Advertising great Dan Wieden – co-founder of legendary ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, who coined Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan – has died peacefully at his Portland home, aged 77.
The agency issued the following statement: “We are heartbroken. But more than that, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and love. Thank you Dan, for opening the doors wide for people to realize their full potential. Thank you for your tenacity, your courage, your faith and your unwavering love. Thank you for making this beautiful creative life possible. We will miss you so much. »
Wieden and his former business partner, David F. Kennedy, together founded one of the most famous advertising agencies in the world. W+K has become an advertising powerhouse, known for its iconic Nike campaigns, including “Just Do It” ads.
Wieden was born and raised in Portland, where he attended Grant High School. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, later moving into public relations and writing. Wieden worked for Georgia-Pacific, a Portland-based forest products company.
On April Fool’s Day 1982, Wieden and David Kennedy founded Wieden+Kennedy. With a card table, a few chairs, cardboard folders and a client, Nike.
Wieden never officially retired from the agency, it reads, but instead took on the role of chairman and stepped away from the agency’s working life in 2015.
Currently, W+K has offices in Portland, London, Amsterdam, New York, Delhi, Shanghai, Tokyo and São Paulo.
His partner, David Kennedy, died last year.
Tributes are pouring in on Facebook, including that of Sudeep Gohill, former director of planning at W+K, now a partner at KPMG Australia: “The first time I met Dan was in a fireplace shop in London near from the former W+K office. . We talked for hours, which was weird since it was supposed to be a job interview, but it was also awesome. A few months later, I was in Portland. Over the years I’ve learned so much from Dan about why rationalizing an idea isn’t so bad and that being nice isn’t a bad thing in advertising!
“To hear of Dan’s passing is so sad, but I know his spirit, soul and legacy will live on forever. Vale Mr Wieden – a friend, boss, mentor and one of the best of the best.
Damon Stapleton on Dane Wieden.
Jeff Manning of The Oregonian/OregonLive pays tribute to Wieden in this story published today.