Droga5 takes a long-copy house ad in the Australian: let's have more fun in 2011

Screen shot 2010-12-13 at 1.46.39 PM.jpgIt's been a long time since an ad agency bought serious space in a national newspaper to promote themselves, and that is just what Droga5 Australia has done, taking out an ad in today's Australian newspaper.

The CB Blog - and its anonymous comments - comes in for a bit of stick of course in the long-copy advertisement, written by D5 creative chairman David Nobay, who was also art director and typographer, four years after he wrote this opinion piece for the CB Blog.

The last time CB can remember an  agency in this region advertising themselves was back in April 2009 when BBH Asia-Pacific ran an ad in Media that carried the headline "What would happen to our business if all the agencies in Asia stopped doing scam ads this year?"

The Australian's Simon Canning applauds the Droga5 ad online in today's Media section

VIEW THE AD

84 Comments

Anonymous said:

Lovely sentiment. Even though I am Anonymous, I'm with you guys.

Anonymous said:

Hear fuckin hear

Anonymous said:

I'd like to have more fun too.
Happy whatever to all, and to all a good night.

Ad guru said:

Love a good press ad and this is a great one. Great copy and typeography. And no logo.
Happy whatever everyone!!!

Anonymous said:

Can't read fuckin read.

Anonymous said:

Um, I've been having heaps of fun.

Happy to be out of the business said:

Oh, Ad Guru, you're so, so innocent. And you can't spell typography.

Santas Elf said:

"it will be any easier when we all return after the break"? They're having a break, lucky buggers!

Anonymous said:

Did someone at Droga5 just watch Season 4 of Mad Men?

Anonymous said:

I concur!!!

Ad Guru for Ad Guru said:

Ad Guru is not innocent. Sure, he fucked up spelling typography, but he knows exactly what the ad was all about. And that is why he feels it is a great press ad.
Now fuck off "Happy to be out of the business" and tend your vegetable patch.

Anonymous said:

yeah i just saw the latest madmen too guys.

Anonymous said:

I'm old enough to remember a print ad or two done by Cohn & Wells (USA) many years ago. Different products, of course. But same warmth and wit. Almost the same disarmingly simple look, too. You've still got it, Nobby. Nice one.

Anonymous said:

Where's the idea?

This is absolute SHIT.

*Insert agency name here* did this in *year* for *Client name*. *link to copied ad*.

Happy to be out of the business, particularly since it's now inhabited by nasty little boys said:

Perhaps then, Ad Guru, you could construct an argument for your position, instead of merely issuing hostile abuse. You're clearly wet behind the ears. In fact, I'm not sure you know your arse from your elbow.

Draper5 said:

Yes, we saw the open letter episode, too.

Anonymous said:

'Whatever' precisely. Reads a bit like a letter from Ad-God to me. Nice sentiment, but naval gazing at the end of the day.

Anonymous said:

D5 does their Neil French tribute band impression.

Ad guru said:

oooh, 'out of the business', you are aren't you.
Just to fill you in on what is happening, with a site like this, you can be as nasty as you like. You just need to arc up a little. Good start thou.

Anonymous said:

Nice one Nobby - articulate, pithy and refreshingly honest.

Over 21 said:

Hysterical! D5 coundn't have put it in a better place than this. All the bitter Anons are proving their point a bit, no? Smile you acidic cunts. Only 13 days to go.

Anonymous said:

Bang on 10.44.

"Anyone could have done it".

But they didn't, now did they?

Welcome to advertising.

Mick Hunter said:

Fun? Yeah, I vaguely remember that. Well said Nobby.

Anonymous said:

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the blog
the little kids sniped
and fought cat and dog

It's nuts on the block
And skin in the game
That matters you pricks
not anonymous 'fame'

Typing and spitting
with masturbatory zeal
aiming to hurt
'Cos you like how it feels

Go have a long look
at a mirror instead
And have a think why
you're a pox on the thread

Fanny said:

Bite my arse 12.22
Nothing to do today but ride around on your high horse composing blog poetry?

droga 5 admirer said:

I really wanted to like this, but in terms of craft the writing felt a little flat. Long copy is an art – one that seems to sadly be dying. Kinda expected better from these guys. Nice sentiment though.

Anonymous said:

How did they get away without the obligatory 'ADVERTISEMENT' notation at the top of the 'ad'.

Anonymous said:

ha ha.

Full page ad mentions infamous blog where ad people throw shit at each other.

Lynchy celebrates with huge spike in visit numbers.

Great ad for Campaign Brief, Droga5.

And yes, 2010 sucked ass.

Anonymous said:

Scrooge, scrooge fucken scrooge.

You can bitch and moan now, but odds on It'll win a caxton or at least an award for long copy or most interesting copy or whatever it is.

Right on 1258!

Truth (in advertising) said:

Confused as to how anonymous and dishonest are one and the same?

It occurs to this anonymous that unless one has a name of substance in the game, a secure position that's unassailable, then an act of honesty can be suicidal to one's career, given the thin skins on evidence in this blog, or in this open letter, and most definitely in a workplace that rarely suffers a critique of that 'brilliant idea' from the client, or the account executive, or the CD, or the director, ad nauseum, when too often, especially in the version of the industry at this far corner of the globe, the emperor is clearly wearing no clothes.

