DDB’s most lauded teams at Cannes give back by sharing the secrets to their success



Speed is the currency of modern business. Everyone seems to be trying to figure out how to work faster and smarter without sacrificing quality or breaking the bank. The team from DDB Brussels may have cracked the code when creating Stardust for Bowie.  

When David Bowie died, fans all over the world were in shock, and our client, Belgium’s radio station Studio Brussel, felt they needed to give fans a way to express and share their grief. Our team at DDB Brussles decided to give “starman” David Bowie his very own constellation. Together with the Royal Belgian Observatory they identified 7 stars in the form of Bowie’s iconic thunderbolt. It became the key visual of an integrated platform, linked to Google Sky, where everyone could say goodbye to Bowie in their own way by choosing their favourite song, writing a personal message, and adding it to a star within the constellation. The campaign was launched exactly one day after David Bowie’s death and in a few hours it became a mourning place for millions of Bowie fans. The idea received four Lions this year from four different juries, including PR Gold.

The team shared their insights behind the campaign and how it has influenced their thinking on how an agency should work today:

“David Bowie deserved a place among the stars. Because, honestly, before any earthling ever set foot on the moon, David Bowie was deep in outer space, standing at his own version of the crossroads and transfixing generations of fans too weird for this world. That made this tribute so special. People felt they could say goodbye in their own way. And send David Bowie a last salute, just before he became a star among the stars.

The Stardust for Bowie Project may apply as a perfect example of how an agile advertising agency should work these days. There are two important steps that have to be taken to create a powerful case. 1. Optimize your good relationship with your client. Or like we call it, foster a trustworthy ‘open relationship’.  2. The more good people you focus on a project, the more refined the idea becomes. Stardust for Bowie wasn’t a project of two people; it was a true piece of teamwork. Our creatives teamed up with in-house experts in Design, PR, Digital and Strategy that made it all possible in only 48 hours. At least 12 people were involved, and each person had an important contribution to the project. That has increased the level of implementation and made this case a success.”

Keep soaring high, Stardust for Bowie team, pictured left to right: Sven Verfaille, Design; Maarten Van Daele, Strategy; Francis Lippens, Account Director; Kenn Van Lijsebeth, PR; front: Odin Saillé, CD; Gregory Ginterdaele, Creative; Antoinette Ribas, Creative; Peter Ampe, ECD. Missing: Maarten Breda, Digital Producer