“I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.”


Launching Young Talent

Bill Bernbach opened doors for many young creatives. He had an uncanny ability to find talent, to nurture and educate it. When asked where he found creative people, his answer was “anywhere.” There was no creative type, no specific look, no formula to who got hired. The only requirement was talent.

Bill said, “I don’t want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things.”

Today we continue this tradition at DDB with LaunchPad, an internship program designed to give young talents their first big break in the business and bridge the gap from student to professional. Chief Creative Officer Matt Eastwood began the program in DDB Sydney, where it is still going strong, and brought it with him when he transferred to DDB New York. Now LaunchPad programs have expanded to every region of our network.

This year we’ve seen two suits from DDB Sydney give up the security of their jobs in the business management team to train in the LaunchPad program and prove they had what it takes to be a great creative team. And they did just that. James Sexton and Harry Towle are now creating ideas for global clients like Lipton, VW and Wrigley’s.

After demonstrating tremendous passion and persistence, LaunchPad NY graduates João Unzer and Rodrigo de Casto were hired at the agency and went on to create the beautiful Faile Art Series integrated campaign for the NYC Ballet. The campaign has won numerous awards so far this year, including two Cannes Lions, two Clios and six New York Festival Medals.

We wish we could hire all the great young talents who go through our program, but are proud to see them launch their careers and find success at agencies throughout the industry. And most importantly, we see it as our responsibility to pass on to the next generation the values and insights Bernbach gave to us. Winning awards is not the goal. Our job is to use our talents and our passion to solve our clients’ problems in an intelligent way that adds value to their business. As a consequence, you may be recognized with an award, but it is not what you should be aiming for or a true measure of success.

It’s not an easy job. If it were, everyone could do it. But it is the struggles that teach us the most and we must fight for ideas that others call crazy or impossible if we want to change the world. That’s why I title my own personal advice to young talent: Enjoy the Pain.

Enjoy the Pain

  • Failures give you more insights than success. Enjoy the most difficult challenges.
  • Fight for your idea.  Don’t ask for permission. Believe in your ideas and others will start to believe in you too.
  • Get it wrong. Don’t follow the rules. Doing it right is mainstream.
  • You have to take risks to be innovative.
  • Never grow up. Stay curious. Live everyday as your first day, not your last.
  • Persistence makes things happen. Talent isn’t enough.
  • Be responsible. Respect people.
  • Love what you do.