Q+A: Spike DDB

DUMBO-based Spike DDB is a boutique agency that stays on top of societal changes to create thought-provoking and relevant ads that have enticed clients like HBO and Pepsi. With a mission to educate and entertain, this agency asks viewers to wake up and take a holistic look at culture in the New Americana. DUMBO BID intern Shaunte Snipes spoke with Spike DDB’s diverse team to learn more about the innovative agency that resides in DUMBO.

After successful years in film what made Spike Lee create Spike DDB?

Spike was first introduced to the Advertising world in 1988, when he worked with Nike on the Air Jordan campaign. From there, his involvement with advertising and commercials grew and in 1997, he partnered with DDB to create Spike DDB. We’re a boutique ad agency with the big gun backing of a global agency network.


DUMBO has become a great area for innovative businesses. Why did Spike Lee choose DUMBO for the agency’s main office?

Spike Lee and Brooklyn are basically synonymous, so it was only appropriate for the office to be located in Brooklyn. And what better spot than DUMBO, a thriving hub of creative people and businesses? The office location is a true reflection of the type of agency we are and the work we produce: artistic, insightful, unique and urban.

Your office is amazing! Can you talk a bit about the environment here at DDB and what a typical workweek is like?

Our office is an open floor plan to foster communication and collaboration amongst the internal teams. There are only 3 offices and 2 conference rooms; the rest of the space is wide open. Often times you’ll see a team huddling at a desk or using one of our chalk-walls to brainstorm ideas. If the team is lacking inspiration all they need to do is take a look at some of Spike’s movie posters hung throughout our space or take a quick walk down to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to people watch and take in the view.


As the Director of Client Services, what would you say differentiates Spike DDB from other agencies?

What differentiates Spike DDB from other agencies is our ability to tap into cultural nuances to target specific demographics that are often overlooked in advertising and marketing. We are a diverse group of individuals and each bring our own perspective, talent and experience to the better help our clients’ needs and their businesses.

On your website it says that the agency also helps marketers stay on top of the cultural shifts in America. Specifically what cultural trends or shifts does Spike DDB focus on or attempt to shed more light on?

We pride ourselves in being up to speed on the latest cultural trends, influencers and dialogue that impacts society. We use this knowledge to influence our work and shape our creative ideas.


You also have a blog called “The New Americana” Can you tell us a little more about the blog and what inspires the topics

The Blog is a compilation of articles written by everyone at the agency; from a Copywriter in the Creative department to an Account Supervisor in the Account department. Its purpose is to share hot topics we’re thinking about and discussing over at the agency. It’s also our way of voicing our opinion on current events and daily happenings.

In the future do you see Spike DDB working with even smaller business or getting more global clients?

At Spike DDB we pride ourselves on being a boutique firm with a global backing, so we’re well versed in any type of business that could come our way. I see Spike DDB continuing to work with clients both small and big. It’s this range and diversity that keeps us in touch with the marketplace and better able to serve our clients.


Is there anything else you would like individuals to know about Spike DDB or anything they should look out for in the future?

We will be giving our website a facelift in the New Year, which will contain some proprietary tools to track and monitor culture trends. This will give us the ability to better hone in on our client’s needs. Keep an eye out for this!