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Droga5

William Morris Acquires Minority Stake in Droga5

Jeez, what started out as a slow morning turned into quite a busy afternoon. A friend tipped us on this a couple of days ago and after a few inquiries, we’ve now received clarification/confirmation on the matter from Droga5 itself. No, David Droga did not sell his whole operation to talent agency William Morris Endeavor for something well into the nine figures (some are reporting less than half of what we heard), but the latter has indeed acquired a minority stake in Droga5. In a statement, Droga himself says, “Droga5 has always endeavored to be the most influential creative agency in the business, with ideas that move our clients and our industry forward. This partnership will exponentially accelerate our ability to realize that ambition.”

Despite the minority stake acquisition, the management of Droga5’s agency operations will not change according to the parties involved. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Adding to the mix, might as well throw in the statements from WME’s head honchos Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, who say, “Droga5 is best-in-class across the board—from its management to its creative output. Through this investment, we will be able to join the best artists and storytellers from all verticals, and we look forward to creating new opportunities for our collective clients.”

Saatchi NY VP Gonda Heading to Droga5

We’ll try to make this quick, but yes, Droga5 NY confirms that Daniel Gonda will be joining the agency, effective July 1, as group account director. The inquisitive-looking Gonda has spent nearly the last three years as VP/management director at Saatchi & Saatchi’s New York hub. Prior to said Publicis Groupe-owned agency, the exec had fairly lengthy, familiar stints on the account side at the likes of JWT, Euro RSCG and TAXI. Gonda’s hiring comes on the heels of Droga5 nabbing TBWA\Chiat\Day NY alum Robert Valdes as its head of interactive production. We’re checking to see what the former’s position exactly entails at camp Droga. Should have an update shortly. Update: Gonda will be overseeing Droga5′s Coke Zero and Newcastle Brown Ale accounts.

Valdes Quietly Lands at Droga5

Well, this tidbit flew under the radar, but thanks to a heads up from tipsters, it appears that Robert Valdes, who recently TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, has indeed joined Droga5 NY as head of interactive production. We’re following up with the latter agency to get some more details on his arrival. As we reported over a month ago, Valdes was leaving TBWA C\D NY, where he spent nearly four years as its head of production, for a “new opportunity.” During his time at Chiat NY and TBWA network, Being, the production vet worked on several projects for Absolut and Jameson among other accounts. Prior to TBWA, Valdes spent three years as an executive producer at CP+B. We’ll fill in the blanks when we can.

Update: Droga5 confirms that Valdes has joined the agency as head of interactive production, which is a newly created position. His first day is today.

Adults-Only Marshmallows Will Make You Scream Out in Ecstasy

From Droga5′s Sydney office and post-production studio Afterparty comes a new TV spot that makes Pascall Chocs Mallow Bites look like naked, writhing bodies. In fact, according to the press release we got about this, director Paul Goldman “shot the entire spot using live action bodies prior to the animated marshmallow recreation. Afterparty used motion capture technologies to translate this action to the animated marshmallow that Goldman envisioned for the spot.” So, that sounds like his must have been pretty fun to shoot, huh?

Pascall Chocs Mallow Bites are so sexy that, upon eating one, you will apparently feel compelled to scream out your partner’s/assembly line co-worker’s name in elation. And, when you yell “Roger” in an Australian accent, it kind of sounds like you’re yelling “blowjob” to an American who’s watching this on his computer, which is unsettling but somewhat intriguing. Yep, definitely not for kids–just for adults battling insomnia and obesity, hoping to catch reruns of 90′s Real Sex episodes at 3 a.m. on HBO. (Sorry, looks like it’s just another encore showing of Ratatouille.)

The spot is currently running in Australia, where it targets middle-aged women before it makes its way onto FOX’s annual countdown of “banned” foreign ads. Enjoy the tender sounds of Boyz II Men’s 1994 R&B hit “I’ll Make Love to You,” and view credits for the brave men and women who finally made adults-only marshmallows a reality after the jump.

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Barbarian Strategy Exec Splits for Droga5

Just 18 months after joining the Barbarian Group in what was then the newly created role of group director of strategy, Chet Gulland is heading back to his old stomping grounds at Droga5. During his quick stay with the Barbarian brood, Gulland led the agency’s planning group on accounts including Google, GE, Samsung and Quaker. Here’s a statement from TBG below:

“Yes, our friend Chet is leaving for Droga.

