Working together, a case for long-term agency-client relationships (Landor Perspectives 2012)

Cheryl Giovannoni
Landor Associates

At the Cannes Lions Festival last June, one of the highlights of the week was a head-to-head between American Dan Wieden (of Wieden+Kennedy) and Brit Sir John Hegarty (of BBH). Each talked about the great work done by the other, and shared projects that had shaped their agencies since 1982.

At the very heart of these two agencies are the fine threads that define truly great partnerships between clients and their agencies, the essential ingredients that create loyalty and the breeding ground for great work.

In the case of Wieden+Kennedy, Nike was its very first client and remains so today. But the fascinating thing was that Nike didn't actually believe in advertising and didn't want to play by the rules. It wanted something different—and couldn't understand why brands ran a TV commercial more than once. Who wanted to see the same commercial again? And how could Wieden+Kennedy ensure that its work would redefine consumers' relationship with sport and get them believing that anything was possible?