Droga5 “inside” in Singapore

Since opening its doors in New York in 2006, Droga5 has never been a brand you’d accuse of being quiet and reserved. Only last year, its micro-network (it launched in Sydney in 2008, and London last year) joined forces with Hollywood super-agents WME (think Oprah, Pharrell, GaGa, Russell Crowe and Tarantino and others) and added talent to its marketing repertoire.

Earlier this year, WME also acquired the global sports and media powerhouse, IMG, to round out their offering. Recently, Droga5 Sydney snagged one of Singapore’s most iconic brands, Tiger Beer leading onto speculations of it opening an office here.

Read also: Tiger Beer launches major global campaign

Tiger Beer: Still a strong Asian brand?

Instead, David Nobay, Droga5 Sydney’s creative chairman announced the appointment of Simon Lockyer, a local adman with over 15 years experience in the region and formally TribalDDB’s international business director, as the regional director, based out of IMG’s Scotts Road Headquarters.

Nobay explained: “We’ve never rushed to open offices. If we did, we’d have a much larger network now than just New York, Sydney and London. But, equally, we’d have less control over our own brand. And that’s a price we’ve never been willing to pay.”

Over the last 6 months, the agency has created its first piece of new work for Tiger, out of its Sydney office. Tiger is a major piece of business for the agency for which it invested in “eyes on the ground” locally to help tap into the region, strategically and culturally.

“Over the last 15 years, I’ve been at the front of many different agency models in this region, worked the networks and done my own thing. What seems obvious to me, and clearly to serious clients like Tiger and Heineken, is that things have changed. Radically. And they’re not going back. The day when you impressed a major brand like Heineken with an expensive foyer are well and truly over. Experienced clients know that it’s brains not brawn, insights, ideas and innovation that change the game in marketing,” Lockyer said.

“In short, I can help bridge the guys in Sydney and our local clients, by having weekly face to face meetings on ongoing status. Like Nobby says, there’s no rush for us to do more than that. Tiger is our focus here. We’ve started with some bold work, but the best is yet to come, and this isn’t the time to get distracted,” he added.

From here in Singapore, I get to tap into some enviable strategic and creative firepower from Droga5 Sydney. Surely that’s worth the two hour time difference? Tiger clearly believes it is.

“That said, if another incredible creative opportunity for Droga5 Sydney rears its head in Singapore or the region, I’m more than happy to pass it on,” he said.