Listen to Author

Chris Witherspoon, CEO

DNA is an independent advertising and marketing agency. In our 25th year, we describe ourselves as a super squad of diverse people and perspectives who create unignorable work that breaks down barriers and makes brands famous.

Diversity, specifically DEI, has been a hot topic for agencies and marketers over the last few years. Its growing importance is understandable, given the evolving demographics of the U.S. But for us, it’s not a thing we need to think about, plan for, or try to address. It’s genuinely who we are as an agency (in our DNA, if you will).

As one of the only LGBTQ+ and Black-owned agencies in the country, our brand ethos is Different Wins. Blending diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas leads to more creative, innovative, and effective solutions. This belief is not just about being different for the sake of it, but about leveraging those differences to achieve winning outcomes for brands, cultures, and communities. 

What It Requires

Different Wins in advertising and marketing because it is the ultimate competitive advantage for disruptive creativity — capturing attention, sparking conversations, and creating memorable experiences that resonate with audiences long after they encounter it. Achieving different requires the courage to take risks, the willingness to take action, and the curiosity to challenge assumptions. Here’s what is required to deliver on these three principles day-in and day-out.

Different Craves Courage

  • We are encouraged to be our most authentic selves in every way at work. 
  • We appreciate bringing different worldviews to our partnerships and work.
  • We make a difference by initiating action.

Different Takes Action

  • We believe good ideas come from anywhere.
  • We are ever curious, relentlessly pursuing the next big thing.

Different Challenges Assumptions

  • We expect to make our best work through curiosity, discord, and creative friction. 
  • If it seems simple and easy, we might need to push harder.
  • We break the rules with intention.

How It Shows Up

We ensure cognitive diversity in our teams and processes, leading to greater creativity, innovation, adaptability, and faster problem-solving. It’s a strategic advantage for our clients, and it leads to better: Better people. Better relationships. Better business results. Here is how it shows up within our agency.

Our People

Our commitment to diversity is evident in our recruitment and training practices, where the agency prioritizes diversity of experience, opinion, and approach. It’s the opposite of hiring for “fit.” It’s about hiring a diverse workforce and ensuring all voices are heard and valued throughout the creative process. We’re even starting to build our teams for cognitive diversity — looking at individuals’ preferred and instinctive working styles and grouping the right people to create the most effective combinations. To infuse our teams with even more diverse backgrounds and perspectives, our agency model also fosters a deep roster of freelance partners to supplement our teams’ expertise depending on the needs or desired outcome of the assignment.

Our Work

Our work breaks rules and defines new ones by looking for the most interesting solutions that make people think, see, and act differently. We built a motel for Pabst to make the brand a destination. We wrote a musical for Tableau to have their annual conference be more than a boring Zoom meeting. We created an AI bot that saved lives, stopping child sex trafficking for Project Sugar-Free. And most recently, we turned the biggest shopping day of the year into Black Black Friday, creating a movement and sales for Black-owned businesses. These unignorable campaigns have garnered extraordinary results because they challenged conventional communications norms and resonated in unique and memorable ways.

Our Culture

We have a culture of curiosity and continuous learning—pushing ourselves and each other to stay ahead of all trends. We call ourselves ANDers, DNA spelled backward, because we embrace that people are many things (e.g., Black, business owner, a dad, a sports fanatic). By encouraging our team to be their most authentic selves at work and appreciating the diverse worldviews brought to partnerships and projects, we create an environment where curiosity about oneself and others is nurtured. This openness fosters an inclusive culture where different perspectives are not just welcomed but are essential to creating unignorable and courageous work.

In summary, Different Wins is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of diversity and creativity. Through our diverse teams, innovative approach, and commitment to social impact, we deliver exceptional work for our clients and contribute to a more inclusive and understanding world.

Thanks for listening. Please go to if you’d like to learn more about our agency and how Different Wins.

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