If you go to the fourth floor of Wieden+Kennedy's office in Tokyo, you will find a studio full of DJ equipment-mixers and turntables so that employees can work on their music. This kind of accommodation was part of the Tokyo office when it was founded in 1998. Jay notes, "It all started with asking, what kind of people are interesting to have around you? The idea that an agency would need 'cool hunters' or researchers is just kind of proof that you don't know what is going on."
Wieden+Kennedy, Tokyo has two DJs on staff, including one whose DJ career competes with his ad agency career. How does a company support these creative people? "We give them outlets. They are also on salary, of course. One wanted time off to go to the Barcelona Music Festival, for example, so he went. We support music people in our company in a variety of ways. And we ask them to produce events with us."
One such event was the Tokyo Designers Block, in which Wieden+Kennedy teamed up with a company called Sputnik and Kurisaki (who is known as the Japanese "dean of design"). Together, they created an exhibit, which involved taking over a planetarium in the middle of Shibuya, turning it into a celebration of 1970s design in Japan, specifically the Osaka Expo. The VJs and DJs who worked for Wieden+Kennedy created an experience inside the dome in which images were projected inside the entire planetarium. These kinds of project are only possible with the right teams in-house to develop and drive them.
Another example of the unique approach to staff compositionis an exclusive shoe design made for Wieden+Kennedy, Tokyo. The shoes were a limited edition of the Nike Air Force One. Designed by Hiroshi Fuijiwara, they were made by Nike in celebration of the opening of the new Wieden+Kennedy office in Tokyo. The pony skin sneaker was for staff only. The typography on back of the shoe, designed by the studio, spells "Tokyo." Inside the tongues are special Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo labels along with the special silver tips on the laces. These shoes were never for sale to the general public.