Droga5 is a highly regarded creative agency, with a growing international footprint. The two best-known offices are in New York and London, but a third opened in Sao Paulo in 2022. (An outpost in New Zealand was sold back to local managers in 2012, and the original office in Australia was closed in 2015 as a result of poor performance). The agency was launched in 2006 by Dave Droga, former global chief creative officer at Publicis Worldwide. Its name comes from the label Droga's mother used to sew into his clothes as a child to identify them from those of his four older brothers. Droga5 is widely admired for its creativity, sweeping the board at the Cannes Lions festival in 2011 with no less than three Grand Prix. That feat earned it numerous Agency of the Year accolades; Adweek named it US Agency of the Year again in 2012, and a 4th time in 2014. It was Independent Agency of the Year once more at Cannes in 2015 as a result of another haul of prizes, and AdAge's Agency of the Year. Adweek named it US Agency of the Year for 2016. It was Independent Agency of the Year for 2018 at the Effie Awards and the One Show. In 2019, it was named by Adweek as Agency of the Decade. AdAge gave it the same accolade in 2020. Global revenues are around $170m, the bulk of that sum generated by the US office. Dave Droga remains global creative chairman, with Sarah Thompson as CEO. Neil Heymann was named as global chief creative officer in 2019, with Felix Richter and Tim Gordon as co-CCOs New York. Heymann announced plans to depart the agency in 2021. For its first seven years of operation, Droga5 had remained independent, although it expanded with the help of private equity investment from financial partners. In summer 2013, the talent management giant William Morris Endeavor (now WME-IMG) acquired a 49% stake in the agency for a sum reported to be between $150m and $200m. When that group announced plans for an IPO in 2019, it put its holding in Droga5 up for sale. Accenture seized the prize for an undisclosed sum, and Droga5 became a unit of Accenture Interactive. WME's subsequent IPO prospectus revealed that Accenture acquired Droga5 for a total valuation of $475m.
Capsule checked 28th September 2020
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Marketer Moves 12th Apr 2022: New CCO TBC at Droga5 London. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 9th Feb 2022: New co-CCO at Droga5 New York. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 19th Nov 2021: Management reshuffle at Droga5. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 10th Aug 2021: "Feel". Definitely not your usual sportswear ad. Lululemon pushes deeper into the mens market with an ambitious marketing campaign from Droga5 which focuses its attention on feeling and spirituality instead of boring old fitness per se. More unexpected still, perhaps, that story delivered in voiceover is in fact an extract from 'The Selfish Giant'. By Oscar Wilde, no less. It might all sound a little pretentious but actually this film works beautifully. You might be surprised at how easily those two minutes slip by.
Adbrands Daily Update 19th May 2021: Droga5 aims to more than double the size of its global network this year. A new office in Tokyo joins the existing outposts in New York and London this week, and two new offices will open in Brazil and China later in the year. Current Droga5 NY executive Chris Burgess moves to Tokyo to become general manager of that office. Masaya Asai joins from Hakuhodo/TBWA as chief creative officer.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th May 2021: "Just Because". We haven't quite decided whether we love or don't love - hate being far too strong a word - Droga5 London's first big campaign for Diet Coke. We do know we admire the ad's immensely bold, almost dream-like faux-retro vibe and unapologetic determination to do things its own way. We've certainly come a long way from female office girls ogling a shirtless construction worker on his 11.30am Diet Coke break. But we suspect the new ad, for all its doubtless charms, may prove to be one of those Marmite campaigns that you either love or hate. They've got the urban hipster market all sewn upn here, but we suspect other audiences may be harder to convince. Top marks to Coke's marketing department, though, for taking a gamble like this, after so many years of cookiecutter blandness.
Adbrands Daily Update 13th Apr 2021: "Two Of A Kind". Maserati unveiled its first campaign starring newly signed brand ambassador David Beckham, here channelling maximum Miami Vice. The accompanying press release describes Beckham as "global sporting icon, philanthropist, businessman and style trailblazer", which rather reminds us of the way Michael Jackson's contracts used to stipulate that all references to him should describe him as "King of Pop". A more fitting description might perhaps be "David Beckham, Illustrated Man", in honour of his full body tats. The film is fine. Harmony Korine is the director, and there are no agency credits attached, which suggests the project was developed inhouse. Frankly, if we could get our hands on a Maserati Levante Trofeo, we could come up with a better use for it than doing donuts beneath flyovers.
Adbrands Daily Update 30th Mar 2021: "What We Would Want If We Were Pets". Droga5 launched a big new campaign for US petcare retailer Petco that includes a repositioning as a health & wellness company for animals. That offered the irresistible opportunity to make a series of ads in which humans pretend to be pets. Droga5 has delivered a whole set of different spots. But if we're honest, while they're certainly amusing and technically polished, we feel there are more than a few missed chances to get the most out of the concept. Clearly some of the more, um, indelicate grooming or sniffing habits of our cats and dogs would never have made it into the campaign (though we'd have loved to see them). But somehow the ones that did make it through - especially in the extended party spot - aren't quite funny enough.
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Feb 2021: "Welcome To The World, Baby". Newly appointed Droga5 unveiled their first big campaign for Huggies diapers, and it's absolutely adorable, a quick rundown of some important pointers for any new-born baby. It might not look like a sneak peek for the Super Bowl, but actually it is, though the final product will be entirely different. Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark extended an invitation to couples who had an expected due date of this coming Sunday (which is of course Super Bowl Sunday). If all goes to plan and they upload some video footage to Droga5 that morning, their newborns will be an appearance in Huggies' first ever Big Game ad, scheduled for some time in the second quarter.
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