Droga5 is a highly regarded creative agency with just two offices in the US and UK. (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. 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 2018
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Apr 2020: "Never Lost". There have been several attempts by new ads to rise to the challenge of these difficult times, but few have managed it so well as this heart-tugging film from Droga5 New York for Facebook. While it's easy for the more cynical among us to castigate Facebook over issues of privacy or for helping to spread fake news, this platform and others like it (Nextdoor springs to mind) have really come into their own amid the new realities of everyday life. Plaudits too to our very own homegrown spoken word artist Kate Tempest, whose tone poem 'People's Faces' has gained a relevance she could never have predicted when she wrote it last year.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Feb 2020: "Breathe". Hiring a great agency like Droga5 might be the best move Harley-Davidson ever made. The bike manufacturer's previous marketing has often been solid, but never quite as powerful as Droga5's debut, which just roars off the screen; a thrilling point-of-view advertisement for the speed and freedom of movement that arguably only a high-powered motorcycle can offer. It should help bolster the fortunes of a classic American brand that has come under threat in the past couple of years. Just ride.
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.
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