Droga5 is a boutique creative agency with offices in the US and UK. Its 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 reportedly 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. Global revenues are around $126m, 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. Droga5 had until recently remained independent, although it expanded with the help of private equity investment from selected financial partners. In summer 2013, the talent management giant William Morris Endeavor (now WME-IMG) acquired a 49% stake in Droga5 for a sum reported to be between $150m and $200m. With that group planning an IPO for 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 value of $475m.
Capsule checked 28th September 2018
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Nov 2019: Accenture Interactive won what is arguably its first major creative win under its own banner, as opposed to through its subsidiary agencies. A team from Accenture and Droga5 was awarded creative in the US and the EMEA region for Kimberly-Clark's baby and childcare products, including Huggies, Pull-Ups and Goodnites diapers. WPP's Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson agencies will retain the business in Canada and Asia Pacific. A decision has yet to be reached on Latin America. Kimberly-Clark said the decision had been clinched by the compelling combination of Droga5's creative skills and Accenture's specialised technology tools. "We would not have been able to do this without [Droga5]," said Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, "and I don't think they would have been able to do this without being part of Accenture Interactive."
Adbrands Social Media 12th Aug 2019: "Nimic : Trailer". The first creative project for Mini from newly appointed Droga5 London couldn't be less like an ad, though in that respect it highlights the car brand's commitment to creativity in all its forms. Overseen by Droga5, and funded by Mini, cult director Yorgos Lanthimos, creator of this year's awards blockbuster 'The Favourite', has helmed a 12-minute short for Mini starring Matt Dillon and Daphne Patakia. Here's the trailer; that's all that's currently available online. It's unclear where and when the full short will be available for viewing, though it premiered last weekend at the Locarno Film Festival. For now, the world at large will have to make do with this Mini-less trailer. All we are told is that it is the story of "a professional cellist and an encounter he has on the subway which has unexpected and far-reaching ramifications on his life".
Adbrands Daily Update 19th Jun 2019: Droga5 was one of three Grand Prix recipients in Cannes Lions' Film Craft category. The agency was honoured for its superb series of "The Truth Is Worth It" ads for The New York Times which recount the developing story of major news coups revealed by the paper's team of journalists. The campaign also picked up multiple Gold awards in various technical categories, and capped the week with a second Grand Prix in the main Film category. In the Craft category, there were Grand Prix also for Momentum Worldwide and Nike in Industry Craft, and for Norwegian clothing brand Carlings and Vice's Virtue agency in Digital Craft.
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Apr 2019: Accenture has scored its biggest coup to-date with a deal to acquire Droga5, one of the world's most admired creative agencies. "The future of brand building is not just about creating great ideas," said Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, "it's about creating great experiences. We're excited to work with David Droga and his team of brand strategists and creative minds to further our ambition to improve the full human experience with brands. Joining forces with Droga5 will be a game-changing milestone for us and the industry as we continue to assemble the right mix of capabilities for the modern-day marketer." No terms were disclosed, but Accenture is thought to have bought out a majority if not all of Droga5's equity, including the 49% stake previously held by WME-IMG. That group is currently readying an IPO, and Droga5 may have been deemed insufficiently core to the talent group's strategy.
Adbrands Social Media 16th Jan 2019: "The Truth Is Worth It: Resolve". The latest of Droga5's hard-hitting ads for The New York Times is the best to-date. It's not so much an ad as a gripping two-minute conspiracy thriller. Focus of the ad is an investigation by reporter Hannah Beech into the humanitarian crisis surrounding Rohingya muslims in Myanmar. (Another new ad covers surveillance of journalists by the Mexican government). Snatched photos, video clips and sound bites are linked by the brilliantly clever text overlay concept deployed in the previous ads, using backspaces, corrections and repetition to link all the visual elements into a complete story. Phenomenal work. We'll be rooting for full recognition of the campaign's merits in the upcoming awards season.
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