brief for Child Road Safety, which is pretty open, very exciting and quite huge (a big idea type of brief). The other one on our desk is for an online campaign for Beefy & Lamby, we've got to get more people eating meat. To spice things up, this week we've launched an attack on traffic to get more assignments to keep us going.

The agency's in Kensington Village, the office seems quite isolated, but that's quite nice as it has it's own outdoor area with lots of green, benches and pigeons; fab for those rare sunny hours. On the inside, it's feels really chilled, light and spacious, and not like a big agency that's a part of the Publicis machine. In fact there's just enough space for some after hours football, maybe we'll give that a go.
We're working hard on every brief and eagerly waiting for our reviews. That's what this placement is about. We want to be better than the other teams, the ones on placement, and the ones with jobs.

Leo Lab Landing

Monday morning Jai and Wal floated into Leo Burnett to find a buzzy place full of super friendly people. The office is crazy spacious, great for throwing our beloved hacky sack around. One of the other teams arrived with us yesterday, the third team of the Leo lab join us today. We spent our first day introducing ourselves, admiring serious finger boarding skills and acquainting ourselves with the two floored cafeteria.

Six weeks at Lowe

We had a brilliant last Friday at Lowe, cheers fellas. Today we've been reflecting on our six weeks there and here is what we walked away with. A big thanks to everyone at Lowe, Take CARE.
  • Considering how much effort goes into coming up with an idea, we've learnt it takes just as much, if not more, to hang onto it. We've learnt ideas don't take care of themselves and although it would be a lot easier to just let them go, it's just not worth the agony after. Note to self, take care of your work.

  • We were surrounded by truly brilliant creatives and it was really easy to feel intimidated but you just cant afford to let that happen. For one, they'll never know who we are and more importantly, we won't know them. It's important that we make the most of these opportunities and these people. Pick their brains whenever we can, wherever we can. We learned more in five minutes chatting with Lowe's creatives than we did in a whole day spent with a brief behind our desks.

  • Fair enough, getting stuff run was great, but it wasn't brilliant. We crafted work to tick everyones boxes - and forgot about ours. Granted, that got us from A to B, but in the long run it's not something we'll be telling the grand kids about. So now - we'd rather focus on doing great work rather than getting work out.

  • One thing we noticed was, we spent ludicrous amounts of time 'answering' a brief only to have the solutions skimmed over. It was strange, but the ideas that got the attention were the ones, that were a little whack. Lesson, don't stick to the brief, or you might miss out on something.