Cannes Lions 2018: At times, our ideas benefit us more than clients: David Droga

The Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5 in his keynote essayed his journey & experiences, spoke about the decisions that became the turning points of his advertising career and much more.

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 8:43 AM

David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5, opened the talk session at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with his highly-anticipated keynote, ‘I'm not sure I'm right but who is?’ In the session, Droga essayed his journey & experiences and spoke about the decisions that became the turning points of his advertising career.

The Creative Chairman, who grew up in a remote part of Australia, reminisced how he always knew writing and creativity was his true calling.  “I knew I wanted to be a writer. I knew I needed to be creative,” said Droga. The adman opined that everyone should kick-start their career in the mail-room, given how enriching it is and how you learn on the job,” he said.

Droga shared how he landed a job at FCB as a junior writer but then let go off it to join a start-up in Australia. “There were no clients, no furniture (at the start-up). But they gave me the ultimate offer. I have always believed in the power of what we do and the power of creativity,” he said.  “You do have to roll the dice sometimes,” the advertising maestro contended.

He then spoke about how others there wanted to merge the agency he was at with another company. “They wanted me to sign a contract, stating that I would stay there for three years. But then again, it is one of those moments where you ask: Do you choose comfort, stability and financial gain?” he shared.  Droga ultimately gave up his stake in the agency and decided to move away. “I left the agency with my favourite Persian rug and my freedom,” Droga continued. 

The adman also recollected how he stepped down as the Worldwide CCO, Publicis, to start his own agency because he felt he wasn’t making an impact on the work.  “If you’re a creative person and you’re not having a sizeable impact on the work you do, don’t bullshit yourself that you’re happy,” he said.

A candid Droga shared that it's been a tough year for Droga5, but he believes the company will come through stronger. "A number of things have happened in 2018. The festival is smaller. It is condensed and more concentrated. The industry swirl is now arguably bigger and Martin Sorrell is now an underdog. Whoever knew," he continued.

Droga expressed disappointment that not all creative people are rewarded for their efforts. “Why can’t creative people be rewarded for what they do for agencies? Too many creatives aren’t rewarded enough,” he opined.

“Great advertising helps you come out changed. Bad advertising is slowly going away. The best advertising is visceral,” he said.

Droga also emphasized the importance of making the right decisions, as an agency, to foster real growth for the clients. “At times, our industry represents ideas that benefit ourselves more than our clients. The ideas should help the client business and have long-term benefits for them,” the adman opined.

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