Inside WK12.9: This Is 12.


The W+K blog is pleased to introduce a new series of posts, “Inside WK12.9”, by Wayne Kasserman, a member of 12.9, the newest class of W+K’s in-house advertising school, reflecting on the 12 experience.

On Tuesday night 12.9 introduced themselves to the agency with an event titled, THIS IS 12.

For those of you that don’t know, W+K12 is an experimental advertising agency masquerading as an experimental advertising school deep within the walls of Wieden+Kennedy. Started in 2004 as a way to mold and shape today’s youngest and brightest talents, the program brings together about a dozen individuals from all walks of life for 12 months of creative thinking, creative making and, of course, failing harder. This year’s class chose to focus their first project around the number 12 and its incredible and undeniable value.

12 is everywhere. Its presence is embedded in our daily lives. For instance, are there 11 eggs in a carton? Do our clocks ever strike 13? We do not celebrate five days of Christmas, but 12, and thankfully, the Beatles recorded more than nine studio albums (hint: they recorded 12).

The number 12 is in our science, our religion, our history, art, culture and sports. It is perhaps the greatest number of all time. Even Michael Jordan (#23), arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, reached for the #12 jersey on February 14th, 1990 to replace his original uniform that was stolen out of his locker. And let us not forget (how could we?), it is in the name of the W+K12 program.

As a way of presenting the number 12’s strong lineage, 12.9 chose to create 144 posters highlighting the number’s rich history and dynamic presence. And as a way to showcase the work, 12.9 took over the W+K gallery and threw a party for the Portland office–to both celebrate “12” and to meet the amazing creatives that work in the building.

As one party patron noted, “There must of have been a lot of Googling involved.” Yes, there was. But the eerie coincidences weren’t just discovered online. It was brought to light that there are 12 letters in WK12 director James “Jim” Riswold’s name. Eric Swanson (12.9) has owned 12 pets in life. Brad Holdgrafer (12.9) lived on a boat for 12 months. The list goes on and on. There is no escaping the number 12.

My name is Wayne Kasserman and I am a proud of member of the 12.9 class. We had a great time working on this project, finding incredible 12 truths, piecing together amazing stories, and exploring the world of 12 and all of its weirdness. Over the course of the next 12 months, I’ll be sharing stories from our world, what we’re doing, creating, and failing harder at. I look forward to pulling back the curtain and revealing the world and work of W+K 12.

To see all 144 posters and to read more about the project visit Thisis12.com. To read more about the 12.9 class and to follow their musings, visit wk12.com.

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