DDB Vets’ New Agency Highdive Wins Business from Barilla, Marriott and More

By Patrick Coffee 

Highdive, the Chicago-area agency launched late last year by DDB creatives Mark Gross and Chad Broude, has announced its first new business wins after several months in operation.

The shop won assignments to promote Barilla’s new Ready Pasta and Marriott Signature’s new EMC2 hotel in downtown Chicago as well as unspecified “initiatives” for home loan brand Guaranteed Rate.


These are project-based assignments, but unlike other “boutique” agencies Highdive does not eschew AOR relationships.

“We’ve been patiently waiting for the right partners and are confident we found them in these iconic brands,” Highdive founder, creative director Chad Broude said in a statement. “We look forward to building our relationships and supporting our new partners in any way we can.”

The small team has expanded in recent months as Broude and Gross hired former DDB colleague Matthew Gallo to work on business development and Aly Withey, also formerly with DDB, as client services director.

“Highdive has been a terrific partner,” said Barilla VP of marketing Melissa Tendick. “Their ability to deliver innovative thinking and new creative solutions has been key to helping us meet our business objectives.”

Scott Stephen, president, online at Guaranteed Rate, said the agency “gives us everything a big agency can but with the scrappiness of a start-up,” adding, “It doesn’t get better than that.”

The first work should break within the next month.