The Year in DDB Chicago

By Erik Oster 

DDB Chicago tackles the fruitful “Drunk History” format for its holiday card this year, crafting “Drunk History: DDB” for a soused version of the agency’s formation and rise to prominence.

“Drunk History: DDB” features DDB Chicago art director Danae Belanger, as interviewed by copywriter Madison Jackson, explaining the agency’s history (presumably while inebriated, although it seems likely she’s just acting). She starts with how DDB began “in like history” with Bill Bernbach saying “Um, let’s have an ad agency” in 1949, joining forces with Ned Doyle and Mac Dane. She then delves into the agency’s iconic “Lemon” ad for Volkswagen and its relationship with McDonald’s and Budweiser. It’s one of the more clever takes on the agency holiday card we’ve seen and is well worth a watch for a quick laugh.

“Drunk History: DDB” caps off a year for DDB Chicago that opened with the agency being handed creative duties for the American Cancer Society, for which it released a new campaign last month. January also saw the arrival of David Banta from Hill Holiday as senior vice president, group creative director. DDB Chicago was also named AOR for LifeLock in September.

If there was one trend to the agency’s creative this year, it probably the revival of iconic characters for its brands. This includes the agency bringing back the Three Musketeers for Mars’ brand of the same name and reviving Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin‘s Conehead characters in a series of ads for State Farm (including a reimagined version of 2011’s “State of Unrest”). In March, the agency brought Mars’ Milky Way brand back to broadcast for the first time in around five years with “Sorry I Was Eating a Milky Way.”