DDB France is one of the country's leading advertising groups. The agency first established a presence in France in 1969, initially to service Volkswagen, still its cornerstone client. The DDB group now comprises a collection of separate units offering a full range of services. These are collected into four separate groupings, all reporting to DDB Europe president Pietro Tramontin. The main agency is of course DDB Paris. Jean-Luc Bravi became sole president of DDB Paris in early 2017, following the departure of co-president Matthieu de Lesseux (to join Havas). Vincent Leorat is managing director. Other satellites include Score DDB (originally a regional agency in Lille, but now operating as a conflict agency in Paris as well), healthcare agency DDB Health (previously Ciel et Terre) and print and production specialist Gutenberg Networks. Another regional outpost in Toulouse was sold to management in 2017. In recent years, the group has also housed satellite creative boutiques to handle key clients. One such was Agence V, which operated from 2001 to 2013 before being merged back into the main agency. Another satellite unit was carved out in 2014 under the name Romance. However this now operates as a standalone agency under the wider Omnicom umbrella, entirely separately from DDB.
Capsule checked 25th May 2018
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Adbrands Social Media 29th May 2019: "The Others". All VW's various global agencies can do clever but no one does whimsical and philosophical quite like DDB Paris. In typically French style, that agency often presents ads for the brand that tackle larger cosmic issues. You might recall, for example, their similarly mock-profound ad "Nothing" for VW a couple of years ago. This time, DDB's starting point is that most famous of bon mots from local philosophical lion Jean-Paul Sartre, applied here to the experience of driving. The elegant script (even better in the original French) is accompanied by a selection of what one would like to believe are snatched vignettes in grainy 16mm film of real life (but which are probably at least partly staged for the camera). It's deliciously arch, and so so so very French.
Adbrands Social Media 13th Feb 2019: "The Seven Worlds". Ridley Scott has been out of advertising for 15 years. Now he's back he just can't stop. An intervention may be required. A week after his Turkish Airlines extravaganza, here's an even more lavish spectacular for Hennessy cognac, developed in partnership with DDB Paris. With the very greatest of respect, Sir Ridley, please don't give up your day job in movies. Scott is one of the greatest feature film directors of the past 40 years, but once you move on from commercials it's very hard to go backwards again into shortform. As a result, this film resembles one of those bloated epics they used to make back in the 80s, like Hugh Hudson's infamous 'Swimming Pool' for B&H; then the most expensive ad ever made. It's all glitter - and such amazing glitter too - but with no substance, no personality, no humanity. And this is only the 60-second cut; wait until you see the full four-minute version. When it comes to ads, unless you're making a joke of epic, small is better.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: Ads of the Week "Choose Life". No one beats DDB Paris when it comes to cinematic live action trailers for video games. They've turned in a succession of fabulously inventive films for developer Ubisoft over the years, many of them just as good as (if not better than) the games they're promoting. Here's the latest, for the new Odyssey incarnation of the Assassin's Creed franchise. Must have been a gas to make, but then the cherry on top is DDB's homage to the classic opening sequence of Danny Boyle's movie Trainspotting. Totally incongruous, but it works an absolute treat. And those first 80 seconds make the remaining 20 of in-game footage more or less superfluous.
Adbrands Social Media 16th Mar 2018: "Welcome To Hennessy Draft Land". It's definitely Miyazaki month in Adland. Following on from the Travel Oregon spot we posted earlier - which was a fullblown homage to Studio Ghibli - here's another animation which betrays more than a little influence from those Japanese masters of the craft. Italian artist Ugo Gattoni reimagines the Hennessy cognac distillery in the style of Hayao Miyazaki, but with a strong dash of Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson mixed in. DDB Paris oversaw the project on behalf of Hennessy's owners, LVMH.
Adbrands Social Media 1st Mar 2018: "The Baptism". Here's the dark, dark, DARK live action promo for the latest iteration of Ubisoft's Far Cry videogame, out later this month. DDB Paris does the honours, as it has done very successfully for a number of other titles in Ubisoft's portfolio, using the game as merely the platform for a scene-setting cinematic exercise in its own right. It works brilliantly, though we're still not entirely comfortable with the idea of promoting a game with a short movie, especially when it doesn't even include any in-game footage. The game itself can never offer the same sort of emotional intensity as the live action trailer inspires. Isn't it just a touch misleading?
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