Ad Networks

DDB’s Amir Kassaei: ‘Digital is The Electricity of The 21st Century’ (Part I)

Amir Kassaei is DDB Worldwide’s Chief Creative Officer, one of the most lauded creatives in the world. The Makegood recently spoke with Amir about DDB’s LaunchPad program, a 3-month to 6-month internship at DDB designed to bridge the gap between students and professional creatives.

The Makegood: Amir, you are continuously demonstrating a deep understanding of today’s connected world and you quickly transformed DDB Germany into one of the most creative and successful agencies. Where will you lead DDB Worldwide?

We believe that we know where the world is heading towards, what is changing and how it will affect our business. At the moment, we are preparing DDB for the future. Our insight is that the whole world will be connected. We think about digital not as a medium but as an infrastructure. You have to build a brand network in order to lead the company into the future. By doing that, you have to look at technology in a completely different way than a lot of people in our industry are doing it. This is our strategy we are working on and implementing, not only in different regions but globally, where you have to be careful about different regions, cultures, countries and clients. In general our strategy is clear; we are trying to deliver what makes us special as an agency. This is finding, creating and delivering the relevant tools for every product and service we are working for, and we use the digital infrastructure as technology. This is the plan and vision for DDB and everybody has to work towards this vision.

The Makegood: What is DDB Worldwide’s LaunchPad Program and how will it change the world?

The LaunchPad program is the consequence of how we are looking at education. The current status of education in our industry is one of the reasons why people are not even interested in being part of the advertising industry. We lost the momentum being an attractive industry. This is because of the fact that a lot of people who are really talented and passionate about changing the world for the better are in other industries. The only thing that you can do it is remind people of what our job is about: taking your expertise to find the most innovative solution for the business problem of a client. From our point of view, education today is not going in the right direction. The values that the people are teaching are not the substance of the job, but nicely shiny parts of the job, like winning awards. This is not the first goal of DDB. Our job is to find the most innovative solution for our client’s challenge and if you do that, you get the reward in market place. You get the reward from people in our industry by recognizing that you are doing an amazing job, which in turn wins awards.

We are giving young people the perspective and the possibility to focus on the right thing. By educating students in our agency, and really giving them the opportunity to work on the most important things for clients, they learn the day-to-day job of being an advertising creative. We are giving students a very clear point-of-view on how we look at technology. This is the reason why LaunchPad was founded. It’s about giving young creatives a different perspective of what they are getting normally.

The Makegood: Can you provide a practice example on how DDB Worldwide found real challenges and executed a successful strategy?

We are working on a lot of projects for a variety of brands in different regions. One great example is The Fun Theory* for Volkswagen. The responsibility at the Volkswagen Company is about sustainable energy and engine. We did not try to tell people the story of building engines while not harming the environment. We did the complete opposite and delivered something. If you give the people an offering based on fun, it will change the behavior. This was the basis of The Fun Theory, a global phenomenon three years ago. This case was about using social creativity and technology to prove that you understand what you are talking about.

Read part II.

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*We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better is by making it fun to do.