Wieden+Kennedy 12 Class of 2012: Interview with Andrew Dickson and Byron Oshiro

Wieden+Kennedy’s WK12 enters its eighth year as a program hinged on offering creative

Design
704 Hypes 0 Comments

Wieden+Kennedy’s WK12 enters its eighth year as a program hinged on offering creative opportunities to a new batch of incoming creatives. Those given the opportunity to enlist in WK12 will quickly realize the intense world of creative problem solving that only a handful of global ad agencies around the world like Wieden+Kennedy can offer. For those unfamiliar, W+K has been an integral part of the advertising and creative landscape, helping successfully launch severely huge campaigns for some of your favorite brands including Nike, Jordan Brand, Old Spice, Coca-Cola and Levi’s among others. We spoke with directors Andrew Dickson and Byron Oshiro who each offered a unified insight into the inner workings of Wieden+Kennedy and WK12.

Applications are due on August 7, 2011 with more information available through the WK12 website, the WK12 Tumblr .

What is the history of the Wieden+Kennedy 12 program?
WK12 started in 2004 and we’re currently in our seventh year. Dan Wieden wanted to create a program that was unlike all the others out there that were facilitating the same type of ‘creative.’ While the program has gone through various changes in leadership and policy, the basic purpose of it has stayed the same. The 12 learn how to come up with smarter, cheaper and more insightful ideas, faster and then execute them professionally. It’s problem solving and making school. The key difference between WK12 and other traditional portfolio schools is that students work on real campaigns for real clients. Work that ends up in the real world. Students also work on assignments, internal agency projects/problems and self-initiated projects.

What is the importance of the program?
For the students themselves that’s probably a highly personal answer. For the Agency, the benefits are endless. The students bring new ideas and insights, rethink agency traditions and generally raise just enough hell not to wear out their welcome. While we don’t hire all or even most of the school graduates, part of the reason for starting the school was to bring people into the business who haven’t wanted to work in advertising all their lives. Something interesting happens when you bring artists and poets and musicians and small business owners to a problem. You get really interesting solutions.

What are you looking for in potential prospects?
Creative problem solvers with diverse interests and skills excited to collaborate with people unlike themselves. And people who are interested in the experience itself as opposed to what doors the experience might open up.

Creativity is deemed as an intangible quality that essentially defines many entities such as W+K. How does W+K help foster and develop this?
By taking chances and experimenting. WK12 started as an experiment and it’s turned out quite nicely. Our London office has a completely different kind of program called Platform that brings a digital collective inside the agency. Our Amsterdam office just started a educational internship called The Kennedys. Our Tokyo office runs a record label. Our Delhi office publishes a magazine. Right now, our Portland office is starting the second year of PIE, a digital business incubator that gives start-ups free rent and a stipend in exchange for offering our clients a first look at their technology. Some experiments work, others don’t. But by creating a culture of experimentation, employees feel empowered to propose big ideas and run with them.

On a day-to-day basis, what can students expect to participate in?
A given day starts early and ends late. And there’s no typical day in 12. It might include a guest speaker or an informal group gathering in the morning and a creative check-in or two with the directors in the afternoon. But most of the day is spent creating, making and being inspired. The difference between working in a studio by yourself or at another school is students are surrounded by 12 peers working on the same projects, with three directors nearby, inside an agency of 600 people who students can and should use as resources and sounding boards.

As a graduate of the WK12 program, what can candidates expect in their future prospects?
While nothing is guaranteed, most graduates interested in a career in communications end up with a solid job in the business. These are some of the top agencies and clients in the world, and our graduates have a proven track record of success. For those who decide this industry isn’t for them, they’ve taken the communication, problem solving and storytelling skills they’ve learned to another arena that we’re in some ways most proud of.

W+K spans the globe over with several different regional offices. How do you align the goals and visions of W+K in a way that transcends culture?
It’s never been a secret formula. The trick is to fully adopt a new culture while importing enough of the W+K DNA. Each of the offices needs to directly reflect the energy, culture and people of that city. If not, we’re destined to fail.

What is your definition of creativity?
Apply, get in and find out.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Vans Celebrates MoMA's Collection With Artful Range of Footwear and Apparel
Footwear

Vans Celebrates MoMA's Collection With Artful Range of Footwear and Apparel

Featuring artwork by Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and more.

Verbal and Yoon of AMBUSH Design Talk About Their Beginnings With No Vacancy Inn
Fashion

Verbal and Yoon of AMBUSH Design Talk About Their Beginnings With No Vacancy Inn

Communication is key.

Wieden+Kennedy Show Off First Nike Commercials
Entertainment

Wieden+Kennedy Show Off First Nike Commercials

There’s a funny story that circulates throughout advertising surrounding the myth of “Just Do It.”


Wieden + Kennedy Designed Coca-Cola Bottles

Wieden + Kennedy Designed Coca-Cola Bottles

A communication agency made famous around these circles due to their ongoing affiliation with Nike, Wieden + Kennedy’s design prowess can be seen through their work with another societal juggernaut in soft drink makers Coca-Cola. A good showcase of some of the world’s leading creative talents in an every day medium, showing that being at the top of the game never means staying stagnant. Source: Comunicadores via Notcot

Rasmus Sand in the USA
Fashion

Rasmus Sand in the USA

HUF puts us onto new footage from their Denmark team rider Rasmus Sand. The clip features

Washed Out - Wicked Game (Chris Isaak Cover)
Music 

Washed Out - Wicked Game (Chris Isaak Cover)

Maybe it is all because of Helena Christensen rolling sensually on the beach in the

Björk - Crystalline
Music 

Björk - Crystalline

After providing plenty of information on her upcoming multimedia offering Biophilia, Björk

VNA: MEGGS x LISTER x KID-ZOOM Video
Art

VNA: MEGGS x LISTER x KID-ZOOM Video

Australian street artists MEGGS, LISTER and KID-ZOOM have teamed up to participate in the

Chad Muska & Josh Brubaker: The Minds Behind the Supra Skytop
Footwear 

Chad Muska & Josh Brubaker: The Minds Behind the Supra Skytop

Having launched one of the skate world’s most recognizable lifestyle models in the Skytop, Chad


Young Jeezy announces TM103 release date
Music 

Young Jeezy announces TM103 release date

Celebrating the sixth year anniversary of his debut Thug Motivation 101 last night at the

Beck's Green Box Project: Kenneth Cappello Interview
Fashion

Beck's Green Box Project: Kenneth Cappello Interview

Beck’s Green Box Project – a new venture sponsored by Beck’s Beer, ShowStudio’s Nick Knight and

Umbro Brown Milton Leather
Footwear Fashion

Umbro Brown Milton Leather

Umbro launches a new line of footwear later this year as one of the frontrunners includes the

Game featuring Chris Brown - Pot of Gold
Music 

Game featuring Chris Brown - Pot of Gold

Game is taking a break away from dissing “Uncle Otis” and takes things to a more reflective

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 5 Encore
Tech

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 5 Encore

Nearly three years since the release of their BeoSound 5 system, Bang & Olufsen are following

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.