Doyle Dane Bernbach,inc.
"Art Direction" magazine, January 1960
Art directors have always admired the advertising spouting forth from the an department of Doyle Dane Bernbach.
To many a frustrated anist, their ads represented a miracle, manna from heaven above Madison Avenue; it was hard to believe such things could still happen. Art director about to jump out of their office windows now seriously consider living, and there was a slight decrease in the consumption of liquor among the creative breed. Apparently not all hope was lost.
For many years, however, art directors' enthusiasm over the DDB approach was tempered by those who prided themselves on their hard-headed approach to advertising. It was fashionable to admit that the Doyle Dane Bernbach stuff was creative, yes, but a little too much so for the man on the street. whoever he may be. It was all riht for the avant garde. but too cute for Big Time business.
Again the art direcor were put in their places; their argument that highly imaginative art-work could possibly sell wsa dismissed with a patient, condeaeending slnile.
While ariguments about the validity of their advertising philosophy raged on, up and down Madison Avenue, life at DDB went on; smoothly and happily.
The gush of craeative stuff continued to pour forth. Nobody in the agency shared the ads JtJt'fffl'.of outsiden' whethel the ads "sold" or not; the sales figures were available to them; they knew that almost all of their campaigns," too creative" as they might have been for the middle-ofthe-road advertisers, sold a fantastic amount of goods. And new business, probably attracted as much by the agency's sales record. as creative prowess, kept asking to be admitted.
The agency grew almost as fast as the clients whose business they handled. Still, the art department changed none of its philosophy; one could not help wondering if the art directors here were work.ing for money or just to have a good time.
(ADC NY Gold)
Now even the most ardent skeptics have to admit that the "Doyle Dane Bernbach approach" works. Art directors can breathe easier; their point has been proven, thank God, by a group of restless and fortunate men.
An directors can now make with the big picture, the simple typography, the modern layout the "cute" photography, and wave DDB proofs triumphantly in front of account executive and such to clear all doubts once and for all.
A word of caution should be uttered,however.
DDB advertising is successful not only because of the art, treatment of its, print and televion campaigns.
Those deeply invoved ingraphics often tend to argue the effectiveness of DDB ads on the basis of layout, typography and the choice of models used in illustrations. To be sure, all these ingredients had a lot to do with the success of the agency's ads. Deeper analysis reveals other secrets, such as:
1. Every DDB ad has a "big idea" behind the facade of the visual. The big idea shows itself either in copy or art; it's so strong one can almost describe it without showinK the ad.
2. "Idea" is not big picture or short copy. These are techniques, not ideas.
Many DDB ads feature long copy.
3. DDB ads may look entertaining.
Behind the hoopla-ho is a deadly serious purpose: information about the product.
4. All DDB ads start with a selling point of the product. There are no exceptions to this.
An art director who suddenly decides to emlulate the "DDB approach" in his layouts may find himself in the position of au eager hen laying a great many eggs. It takes more than an art
director to come up with ads like that; it takes a whole team. There really isn't such a thing as a "Doyle Dane Bernbach layout." There is "Doyle Dane Bernbach advertising.