Ted Royer was recently appointed chief creative officer at Droga5 New York. Since the agency's founding in 2006, he's helped to lead much of its best known work, from celebrated efforts like Tap and Decoded, to more recent campaigns for clients like Coke Zero, New Museum and Prudential.
But it seems that the more colorful moments of his life happen outside the job. We chatted with him as part of Creativity's continuing series of "Things You Didn't Know" about the ad industry's creative leaders. When it comes to unearthing some unusual traits, this one does not disappoint.
1. He got into advertising because of the TV show "Bewitched." Darrin came home with an assignment to write an ad for Napoleon Soap. Of course the real Napoleon showed up and things got crazy. But Ted thought, Wait, that's a job? Just writing ads?
2. His middle name is "Wickwire." At the time of the Norman Conquest in England, the Warre family resided at or near the manor of Wick. Thus, the name Wickware, which became Wickwire because Wickware was too hard to say. Other early iterations include Wyckwarre, Wyckwarr, Wyckware, Wickwarr and Wickware. It also has a family crest. And that crest has a lion in it. Yeah, a lion.
3. He ripped the tendons in his leg while skiing in Argentina. And was pretty bored for the rest of the ski trip. So to spice it up, Ted took acid before going to the hospital so he could get a cast on his leg. The lesson he learned was never go to a hospital while on acid unless you want to be absolutely terrified.
4. Ted once had a sociopathic, astrologist ex-hooker as a roommate. She would hoard plastic containers, eat every scrap of food in the apartment, and pay rent sporadically, if at all. Once she gave him a telescope as rent. The telescope didn't work.
5. He's had a karaoke night for the record books. He once found himself in a karaoke bar in rural Thailand and had to find a song all the local Thai farmers could sing with him. And it was a lot harder than he expected. They didn't know "Hey Jude." They didn't know "Piano Man." You know what they all knew? "Hotel California."
6. Ted is an honorary Australian. Ted is engaged to an Aussie, works for an Aussie, his son has an Aussie passport, and several Aussie ad agencies named him an Aussie, officially. The Australian government has to recognize that. Although he doesn't have an Aussie accent.