Friday night is the season 1 finale of Portlandia, IFC's goofy sketch series starring SNL's Fred Armisen and indie rock gal Carrie Brownstein. What has it taught us? Mainly that Portland, Ore., seems to have one up on Brooklyn, N.Y., as a haven for feminists, foodies and twee fashion. And that Wieden + Kennedy, Adweek’s 2010 Agency of the Year, might have some unorthodox ways of coming up with campaigns.
Click below for a clip from the Wieden episode:
In one skit starring show co-creator Brownstein—a Wieden alum herself—character Julia braves her first day of work at the agency's headquarters.
Beset by eccentrics wielding exercise balls and air guitars, Julia struggles to navigate the labyrinthine offices, when her boss (Armisen) summons her to a “huge” meeting in “the basket”—a human-size bird's nest. (And yes, it's real).
So how'd the shop end up in prime time? “Wieden + Kennedy is such an iconic, famous place,” said Debbie DeMontreux, IFC’s senior vice president of original programming.
Portland, she said, has a “unique culture” and Portlandia is a “celebration of that culture.” Selecting the agency was born of that: “[Wieden’s] a very creative place,” she said.
As for the agency’s involvement in the script and shoot, it appears minimal: the oddball creative types in the skit were actors. “[Wieden] trusted us and allowed us to create a sketch centered around them and the place,” said DeMontreux. “It was really cool of them to be a part of this, and let us take over their building.”
Still, it's not entirely clear whether the parody left Wieden feeling feted. No representative for the agency was available to comment.
IFC recently announced that that Portlandia was cleared for a second season starting January 2012.