Agency A-List: Droga5

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Plenty of agencies try to go the route of honest advertising. Few of them do it as audaciously as Droga5 for Newcastle Brown Ale. Termed "No Bollocks," the campaign presented a new kind of brand promise -- great beer, no bull, especially not the sort that beer advertising generally has in spades.

Quietly brilliant spots directed by Smuggler's Ivan Zacharias headed for the high- falutin approach at first, but just as quietly ended up taking a fun turn. Especially wonderful was Droga5's OOH and print work for the same campaign, which took an audacious tack, like this poster placed right near its chalice-sporting competitor.

But we wouldn't expect any less from our 2011 Agency of the Year, which since its 2006 founding has consistently tried to raise the bar on advertising and non-advertising projects alike. The agency is no stranger to using its brainpower to make the world a better place, and this year, it did good once again with Help Remedies' "Help, I Want to Save a Life."

Born out of copywriter Graham Douglas' fight to help his own twin brother find a bone-marrow match, the idea married two things that were meant to be together: bandages and bone- marrow donor registration. Every package of "Help, I Cut Myself" came with a bone-marrow donor kit -- since you've already cut yourself, why not put it to some good. The idea won two Gold Lions and a Grand Prix at Cannes and was integrated into Stanford's business school curriculum as a case study.

That isn't the only Droga5 project making a mark on young business-school minds. The agency's celebrated Bing/Jay-Z "Decode" effort from last year, which turned the star's book into a nationwide scavenger hunt, is also being taught as a case study at Harvard.

Also on the world-changing front, after being named the agency of record of the United Nations' Special Projects, Droga5 brought Beyonce into a capaign to promote World Humanitarian Day, to get people to commit to doing a single act of kindness, no matter how big or small. The cornerstone was an anthem performed by Bey herself: "I Was Here," and the result was a campaign that smashed social media records, hitting 1 billion shared messages at the same time on the day. It also tied in its own in-house innovation platform, De-De, and its first product, the crowd-speaking "Thunderclap," to amplify the campaign's message.

And for Puma, the agency continued its Puma Social campaign, with a marquee "After Hours Athlete" film, teaming with director Fredrik Bond to inspire you to break the shackles of mindless reality-TV watching and get out and do something special. It also beautifully -- and boldly, there's that word again -- heralded Usain Bolt's insane performance at the Olympics with some clever, guerilla OOH work placed in New York and Kingston, Jamaica.

Check out the other 2012 Creativity A-List honorees here.

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