Creator of the Week: DDB Stockholm

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With the requisite drum roll and cymbal-crashing, we're excited to announce our new feature, Creator of the Week. Here, we celebrate a company or a person behind one of the week's most notable creative efforts, and/or whose outstanding work in general merits further recognition and notice by the creative community.

Stepping up to the coveted spot of inaugural Creator of the Week is DDB Stockholm. Formerly known as Paradiset DDB, the agency had been an industry darling in the '90s, known largely for its Grand Prix-winning Diesel work. It eventually lost its creative luster after its founders went off to start their own gigs. But the arrival of new CEOs and fresh creative recruits eventually led to the agency's revival, earning it much respect—and inspiring a lot of envy—in Sweden and on the international scene.

"At some point quite early on we really stopped looking at what was considered to be good advertising, and I think this was a turning point," says DDB Stockholm's CD Andreas Dahlqvist. "We have always felt that we are the underdog and that is something that we have tried to hold on to and there are always new boundaries to challenge and rules to break. I think our way of thinking really makes for a good match for the new landscape brands now operate in. Most of the old rules don't apply and the whole industry is undergoing a huge makeover and redefinition of what we create."

We recently named the shop our 2009 Global Standout, thanks to its rule-breaking exploits for the likes of Volkswagen, McDonald's and the Swedish Armed Forces.

Volkswagen's "Fun Theory" campaign, which includes the much passed around Piano Staircase, is sure to earn many accolades on this year's awards circuit. There's also the agency's innovative print and integrated efforts for McDonald's and its ongoing Swedish Armed Forces Campaign. The latter has tested would-be soldiers' mental acuity, hand-eye coordination, and, as seen in the latest installation featured on our site this week, their teamwork.

Speaking of teamwork, "I also think we honestly can say we are a creatively driven agency, and I think creativity needs to happen on all levels," says Dahlqvist. "It's not just something we demand from our creative department. We are all problem solvers, using creativity to solve real business problems for our clients. 2009 we set a battle cry for the agency—'Invent!', and I really think it shows in our work from last year. Finally I think we owe our development more than anything to a really amazing mix of great talent and people."

Read the DDB Stockholm Global Standout Story.

Test your teamwork skills on the 2010 Swedish Armed Forces campaign site.

Want to know the secrets behind Volkswagen's Piano Staircase and "Fun Theory"? DDB Stockholm's Andreas Dahlqvist explains.