Meet the Interns: DDB Chicago's Gabbie Gresge

One of DDB’s core principles is that you “have to be talented and you have to be nice.”

Tell us about your internship, what are your main responsibilities?


At a high level, my job is to support my team as they work to manage the Mars Wrigley account. I do this by compiling competitor reports, overseeing work-streams through the agency, researching global markets, and perfecting decks.
Within my internship, my responsibility is to help oversee the mini-agency we created for ourselves. As an aspiring account manager, this has given me an opportunity to gain experience managing people and projects while working within a team.

Do you have a dream account or brand you’d like to work with? Which one?

Honestly, Mars Wrigley is a dream account. It’s the sixth-largest privately held company in the US and one of the biggest CPG brands in the world – so the scope of the work is massive, and for that reason, their advertising prowess and potential is seemingly unmatched. I love its size and influence, but my favorite part of this account is the creative freedom attached to it. When you’re marketing something as fun as candy that has mass-appeal, the strategic goal is simply to surprise and delight consumers. Being on Mars Wrigley means being in the business of making people happy, and that makes me happy.

Talk to us about the culture in your office, how has it impacted your internship?

One of DDB’s core principles is that you “have to be talented and you have to be nice.” That old adage began with Bill Bernbach, one of DDB’s founders, and I’ve been thrilled to find that it still holds true in the agency today. I’m never even close to the smartest person in any room, and I like it that way. But DDBers aren’t just super intelligent; they’re also kind. And when you spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your own family, that kindness is essential to enjoying your time at work.

What have you learned about the advertising industry that surprised you?

Legalities! Legalities! Legalities! I have not once skipped through a commercial since beginning my internship because I now understand just how much work goes into creating one. From the strategist who wordsmiths the creative brief to the creatives who stay up until 1am to tweak a piece of copy, so many people touch an ad before it hits the market. For an account person, one surprising part of that process is the legalities behind any piece of communication. Every word and visual has to be properly vetted by client and agency lawyers (and sometimes even international lawyers), and that process is important – but arduous.

Choose a current popular advertising trend and tell us what’s interesting about it:

I’m pretty fascinated by brand activations because I think their popularity is really a nod to how personally brands are taking their relationships with consumers. As in-touch as we are with screens (and as much as the advertising landscape reflects that), there really is no substitute for a high-quality brand interaction in person. For that reason, I think brand activations are a commentary on how far brands will go to manifest their personality and values in the real-world – no matter how ubiquitous screens are. It’s a counterintuitive trend that I appreciate as an aspiring advertising professional and enjoy as a consumer.

Imagine your dream job, where are you, what does a day-to-day look like?

Is it cheating to say it’s right here at DDB? Because it’s right here at DDB. I had my sights set on this agency in college, and my time here has only confirmed what I thought was true. My dream job right now is to become a full-time account manager here, and my long-term dream job is to become a brand manager. Whether as an account manager at DDB or brand manager in the future, my day-to-day wouldn’t ever look the same, and that’s what I love about the idea of working in advertising. Agency folks will tell you that you never stop learning in this industry, and I think account people in particular are in a unique position to be constantly working with different people, ideas and projects. Immersing myself in that variety is so exciting for me.

Are you considering another internship, or looking for jobs now? What are your next steps?

My goal is to pursue a full-time position with DDB.

What is your favorite ad of all time?

For humor, this Dollar Shave Club spot is unbeatable. In general, though, my favorite ad ever is the Dove Real Beauty Sketches 6-minute film. It doesn’t even feel like an ad, which is what makes it such a great ad.