Written by Makisha Noël, with contributions from Brandon Castelo and Jacqueline Torto
Graphic by Brandon Castelo
July 16, 2020

At AfterNoon Agency, we believe representation must be relevant. That’s why we couldn’t be more pumped to connect with our family over at Wieden + Kennedy Portland and NYC. As the title of this recap highlights, it was a virtual experience! To be quite frank, we wanted to run through the hallways of W+K and gawk at the very space they thrive in creativity. At least I did. *Kanye shrug emoji*. But, I couldn’t be happier to be doing this program with other incredible creatives who I wish could be my co-workers IRL.

Much love to Anthony Williams and Eden Andu for keeping the energy as we journeyed through the agency experience. Our day went a little something like this:

They called it Brand/Account 101 where the Brand Managers, historically known as Planners or Account Planners shared how important this role was for the success of brands. Their influence goes beyond the confines of a 60-second ad but they challenge clients to have a point of view on social issues. Rightfully so, it increases brand conviction but also because it’s the right thing to do.

We then ventured into Creative 101 which was a personal favorite of mine. What can I say? I’m the team’s Copywriter! Never have I seen such a bold display of authenticity in one (virtual) room. We also learned that not all ideas make it to the light of day but that doesn’t invalidate your expertise. At the end of the day, know the client’s business so you can best sell the concepts! But remember, it takes a team.

Video Production 101 was next on the agenda! I was mind blown by the amount of creativity and sheer nimbleness that goes into video production. From learning how they work with influencers and celebrities to creatively capturing iconic moments and stories, I just wanted to touch the hem of their garments.

We ended the day with an incredibly insightful conversation with members of the Social team for a campaign wrap-up. Simply put, outside of marketing, you think of people when you hear “social”. Inside of marketing, you think of platform. Well, this team is looking to change that. They must also know I’ll be sliding into their email inboxes fairly soon.

Anthony and Eden, you’ve outdone yourselves! Our editorial team also have shared the details of their experiences below. Get into their stories:

Brandon Castelo, AfterNoon Agency Art Director

As a young emerging creative in the Advertising industry, it’s safe to say that my virtual experience with Weiden + Kennedy was a dream come true. It’s not every day you get to connect and have stimulating conversations with some of the best people in the industry.

Ironically, I was extremely intimidated at first. An agency that is responsible for creating not only some of my favorite ads but also the world’s favorite ads, would intimidate anyone from a surface level. However, I was absolutely delighted to discover that the brilliant creatives behind brilliant work were also just as brilliant as people.

Although we were almost complete strangers entering this experience, it’s safe to say that the Afternoon agency left with a supportive family behind their back. In a time where this industry needs diversity the most, it’s empowering that such a powerhouse not only sees but also supports, our mission. A lot of agencies talk the talk, but Weiden + Kennedy walks the walk.

Jacqueline “Hearts” Torto, AfterNoon Agency Project Manager

Our day with W+K was life-changing! I have said this before - and I will say it again. I felt like a sponge in a bucket full of knowledge. I am just grateful for the opportunity to soak in all the gems and advice they shared with us.

I found myself looking at things differently - Yeahh! I had a shift in my mindset when it comes to the way I look at life and my future. I believe in having a people first approach… It is always going to be People > Policies with me so I felt it in my soul when John “JP” Petty, Head of Social at W+K said, “Whatever it is… it is always about the people”.

Another part of the tour that stood out to me was the work culture at W+K. Prior to meeting the various departments - we were introduced to the agency via a pretty dope reel of some of the commercials that the agency has touched - in one of the commercials, someone talked about how working with Wieden + Kennedy felt like working with your cousins - and I was able to see it as we interacted with the W+K family. This experience showed me that it is possible to be your whole authentic self at work. We live in a world where professionalism takes precedence over originality. So it was refreshing to see that originality and authenticity is still embraced in the industry.

We would like to publicly thank Anthony Williams, Eden Andu, Crystal Thomas, Daniel Jagaselvan, Darryl Maxwell,  Hannah Hewitt, Paanii Annan, Thomas Harvey, Valeene Wilson, Christa Prater, Jarrod Higgins, Jerry Louis, Jordan Dinwiddie, Kevin Steele, Yahkeema Moffitt, Antonio Burnett, Jasmyn Barr, Krystle Mortimore, Chris Martin, and last but not least John Petty.

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