David Droga poured his heart out during The Lion of St. Mark interview at Cannes this year. He cares and he wants you to care too.
Do you care?
Adweek picked up on his call to action, and captured the essence of the hour-long chat with this pull quote:
I would put down everything in my career to the fact that I cared—about what I do, who I work with, what I make. Caring makes you want to work harder. People can’t pay you to care. People can’t teach you to care. But when you find something that you care about, you give it everything you’ve got. You never settle. And you are always pushing to learn and be better and support those around you. All I’ve tried to do in my career is care.
What we care about matters. It’s easy to care about industry fame, for instance, or a bigger office, or more money. Caring about those things won’t necessarily deliver the desired results. You need to care about the right things. One of the right things that Droga cares about is the impact of his agency’s work in the real world.
“We are good if our peers think we’re great, but we are great if the real world thinks we’re good,” Droga says.
This is the perspective that is missing from so much advertising. If the ad makers don’t care about the impact the work makes for the audience, then it’s a wasted effort. For advertising to be great and for ad people to earn the respect of clients and their customers, it takes more than moving the needle. Greatness means contributing to the larger good and making a positive impact on the culture while satisfying the client’s business problem. Yes, it’s a form of walking and chewing gum at the same time. That’s why it takes a pro.
I also highly recommend watching this short video, where Droga outlines his policy on pitching.
Many ad people could benefit by following Droga’s lead, and applying the incredible power of “No.”