Sources say Wieden, age 77, died peacefully in his sleep at home with his wife at his side on 30 September.
The agency released the following statement: “We are heartbroken. But even more so, we are overcome with gratitude and love. Thank you Dan, for throwing the doors wide open for people to live up to their full potential. Thank you for your steadfastness, courage, faith and abiding love. Thank you for making this beautiful creative life possible. We will miss you so much.”
Together with David Kenndy, Wieden founded the well-known agency in 1982. Kennedy died a year ago, on Oct.12, 2021.
The two worked on Nike at a small agency. The brand founder, Phil Knight, saw their talent and suggested they start their own agency. In 1982 Wieden+Kennedy was born.
The Nike brand was an important client for the agency and built it from the ground up.
Since then Wieden+Kennedy has done multiple award-winning work for the brand, from Michael Jordan ads to Tiger Woods commercials and the latest Colin Kaepernick spots.
Adweek says it all rose from Wieden and the agency’s ability to listen and execute.
“The bravery of the client is central to doing good work,” he said to Adweek in 2012. “The one thing Nike did for us was, they didn’t believe in advertising. They didn’t want us to do any of the conventional things people do. For instance, they said, ‘We don’t want to run an ad more than once.’ I said, ‘OK, why would that be?’ And they said, ‘Well, you don’t write your friend the same letter over and over again, do you?’”
Wieden never actually retired, says Adweek in its report of its death. In 2015 Wieden stepped away from active agency life and into the Chairperson’s role.
The agency's clients also included Old Spice, Honda, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft amongst others.
Two of the agency's television ads for Nike have won Emmy Awards: The Morning After, and Move. In 2002, the Gunn Report named W+K as the most-awarded agency in the world, and the agency was AdWeek's "Global Agency of the Year" in 2007.
It's Mine, Wieden+Kennedy's advertisement for Coca-Cola which aired during Super Bowl XLII in 2008, was named the best Super Bowl commercial of the decade by Adweek.