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David Droga on Family, Publicis Groupe, Awards and the Meaning of Creativity



Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5 and winner of this year’s Lion of St. Mark award thinks awards do serve a purpose, writes LBB’s Addison Capper

David Droga on Family, Publicis Groupe, Awards and the Meaning of Creativity
In an intimate Q&A session in the Cannes Lions press room last week, Droga5 founder and creative chairman David Droga spoke of how his family has always and still does “inspire” the work that he does. 

“I love talking about my family,” he said. “I come from a very close family. Very different, but very close. We’re different in that we do different things, but we’re similar in that we have very similar sensibilities and beliefs. We talk every week and are in each other’s business way too much. And they give me great advice that I don’t take enough.”

The conversation was held just before Droga’s interview in the Debussy Theatre to commemorate his winning of the Lion of St. Mark award for outstanding services to the advertising industry, and offered a select group of journalists from around the world to pick his brains on a number of topics. 

“Awards aren’t the end answer to anything beyond encouragement, celebration and inspiring each other,” he said when quizzed about Publicis Groupe’s decision to withdraw from all award shows for the next 12 months. He did, though, highlight the importance of awards for reasons that surpass the need for a creative to pat themselves on the back. 

“I think for young creatives it’s a very good way to get exposure and for agencies to see who’s out there in terms of recruitment,” he said. “We also now have more global clients who want to have the best people on their account - so awards do carry weight. The right awards for the right work. Why wouldn’t a client want the best thinkers? And awards can be a good way to show that.

“Is it going to destroy Publicis Groupe because they’re not entering awards? I don’t know, I can’t speak to that. No one is in business to win awards - it’s not going to change the nature of their business. But creatives are egotistical and insecure, and we need gratitude sometimes. Awards can serve the purpose of proving that you’re producing some of the work that your peers love.”

When quizzed on the meaning of creativity, he said that emotion and empathy were central to the concept. 

“Creativity for me is empathy, the core of who I am,” he said. “It creates a visceral reaction from someone to someone, from this to that. Whatever that reaction is, hopefully it’s a positive one. But it taps into emotion. That’s why no one ever gets tired of creativity because it’s not expected. We live in a very linear world, and it’s the creative things that keep it alive.”

And where does he find that creativity? 

“I don’t have some ritual or routine for where I’m creative. It’s not about taking a bath or a long walk, for me personally I get inspired by very everyday things. Thoughts hit me in random places and at random times, it could be something my kids did or something someone said. That’s what inspires me.”

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LBB Editorial, Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:28:32 GMT