- NEW YORK
Lisa Topol and Derek Barnes have been hired to serve as co-chief creative officers at DDB New York, effective in March. They will be responsible for leading the agency’s creative department across a range of clients including Unilever, PepsiCo, Henkel, J&J, Merck, Tribeca Enterprises, Mars, and Cotton Inc. The pair will report to Ari Weiss, chief creative officer of DDB North America.
Before joining DDB New York, Topol and Barnes spent four years at Grey working across multiple clients such as NFL, TNT Networks, Best Buy and Bose. Both as a team and individually, they’ve been recognized at Cannes, One Show, D&AD, Clios and Effies. Having met at Wieden + Kennedy, New York, while working on Nike, Jordan and ESPN, they found that working together amplified and complemented both their creativity and their business acumen.
Topol has creative leadership experience at several top agencies including Grey, Wieden and Oglivy. Additionally she spent three years as group creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day, where she led the creative teams on several brands, including the staffers that produced Cannes Gold Lion-winning work on Wheat Thins and Keep a Child Alive. She also brought new creative life to product category not known for creativity, changing the game with her ideas for U by Kotex while at JWT.
Prior to teaming up with Topol in 2013 at Grey Group, Barnes was creative director at Anomaly on the global Budweiser account. In his previous years at Wieden + Kennedy in both Portland and New York, he worked as a creative director on ESPN and Brand Jordan and on some of the world’s most highly recognized brands, including Nike, Miller beer and Diet Coke.
Topol said, “Coming to DDB is a no-brainer when you look at the incredible team you’ll have by your side. You can try to genetically modify all you want, but creativity is in the DNA or it isn’t. And here, it’s pouring out of every surface, every conversation and even out of that slightly crooked painting of Bernbach on the wall.”
Barnes added, “In our years together, Lisa and I have not only learned how to amplify our partnership, but we’ve learned how to spot other great partnerships as well,” alluding to Weiss, DDB North America CEO Wendy Clark, DDB North America chief strategy officer Eric Zuncic and DDB NY president/CEO Chris Brown.
Weiss said, “Lisa and Derek have had careers that would make any creative jealous. To have one creative leader of their caliber is a blessing. To have them both feels like cheating.”
Brown said of Barnes and Topol, “They have a great track record of success, are strong collaborators, and understand the modern creative landscape.”
In 2017 DDB New York won six out of nine new business pitches--including Persil, All and Amgen--and took home six Cannes Lions for GunxGun and Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.