Our Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper – thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

I got some of our wedding photos turned into a newspaper by the lovely chaps at newspaperclub.co.uk. The photos were taken by the equally lovely James Pike

My Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper - thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

My Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper - thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

My Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper - thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

My Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper - thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

My Spanky Wedding Photographs Newspaper - thanks Newspaperclub.co.uk

It’s all turned out quite nice I think. They’ll be in the post to friends and family as soon as we get some stamps and envelopes – by the way in case you were wondering Sophie and I had a very nice wedding and we’re very much enjoying being married. Or at least I am. I hope she is too.

Leaving drinks this weekend everyone welcome…

There’s people I only keep in touch with on Twitter, people who I’m friends with on Facebook, and people who I’m in touch with on neither. Through email migrations I’ve lost peoples’ addresses. And my fax database is woefully out of date. So it’s really hard to make sure that everyone knows they’re invited to our leaving drinks this weekend. So here’s a multi-platform invite…

Sophie and I are having a couple of bouts of drinking and weeping and we’d love to see some friendly faces. You’re all welcome to drop in and say hi & bye.

A new mix – Made on the Train

Well the loft is closed. It’s been tidied up and cleared out. And I’ve been reduced to making mixes on the train between home and work.

I’m not sure it’s the train’s fault but I’m really happy with how this one’s turned out.

Tracklist:

  1. Two Dots (Pezzner Remix) – Lusine
  2. Love Cry (Joy Orbison Remix) – Four Tet
  3. Love, Liptease & 808 – Krystian Shek 
  4. Twilight (Jeff Samuel Remix) – Lusine
  5. Aurevoir (Broke Remix) – Alif Tree
  6. A Lost Warmth – Vincent Casanova
  7. Clear Eyes (Trickski Remix) – Chopstick & Johnjon
  8. Chemise (Tony Underground Remix) – Sorcerer
  9. Time For Us – Nicolas Jaar
  10. Midnight – Charlie May
  11. Seasun – Delorean
  12. Sonorcade (Terrace Remix) – Art Bleek
  13. Subakuatik Blues (Russ Gabriel Perspective) – Petter
  14. Take Me As I Am (Max Cooper Remix) – Au Revoir Simone
  15. Big Weekend (Delorean Remix) – Lemonade

You can download the mix from here in enhanced podcast format (right click – save as). This will give the best results on iPods and iTunes (you’ll get all the track names and artwork, etc.

If you don’t like iPods or iTunes and want a plain old MP3 you can get one of them from here.

And you should be able to get it through iTunes here.

Or here it is in fancy SoundCloud embedded format here:

Made on the Train – Feb2010  by  iainmixedit

10 reasons I’m looking forward to my new W+K shoes

So with a heavy heart yesterday I offered up my old Poke shoes. Now it's time to talk about my new W+K shoes. I'm not sure what they're going to look like yet, but apparently I get access to some massive Nike cave of infinite free awesome magic trainers – or at least that's what I was promised ;-)

As I said, getting me to leave Poke was not an easy thing. But in the end an intoxicating mix of an independent agency, chock full of amazing people, in a fantastic place, brimming with opportunity and creative energy, and a dose of good old-fashioned persistence twisted my arm.

There has been some stuff around on the internet about my move to W+K, but I wanted to try and put it in my own words, and because I like lists here's 10 reasons why I'm super-excited about going to work at W+K – some of these things are moments of brilliance, others are signifiers that the culture of the agency is digitally-minded and others are neither. But all in all they point to an interesting road ahead.

1. They have a 2-letter domain name! 

Yes, a .com domain name with just two letters in it! That's pretty damn rare and exciting for a geek like me – here's some details - sure I could have taken a job at BK or BT or AA, but none of those are half as cool. And if everything goes tits-up the agency can always become a URL shortening service.

2. They make ads with men and horses in them

I don't even like horses much, and I'm not a huge man-fan either (not in that way). But W+K do make great ads. Funny ads, rousing ads, thought-provoking ads, stylish ads, they make totally outstanding ads. They make ads that people love and talk about – most significantly they make ads that have cultural resonance. Dialling up the digital component of things that are already cult can only make them bigger, stronger and longer – I've just realised how dodgy that sounds in relation to men and horses, but I'm going to go with it for now.

3. They made one of my favourite online campaigns ever

I've always been a massive fan-boy about this CK One campaign. It's from back in 1999 and many people will have forgotten the print ads with the models email addresses in them. Many people will also not know the story behind the email addresses. This Wired article might fill in the gaps – basically W+K created a deep and persistent online drama that lasted for over 2 years for CK, definitely one of the most impressive early digital campaigns globally – and still holds up today as being great – and way ahead of its time.

4. Amazing digital talent

I've met various people from around the W+K network over the last few years – and without exception I've been frightened by them all, in a good way. Oddly in my head I'd never really added them all up. But once you do, you realise that W+K has an incredible digital team – it's just spread around the world in an interesting way. And then I realised if that's the level of talent that they've got in the small pool I've been exposed to, what else am I about to find… :-)

5. They've made friends with failure

Lots of companies talk about embracing failure. But few actually have a management team that will let it happen beyond a powerpoint chart or two. I'm not planning on being a colossal failure. But it's good to know that taking wrong turns is tolerated – for the right reasons and if the right lessons are learned I'm sure.

6. A love of the unknown

"Walk in stupid" is a phrase I've seen around W+K from time to time. I reckon it's a particularly healthy attitude to have when it comes to approaching the digital world. I've seen a few agencies starting to behave as if they totally 'get it', like they've got this whole digital thing licked. Every second they spend congratulating themselves they've just become a tiny bit less relevant. There are millions of people whose entire livelihoods are built on making you look more stupid than you did yesterday (not in a nasty way) – so be prepared to always be a bit stupid.

