David Droga Admits Advertising Is About Laziness That Subtracts Value For Users

David Droga headshot Steve Carty for Hermann & AudreyDroga5 founder David Droga.

With annoying pop-up ads assaulting desktops and smartphones, it’s easy for advertisers to become as jaded as the people avoiding their work.

David Droga, founder of the New York agency Droga5, wrote an article for Esquire claiming that most advertisers know they could be making more effective ads if they simply put forth more effort.

“In fact, no industry works harder at being lazy,” Droga wrote.

In a time when it is harder than ever to keep anyone’s attention, Droga said, ad agencies cannot afford to phone in trite campaigns that do nothing but get people to look at them.

“…Advertising today is more about interruption and intrusion than compelling narratives or a good laugh. We don’t add value. If anything, we take it away,” he said.

Droga started Droga5 in 2006. It has grown to win a number of accolades, including the title of Adweek’s U.S. agency of the year in 2012. The agency has earned respect through campaigns that tell engaging stories, which Droga said has been the obvious (but often forgotten) hallmark of great ads since the Mad Men days.

Droga5’s recent ads for Motorola’s MotoX smartphone may not have been enough to make it a viable iPhone or Samsung competitor, but they got a significant amount of attention online for telling relatable stories with just enough refreshing absurdity to be hilarious. This one has over 15 million view on YouTube:

The first agency that figures out mobile advertising will be huge, said Droga. The key is to be relevant without feeling creepily intrusive, and to engage a human being rather than just using an algorithm to catch eyeballs.

Read Droga’s full piece to see his thoughts on the Publicis Omnicom merger, as well as more predictions for the state of the industry.

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