DDB - or Doyle Dane Bernbach as it was originally, and is again from 2019 - is one of the three main advertising networks within the Omnicom marketing services group, and it maintains a close working relationship within the group with other marketing services networks including Interbrand. Although it prefers to keep a lower profile than some of its peers, DDB has consistently ranked as one of the global industry's most highly regarded advertising agencies, regularly topping polls of creative awards. Its principal founder Bill Bernbach is generally considered to be the single most influential creative force of the post-war era, responsible for introducing wry, ironic humour and striking image-led campaigns into advertising for the first time. More recently, though, the network wrestled with weaker performance at some key outposts, especially on smaller regional accounts, and the main advertising agency was sometimes overshadowed by its digital subsidiary Tribal. The appointment of new global creative chief Amir Kassei helped to solve some of those issues, while declining output from DDB London was resolved with resounding success by the merger of that unit with newly acquired independent Adam&Eve to created Adam&Eve DDB, now one of the creative cornerstones of the global network. Satellite agencies - including Tribal - have for the most part been merged back into the main agency, to broaden the DDB brand's service offering. However a few still remain, such as hispanic unit Alma, African-American specialist SpikeDDB (a joint venture with director Spike Lee) and promotions arm Tracy Locke. DDB Health operates separately as a unit of Omnicom Health Group. DDB's global coverage is generally very strong, anchored by key agencies including Adam&Eve DDB in the UK, Africa in Brazil, Mudra DDB in India as well as strong outposts in France, Australia and several other countries. AdAge estimated global revenues for the main agency at $1.5bn in 2019, of which the US accounted for $343m. In a rare example of management upheaval, DDB CEO Wendy Clark resigned abruptly in 2020 after only two years in her role to join rival Dentsu Aegis Network. She was eventually replaced by Marty O'Halloran. Ari Weiss succeeded Amir Kassei as global chief creative officer in 2019.
Capsule checked 17th August 2020
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Historical profile information for DDB
Marketer Moves 16th Sep 2021: New CCO at DDB New York. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 7th Jul 2021: New creative leadership at DDB North America. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Jun 2021: "Freedom". Dutch insurer Centraal Beheer is the company behind the Netherlands' most famous ad series, now resurrected for a new run after a three-year pause. Traditionally, each new installment is regarded as something of a national event. For almost all its history, the campaign has been overseen by the local outpost of DDB, who have crafted a succession of films in which some unlucky protagonist suffers an unforeseen - but always humorous - disaster for which the services of an insurance company are required. The long-established tagline "Even Apeldoorn Bellen" translates as "Just call Apeldoorn", which is the town where Centraal Beheer is based. The latest spot might seem a bit of a stretch, but actually Centraal Beheer even offer emergency legal assistance as well, though we suspect they probably won't insure you against being a cocky a**hole or - this being ultra-eco-conscious Holland - a litterbug... More about "Even Apeldoorn Bellen" here and also here.
Marketer Moves 26th May 2021: New leadership at DDB New York. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 13th May 2021: New CEO at DDB Chicago. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Sep 2020: "What A Beautiful Day". DDB Chicago tightens its grip on the Molson Coors US portfolio with this entertaining new campaign for Coors Light, which spins off from a funny idea for a competition. You might want to watch the ad before you continue reading so we don't spoil the gag... but - spoiler alert! - Coors is offering five US customers the chance to "win a trip to the videochat background you've been staring at for months". All you have to do is upload a picture of yourself in front of your virtual background. The winners will be picked at random apparently. Cue a mad rush to download photos of multiple exotic locations around the globe. The only catch if you win is that you have to wait for the pandemic to end but you have until June 2022 to redeem your prize if you're picked.
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Jul 2020: DDB named its new senior leadership team, filling the hole left by the abrupt departure of Wendy Clark in April. DDB A&NZ chief Marty O'Halloran will relocate to the US to become global CEO of DDB, while Justin Thomas-Copeland becomes CEO of DDB North America. He was previously CEO of Omnicom's healthcare precision marketing unit. Chuck Brymer remains network chairman.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Jun 2020: "The Best Is Yet To Come". More fantastic visions of the future from Nord DDB, the US network's pan-Scandinavian partner, for Norwegian telecoms group Telenor. The ideas come thick and fast, all absurdly impractical but nevertheless brilliantly entertaining. Surely there will be better ways to get a pint of milk in 2120? "Lately, all stories in pop culture about the future seem to paint a very dystopian and dark picture," says Nord DDB CEO & chief creative officer Andreas Dahlqvist. "The ambition here was to create a romantic, positive view of technology, depicting the future as a warm and bubbly cartoony possibility." Cartoony this certainly is, like an episode of The Jetsons brought to three-dimensional life.
Adbrands Daily Update 29th Apr 2020: "America #CouldUseABeer". In all future industry awards schemes, there should be a new category for Best Campaign Under Lockdown (and, FYI, our friends at The Cresta Awards have already launched one!). The majority of new ads created over the past four weeks have been pretty routine; with a big emphasis - understandably - on emotion and sentiment. However, a new breed is now emerging that rediscover the innate sense of humour that has been largely missing recently. We were quietly impressed, for example, by Diageo's ingenuity with a new celebrity-stuffed US campaign for Smirnoff. The ads were conceived and shot pre-lockdown, so have had to be re-edited with new voiceovers from Megan Rapinoe, Dave Bautista and others to convey a completely new message of 'Hang Out Fom Home'. But pick of the light-hearted lockdown campaigns comes from DDB Chicago, tightening its grip on the Molson Coors portfolio, to deliver this refreshingly honest spot for Coors Light, voiced by the inimitable Paul Giamatti. Yes, Paul, America Could Use A Beer. So could we all! Cheers!
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