Wieden + Kennedy, SHOP, And The Rise Of The Agency/Retail Hybrid?
A review of last night's W+K Pop-Up SHOP event.
In the world of advertising, there's a thin line between compliment and insult. Nowhere did this line blur more than when a recent blog, when promoting Wieden + Kennedy's SHOP pop-up in NYC, referred to the digital powerhouse as the “Portlandia of creative agencies”. For those not familiar, Portlandia is a popular IFC sketch comedy series masterminded by SNL's Fred Armison and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein. On the show, the two artists lampoon hip-kid lifestyles like veganism, bike-punks, and Etsy-style crafting, while at the same time humorously sending up mega- companies who position themselves as lifestyle destinations (we're looking at you Ace Hotel). When approaching SHOP, a three day sample sale “fashion pop-up” being held in the W+K offices, it's hard not to view the event with the same lens of skepticism. Despite boasting some of the hippest indie labels around (Anna Sheffield, Saturdays NYC, Nicholas K, Steven Alan), the more cynical among us could point out that at the end of the day it's still an ad agency trying to sell clothing to its base clientele: the young, affluent, urban, creative class.