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DDB: An Old Touch of Class Reborn!

DDB hasn't forgotten the word consumer.... The agency's executives reiterated that point at the 2005 AdForum Summit in New York, where they reminded consultants that they still hold true to the original guiding light that made them a longstanding creative powerhouse, while making room for changes to keep pace with new client relationships.

Ken Kaess, CEO of DDB Worldwide, spoke of the old Doyle Dane Bernbach agency being unleashed in a new way, but with old principles in tact. "We are preserving our core values of creativity and humanity," he said. "However our new product for clients is not simply ads but entire creative business solutions."

Such an important step in DDB's client relationships is aimed at reawakening an industry some say is napping. According to Paul Price, DDB Director of Network Operations, the industry is guilty of being unproductive. "We must empower people with a process, a playbook," he said. "Our clients' challenge is putting a brand experience in front of their consumer. We want to make those connections with consumers!"

Bob Scarpelli, worldwide Chief Creativity Officer, took that consumer attention a notch further. "Creativity is the most important thing," he said. "We have got to be media proactive!"

To meet the challenge, DDB has worked to achieve alignment within its organization. Thousands of employees have gone through 'DDB University' and every year since 2001 they have increased the training budget, even though training budgets are often slashed at other firms.

According to Kaess, DDB has had a wholesale management change and developed a 3-year plan. They utilized agency roundtables and aimed to redefine the creative product while also taking advantage of working with Omnicom, one of the most powerful holding companies. A major goal was to balance independence with accountability, and focus on retaining clients.

The outcome? In a Gunn report, DDB won more creative awards than any network. In addition, the agency produced the popular 'Red Men of Genius' radio spot for Bud Lite and an entire campaign for a relatively unknown Argentinian jeans company that became a superstar overnight.

As stated by Kaess, "I think we are truly a world-class agency!"