W+K’s New Travel Portland Ads Reveal More of the City’s Quirks

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While Portlandia pushed Portland’s weirdness into the public perception, the city isn’t all doughnuts, beer and naked bike rides—although those are things that the city is known for. Many aspects of Portlandia are obviously exaggerated, but one thing Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein absolutely nailed were the city’s ubiquitous thrift shops.

While the most recognizable streets in many cities are filled with luxury brands, Portland’s Mississippi Avenue and Belmont Street are lined with thrift shops selling a wide array of styles. Those retailers are the perfect setting for one of Wieden + Kennedy’s latest Travel Portland ads.

With a reimagined take on the cloth-buying process and a goofy art style, W+K captured the ethos of Portland in a way that only a Portland-based agency could. While five different art styles are used across the various spots, each of them is flowing, lighthearted and, well, weird.

Giant trees ham it up with hikers in one, a Portlander becomes a noodle-fueled vacuum (the cuisine is a hot commodity here now) in another.

With little jokes weaved in (pause on the tap names during the beer ad), W+K’s Travel Portland continues to be one of the more quirky series coming out of an agency and tourism marketing in general.

While many Portlanders have pushed back against Portlandia’s portrayal, many others have embraced its status as the weirdest city in the U.S. Sorry, Austin—even though you came up with “Keep Austin Weird” first, Portland appears to have taken the title.

For people who like beer, noodles, nature and giant anthropomorphic fuzzy coats, Portland is the place to be. While that last one is unlikely, don’t rule out the possibility when walking down one of the city’s many quirky streets.


Wieden+Kennedy, Portland
Executive Creative Directors: Eric Balwin, Jason Bagley
Creative Directors: Jarrod Higgins, Lawrence Melilli
Art Director: Laura Wood, Nick Stokes, Jesica Marquez
Copywriter: Mike Egan, Andy Laugenour, Gus Solis
Executive Producer: Heather Smith Harvey
Producer: Bob Guerrero, Cole Davenport, Amy Carleton
Brand Management: Jesse Johnson, Aparna Battoo, Spencer Crain
Strategy: Britton Taylor, Andrew Clayton
Media: Emily Dalton, Annamaria Grinis, Sami Elkan
Business Affairs Managers: Brian Cook, Tim Bell
Creative Operations Manager: Lauren Walker
Executive Design Producer: Alicia Kuna
Design Producer: Victoria Tengblad-Kreft, Edgar Morales
Designer: Karen Koch, Cathy Ormerod, Danielle McCoy, Fazel Sayeh, Taylor Geick
Studio Specialist: Beth Schuenemann, Rob Mumford, Vicki Liu
Copyediting: Erica Nikolaidis, Brie Spicer, James Yu, Lisa Kadous
Digital Retoucher: Amy Ellars
Print and Fabrication Producer: Denise Hangii

Production Company: Strange Beast
Director(s): Alexandre Louvenez, Joseph Meluish, Laura Hodkin, Brendan Conroy
Executive Producer: Kitty Turley
Line Producer: Becky Perryman

Production Company: Strange Beast
Artists: Parallel Teeth, Laura Jayne Hodkin, Eva Cremers, Guy Field, Sebaldo, Alex Jenkins, Brendan Conroy, Nick Stokes

Editorial Company: WK Motion
Editor: Jeff Ackley
Post Producer: Jeff Ackley

VFX Company: WK Motion
Executive Producer: Jeff Ackley
3D Artists: Jeff Ackley, Steve Smith, Neil Hilken, David Mellor, Chris Huang
2D Artists: Nick Stokes, Jimmy Simpson, Chris Huang

Mix House: Joint Editorial
Post Producer: Jen Milano, Aubree Vandercar
Audio Engineer: Noah Woodburn, Natalie Huizenga

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