In a really odd "brainsync" one of the wk12 chosen tipped us to their tactful (hehe) "Fail Harder" wall many hours after I posted about it. Wed, 12 Jul 2006 18:30 the email from Mike at wk12 tipped me, but I had already made the post about it on Wed, 12 Jul 2006 10:17 AM. So it was still on the front page, only two posts down. Le sigh.

Ah well. Here's an update since they sent some links. MediaBistro shows some shots, the same pretty pictures and an iFilm upload at alchemi, and last but not least this article at Oregonlive from which the quote below is from.

Beginning each April and continuing for the next 13 months, the students, each of whom pays $15,000 in tuition, are transformed from neophytes to hardened industry creatives by the iconoclastic Helm, who taught at Virginia Commonwealth University's Adcenter and spent time writing about the waste and seduction of advertising before returning to the Wieden fold. The program's major distinction is its curriculum: There is none. There are no tests, grades or classes.
Sure, the students meet with Helm twice a week for informal discussions and with creatives from inside and outside the Wieden agency for talks about the profession. But students learn by doing actual client work. Under Helm's supervision, they work on crafting real advertising campaigns with real budgets for national and local clients, including Planned Parenthood, Wordstock and a soon-to-launch magazine called Good.

At first, a few industry observers complained that the non-degree school is really a way for the agency to get free labor. But the students don't walk away empty-handed: They've spent 13 months working for one of the best agencies in the world. And though the agency doesn't promise them permanent employment at Wieden, all but one of its first-year students now work at the agency, while several from its second year work there. Nearly everyone else has secured creative employment across the country.

See video here of the creation of the pushpin mural. Download high res (50 MB) version here.


about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (4)

  • kurtberengeiger's picture

    Hmmm... I wonder where the first-year student who didn't stay at w+k went? And did they ask for a refund? ;)

    Jul 13, 2006
  • Andreas-Udd's picture

    They emailed and "tipped" you eight hours after you posted about it? I gather w+k 12 doesn't teach PR 101. Read the source you send stuff to! Pappskallar.

    Jul 13, 2006
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Humm seems like a waste of time to me. I should go superglue their door handles on the way home tonight. that would give the students something to do with there extra time.

    Jul 14, 2006
  • MaryWills's picture

    $15,000 to stick tacks in walls. Wow!

    Jul 15, 2006