I’ve been on a Game of Thrones kick for the past several months. All along I’ve had awesomely visual dreams of dragon fire, riding dragons, dragon warfare, etc. Why is this relevant? Because when I think of the mystical lanscape of advertising today, there’s one who holds the reptilian crown; David Droga’s an Australian who spits creative fire. His last name sounds like dragon.
Droga grew up on an Australian ski resort and initially wanted to travel the world as a ski instructor. Instead he attended the Australian Writers & Art Directors School and graduated in flying colors. Immediately after, at age 22, Droga became a partner and executive creative director of OMON Sydney. In the decade to follow he tore through the world, eventually landing in New York to head his own agency, Droga5. He is the single-most awarded creative at Cannes, with over 70 Cannes Lions, including six Grand Prix and four Titanium lions.
Droga5, his newborn business, is a Manhattan-based agency founded in 2006. It’s been named Agency of the Year twice by Creativity magazine, and made Advertising Age’s Agency A-List in both 2010 and 2011. It is now the fastest-growing independent agency in the country.
The agency had a great kick start in 2007 with a campaign for UNICEF called “The Tap Project.” It was/is a simple effort to give impoverished children clean water by asking for $1 from New Yorkers who asked for the tap water we normally receive for free. Many awards, and millions in clean water later, the campaign is still running strong. Since this success, Droga5 has claimed an armada of golden clients like Coke, DietCoke, Spotify, Puma, and American Express.
Did you see their Puma ad they did called “After Hours”?
It’s poetic and beautifully shot.
Here’s the copy:
Back-spin on a warped table, under a bad light
A kiss of the eight ball, a bank off the sixth
Double bowl on a single throw, three pints in
Picking up a spare on the final frame
Singing on key, off key, losing keys
Steading hands, blurry eyes
Bars billiards basements
bacon sandwiches with extra hot sauce
Surviving buzz kills, third wheels, cock blocks
and cabs in the rain
finish lines drawn by dawn
these are the providence of the after hours athlete
when the last call calls, don’t answer
the night too is for sport
and they are the champions.
Droga5 was also behind the Beyonce music video for World Humanitarian Day. It had a one million impression goal and gained over a billion.
Obviously Droga5 has made some incredible stuff you’ve probably seen.
But you might have not seen their interactive/social campaign for Newcastle.
The tag is “no bullocks” and was stocked with smart, refreshing copy.
Overall, Droga5 is a monster of talent and ingenuity. I’ve read a lot recently on the agency’s seemingly unstoppable success and began to question myself. Is David Droga a machine? Do australian’s just eat better fruit? Droga was a partner at age twenty-two. I’ll be twenty-two in four months and there’s a chance I could fail Spanish 1.
Then I found this interview by Contagious Magazine. It doesn’t make me feel any better about Spanish vocabulary, but it was nice to hear real human-responses from this business dragon.
check it out: http://www.contagiousmagazine.com/2012/11/david_droga.php
a few of my favorite responses:
How have clients and brands chaned in recent years?
– We see more and more companies that are building a legitimate business by caring about the state of the world “and” the commercial business side. You don’t have to choose between giving your time to good projects and being a capitalist. You can do both. You can build a good business by doing good. That is why I feel privileged to work in a creative industry where you can do both, help good causes and commerce. It also helps raise the reputation of our profession.
When and why did ad people loose their status of being the go-to-guys for creative
– When they stopped solving problems and started doing what was expected from them. When they stopped delivering ideas and started delivering process instead. When they started opening offices just because the client wanted it and not because it was the right thing to do. When people who understood advertising stopped running agencies, when it turned into a commodity.
If you were hoping this post was about dragons, here’s a neat speed-sculpting video of one. Coincidentally, he’s named Droga: