Under the direction of ECD Andreas Dahlqvist, DDB Stockholm has recaptured the creative glory that has eluded it since the late '90s, when it was as Paradiset DDB, home to daring, thought provoking campaigns for fashion brand Diesel. In the last few years, the agency once again has begun to inspire envy among the creative set, thanks largely to its mind-numbing digital tests of mental sharpness for the ongoing Swedish Armed Forces campaign; its innovative print and integrated efforts for McDonald's, including a refreshingly honest poster execution that follows a guy's unrequited drunken wishes to their final conclusion, and, perhaps most significantly, its Fun Theory campaign for Volkswagen. The ongoing integrated effort promotes using fun as a way to get people to make better choices for themselves. For example, the agency transformed a subway staircase into a working piano keyboard to get commuters to choose exercise over escalator, the film of which became an instant viral hit and is sure to put the agency back on the awards circuit.Dahlqvist, on making his agency a magnet for creative talent: When we started we couldn't recruit top creative's from other agencies. So the creative department is to a large extent built on "raw" talent straight from the schools or creatives that were on the verge of breaking, people who had the right attitude and ideas, not necessarily the track record. Most of them have grown up with the agency and developed it into what it is. I think this is a big part of our success. We had to find our own way of doing things. Set our own standard. It wasn't preformatted. Obviously it's different now, we have no problem recruiting on any level and the agency has grown a lot in the last few years, but I still think it is really important to keep a good balance, to keep giving new talent the chance to work on and carry real project and real clients early on. It adds new perspectives and keeps us evolving. I think the simple answer to what builds creative magnetism lies in the work you output.
See the rest of the 2010 Creativity 50 here.