Dan Wieden passed away on September 30, 2022, at the age of 77. He was the driving force behind the creation of arguably the most well-known advertising agency in history and a gifted manager.
Together with his late business partner David Kennedy, Wieden founded Wieden+Kennedy, which over time expanded to become the largest independent advertising agency in the world. It gained the most recognition for its work on the Nike account, where it consistently came up with messages that stuck in people’s heads.
Dan Wieden Cause of death
On September 30, 2022, Dan Wieden, one of the founding partners of the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy, passed away in his Portland home. Although the cause of death has not yet been made public, the business reported that he passed away peacefully while sleeping at home with his wife by his side.
Dan was a pioneer in the advertising field and is credited with coming up with some of the most well-known advertising campaigns ever.
This is a developing story, and we will provide updates as new details become available.
All who knew Dan will miss him dearly, but the brands he founded and the thousands of lives he touched will carry on his legacy.
The co-founder of the iconic Portland-based advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy has died. Dan Wieden passed away on September 30 at the age of 77 and was born in Portland on March 6, 1945.https://t.co/9SZ12Qx3p2
— KOMO News (@komonews) October 1, 2022
Dan Wieden Net Worth
Businessman and advertising expert Dan Wieden was born in 1945. When he passed away, he was 77 years old. According to sources, Dan Wieden’s net worth is $3 million. 2022 saw his passing.
Tributes to Dan Wieden
Dan Wieden was undoubtedly one of the holiest figures in advertising if there were such a thing. He spoke to those of us who were outside of his own organization, urging us to take unconventional actions and
persuading us all that these actions already existed inside of us.
Dan Wieden, March 6, 1945-September 30, 2022.
Thank you Dan, for throwing the doors wide open for people to live up to their full potential.
We will miss you so much. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SyPfYP5KeL
— Wieden+Kennedy (@WiedenKennedy) October 1, 2022
About Dan Wieden: His Business, Family
Wieden was incredibly humorous, self-deprecating, and ambitious. His greatest skill may have been his ability to lead and manage the colorful, eccentric, and occasionally difficult individuals who produced the best content. Karl Lieberman, the current chief creative officer of the company, compared Wieden to Lorne Michaels, the mind behind “Saturday Night Live.” Like “SNL,” Wieden+Kennedy persevered and remained relevant despite cast changes and fluctuations in joke quality.
As stated by Lieberman, “It lasted so long because he created a culture rather than an advertising agency. In many ways, the setting reflects him. It lacks deference and is curious, driven, kind, and welcoming.
Wieden was born on March 6, 1945, in Portland to parents Violet and Duke Wieden. He graduated from Grant High School and the University of Oregon with a journalism degree in 1967.
He married Bonnie Scott, with whom he had four children, in 1966. In 2008, she passed away. In 2012, Wieden wed Priscilla Bernard.
He worked for the Portland paper company Georgia-Pacific, where Wieden+Kennedy claimed he was sacked, but was afterward hired by McCann-Erickson, which handled its marketing. He initially ran into Kennedy there.
When Georgia-Pacific relocated its corporate headquarters to Atlanta in the early 1980s, McCann-Erickson closed its Portland office, and the future business partners moved on to another company where they worked together on the Nike account. A short month afterward, they launched Wieden+Kennedy.
The agency’s lengthy partnership with the sneaker company was envied by the advertising and marketing community.
Director of advertising Scott Bedbury, who joined Nike in 1987, said, “I was just pleased to see those two forces come together.”
You had a client that didn’t think marketing was important, and you had a company that was impatient with conventional advertising.”
Nike had recently unveiled its avant-garde, creative “Revolution” TV campaign, which featured the well-known Beatles song, at the time. Nike spent almost $800,000 on the music rights, only to face backlash from music lovers for utilizing one of the best rock singles to advertise sneakers.
Dan once said, “If you’re trying to make anything distinctive and worthwhile, it should have an edge,” which Bedbury used as part of his philosophy. In contrast, if it has a sharp edge, someone will get wounded. Whatever it is, as long as it’s true and accurate, is fine.
Bedbury didn’t need to be convinced. The ad had received a lot of attention. Bedbury was also aware that Wieden’s viewpoint had the full support of Phil Knight, the CEO of Nike.
Nike soon after, in 1988, debuted their catchphrase “Just Do It.” Even though Wieden was usually quick to acknowledge the agency’s finest creatives, he asserted that the idea for “Just Do It” was his own.
It eventually rose to become maybe the most well-known corporate advertising catchphrase in history. Since the phrase was established, Nike’s annual sales have increased from $877 million to almost $46 billion.
Jerry Cronin was largely responsible for the agency’s renowned 1980s Nike and ESPN advertising. When asked to offer a favorite Wieden story, he mentioned an improbable marketing initiative.
Cronin traveled to Modesto, California, once a month to try to come up with a campaign that would be acceptable to the managers at the E. & J. Gallo Winery, a mass-market wine producer. The wine executives rejected pitch after pitch. In a last-ditch effort, Cronin reportedly suggested advertising “about a practically fictitious agency that visits to Gallo headquarters every month and can never sell a single ad,” according to his memory.
According to Cronin, this collaboration with Gallo may have lasted for many productive years. And that would have been approved by any agency director. Dan Wieden didn’t find it to be pleasant. He believed that the success of the firm depended on each customer receiving exceptional and distinctive work.
Currently, Wieden+Kennedy has 1,500 workers throughout its eight offices. Portland remains the location of its main office. Ford, Nike, and McDonald’s are some of its major clients.
About ten years ago, Wieden stepped away from day-to-day management responsibilities. According to Lieberman, the organization is currently owned by a trust.
Dave Luhr, a longtime executive of Wieden+Kennedy who spent many years there, serves as the trust’s chairman. He claimed that Wieden came up with the idea for the trust, which is structured in a way that prevents it from selling the business.
Luhr claims that throughout the years, Wieden hosted a large number of potential buyers and respectfully rejected each offer. Luhr made no mention of the nature of those offers or the sum of money Wieden left on the table.
According to Luhr, it was a dangerous strategy. Dan thought in a risk-taking manner.
His wife Priscilla Bernard Wieden, his children Tami Wiedensmith, Laura Blatner, Cassie, and Bryan, his stepsons Nathan Bernard and Sean Oswill, his stepdaughter Bree Oswill, his sister Sherrie, and 12 grandkids are his surviving family members.
The family asks that a memorial donation be made to Caldera Arts, a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 by Wieden and his family and devoted to the arts and mentoring.