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. 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 chief creative officer in 2018. Droga5 has until now 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 some point in the near future, it put its holding in Droga5 up for sale. Accenture seized the prize for an undisclosed sum, and Droga5 now becomes a unit of Accenture Interactive.
Capsule checked 28th September 2018
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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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Ads of the Week: "The Truth Is Worth It". Just in time for the Midterms, Droga5 returns with another brace of hard-hitting campaigns for The New York Times, both aromatic with the smell of newsprint and late-night copy deadlines. It's a brilliantly simple but effective approach, as if they distilled the essence of All the President's Men into 30 seconds and re-bottled it for the Trump era. Of course, Times readers need no guidance with their voting intentions, but these two aim to harden the resolve of waverers, highlighting two of the paper's most penetrating exposes of the current administration and its leader.
Adbrands Social Media 27th Oct 2018: "The Power To Wonder". Droga5 is responsible for this lovely little film for Google's (highly rated) new Pixel 3 smartphone. That voiceover won't probably mean anything to non-US viewers, but to almost every American under the age of 60 it's the sound of their childhood. 'Mr Rogers' Neighborhood' was a staple of children's television for more than 30 years until 2001, running to almost 900 episodes. In each show Fred Rogers would muse on different aspects of everyday life and attempt to explain them in songs and simple words to his rapt young audience. The Pixel 3's Google Lens object recognition software hopes to offer something similar for a more tech-savvy age, albeit without the same down-home folksiness.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Oct 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Great Shows Stay With You". It doesn't really matter if you haven't seen any of the Amazon-commissioned shows featured in this excellent new four-ad campaign from Droga5 London for Prime Video. You'll get the idea soon enough: the great shows you watch stay with you for the rest of the day, with surprising - or sometimes alarming - results. Here's the one for warrior women adventure 'Vikings', but we'd recommend you check out the others as well for 'Outlander', 'Lucifer' and 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'. None so far for 'The Amazing Mrs Maisel' (the only Prime series we've seen all the way through), but we're guessing it's on its way and will be just as good.
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