DDB Worldwide

DDB Worldwide

DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc., known internationally as DDB, is a worldwide marketing communications network. It is owned by Omnicom Group Inc, one of the world's largest advertising holding companies (revenues US$12.69B according to Advertising Age in April 2008).[1] The owners of the international advertising agency groups Doyle Dane Bernbach, Needham Harper and BBDO merged their shareholdings in 1986 to form the holding company Omnicom. At that point Doyle Dane Bernbach and Needham Harper merged their worldwide network agency operations to become DDB Needham. Since 1996 that network has been known as DDB Worldwide. DDB has been cited as one of the leading creative agencies in the world by the Gunn Report (Nov 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), the International Advertising Festival (June 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), Campaign (Nov 2007, Nov 2010), Spikes Asia (September 2010) Campaign Asia Pacific (December 2010, Businessweek (Feb 2008) and Global Effies/WARC (June 2011)as well as European AME awards (2011).



Doyle Dane Bernbach

Bill Bernbach and Ned Doyle worked together at Grey Advertising in New York where Bernbach was Creative Director. In 1949 they teamed up with Mac Dane who was running a tiny agency and together they started Doyle Dane Bernbach in Manhattan. Dane ran the administrative and promotional aspects of the business; Doyle had a client focus and Bernbach played an integral role in the writing of advertising, serving as the creative engine of the agency.

The agency's first ads were for Ohrbach's department store and they typified the new "soft-sell" approach using catchy slogans and witty humour in contrast to the repetition and hard-sell advertising that was in vogue until then. The new agency was initially successful in winning business for clients with small budgets. Their campaigns for Volkswagen throughout the 1950s and 1960s were said to have revolutionized advertising. Notable campaigns included the 1959 Think Small series of Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 The Century of Advertising.[2] In 1960 the agency won the account of Avis, then the number-two auto rental company. The tongue-in-cheek approach "We Try Harder Because We're Number 2" was a major success.The DDB Daisy ad is considered a significant factor in Lyndon B. Johnson's defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election[3] and landed Maxwell Dane on the infamous Nixon's Enemies List. 1972's Little Mikey commercial for Quaker Oats ran continuously in the U.S for twelve years.

A branch office was opened in Los Angeles in 1954. In 1961 DDB opened its first international office in West Germany to service Volkswagen. Significant growth came in the mid-sixties after the firm signed Mobil Oil and the available budgets grew materially. Offices in London and other European locations were opened. Bernbach was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1968 when the agency was publicly listed; he became Chairman of the Executive Committee in 1976.

The impact of Doyle Dane Bernbach's creativity on advertising around the world, and the history of management crises that led to merger[4] in 1986, are detailed in the book Nobody's Perfect: Bill Bernbach and the Golden Age of Advertising.[5] Written by journalist Doris Willens, who served as DDB's Director of Public Relations for 18 years, the book is based on oral histories and interviews with the three founders, the line of the agency's presidents, and key creative and account people. By 1986, four years after Bernbach's death, the agency group had worldwide billings of US$1.67B, 54 offices in 19 countries and 3,400 employees but showed profits declining 30% on the prior year.

Needham Harper & Steers

Needham Harper Worldwide started in Chicago in 1925 as Maurice H. Needham Co with two clients and billings totaling $270,000. By 1934 it was named Needham, Louis and Brorby, Inc. with billings of $1 million, had signed the Kraft Foods account and had opened a Hollywood office to service its clients' network radio program production needs.

In 1951 the agency opened a New York office to concentrate on the rapidly expanding television industry. That office merged with Doherty, Clifford, Steers and Shenfield in 1965 and changed its name to Needham, Harper & Steers. The Chicago office grew with accounts such as the Morton Company, Household Finance Corporation, General Mills and Frigidaire. The firm won the Oklahoma gasoline account (later Esso, today ExxonMobil) after research indicated that American drivers wanted both power and play, and copywriter Sandy Sulcer[6][7] working with psychologist Ernest Dichter chose the tiger to symbolize that desire which led to the campaign Put a Tiger in Your Tank. In 1966 the agency opened a Los Angeles office to handle the Continental Airlines business.[8] An office was opened in Washington D.C in 1971 initially to service some local McDonald's business. Soon this agency was winning government and media business and an "Issues and Images" division was opened to service corporate public relations. This business would eventually become Biederman & Company. The agency worked on public service campaigns called Buckle Up for Safety[7] as well as a traffic safety campaign entitled Watch Out For The Other Guy[9] for the Advertising Council.[10]

Keith L. Reinhard came from Chicago to head the worldwide firm in 1982 and by 1986 there were thirty two offices outside the US; American offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, Baltimore and Dayton, Ohio; and diversification in Porter Novelli, Biederman & Company and the international direct-response agency DR Group, Inc.

DDB Needham merger and the formation of Omnicom

Concerned by the swathe of hostile public company takeovers in the US the 1980s Reinhard started discussions with BBDO president Allen Rosenshine about a merger and included the then fragile Doyle Dane Bernbach business in the discussions. The three networks agreed to merge into the Omnicom Group which would act as a holding company becoming at that time the world's largest global advertising agency group. BBDO remained separate and retained its network. Needham Harper had a good presence in midwest USA and was complemented by Doyle Dane Bernbach's strength in New York and Europe. Reinhard became Chairman and CEO of the merged DDB Needham Worldwide. The merged group suffered some initial account losses due to conflicts (DDB's Volkswagen was retained and Needham's Honda account lost while DDB's RJR Nabisco was lost in favour of Needham's General Mills) and some senior staff losses as Reinhard set about combining the two disparate cultures, but by 1988 the firm was having success in winning significant new business and has continued to grow since then.

