That Was the Year That Was: W Creative Christmas Wrapper

18 December 2019

This year has been a bumper one for creative work at W. It’s seen us produce everything from pizza for bees and stab vests for children for special causes; bring Judith Chalmers out of retirement, send Piers Morgan to hell in a Spurs shirt, spark an international sledging war between two famous spreads and stage a cup draw at a Morrison’s in Collindale.

Here’s a rundown of some of our best bits from 2019. Merry Christmas.

January: We won an adidas pitch. One hell of a way to start the year. 2019 saw us produce a series of packed-out VIP events for adidas originals, including the launch of Ozweego.

February: This year the new barometer of PR success was ‘Can we troll Piers Morgan?’. We did exactly that for the draw of the Carabao Cup by setting up a wager between Piers and Peter Crouch on the result of the Arsenal – Spurs tie. Arsenal lost and as a result Piers had to conduct the draw live on TV wearing a Tottenham shirt. Just look at his face. As he tweeted later: ‘Hell’.

March: We created the first feminist football shirt for Camden Town Brewery in partnership with women’s rights charity The Fawcett Society and Camden Town Ladies F.C. Women of Camden dominated brand coverage on International Women’s Day, and was later shortlisted for two PR Week Awards, including Best Use of Creativity.

Women Of Camden TownIt’s Piers again! We launched Marmite Peanut Butter with a media blitz, resulting in 800 pieces of coverage including tastings on This Morning, The Jonathan Ross Show and here with Piers on GMB. He hated it, Susannah loved it. That’s a brand win.

April: It was a big night at the PR Moment Awards as W recorded a remarkable treble: Mid-Size Agency of The Year, B2B agency of the Year and FMCG Campaign of the Year for our work with PG Tips.

May: In our first campaign for Travel Republic we offered a tired and weary Theresa May a holiday. There was just one catch, her destination would be decided by a People’s Vote. The stunt was widely reported here and in Europe (wonder why).

June: When Jaguar Land Rover briefed us to deliver a campaign to mark the centenary of International Women in Engineering Day, we went back to school. That’s because just 10% of engineers in the UK are female, resulting from gender bias at a very early age. Our cute little content film was covered on BBC, Sky, Bloomberg, won PR Week’s Campaign of the Month and B2B Campaign of the Year at The Drum Awards.

We also worked with Carabao to turn First Round Draw of the Carabao Cup into a public event for real fans. Traditionally, this stage is ignored by media due to the absence of Premier League clubs. Not this time. Introducing the Carabao Cup draw live…from Morrison’s! The unlikely venue sparked a torrent of coverage   was the number one trending topic in Twitter and hailed by Campaign as a ‘marketing masterstroke’

July: We brought TV travel icon Judith Chalmers out of retirement for Travel Republic to investigate the rise of ‘woke’ holidays. In fact, Judith mentioned the brand and campaign SO many times during a live GMTV interview that OFCOM investigated – resulting in another 200 pieces of extra branded coverage!

Our Marmite team descended upon The Oval during the Ashes to stoke up a simmering rivalry that has been going on for generations between Brits and Aussies. No, not the cricket, Marmite vs Vegemite. This sampling activity quickly turned into an international incident, resulting in…

…a series of tit-for tat print ads in respective British and Aussie media as the two brand engaged in a spectacular sledging match that would put Shane Warne to shame.

We created The Beezza, the first pizza for bees, to launch Papa John’s new Bee Sting Pizza AND to raise awareness of the need to feed the UK’s dwindling bee population. The campaign was covered globally (even Peru!) and in the USA it was Creative Pick of the Week in advertising bible, AdAge.

August: Stab vests for kids? Bruise concealer? The Store of Modern Childhood was created by W and launched the week before ‘back to school’ to highlight the shocking findings of The Children’s Society annual report. This agenda-setting experiential was featured on national TV news and rated at no.2 by Campaign in its list of the Ten Best Live Experiences of 2019.

On a lighter note, we created a digital ad with Love Island contestant and mayo addict Tommy Fury for Hellmann’s. Forget his TV partner Molly-Mae, here Tommy is captured at home preparing a romantic dinner for his true love Molly-Mayo. The red tops and lifestyle media lapped it up.

September: To launch YO!’s new menu and dispel any myths that ‘It’s just raw fish and rice, innit?’ we unveiled a temporarily rebranded store in Richmond – showing that there is far more to YO! than sushi.

We also reactivated the Hotel of Mum and Dad report for MoneySuperMarket, with year two revealing how kidults still living at home are benefitting from even cheaper services than the year before. The story proved so popular and pertinent that on the day it launched…

…it was the most read story on BBC News Online. Bigger than Brexit!

As part of our purpose work with Camden Town, we even got to create a seasonal concept beer: Harvest Hells. Inspired by harvest festival, proceeds from sales went to food waste charity, The Felix Project, which helps to feed families in need. The beer, stocked in M&S and Sainsbury’s, was launched with a ‘Can-for-Can’ initiative: Camden fans could only receive a free can of beer in exchange for a can of food  – with over 1,300 cans donated to the charity partner.

November: Creativity isn’t just about doing cool stuff with clients. This year we applied it to addressing the shocking lack of diversity in PR with the creation of our new social enterprise WX. WX opens up a new pipeline into our industry, for 18-21 year olds with the passion and drive to forge a career in PR, but don’t have a traditional degree-course education. Think what Jamie Oliver did with Fifteen , we are doing for social mobility in PR.

Introducing the Notorious PIB, the world’s biggest pig in blanket. Created to launch Taste’s Winter Festival, this 2 metre beast of a bacon-wrapped banger weighed nearly 8 stone was devoured by 300 guests at the launch event at Tobacco Dock and was featured on ITV News and an array of food and drink media.

December: It was our second year producing the British Airways Christmas campaign. To say ‘Thank you’ to its customers at the end of an amazing centenary year we worked with BA’s biggest stars – its own staff – to create a choir – with the help of the musical director of Hamilton – to surprise passengers in arrivals at T5. The film, with a feelgood festive nod to festive favourite Love Actually has been winter winner with media.

From a very vocal festive soundtrack to a completely silent one. Our Christmas campaign with The Children’s Society saw us create the first ever silent Christmas single, featuring the donated silences of artists such as Royal Blood, KT Tunstall on The Amazons, to acknowledge the thousands of children who will be suffering in silence this Christmas due to abuse, neglect and poverty. It was launched at Fortnum & Mason’s with the aid of The Silent Choir, a group of children who only sang when money was donated.

The accompanying video was produced by our W Studio team.