David Droga is Founder and Creative Chairman at Droga5, headquartered in New York City. Founded in 2006, Droga5 has been named Agency of the Year three times and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2013
This article was originally published via AdWeek. You can watch the accompanying video here.
2016 marked a major milestone for Droga5. This summer the agency celebrated its 10th anniversary, and while creative chairman and founder David Droga doesn't particularly like to dwell on the past, he sat down with Adweek to discuss his 10 favorite ads and work from the past decade.
"It's not lost on me that there's a daisy chain between all the work we've done and I can see why this one piece led to the next opportunity. The agency is who it is because of many, many, many chapters that needed to happen," Droga said.
One of the agency's very first projects in 2006 set the tone for the bold and breakthrough work that would come from Droga5 over the next 10 years.
Fashion designer Marc Ecko approached the shop, looking for an idea that would give the brand, inspired by graffiti culture, a bit more street cred. The idea? Rent a 747 anonymously, get it inside Andrews Air Force Base and spray paint the side of it with graffiti whilecapturing it all on tape.
Looking back at it, Droga said he's aware of "the ignorance and arrogance of a young, creative Aussie," acknowledging a few roadblocks Droga5 faced on this project, which included possibly breaking the Patriot Act and being sent to jail if the month-old agency got caught.
The Ecko work led to an opportunity with UNICEF to create the Tap Project, which asked restaurant-goers in the U.S., who normally enjoy a glass of tap water for free, to donate $1 for their water. That small donation gave clean drinking water to a child in need for 40 days.
Next, Droga was working with the Jewish Council for Education and Research and Sarah Silverman on a project called "The Great Schlep." The campaign encouraged young Jewish voters to schlep down to Florida to visit their grandparents and encourage them to vote for Obama. It may have helped President Obama win Florida and thus the presidential election in 2008.
From there, some of the bigger clients came calling. First came Prudential and a campaign,"Day One," that aimed to change the conversation men and women were having around retirement. Puma came calling as well, and Droga tried to help the brand position itself away from some of the big athletic brands like Nike and Adidas with a spot called "After Hours Athlete," which celebrated all the sports you can play with a beer in your hand.
In 2014, things started to really go viral. First with an anti-Super Bowl campaign for Newcastle Brown Ale starring Anna Kendrick that challenged the obscene costs (upwards of $5 million in 2016) for a 30-second game day spot. Then came a stunning campaign for Under Armour starring Gisele Bundchen which placed the supermodel in an environment people weren't used to seeing her in, a boxing ring.
Another viral hit followed that same year, this time for Honey Maid. The "This is Wholesome" campaign featured real families, from gay parents to mixed-race couples. That same year the agency also created Thunderclap, a tool for people to spread important messages across social media by mass-sharing messages. It's been used by celebrities, brands and even the White House.
Finally, in 2015 the agency scored one of its biggest hits yet with a campaign containing found footage of adorable but unusual animal pairings for Android. "Friends Furever" was the most shared ad in 2015, with 6,587,498 shares.