“The Baddest” and the Cutting Room Floor

leefieldsbaddestA big part of advertising is leaving things on the cutting room floor. In the long run, you learn to justify the decision, live with it, or come to realize it was for the best.

Much of “The Baddest,” a Nike campaign in support of Kevin Durant’s seventh signature shoe, was shot in Memphis, Tennessee this past April. It only made sense to bring the music of that city into the mix. After all, nothing says bad like decades worth of Southern Soul, especially when so many of the musicians who helped create that sound are still working musicians in that city.

We made a pilgrimage to Royal Studios to cut a track with the legendary Hi Rhythm Section. We brought in Brooklyn-based vocalist Lee Fields to carry the lead on a song written for the campaign by William Bungeroth and Julie Nichols, arranged and stylized by Chicago’s J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound. That song—called “The Baddest”—was about the exact quality that makes Durant such a great basketball player and the musicians on the session such battled-tested pros.

We got to hang out at the studios, totally incognito, while the Hi Rhythm Section cut their demo of the track. And then we made another trip back for session with Fields, so we could film the proceedings and use bits of it in the spot. When we shipped in June, the spot had none of the footage and not a single second of music recorded at Royal.

The chance to record at Royal was life-affirming, life-altering, and everything in between. Although it didn’t work in the edit, we found a way you can hear it so that experience—and the music—don’t go to waste.

“The Baddest”
Written by William Bungeroth and Julie Nichols
Arrangement by J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Performed by Lee Fields
Performed by Hi Rhythm Section

Meet the Interns 2014 – Part 2

The interns are among us! Here are just a few of their friendly faces. Keep checking the blog for more, and watch our internships page for openings: http://www.wk.com/jobs/internships.

W+K NYC:
Gabe Sherman
Gabe Sherman – Copywriting
Gabe grew up a few minutes north of San Francisco in the hills of Mill Valley. He originally planned on studying to become a dentist, but quickly realized the error of his ways and got a degree in advertising. (Time will tell regarding the wisdom of this decision, Gabe.)

He loves going to comedy shows, watching Netflix, going for runs, finding new craft beers to try, cooking, watching baseball, growing his beard, justifying his next road trip or trying to get on to roofs of buildings (not all at the same time…usually).

Blair Warren
Blair Warren – Art Directing intern
All you need to know about Blair is that a US Ambassador told her that he wouldn’t ship her body back to the States if she died while on a trip to the United Nations, and that later that week, she bungeed into the Nile.

Don’t fuck with Blair Warren.

W+K PDX:
madisons
Madison Savary – Account Services intern on Old Spice
Madison majored in journalism at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!!), and is looking forward to all of the learning opportunities afforded to her by working at Wieden+Kennedy, and also all the karaoke. Okay, let’s be honest…mostly the karaoke.

melissakuo
Melissa Kuo – Studio Intern
Melissa hails from San Jose, California, where she recently graduated from CalArts with a degree in graphic design, which she hopes to use to make a positive impact in the world.

davidchathas
David Chathas – Creative Intern
David Chathas grew up chopping wood, and from the looks of it, never stopped. He likes to pet cats, talk to dogs, and order two entrees, and promises that if you bring him nunchucks he will show you cool tricks. We intend to take him up on that.

Meet the Interns 2014 – Part 1

The interns are among us! Here are just a few of their friendly faces. Keep checking the blog for more, and watch our internships page for openings: http://www.wk.com/jobs/internships.

W+K NYC:
Naheem Kujenya
Naheem Kujenya – Broadcast Production intern
An aspiring producer and filmmaker born and raised in Staten Island. He loves nature photography, playing chess, soccer, and bikram yoga.

W+K PDX:
jheredia_1
James Heredia – Studio Intern
An aspiring artist from Miami with has a passion for animating, compositing and storytelling. He is also an avid skateboarder/surfer and documentarian.

krisha
Krisha Paz – Social and Interactive Strategy Intern
A Washington, DC native who says, “You’ll easily find me by my hair and tribal print clothing.” It’s her first time in Portland, but with the presence of coffee, books, hidden treasures, and Netflix, she feels right at home.

danielmoreno
Daniel Moreno – Studio Intern
Hailing from Miami, he has over 13 years of classical music background playing the cello. He also loves video games, film, technology, pixel art and octopi.

When a Van Loves a Woman: the Michael Bolton Running Club Makes Us Feel Their Love

mbrcYesterday, the Michael Bolton Running club brought it on home, running the once in a lifetime Epic Oregon Relay–all the way through the Willamette Valley, from Beaverton to Eugene. Ain’t no mountain high enough to stop these desperate hearts, who went the distance–all the way to paradise.

Check out their pics below. Continue reading

Goodbye Bill, and Good Luck!

bill_davenport

“I’ll be honest, this is a hard one for us. Bill Davenport will carry with him a piece of our heart. I just hope those folks down south know what a talent, what a man they have taken on board.”
-Dan Wieden

President of W+K Entertainment and dear friend Bill Davenport is leaving W+K for sunny Californian pastures, to join the ranks of Apple. We’ll miss you, Bill!
 
 
(Above, Bill’s original W+K portrait. Below, his current headshot.)

billdavenportheadshot