Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Madison Avenue’s Plan B: Data-Driven Jewelry?

Whether or not the ad business makes a real recovery or something much more modest, the industry looks like it’s headed for years of upheaval. How should ad agencies prepare?

Maybe diversification will help. At least I think that’s what Wieden + Kennedy, the company best known for its Nike (NKE) ads, is doing. Unless it’s a practical joke that’s flying over my head: Meet “Plot,” a line of jewelry “that takes interesting data and transforms it into wearable art.”

Why is W+K breaking in accessories? Dunno. Just do it, I guess. But I have to say, I probably know some data-driven people who will like this stuff, at least conceptually:

At first glance your gold necklace is simply a striking graphic shape. At second glance you can inform the admirer that  it is actually the graph for gold prices from 1979-2009 and that Tiananmen Square caused the peak in 1989.


Thanks to AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey for pointing out this one, which again, may just be a put-on. But I bet it’s not: After all, I’m writing about it, which is sort of the point, right?

Other thought: If this stuff does sell, just think of what the guys who actually do data-driven advertising could do with the concept. I’m thinking, for starters, of a line of T-shirts that mashes up Jenny Holzer with Google Trends. Anyone?

Anyway, here’s a W+K project I can get my head around: A Nike ad from last summer that ended up making me a sort-of, grudging, fan of The Killers:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik