David Droga, founder and creative chairman of Droga5, has appeared annually on the Creativity 50 since 2006—except for this year, in which we honor the shop's two New York exec creative directors. Ted Royer, who has been at the agency since it opened, and Nik Studzinski, who joined from Mother , London, in 2010, have worked with Mr. Droga in various capacities and on various continents. At Droga5, the two have been instrumental in transforming the agency from a feisty startup to a mature shop. Here, their boss shares why he entrusts the pair with his creative department.
David Droga, creative chairman, Droga5:
Unfortunately for our industry, we exist in an era of engineered mediocrity and leadership by the quarter. Margins are squeezed from creative compromise and downsized ambitions.
What better way to fight this trend than doing the exact opposite—invest in serious talent and always overindex on creative firepower? And it's what we have done from our earliest days.
Perhaps the only thing better than having a really great ECD is having two exceptional ones. After all, our only product is our thinking, and the quality of our work is a direct reflection of our people, not our processes.
I have known both Ted and Nik separately for a long time—across many agencies and four different continents—as feisty young creatives, ambitious creative directors and now proudly as mature and thoughtful exec creative directors.
And while on paper they may seem like polar opposites—British introvert (Nik), American extrovert (Ted)—they are more similar than one might imagine. Beyond their obvious loyalty, they also both share the most important of all creative traits: generosity. Generosity in spirit. Generosity in achievement and opportunity. And a sincere belief in nurturing and inspiring those around them.
You can see it in our teams, and you can see it in our work. There is no question that both Ted and Nik could individually run any agency in the world. Yet they choose to work together on something far more personal—helping me build an agency that stands for something positive and progressive.