Innovation in Action

DM9DDB: Brazil’s Leading Creative Agency

Known for work that combines technological innovation, powerful ideas, and artistic mastery, Sáu Paulo-based advertising agency handles many of the biggest clients in the country

© 2016 Raul M. / Javi Zamor

Brazil, the largest country in Latin and South America, has just come off a few solid years at the center of global attention. It played host to both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, the two largest international sporting competitions in the world. But as the world’s fifth largest country both by population and size, Brazil is much more important than many might think. It has an incredibly large influence in the politics and economic vitality in the Western Hemisphere, and its domestic market is clearly one of the largest and most vital in the world.

Brazil is no stranger to being important economically. It has, after all, been the world’s largest producer of coffee for over 150 years. It even, at one point, served as the capital of a global empire, when for 13 years Queen Maria I of Portugal and her court of roughly 15,000 people escaped Europe and reigned over the Kingdom of Portugal from Rio de Janeiro. Today, the country is home to many large and growing cities. 17 Brazilian cities have populations over 1 million, and Sao Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, is also the largest city in the Americas—even eclipsing New York City by nearly a million residents. Brazil was one of the fastest growing economies in the world until 2010, and officially entered a recession in 2014. Despite this, Brazil is still one of the biggest economies in the world, and one of the most important markets for multinational companies in virtually every consumer product category.

Because of Brazil’s importance as a consumer product market, one industry that is growing, and growing heartily, is advertising. Ad spending is on a strong growth trajectory, industry analyst eMarketer projected reports In 2015, media ad spending would reach $20.64 billion per year, with projections showing that spending will hit $30 billion annually by 2019. Despite double digit growth across multiple platforms, broadcast TV continues to dominate the market in Brazil, capturing just under 70% of total spending.

But when companies spend money on advertising, it is because they expect a return on their investments, and in order to make that happen, advertisements must be effective, creative, and attention-grabbing. If an ad can speak to people on a deeper level than a mere call-to-action or informational spot, or even better, contribute to or drive a national conversation, ad dollars go a lot further. Effective creative work—the writing, planning, design, strategy, and execution of the actual advertisement—is what drives ad spending and drives sales results. In Brazil, the leading creative agency in innovation and Quality is DM9DDB, based in Sãu Paulo, which has been bringing the international spotlight back to its home country.

Quality and the Power of Ideas

© 2016 Raul M. / Javi Zamor

The mission statement of DM9DDB, among the largest and most-awarded creative agencies in Brazil, is to “enthrall the world with the power of our ideas.” The company has, by all accounts, been doing just that for nearly 30 years. Founded in 1989, the company has worked with, and continues to work with, many of the largest and most innovative brands both from Brazil and internationally that operate in Brazil, earning wide acclaim and dozens of awards for the campaigns it has created. The agency is a member of the DDB Worldwide network, one of the world’s largest advertising networks which has a presence in 200 offices spread across 90 countries.

Notable brands that DM9DDB has created print, television, and only campaigns for include: brands managed by company Ambev, including Fusion, H2Oh!, Lipton Tea, Soda, and Sukita; BRF Brazil Cocoa Chocolates; Easy Taxi; Itaú, one of the largest banks in Brazil; consumer product brands owned by multinational giant Johnson & Johnson, including Band-Aid, Carefree, Clean & Clear, and Neutrogena; digital work for McDonald's; Kopenhagen; Telhanorte; Tok&Stok, a major furniture brand; Walmart Value; Mercedes-Benz Trucks; and Guarana Antarctica. Its work has earned the company two Grand Prix awards and 127 Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, also capturing the Agency of the Year award 4 times at Cannes, which calculates the highest accumulated distinctions in any one year at the prestigious awards ceremony in the south of France.

For DM9DDB, the agency’s Quality Mix includes a heavy focus on attention to detail and fostering innovation. Its company culture is built on a strong belief in the power of ideas and their ability to influence people, and it says that creativity and innovation are embedded in the company’s “DNA.” In the current advertising climate, one of the biggest challenge for marketers is finding ways to harness the digital space in a way that increases sales and engagement in the physical. DM9DBB, in its usual innovative fashion, found a solution by bringing the digital realm into the physical. For Tok&Stok, the largest furniture brand in Brazil, DM9DDB invented a new technology, in partnership with Pinterest, that allows shoppers to pin physical items in the store to their Pinterest pages by pressing a button on a physical recreation of the site’s iconic red pin. The innovative campaign attracted worldwide attention, and was featured in AdWeek. The head of brand strategy at Pinterest, Kevin Knight, called it “one of the greatest examples of in-store and online integration,” ever created.

For its impressive market share and excellent track record, for its globally recognized innovative creative work, for its central role in growing Brazil’s advertising industry, and for its integration of core Quality principles into the advertising business, Business Initiative Directions has selected DM9DDB to receive the prestigious 2016 BID International Quality Award, which will be presented at an awards ceremony this fall in Paris, France.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.

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