the verizon indycar series 2018 campaign at the detroit international car show was the loudest launch of the week.

indycar: the future starts now

the future starts now: the 2018 indycar season began in detroit with the reveal of the new car. the fifth installment of indycar’s ‘racing heart’ campaign puts fans in the driver’s seat for every adrenaline fueled moment of the high-speed competition. after last year’s next campaign, which demonstrated the brand had “established a foothold after spinning for two decades” according to the new york times, johnson + wolverton looked to “amplify a fan’s experience of racing, the thrill and chaos of moving at high speed” according to creative director alicia.

potential and breaking things

somewhere along the line, for perhaps too many professional creatives, personal projects start to feel like a pipe dream, a luxury (if not a total myth). but the value of personal work for an artist is that it brings you both home and far afield, and in that odyssey you rediscover the potential of work itself. 

for hal, working on positano has been a return to where he started as a digital artist when the internet first blew up, where a lot of the creativity comes from getting beneath the interface of your creative tools.

“i want to make this art. that’s been the impulse since day one. i want to experiment in this space. a lot of my inspiration comes from process and tools and getting them to do things, using them in ways that were not intended. using them wrong. getting them to break.”

aj on creative boom

from the interview: “For good or for ill, I’m that most dangerous of souls: I know a little bit about a lot of things. My core discipline is storytelling. The job I’m hired most often to do is strategy. My sense is that strategy (at least when I feel the most effortless and powerful) is a fantastic outline for a corker of a story.”

"indycar racing, no longer spinning its wheels, draws greater interest"

johnson + wolverton’s 2017 indycar campaign, next, intended to catapult the league into the future… and it appears the future is now. according to a recent new york times article, “indyCar racing, with sleek open-wheeled racers that can turn 220-mile-per-hour laps, appears to have established a foothold after spinning for two decades.”

johnson + wolverton has a fierce focus on being where a brand’s fans are, and has been collaborating with indycar over the last four years to move the brand closer to a younger fan base. “we’re ascending again as a sport,” says cmo cj o’donnell. indy’s ceo, mark miles, seconds that emotion: “i don’t see any cap to our growth.”

next is the fourth chapter in a campaign series started in 2014.

control freak

“i’m sick of change.” alicia decided it’s time for a detour. or maybe just a course-correction. she’s going to take a break from writing about leading change in business, and write about creating change in your personal life. She and Hal have a 10 year plan (and have been heartily teased about it). But you put a designer and a strategist together and you get a hybrid control freak in need of an outlet.

indycar: next

INDYCAR just released a video teasing the new communication plan for the 2017 season, which highlights the future of the renowned racing brand. this year’s theme, NEXT, is the fourth installment of INDYCAR’s Racing Heart campaign, developed in 2014 by johnson + wolverton. building off of 2016’s LEGENDS, NEXT conveys the message of the continued growth and momentum of the country’s fastest-growing form of motorsport with the thrilling speed and heart-thumping sound audiences have come to expect from INDYCAR. “Coming off the legendary 100th running of the 500 we needed to create something that catapulted the league into the future,” says alicia of their campaign concept. “We embraced an aesthetic that captures the energy and thrill of being at a race, the rush of gaming, and the intensity of the drivers. I love that it feels like you can’t quite keep up with it.”

working in positano

hal and alicia just spent 5 weeks shooting on-site in italy for their project, positano: ad occhi aperti. the digital novel is the second story in a series featuring protagonist stan gardner. the first story was the basis for 2003’s sound installation at Northview Gallery rothenberg: the shame bath.

quick. change.

jw is built on the reality that everything changes, and fast. how can a brand stay relevant when the ground it stands on shifts constantly beneath its feet? an empowered relationship to change is critical to survival and to thriving. the capacity to lead it is an awe-inspiring art. jw is honored to have worked with masters. this year alicia is going to explore change and its co-conspirators, curiosity and vision, with a series of posts on the blog.

the critically acclaimed ‘rectify’ returns june 19th. don’t miss it.

rebrands, rivals and premieres

the year heats up as ‘rectify’ returns to sundanceTV on june 19th, and #indyrivals return to the track in houston on june 28th. amazing brands, thrilling entertainment.

pipe wrench with heart. a gift from charlie campbell during the construction of the gallery exhibition "rothenburg: the shame bath"

be careful what you wish for

we’ve wished for many things over the years. mostly our wishes have come true. amazing, i know. but true. i always try to keep our clients focused on their wishes, the biggest successes they can imagine and then contribute to those wishes. add our firepower and will to making them real.

the summer is ending, and as an old teacher used to say to me, “it’s time to dream a new dream.” i was curious about the difference between a wish and a dream. there’s a lot of overlap. maybe a bit more active fervency to a wish, a bit more contemplation to a dream. so my wish (it’s more active, more fervent) is a ‘paris of the north’ type affair going on in our studio this winter. a hubbub of film making, a steaming cauldron of ideas, a deep joy to living the life we’ve built.

what we've learned

several years ago we were invited back to portland to present our work for the aiga. it was at a pretty big theatre and we thought it would be cool to have something happening while people were walking in so we did an essay on what we had learned since leaving portland, and had fred read it… my enduring favorite is “it is better not to reply than to ‘reply all’ in anger.”

jw and nº88 release official trailer for multi-media novel POSITANO

meet stan. her vision has gone bad. she’s stopped listening. she’s touch starved, sleep deprived, and her marriage is adrift. so she does what she was raised to do: she leaves.

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