The New York-based agency will become part of Accenture Interactive, boosting its capabilities as an experience agency able to design, build and run customer experiences that grow brands and businesses.
The acquisition will give Accenture Interactive a distinct marketplace position, further enabling it to lead brands into the future. Today’s news represents an evolution in Accenture Interactive’s journey to build a new agency model – one with the power to engineer transformative brand experiences, and infuse those experiences with the emotional and inspirational power of brand thinking and creativity.
“The future of brand building is not just about creating great ideas; it’s about creating great experiences,” said Brian Whipple, global CEO of Accenture Interactive. “We’re excited to work with David Droga and his team of brand strategists and creative minds to further our ambition to improve the full human experience with brands.”
He added, “As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Accenture Interactive, joining forces with Droga5 will be a game-changing milestone for us and the industry as we continue to assemble the right mix of capabilities for the modern-day marketer.”
Founded in 2006, Droga5 is a highly-acclaimed creative agency with more than 500 employees in New York and London. Since its inception, Droga5 has become synonymous with ambitious, influential and industry-challenging work; recent examples include award-winning work for Amazon Prime Video, Tourism Australia, The New York Times, IHOP and Game of Thrones’ epic Super Bowl surprise.
The agency has been named Agency of the Year 20 times by organizations ranging from Adweek and Ad Age to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the North American Effie’s. In addition to the above, Droga5 partners with brands such as Chase, Prudential, Kraft, Hershey, Hennessy and Under Armour.
Watch the Droga5 sizzle reel below:
“Since day one, we have worked hard to push our industry forward and, hopefully, make a positive impact for all,” said David Droga, founder and creative chairman, Droga5. “The world of advertising is changing, and we are excited for this incredible opportunity with a company that will add more dimension to our best ideas and push us beyond our existing ambitions. The proposition we can bring to market with Accenture Interactive will transform the industry.”
Accenture Interactive and Droga5 were born in the digital age and are often touted as trailblazers in an industry undergoing radical change. Both were recently named 2019 Fast Company Most Innovative Companies in Advertising.
Accenture Interactive was recognized for “leading the merger of strategic consulting, ad-tech and creative work,” while Droga5 was lauded for its offbeat and transformative ad campaigns. By joining forces, both organizations will be better poised to fulfill their common ambition of building a new agency model — one designed to deliver clients and consumers with seamless, rewarding brand experiences at every touchpoint.
“Customer experience is a proven driver of competitive advantage and sustained business growth – and, we are delighted to bring Droga5’s highly differentiated capabilities to help Accenture Interactive transform experiences for our clients’ customers and continue to be a catalyst for disruption across the industry,” said David Rowland, interim chief executive officer at Accenture.
“In our quest to create the best experiences on the planet, we recognized the need to further raise the bar on our brand creative,” continued Whipple. “Droga5 occupies the top echelon of brand agencies and is a great fit for us due to its world-class creativity, strategic rigour and brand experience capabilities. We’re beyond excited about the possibilities of what we can achieve together.”
He added, “This is the start of an exciting new chapter in Droga5’s history. Accenture Interactive is one of the most disruptive forces in the industry, and we have always been a safe space for audacious ideas. I’m confident they are the best partner to grow our business and provide greater opportunities for our clients and our people. Why live off past glories when you can get busy trying to create new ones?”
The agency will remain in his role as creative chairman of Droga5, Sarah Thompson will continue as global CEO and Bill Scott will remain as UK CEO, working alongside the rest of the agency’s management team.
The addition of Droga5 will represent Accenture Interactive’s biggest acquisition since its founding in 2009. From early acquisitions including design firm Fjord and e-commerce specialist Acquity Group in 2013 to more recent acquisitions, such as creative shops Karmarama and The Monkeys, as well as expanding into areas including Extended Reality and Programmatic Services, the $8.5 billion business has been evolving to stay ahead of the fast-changing needs of today’s CMOs.
As we reported before, April 6 is the day where the WGA decides whether to pull away from ATA agencies if they do not agree to the Guild’s Code of Conduct.
Fast Company reports that in 2013 that talent agency WME acquired a 49% stake of Droga5 for $115 million, which would have valued it at about $230 million at the time.
Droga5 publicly stated revenues in 2015 and 2016 of $126 million and $170 million, respectively. Sources with knowledge of Droga5’s finances state that the agency has grown at least 20% every year since its 2006 founding, which conservatively would put 2018 revenue at $245 million.
Some could interpret this as Endeavor behind the curtain, orchestrating a deal as it cleans itself up pre-IPO and pre-April 6 decision.
Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearance. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.