Oregon’s Culture Shapers Win Again

Phil Knight’s Laika is big news in Portland these days. The animation studio’s new film Coraline is doing well at the box office and people are also loving the marketing for the film created by Knight’s old buddies at Wieden + Kennedy.
In an Ad Age interview, Knight says W+K identified some 15 niche demographic “spokes,” then set about courting the knitting aficionados, comic-book geeks, collectibles mavens, emo rockers, crafts makers and casual gamers.
The approach worked, as “Coraline” pulled in $16 million on its opening weekend–$7 million higher than Focus Features initially projected.
Knight adds this juicy bit about some initial meetings Laika and W+K had with Focus.

The original agreement was that Focus would do the advertising, but in some of the early meetings, it was clear that we had a difference of opinion on the advertising — “target audience” being one. They were used to doing “data” advertising: They wanted to push this more as a kiddie film, because that’s what the data told them. And Nike and Wieden & Kennedy together had grown up with what I call “emotional essence advertising” — the essence of the product is its emotional core, and you push that. It was two very different approaches, and it kind of became clear in some of those early meetings that we had a very strong difference of opinion.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.