Not many independent Brazilian agencies could claim to meet the
might of the DDB network ’eyeball to eyeball’, but DM9 Publicidade is
confident it will hold its own with DDB International, to which it has
just sold a majority stake (Campaign, last week).
In Brazil, nine is a lucky number, which is why the agency’s founder,
Duda Mendonca, tacked the digit on to the end of his initials when he
named the agency. Although Mendonca is long gone, the luck has remained,
largely carried by DM9’s president and creative guru, Nizan Guanaes.
Guanaes sees himself as a figure in the John Hegarty and David Abbott
mould - a claim which doesn’t seem so far-fetched when you look at the
work. DM9, the 11th most awarded agency at Cannes, remains the only
Brazilian shop to have won a Grand Prix, an accolade it gained in 1993
for a series of press ads for the soft drink, Antarctica Diet Guarana,
featuring well-toned, muscled stomachs. This year DM9 has high hopes for
a Levi’s campaign promoting the opening of a local store. It shows a
street map made out of the seams and rivets from a pair of jeans.
Along with creative excellence, DDB has bought into a cracking client
list, which includes Texaco, Electrolux, Honda and Budweiser. It was the
Budweiser connection that brought DDB and DM9 together. They have been
collaborating on the brand in Brazil, and developed what Guanaes calls a
’comfort level’ that persuaded DM9’s five partners to accept the DDB
offer, having turned down numerous others over the years.
DM9 was established in 1989 and attained sixth place in the Brazilian
rankings last year. Until last week, it was the second largest
independent agency in the country in terms of billings, but the size of
its creative reputation is unsurpassed in Latin America.
The deal looks good for both camps. As well as lots of cash, the
partners at DM9 expect the agency to benefit from the accelerated growth
and new-business opportunities that being part of a network bring. DDB,
meanwhile, has bought itself a strong presence in South America’s
This article was first published on Campaign