7. A connected mission statement

If W+K has a public facing mission statement it's this: "We exist to create strong and provocative relationships between good companies and their customers". Pretty much the most awesome challenge for someone who gets obscenely excited about the power of networks and how connections and relationships work.

8. Making incubation a core part of what they do

W+K have 3 incubator style projects (excluding 12) – Platform in London, PIE in Portland and W+K Lab in Tokyo. Each of them is quite different in its structure and focus, but each of them allows the agency to reach out into a section of culture and creativity that exists on the fringe of what the agency does. I don't think anyone would claim that any of these things is a perfect version of the model. But to me they signify an important recognition that creative companies have to experiment with partnerships, collaborations and ways of working to stay relevant. I've always had a strange vision of creative companies getting to a point where they're incubating all of their staff – are we on the way?

9. Just do it

Just do it – surely 3 of the most famous words in advertising. But it doesn't just feel like a line that came out of an agency it feels like a line that is lived by an agency. A line that captures a spirit of creative energy, independence and entrepreneurialism.

Perversely the words were made all the sweeter for me when I heard the story about how they had been inspired by the words of a man on death row about to face his end, his final words: "let's do it". 

That's not to say I feel like a dude on death row, far from it.

10. Doing the best work of your life

Another Wiedenism that permeates the organisation is that it's a company where people go to do the best work of their lives. My inner British cynic is a loud voice in my head, and I assumed it was just a handy saying that looks good in PR and HR settings. Another nicely written ad line. But after a bit of chatting to people and seeing how things actually are rather than how they're expressed it becomes clear that this is genuinely how the company is set up. It's a company that does its best to bring out the best in people.

I hope that by joining W+K I'll be able to carry on being involved with making interesting stuff, but at the same time can, in some small way, help other people to do the best work of their lives. With awesome digital stuff at its core.

And that's my 10,

Fill my Poke shoes? Win my shoes.

IMG_0856

Judging by the amount of lovely emails and messages I’ve had, lots of people seem to know that I’m leaving Poke. But at the same time there’s probably a bunch of people who are safely insulated from ‘industry media‘ who have no idea.

Here’s the story so far. The events of last year forced me and Sophie to take a look at our lives. To ask ourselves “what’s it all about” and to consider the life that we wanted to make for our new family. We were asking ourselves a lot of questions, then out of the blue, an answer popped up.

We’ve been given the chance to go and raise our little family in one of the most amazing cities in the world: Portland, Oregon. 

I feel very lucky.

In fact I’m a bloody fortunate fellow all round. I’ve also been given the opportunity to work at W+K, one of the most inspiring and creative companies in the world. I’m going to write about the shape of that opportunity and why I’m so excited to be going there in a follow-up post (and probably for the rest of my blogging days). For now I want to write a bit about the amazing place that I’m leaving behind.

We’re leaving in a couple of weeks, and unfortunately Google still can’t figure out how we get there:

Poke to Wieden & Kennedy Inc - Google Maps

Aside from not knowing how to, leaving Poke has been one of the toughest choices I’ve ever had to make. It feels strange to feel like a company is both like your baby and your family – especially when you have babies and a family. But that’s how Poke has felt for the last 8 and a bit years.

I love Poke as a group of people, a place AND a thing. I’ve always struggled with whether ‘Poke is’ or ‘Poke are’, and that struggle is part of what makes it so special. The thing is made by the people, and it feels like the people are stronger because of the thing. I love what it stands for. I love its culture. I love its playfulness. I love their talent. I love their laughter. And their groans. And I love the passion and excitement.

And it’s been a place that’s allowed me to be me. It’s made me stronger and smarter. And it’s given me the chance to have stupid ideas safe in the knowledge that there are other people who will understand what I’m talking about and ultimately make it better than I ever could have imagined.

Over the years it’s felt a little cult-like from time to time, but that’s because Poke has been been really careful who it’s hired – trying to preserve a balance and a sense of ‘Pokeness’. But it’s that particular blend of people that makes it such a special place. It’s not that everyone always agrees about things, but there is an over-arching sense of respect and mutual admiration that makes it feel like no place I’ve ever been before.

And of course there are many individuals who I love dearly, I’ll miss them all especially the lovely Mr Roope with whom I’ve had a wonderfully fertile creative relationship for many years – before Poke was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

So it’ll be no shock that the thought of leaving makes me a bit teary. In fact I’m wandering around with the queerest set of emotions right now. If you shook up a bag full of sadness, fear, excitement and optimism for the future that would only describe a tiny fraction of it.

Poke will continue to go from stength to strength under Nik’s expert eye, and there’s a great team in place creatively, strategically and technically. But there’s a desk about to come free if anyone’s looking for a new challenge…

Poke are looking for someone who’s able to conceive of (and direct) work of a similar level to: http://www.pokelondon.com/portfolio/ (ideally better). I imagine that this person will have been working in the game for as long as Poke’s been around. Poke are also in the market for a senior strategic person – someone who’s creatively minded and able to deal with clients at the highest possible level.

Whoever gets the the job can have my actual shoes too, I’ll leave them in my locker – they’re a very comfortable pair of Nike Air Moire in royal blue, UK size 9, Nike+ compatible, and they’ve only been worn a couple of times.

I’m not going to tell you how to apply. If you can’t figure out how to get in touch with someone who can point you in the right direction I guess you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.

I’ll miss Poke. And I hope it misses me (but not too much).