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Creatives You Should Know 2014: Bryan Wolff and Daniƫl Sumarna, Droga5 New York

Duo Engages on Unconventional Platforms

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Daniel Sumarna, left, Bryan Wolf, Droga5
Daniel Sumarna, left, Bryan Wolf, Droga5 Credit: Paul McGeiver

It's hard to box in Droga5 creative team Bryan Wolff, 23 (pictured right), and Daniel Sumarna, 25. The Netherlands natives met studying advertising at Willem de Kooning Academy in advertising. During that time, they came up with unusual student campaigns such as Coppertone's "Sunsight," which helps Vitamin D-deprived city dwellers locate seek out nearby sunny patches, as well as a clever effort to honor Apple's late founder, Steve Jobs, with a moment of silence via a soundless eight-second track off iTunes.

During an internship at New York's Droga5 they conceived one of last year's most intriguing campaigns for the New Museum. "Recalling 1993" turned 5,000 obsolete payphones into time machines scattered across New York City. Passersby simply had to dial a number (1-855-FOR-1993) on the phones to find out what had happened at that particular location 20 years ago.

"It started with a brief about how to utilize a billboard on Houston and Lafayette to promote a new exhibition at New Museum about art made in 1993," said Mr. Sumarna, an art director. "We could've seen it as just a print brief but we wanted to grab the opportunity to actually activate the thousands of people who would be walking by that billboard every day. This eventually led us to the idea of a phone number that could enable people to "call back" to 1993. By the time it was all said and done, we didn't even use the billboard that was originally part of our brief."

"Once a brief comes in, we try to come up with an interesting, platform-agnostic solution to tackle the problem and then work from there," said copywriter Mr. Wolff. "We like to make stuff that people really like and want to engage with."

Fresh out of school, the duo's work got no less conventional. They turned the boring banner ad into the stuff of NASCAR for a campaign the created out of Amsterdam agency Achtung. Volkswagen GTI's Bannerbahn invited the online audience to chase after real-world cars within the windows of run-of-the milll banner ads.

Soon, they'll launch a yet-to-be-disclosed campaign for one of the agency's biggest brands, which they've been working on since they rejoined Droga5 as full-time creatives last fall. "We've always been fans of the work Droga5 has done for its blue-chip clients, and now we finally have the chance to contribute to that," said Mr. Wolff.

See the rest of the 2014 Creatives You Should Know.

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