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This Legendary Ad Agency Is Using Microlearning To Increase Employee Engagement

Written by Grovo

“Think small.”

Those two words at the bottom of a 1962 advertisement for the Volkswagen Beetle signaled a brand new era in advertising—one that prized wit, warmth, and creativity over cold, abrasive selling messages.


The agency behind the ad was Doyle Dane Bernbach, founded by Bill Bernbach in 1949. Nearly 70 years later, DDB continues to push boundaries. Now, they’re applying the DDB talent for innovation to their workplace learning.

Thinking small, winning big

Earlier this year DDB teamed up with Grovo to launch a microlearning-based initiative to keep employees up with the latest trends in digital advertising. Like most industries, the world of advertising is in a state of constant evolution, so continual training is important. DDB had been pushing out long-form videos, but employee participation was low. As a company committed to employe development, the agency needed something more engaging and up-to-date―and microlearning fit the bill.

Chief Talent Officer Sally Ali

CTO Sally Ali

“Microlearning really matches the pace of how we do business today,” says Chief Talent Officer Sally Ali. “We don’t have time for long, drawn-out modules. We naturally use the web in very quick and short bursts.”

DDB rolled the program out to 9,000 users across 200 offices in 60 countries, and things are off to a great start. Not only are DDB employees getting access to fast content that’s easy to consume and relevant to their daily jobs, but there’s been an added bonus—enthusiasm.

“The initial reaction to Grovo was surprising, in a very good way,” says Ali. “There’s a buzz, an energy. People get it—they feel like it’s for them. In our mission to create culture change, that’s the right direction.”

A brave future for learning

ddb-logo1We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with a pioneering institution like DDB. They were the first to bring art to the science of advertising. The first to put copywriters and art directors in the same room. Their groundbreaking style, attitude, and work influenced an entire discipline. These folks are no strangers to challenging the status quo in order to create a better world now.

So not only are we proud to partner with them, but we’re also inspired by them in our own quest to help people learn better and work happier through microlearning. In the words of the late, great Bill Bernbach, “the future belongs, as always, to the brave.” To which we can only say, amen Bill. Amen.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about Microlearning and how it fits into your learning and development strategy, download our guide Microlearning: The Modern Strategy for the Modern Workforce.