Creativity 50

Creativity 50 2014: David Droga and Ted Royer

Creative Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Droga5

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David Droga and Ted Royer
David Droga and Ted Royer

Droga5 kicked off 2014 by hijacking Super Bowl buzz with Newcastle Brown Ale ads that almost were. The shop then turned hateful comments about modern American families into inspiring ads for Honey Maid, showcased female athleticism and ambition for Under Armour and reunited with comedian Sarah Silverman for more cause-related hilarity. More recently, pairing Taylor Swift with adorable kittens for Diet Coke demonstrated Droga5's expert understanding of what appeals to the internet. BuzzFeed couldn't have done it better.

Still Creative Chairman David Droga and CCO Ted Royer would say each assignment comes with a responsibility to the brand and its heritage. With Honey Maid, "you look back on 100 years of their advertising and they're wholesome America; they're deeply ingrained in the culture," said Mr. Royer. For him, it means producing work the Middle American family will relate to and find interesting. "Finding that center means finding what wholesome meant, what it means now and what it should mean tomorrow," he said.

But it also has to be interesting. Advertisers face competition beyond their categories—they're up against any other piece of attention-grabbing content. Mr. Royer even has a go-to rant about it: "On YouTube, you're competing against a cat on a Roomba. And that cat on a Roomba is awesome."

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