In 1998 (having by then dropped the Needham from its name) DDB Worldwide was named Advertising Age's first-ever "Global Network of the Year". In 2003 it earned that same accolade from both Advertising Age and Adweek and again from Adweek in 2004. Subsequently, its operating unit Tribal DDB became the first digital agency to be named Global Network of the Year by Advertising Age. As of 2011 DDB Worldwide has more than 200 offices in 95 countries. Its worldwide CEO since 2006 is Tenneseean, Charles E Brymer, author of "The Nature of Marketing, Marketing to the Herd as well as the Swarm."

Local office histories

DDB in Australia

In Australia in 2011 DDB operates from Sydney and Melbourne with both offices tracing their history to the post-war foundation of United Services Publicity, an agency started in Melbourne in 1945 by ex-servicemen rebuilding careers at the end of hostilities. John F. Barnes was the founder of the agency and he and some other foundation staff had worked between the wars at the large Melbourne agency Samson Clark Price-Berry, a subsidiary of Samson Clark of the UK which closed its Australian arm during the war .[11] United Services Publicity grew successfully in Melbourne and in 1961 established international links via a sale of 25% of its equity to the SH Benson group of the UK, at that point becoming USP Benson and opening a Sydney office. In 1967 the US group Needham, Harper & Steers bought into USP Benson and later in 1971 when SH Benson, UK was bought out by Ogilvy & Mather, NH&S acquired the Benson interest in the Australian operation resulting in a name change to USP Needham from 1972.[12] The 1986 creation of the Omnicom holding company saw a worldwide merger of Needham and the Doyle Dane Bernbach operations (in Australia a merger between USP Needham and the DDB operation "Magnus Nankervis & Curl/DDB") with the operation becoming known as DDB Needham from 1986, and later as DDB Worldwide from 1998.

Australian agencies acquired by USP Needham or Doyle Dane Bernbach and which can trace their lineage to today's DDB Australian group operation include: the Sydney agencies SPASM; Bartlett, Murphy and McKenzie; Harriman and Hill; Beeby Advertising; Magnus, Nankervis & Curl and the Melbourne agencies Hyde Everett Fuller Kutt; Leonardi & Curtis; Walker Herbert & Associates; Nowland, Robinson & Perret; Kuczynski & Zeigler; Whybin Dery Barnes. [13]


  1. ^ Advertising Age's AGENCY FAMILY TREES 2008
  2. ^ http://www.weshow.com/top10/en/advertising/top-10-best-american-advertising-campaigns-of-the-20th-century
  3. ^ http://www.conelrad.com/daisy/daisy3.php
  4. ^ The New York Times, April 28, 1986.
  5. ^ D. Willens, Nobody's Perfect: Bill Bernbach and the Golden Age of Advertising, CreateSpace, New York, 2009.
  6. ^ Kaplan, David (January 23, 2004). "Sulcer, 77, Former DDB Needham Exec, Dies.(Frederick D. Sulcer)(Obituary)". ADWEEK Eastern Edition. http://business.highbeam.com/436953/article-1G1-112766289/sulcer-77-former-ddb-needham-exec-dies. Retrieved 2011-10-03. "NEW YORK -- Frederick D. "Sandy" Sulcer, a former executive at DDB Needham Worldwide... Omnicom, the parent of DDB Worldwide. ... He created the well-known "Put a tiger in your tank" theme line for Esso (now ExxonMobil) …" 
  7. ^ a b David Kaplan (January 2004). "Sulcer, 77, Former DDB Needham Exec, Dies". all Business. http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/4134172-1.html. Retrieved 2011-10-03. "NEW YORK Frederick D. "Sandy" Sulcer, ...created the well-known "Put a tiger in your tank" theme line for Esso (now ExxonMobil) ..." 
  8. ^ http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/DDB-Needham-Worldwide-Company-History.html DDB Needham company history
  9. ^ "Twelve Big Ideas - The Advertising Council's Traffic Safety Campaign: "Watch Out For The Other Guy"". WARC. 1966. http://www.warc.com/Pages/Taxonomy/Results.aspx?q=&Area=Articles&Page=3&Tab=&DVals=&SourceOR=&DRange=&Filter=All&SubjectRef=1209&qr=. Retrieved 2011-10-03. "... In his speech at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) 1966 Central Region Annual Meeting, Frederick D. Sulcer from Needham, Harper & Steers, shows how his agency developed the "Watch Out For The Other Guy" concept for the Traffic Safety Council." 
  10. ^ JAMES SMITH (Oct 12, 1966). "Agency Men Will Meet Tomorrow". Chicago Tribune. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/587052472.html?dids=587052472:587052472&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Oct+12%2C+1966&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=ADVERTISING%2FMARKETING&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2011-10-03. "Campaigns that broke the mold of advertising w ... The Advertising Council's Traffic Safety Campaign Frederick D Sulcer Needham Harper & Steers" 
  11. ^ Samson Clark Liquidation Notice The Argus (Melb) 24/5/1943
  12. ^ "50 years in the making" DDB Needham Melb publication 1995
  13. ^ "50 years in the making" DDB Needham Melb publication 1995

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Tribal DDB London — Infobox Company company name = Tribal DDB London company company type = Public foundation = 1995 (rebranded as Tribal DDB in August 2000) location = London, England key people = Mike Parsons, Managing Director Dan Ng, Planning Director Ben Clapp …   Wikipedia

  • Tribal DDB — Die Tribal DDB GmbH in Deutschland ist eine Gesellschaft innerhalb der DDB Worldwide und entwickelt Kommunikationslösungen für Kunden wie Volkswagen, Deutsche Telekom, congstar, Philips, Montblanc und Nike und Wintershall. Tribal DDB ist in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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