Cannes Lions

Unexpected Works

DDB, Paris / DDB / 2022

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Many agencies have a motto to describe their own way of thinking, of working. At DDB we have always been represented by those words from Bill Bernbach : “Creativity is the most powerful force in business”. It’s been our DNA since forever. But forever seems now far away. And younger generations don’t necessarily even know those words. The objective of that new positioning was to make this identity known to everyone. This is how Unexpected Works came to life. Starting from a poster’s series, it became much more than that. It became a new brand identity.


The creative idea was really simple. Create as many Unexpected Works visuals as possible, by making them as smart as beautiful, to illustrate the new motto of DDB all across its network. The strength of those words showed they could be used in many ways and many countries. By making so, we demonstrated how DDB is now the house of Unexpected Works and how every office in the network could have their own identity within this new identity.


The new graphic identity became our strategy. By targeting employees of DDB across the world but also new talents, we needed to show how we could be creative and innovative with an identity that is always evolving, just like work. A fresher and younger identity, always new and different. It created a feeling of belonging for employees across the network. Unexpected Works was first revealed at the annual Internal Conference where the entire network is invited. All the designs were then sent to live through instore posters, outdoor posters, Social media (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn). We even created a website for people to use our designs and to submit their own work.


We started by defining the visual language by creating a fisrt batch of posters in house, mainly using type design. It was then opened to a variety of different graphic designers and motion designers from all over the world such as Javier Jaen, Marta Cerda, There Is Studio, La Boca, Shane, There Is Studio, Studio Lennart & DeBrujin, Sebastian Pren, Thibaut Pirioux, Remus&Kiki, Valentin Stoll, Michael Marczewski amongst others. Every kind of tools were used like photography, handmade type, computer designed, motion, hand illustrations, 3D, printing systems, and even more. Those designs were then displayed throughout the agencies in many different forms such as murals, tote bags, flags, mugs and sweatshirts amongst others.


More than 7000 work aplications accros the network, 37% more than usual.

About 3000 sheep reached somewhere in New Zealand (Unexpected Billboard).

And new designs in almost every of the 200 DDB offices across the globe.

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