glue Isobar, part of Aegis plc, has appointed Nick Bailey as Executive Creative Director. This major appointment for the agency comes after a six-month international hunt for the new head of the creative department. Bailey joins from AKQA where he has been ECD for the past four years. He will oversee the entire creative output and be part of the UK Executive Team. Since 1998, Bailey has built an international reputation as a strategic creative leader, having produced countless globally recognised, digitally driven brand campaigns. According to the press release he was behind one of the most awarded pieces of work in the history of digital marketing: Heineken Star Player and was recently named a Top Ten Creative Mind by AdWeek. Bailey has been in the digital industry for 15 years now: the last four as ECD at AKQA, working in both Amsterdam and London, and before that at Oyster Partners (now LBi).
Tag Archive: AKQA
Since this summer KesselsKramer has opened a new office in LA. KKLA, situated in a former communist bookstore in LA’s Chinatown, already employs 16 people, working for three different clients; Ubisoft, Museum of Comtemporary Art, and a liquor brand. KKLA is led by MD Eric Barrett (founder of Mirror Films and the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival), ECD David Charles (ex AKQA and 72andSunny LA), and Head of Integrated Productions Robert Fagan (founding member of 42 Entertainment). The new office will not just focus on advertising, but also on branded content and entertainment, thus bridging the divide between advertising, art, music, film and publishing.
We can imagine that when you get a brief for a new EA game it will often tell you that the gameplay is new, improved, and more realistic than ever before. To demonstrate this the most obvious thing to do is to show some in-game footage and lift a little corner of the veil of gameplay. That’s what AKQA did to promote the launch of Grand Slam Tennis 2. The responsive “total racket control” is translated into a replay of the final shot at match point during some memorable Wimbledon, US Open, etc. match. We tried McEnroe (or at least an avatar that vaguely resembles McEnroe) vs Borg. And we found out that the game is so realistic that – amateur as we are – scoring the winning point against Borg proved impossible. Then again, maybe we were just too impatient. For those of you with more patience, try it out here.
AKQA Amsterdam has appointed Rui Vieira to the role of Creative Director. Azorean-born Vieira worked at Fullsix Group in Lisbon. Before he worked on brands like McDonald’s, AXE, Playstation, and the popular portugese beer Superbock. Vieira is also known for organizing and producing the International OFFF festival in 2008 and 2009. About his move: “AKQA is an exciting new horizon for me and I’m proud that my work has led me to the world’s leading digital agency, based in the world’s most creative city”. Vieira will join AKQA in April and will be working across the agency’s accounts, including Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Electronic Arts. We wish him all the best.
With a track record like Tribal DDB it’s hardly a surprise that they became interactive agency of the year at Eurobest this year. Throughout the year they’ve been making great and award winning work for KLM and Philips. The climax of their award victory march has been Eurobest this week; out of the 12 nominations they won 9 awards – for Philips Obsessed with Sound 4, for ‘Wake up the town‘ 2, and for KLM Tile & Inspire 3. What really took us by surprise was ‘The Legendary Making of The Date’ for Heineken by Wieden+Kennedy winning a Grand Prix in film. We already noticed that every big budget commercial nowadays gets a making of to create some relatively cheap content – and PR for the agency, for that matter. But actually winning a Grand Prix with the side project of a campaign is quite something. Back then we said: “Not your standard ‘making of’, but one made with ‘joie de vivre’ and lots of CG jokes. If we weren’t already, this would want to make us work in advertising”. The commercial itself, ‘The Date’, also won silver in film, and ‘The Entrance’ won gold. We were told that AKQA’s London office sent in the work of AKQA Amsterdam, so you could say that the Grand Prix and Gold in Mobile for Heineken Star Player (social betting on football matches), also went to Amsterdam. DBB and 180 won silver in film for ‘Old Lady’ (Volkswagen) and ‘Marked for Life’ respectively. We also had the Epica awards last week. W+K won 5 Epica’s plus a Grand Prix for ‘The Entrance’ and ‘The Date’ combined. Again W+K won an award (gold) for the ‘extra’s’ – some extra mini scripts around ‘The Entrance’. 180’s Marked for Life won gold and silver. Finally Lemz did well with 2 silver and 2 bronze for IKEA 365, KLM Live Reply, and ‘Children see things differently‘. In total Amsterdam won 22 Epica awards. One final note to Eurobest and Epica; can you guys please merge? There’s no reason to have two identical continental award shows – except making lots of money, of course…
Yesterday we were at the Tomorrow Awards, the award show that is to inspire the industry to innovate faster, as Ignacio Oreamuno explained in his welcome speech. It proved quite a long afternoon – at some point turning into a night – if you take into account that only 5 awards were given away. It helped that the event, held at Pakhuis de Zwijger along IJ river, was sponsored by Absolut and some other hard liquor brands and was hosted by the hyper active Haley Mancini of Boom Chicago. There was also some improvisational, interactive theater by some actors who perform occasionally at Boom Chicago to keep the crowd going, but only at the end of the evening this seemed to pick up – when the bottles on the tables started to empty. The most interesting part of the show were the four speakers leading some of the best agencies in the world; Paul Lavoie (Taxi), talking about doubt as an essential ingredient for great work and showing an 8 minute film he just made about the last two days of Vincent van Gogh’s life; Nick Bailey (AKQA) talking intelligently about AKQA’s many ‘human platforms’; Carl Johnson (Anomaly), announcing his new office in Amsterdam and wisely stating that the digital era needs more collaboration and less ego; and finally Jean-François Bouchard who very entertaingly and convincingly showed how at Sid Lee underwear is the preferred dress and crazyness key. There was one thing that all the speakers seemed to agree on; we live in exciting times. You’d almost forget that there were also some awards to give away. The winners were: Skype in the Classroom, Made by Many (UK); Halo Reach, AKQA (USA); What Do You Love, Big Spaceship and Google Creative Lab (USA); HypoSurface, Mark Goulthorpe (inventor) USA; Les Paul, Google Doodle Team & Google Creative Lab (USA). All cases were, as Oreamuno promised at the beginning of the show, digitally advanced. It was a pity though that there were only Anglo-saxon winners. But since this is only the second year of the Tomorrow Awards, it probably just needs some more time to get discovered by the rest of the world. In any case, we definitely agree with Oreamuno; less awards is more.
