President’s Award: Dan Wieden

Every year the D&AD President takes on no more serious task than choosing the President’s Award recipient. This most weighty of Pencils is awarded to someone who has made a truly outstanding contribution to creativity

“Dan Wieden is one of the most inspirational advertising brains of our age. His spirit remains restless and free, and he continues to champion independent thinking and behaviour.
His work and that of his now numerous agencies leads the way across all disciplines. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen a piece of work that has surprised and delighted me, and made me run up and down the corridors at work showing it to other creatives, only to discover it came from Wieden+ Kennedy. So when I asked myself if I should give Dan my President’s Award, I told myself, ‘Just Do It’.”

Rosie Arnold, D&AD President

Wieden in brief

—Born in 1945, Dan Wieden grew up in Portland, USA, where he attended the University of Oregon. After a brief career in public relations Wieden moved into advertising, writing trade magazine copy for a timber company.

—In 1982, together with his creative partner David Kennedy, Wieden founded the Wieden + Kennedy ad agency.

—Their first client was Nike. In spite of the fact that Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, told his new agency that he “didn’t believe in advertising”, Wieden + Kennedy went on to make some of the most significant advertising ever produced for the brand in a partnership that is still going strong today.

—Wieden + Kennedy now has offices in Portland, New York, London, Amsterdam, Delhi, Shanghai, Tokyo and São Paulo with nearly 1,200 employees around the world, working with brands such as Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Delta Airlines, ESPN, Heineken, Honda, Kraft, Levi’s, Nike, Old Spice and Procter & Gamble.

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