the showcase 2023

Laying new foundations and always striving for creative excellence : Droga5 London's 2023

Global campaigns and internal growth - this year Droga5 has shown creative excellence across even more places, touchpoints and categories

By creative salon

Droga5 London finished up 2022 by winning the global Philips Domestic Appliances account and promoting Damien Le Castrec to CSO. Two very positive changes that helped set the agency up for an exhilarating 2023.

From satisfied goldfish to rock opera-singing vegetables, this year was a year of innovative and diverse campaigns for Droga5.

We caught up with the agency’s CEO Bill Scott to discuss Droga5’s 2023 further.

Bill Scott, CEO of Droga5, on the agency's 2023:

What three words would you use to describe 2023?

“Pressure is privilege.”

Talk us through some of your agency’s highlights this year?

This year has been about laying the foundations with new clients and new talent. And there are three highlights that showcase the full spectrum of Droga5 London’s ambitions in 2023…

  • Creative excellence at every touchpoint with the launch of the new Royal Enfield Himalayan.

    The Himalayan motorbike isn't just a bike- it's a manifestation of the Himalaya mountains themselves. For its global launch, we designed a campaign identity that celebrates its adaptability across all terrains and conditions, no matter what challenges the mountains throw your way. And whether you’re looking at our ads, checking the website, flipping through the brochures, or sporting the merch, our design system makes it feel like you're right there on that journey in the heart of the mountains.

  • Creative excellence in every market within the first year of our relationship with Philips.

    We won the Philips Domestic Appliances account in late 2022, and this year was all about setting up the team and client relationship. In under a year, we’ve helped a global organisation and their hundreds of markets transition from product-centric approach to brand-led communication strategy. While much more is in the pipeline, our inaugural campaign, #AirfryBeforeYouBuy, shows the client's ambition to bust the category conventions.

  • Creative excellence in every category with our first work for LSEG, the London Stock Exchange Group.

    The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) might have London Stock Exchange in its name but it stands for so much more. It’s also in so many more places than London. So when Droga5’s craft and Accenture Song’s scale come together, delivering a global reappraisal campaign is truly achievable.

    Our design thinking helped turn a rich offering into a simple and iconic story. And now, the world’s biggest financial places know what really sits behind their name. The campaign ran in London, Paris, New-York, Tokyo and Hong-Kong. A successful reintroduction to the market that even David Schwimmer seemed to have enjoyed*.

    *in this instance, David Schwimmer is LSEG’s CEO. Not from Friends.

What one thing are you proudest of this year?

Our talent’s appetite to thrive despite industry and commercial challenges. Despite clients spending less along with fiercer competition on fewer pitches, the team came together and kept showing the very best of Droga5. We welcomed five new client engagements - The London Stock Exchange Group, American Express Global Business Travel, The Fork, Suntory drinks and Qiddya - and have had a busy second half making work. We’ve shown creative excellence in more places, touchpoints and categories. And such a reaction is a critical quality for the times ahead.

And what’s been your biggest challenge?

Another year of unpredictability. So many extraneous factors have inevitably made it hard. For our clients and for the agency business.

And while it certainly takes character to face it, character alone isn’t enough. You've got to be quick on your feet. The way the talent base naturally has come together is another remarkable quality of the agency. No process can assemble a pitch-winning team overnight. But it just clicks when you get people all here for the same reason, to make the most memorable work out there, and who aren’t afraid of what they don’t know, whether it's a new platform, a different approach, or a seemingly impossible hurdle to get across.

Deep down, we know that real creativity thrives when it's pushed to the limit. What’s humbling is how the team has embraced these challenging times as chances for new opportunities. It's that no-nonsense approach that keeps us charging forward, ready to take on whatever creative challenges come our way.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

The new foundations are laid and we're ready to get noisier. Our momentum is building - we’ve got new clients, new talent and exciting new briefs in the system - so we’re looking forward to unveiling more new work that has kept us so busy in the last few months. It’s not every day you get to launch a new destination city for a client.

And what one change would you most like to see in our industry next year?

For us thrive on the challenges we as an industry face with our best weapon: creativity.

Change shouldn't scare us. Instead it should excite us. Whether it's the AI revolution or the ever-shifting consumer landscape, or pressure on client budgets - instead of being perceived obstacles, we should embrace these as an invitation for us to flex our creative muscle even more and redefine the art of the possible.

In times like these, the world craves more creative thinkers, not fewer. So, let's embrace the opportunities and show the world just how powerful creativity for tomorrow we can really be.

Creative Salon on Droga5 London’s 2023

Creative excellence is baked into the DNA of Droga5. And it was in full flow this year under the brilliant direction of CCO Shelley Smoler.

With humour allowed back onto the collective creative agenda in 2023 as the ad industry opted to move away from post-pandemic and cost of living crisis-related sentimentality and into entertaining the consumer, Droga5 did exactly that this year. In its fifth year of collaboration, Barclaycard Payments and the Accenture agency launched a humorous campaign under their existing strategic platform ‘The Payment Part is Just the Start’. A fish and a plant enjoy the different features of Barclaycard Payments such as cash-back rewards or an all-in-one card reader.

Irreverent humour was also the theme in the creative shop’s campaign for the online restaurant booking service TheFork with the main message to diners being: ‘You don’t have to use TheFork when eating out, you’ll just enjoy yourself more if you do.’ Droga5 London’s ‘#AirfryBeforeYouBuy' work for Philips also saw an ageing courgette, aubergine, and red pepper belt out a rock ballad about how despite their ageing looks, they can still be enjoyed as part of a tasty meal thanks to the Philips Airfryer.

With laughs to one side, the Accenture agency also produced a raft of diverse campaigns for the likes of Hackajob, Amazon Books and Royal Enfield. For Hackajob - a full-stack technical hiring platform - Droga5 rebranded the company, giving it a distinct new look. Amazon Books also unveiled the second iteration of its ‘That Reading Feeling campaign which included radio ads for the first time. The aim of the work was to celebrate the place books have in culture and ti inspire readers to get more out of what they read. Additionally, for Royal Enfiel the creative agency launched new motorcycle, the Himalayan. The campaign’s brand identity spanned OOH and social sites to a product book, merchandise and apparel.

Droga5 London also spent the year working on a full brand relaunch for Women’s Health & Family Services (WHFS), renaming the charity: Sister Circle. The meaningful work included a new visual identity and launch communications which went live on International Women’s Day (March 8). The campaign hopes to help grow the female-run charity that puts women’s health first.

Creative Salon says: Unsurprisingly Droga5 London’s year has been full of interesting campaigns that help set the industry's creative benchmark. And this year there was additional breadth and maturity to the creative output.

The leadership team of Scott, Smoler and Le Castrec, with md Heather Cuss, manages to combine wisdom, experience and proven effectiveness with an interesting freshness. And with Dame Annette King now happily installed as Accenture Song's new global marketing practice lead, Droga5 London has a powerful additional champion to ensure an exciting and innovative year ahead.


LinkedIn iconx

Your Privacy

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.