W+K Amsterdam was asked by Nike to create an integrated campaign to celebrate the South American Copa America, which is being held throughout July in Argentina. The result: ‘Copa Barrio’. There are two films, one for Brazil, featuring Neymar with funky hairdo, and one for Argentina, featuring Pastore, Higuain, and Tevez – we’re showing the latter in this post, because Argentina is hosting the event. To give the campaign a grassroots feel the films, directed by Paulo Gandra (Hungry Man Brazil), were more or less created on the go, with no real scripts to adhere to – though they look quite slick anyway. AKQA London was responsible for the online component, a Facebook fan page. Note: if you live in the Netherlands you have to choose English as your preferred language at the very bottom of the fan page – AKQA is working on this glitch. Anyway, on this page fans can create and share their own rallying posters with the same ‘barrio’ feel that is established in the commercials. We’re sure things will go ‘loco’ in South America.
Laurence Parkes has been appointed as Strategy Director at AKQA Amsterdam. Previously he was head of digital strategy for WCRS in London. Parkes initial focus will be the Heineken account. Prior to WCRS, Parkes worked at DDB and BBH in London. He’s been awarded with IPA Effectiveness Award for the successful Marmite Love/Hate campaign in 2002, helped to launch the Audi TV channel in 2005, and persuaded Google to allow a Weetabix spoof website that implied Google was powered by an elderly librarian in 2009. About his move Parkes says: “AKQA is obsessed with the detail, which shows in their work. I believe brilliance in digital is all about the detail. AKQA has ambitious plans for the Amsterdam office and I want to help turn it into the jewel in the crown of the AKQA network.” If that means we get to see more work from AKQA Amsterdam, we’ll keep our fingers crossed!
Google AdWords can easily be called the best advertising invention ever – anyone can use it, it’s well targeted, efficient, and cheap. The product is so successful that it gave Google a whooping $24 billion dollar revenue in 2009. This year marks the 10th anniversary of AdWords and that’s why the juggernaut wanted to thank its advertisers (for once) with a personalised message. It asked AKQA San Francisco to help them do it. AKQA wrote a script and then asked PostPanic’s Mischa Rozema to help them visualise it – earlier they worked together on the McDonald’s ARG ‘The Lost Ring’ in 2008. As you can expect from Rozema and PostPanic, the result is a surreal experience that smoothly combines live action with digital effects. Rozema did a lot of the footage handheld and edited it purposely clunky to give the impression that it was indeed done by the Google research department. The possibility to integrate the brand names of the Google customers in each fail – in this version “postpanic.com” – was technically realised by London based Rehab Studio. What we like about the 4 minute during ad, is the contrast between the corporate, if not robotic, Susan Wojcicki – Senior Vice-President – on the one hand and the somewhat geeky humour on the other. It gives Google a human face. In fact, Wojcicki reading from her autocue “what we need here is a heartfelt thank you”, followed by the employees all over the world saying “THANK YOU”, even reminds us that Google was once an internet start-up.
What an inspiring event it was. Here are the insights we took home. The first key note speaker, Ed Ulbrich from Digital Domain, talked us through the process of getting the multi-platform remake of Tron to market. He showed what looked like a trailer of the movie ‘Tron Legacy’, but later revealed it was ‘just’ a teaser to get Disney excited; they could make a movie, a game and a theme park ride out of this single concept. He called this a ‘transmedia content prototype’; a piece of content that mitigates the investor’s risk, because it provides a tangible window into the opportunities of the concept. Ulbrich founded a company, Mothership, that single mindedly builds these kind of prototypes. More…