When he came here, it was the start of TBG taking strategic planning super seriously as a discipline and has resulted in a pretty stellar team of folks. It has also meant bigger mandates from bigger clients.
With his departure, we’re doubling down on the planning department and are currently talking to some of the sharpest thinkers in the market.
We’ll get you next time Droga, next time.”

Prior to his first stint at Droga5, Gulland held a senior strategist post at Anomaly.

Pacquiao, Scorsese, Badu Unleash ‘Wild Rabbits’ for Hennessy

Nearly a year to the day since picking up Hennessy’s creative duties, Droga5 is unleashing a new star-studded campaign for the “very special” cognac featuring boxing phenom Manny Pacquiao, legendary film director Martin Scorsese, and the “First Lady of Neo-Soul,” Erykah Badu.

In case you didn’t know, “cognac” isn’t just a type brandy best suited for imbibing whilst on the set of a Busta Rhymes music video. In fact, Cognac is also town in France where the  beverage originates. According to the campaign’s site, “What’s Your Wild Rabbit?,” the region of western France near Cognac (where Hennessy is made) is a haven for elusive wild rabbits, around which a rich mythology has grown. According to legend, the wild rabbit is supposedly the force responsible for driving people from one success to another. This explains why, in the above spot, Pacquiao refers to “fighting the fight that really matters” as his own wild rabbit. That, or he’s hammered on Hennessy and apple juice shooters and is totally delirious.

The campaign’s site also features a collection of videos that goes behind-the-scenes of Pacquiao’s, Scorsese’s, and Badu’s “Wild Rabbit” spots. See those, as well as each celeb’s drink menu, by visiting the site here. See Erykah Badu unleash her famous hair after the jump.

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McGarryBowen Welcomes Droga5 to the Family

We’re rather enjoying this little back-and-forth between McGarryBowen and Droga5, the latter of which of course just “announced” this week that it lost its own holiday card business to the former. Well, as you can see from the Facebook pic above, the McGB camp is glad to welcome the Droga5 account to its ever-growing portfolio. Why don’t they just unite, call it McGarryDroga and get it over with.

Ha: Droga5 Loses Droga5 Holiday Card Biz to McGarryBowen

We couldn’t resist leaving you tonight with this pretty amusing “announcement” from Droga5, which states that McGarryBowen picked up the Droga5 holiday card account. Yes, in case you haven’t heard about it by now, this is the Drogas’ way of taking the piss a bit this holiday season and it’s a nice follow-up to last year’s full-page ad in the Australian that the agency took out to encourage the industry to have more fun. The “release” nicely captures the tone you’d see in any AdAge report regarding account wins and proves Droga5 has a sense of humor even after losing Bud Light to McGarryBowen.

Read it verbatim after the jump.

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Droga5 Takes Amstel Light

It didn’t take long for Heineken USA to make up its mind as to who it was tapping next to serve as agency of record for its Amstel Light brew. After just a month-long review, Droga5 has been appointed as Amstel’s new AOL, effective immediately, and is now officially 2-for-2 this week having already picked up more business from Puma.

Regarding the decision, Amstel Light VP of marketing Colin Westcott-Pitt says, “We are confident that Droga5, an agency known for its bold creativity and unconventional campaigns, is the right partner to take Amstel Light to the next level during this pivotal moment for the brand. We have a unique opportunity to leverage recent improvements in brand health and our increased emphasis on innovation to bring Amstel Light back into the spotlight, and we’re excited to get started.”

No word on who else participated in the Amstel review.

Droga5 Now De Facto AOR for Puma

A little over three years after joining forces with Puma, Droga5 has added more business from the brand in the form of its Teamsport unit, thus now making the agency the global AOR for the entire account. The appointment of Droga to Teamsport marks the end of Puma’s relationship on this account with Syrup (example of work here), which handled responsibilities for Teamsport strategy, creative direction and campaigns since the beginning of 2009.

Just don’t expect anything immediate from Droga5 for this specific new business, though, as Teamsport work from the agency isn’t expected to debut until the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, the Drogas will be rolling out 2012 Olympics work beginning next month and starring Usain Bolt. Regarding the decision, Puma CMO Antonio Bertone says in a statement that it was time to “consolidate” brand efforts with “one strategic partner” as the brand looks beyond to the 2014 World Cup and even the 2016 Olympics.

We’ve been told that there was no review for Teamsport.

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