Nizan Guanaes reflects on the year of post-truth. And DDB’s founding ideals our best work must uphold


Issue 61: Bernbach Awards 2016

Each year our top creative directors from around the network gather to review the year’s best work and honor the ideas that most represent DDB’s heritage and ideals, as well as the kind of thinking needed to take our business into the future. From the 106 final nominees this year, winners were chosen in each medium and the Best of Show was awarded to Alma DDB Miami ’s “Spanish Lessons” for Netflix. Our jury spent many hours discussing and debating the winners and what we need to do as a network to live up to our legacy, particularly in a world where our clients seem to be held up to higher standards than our politicians. Bernbach Jury President, the legendary Nizan Guanaes, reflected on our best work of the year and our DDB legacy in this current post-truth world.

I was really impressed by the quality of the Bill Bernbach Awards. It’s a fantastic collection of work, and when you see all of them together it’s very impressive. Most of the work I had already seen in Cannes, but I didn’t have any idea that much of it was DDB work, so I’m very impressed.

DDB is going through quite a great momentum. It must be the DDB of Bill Bernbach, in the philosophy, but it has to have the look, the feel, the drive of our times and I think that Amir is doing that job very well. Wendy Clark is doing a fantastic job in North America. adam&eveDDB continues to lead our industry on the world stage.  All these things put together with the leadership of Chuck Brymer are giving DDB the momentum we’ve seen this year – one of the best years of our times. We won accounts, we won awards. We here in Grupo ABC, Africa, DM9DDB, LDC and others, are all very excited to be part of it.

In moments like this current post-truth reality, when you have to face fake news, fake positioning, fake brands, I think that we should not have fear of sticking with truth. Post-truth is going to disappear and truth will go on.

One of the things in my life is that I always stood for the things that I believed in. Sometimes things get fashionable; they come and go. But if you stick by the side of the truth, of integrity, of the things that you believe, in the long run you are going to succeed.

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This year’s Best of Show goes to Alma DDB Miami. This edgy campaign is the perfect example of truly knowing your audience and your product. Relevant ideas are found by listening to people and treating them as friends. Ideas like this make it look simple, but we all know they can be the hardest to sell. The idea was also named our Promotion/Activation winner.

PINK RIBBON: Check It Before It’s Removed

DDB Germany was named our Digital winner for this campaign for breast cancer awareness. By paying attention to what people were focusing on and discussing online, they found a way to make the topic fresh and relevant. They turned the  #freethenipple hashtag against social media censorship into something positive, and by breaking a few rules, they had the censors helping to spread their message even further.

Milk West DAIRY: Snack Time

This year’s Branded Entertainment award from DDB Canada is part of a long-running web series that has teens, who as a rule hate advertising, loving our campaign. And loving milk.

Grupo GUGA KUERTEN: The Match Racquets

LDC Brazil was named the winner in Design. These beautiful crafted racquets are an inspired tribute to the legendary tennis star and his fans. They illustrate completely how the magic comes from the product itself.


DDB Sydney’s incredible campaign for the Sydney Opera House took top honors in both Direct and Mobile. The campaign illustrates exactly how technology should be used improve people’s lives and open doors to a whole new experience.


This year’s Film winner went to adam&eveDDB UK. Their commercial for Harvey Nichols new loyalty app, turned one of the store’s biggest problems into the star of the campaign, using real CCTV footage of actual shoplifters.


DDB Spain was honored with the Innovation award. Tasked with strengthening Volkswagen’s relationship with consumers, they developed a whole new communications channel that improved the lives of VW drivers both on and off the road.

SKITTLES: Give the Rainbow

adam&eveDDB UK picked up the Integration award for Skittles. From ads to direct to even changing the design of actual product, each element was seemlessly connected for a truely integrated experience.