No one's saying that all the anonymous spew on the blog is of value, and honestly, a good deal of it is just juvenile and vile, but occasionally it speaks truth to power, and that's the reason why it's important that it stays alive.

If you think about it, isn't the fact that the anons were capable of annoying someone as elevated in the hierarchy as David "Nobby" Nobay, at least annoying him enough to drive him to address a paragraph of his Don Draper moment to attacking
them mean that the system is working for us all?

Maybe the real reason that we're not having as much fun as we used to is that we're all taking ourselves a bit too seriously, that and the fact that the creative process in this business, as in so many other aspects of contemporary life, has been captured by the bean counters, the researchers, the planners, the strategists, and very little is left for the true acts of inspiration that have human emotion at their core, and by virtue of which are frequently illogical, impractical, whimsical, emotional, and yes, fun.

So, by all means, let's have more fun this year, and remember that advertising is all about influencing people's habits by capturing their imaginations.

Anonymous said:

fucking oath.

maybe there wasn't a forum in the past where people could vent their private feelings, but has anyone else noticed how small-minded this industry has become?

and there goes droga saying we're separate and above all this by telling the sad fucks to have fun and stop being such nasty pricks or wanna-be bards and loosen up a little.

well planned nobay, won't win many awards but will win a few clients.

Anonymous said:

How will this win clients 1:29? It doesn't speak to them at all. I doubt they could care less.

Happy to be out of the business said:

OK smartarse, put your fists where your mouth is. The Mercantile, George St, The Rocks, tonight 8.00pm. Bring a permission note from your mum. Let's see how brave you are without the cloak of anonymity.

Anonymous said:

Kind of hollow coming from someone who appears to spend a great deal of time getting paid to fly and party around the world on the award gravy train.

The industry is tougher than it was 20 years ago but all the extravagance, waste and ego tripping had to end one day - and I think I prefer the hard arse challenge it is now any way

Funster said:

Having fun is hanging shit on pompous pricks who take advertising and themselves too seriously.
Top ad Nobby, hope you are having a good last laugh.

Anonymous said:


1:29

We all love the sentiment of the ad 1:29.

But from the tone of your blog are you suggesting the people at D5 haven't criticised other agencies and their work?

Congrats to Nobby and team if that's the case.

Steve Elrick said:

Nice sentiment.
Well said.
Un-anonomously
Steve Elrick.

Anonymous said:

Cripes. There are more ways to congratulate your efforts in the ad industry than there are breeds of dog.
Now we get a full page ad in a national paper talking about how hard it all is and we don't get to have nice lunches no more.
If someone can direct me to the 'I have a great idea for a Sandwich Award' then I'll accept that award ceremonies are a genuinely about ideas and not more to do with feeding the egos of an industry whose collective high opinion of itself outranks an A380 packed with Noble Laureates.
If anyone thinks that those outside the game are going to feel sad for us because it's not the 80s anymore then they are mistaken. If the message was meant just for us, why print it two feet high in a national paper?
As for Nobay, he said largely the same thing on here, in less flowery terms, earlier this year.

Anonymous is not going to shut up just because you say so. Deal with it.

Doug Watson said:

Yeah, why is everyone anonymous on the blog?

In the business, nowhere near out of it said:

Now listen, 'happy to be out of the business" pops.
Just focus on those nostalgic long liquid lunches down at The Mercantile with the other cronies and leave the ads to us sharp, young smart arses
Let's face it, at this time of the day you would be better throwing-up than throwing a punch.
Come to think of it, probably true in the 80's too.

Thrills said:

Another 80% good ad from Droga5.

Anonymous said:

It seems curious that everyone from high (I guess that would Nobby) to low (the anti-anonymous crew on the blog like Funster, or Happy to be . . . , or the would-be poet 12:22, himself anonymous) has got their panties in a twist about anonymous commentary.

What possible difference could the name of the messenger make to the value of his, or her comments? Unless what's being suggested is that these anons wouldn't dare say what they really think if their identities were attached, and that just comes down to a not so subtle attempt at censoring people's thoughts by forcing them to unmask.

If we all pay a bit more attention to the messages that are being delivered, as opposed to the messengers, I think we'll find that while some may be throwaway, even obscene and childish, others may have something to say, perhaps even about the elephant that is all too frequently in the room in the ad business down here in the hinterlands. You know, that Aussie chip on the shoulder that has everyone proclaiming how world class their endeavors are, when those doing the real world class work would never make such a claim.

I won't keep anyone from debating ideas, opinions, or the work that's being PR'd on the blog, and it will take the personal out of the discussion and place the focus back on the work, where it belongs.

Droga5, Nobby, et. al. has made the classic mistake of shooting the messenger, by suggesting that the anonymous bloggers are the ones responsible for the lack of fun in the industry. Maybe they protest too much, and it's the pressure on them that's becoming all too hard, and making them tightly wound enough to take out a full page ad in the fish wrap to attack freedom of speech.

Julia Gillard said:

Yeah, why is everyone anonymous on the blog?

Oprah Winfrey said:

Yeah, why is everyone anonymous on the blog?

Osama Bin Laden said:

Yeah, why is everyone anonymous on the blog?

Anonymous said:

A great lesson to be learnt by all on here: You're not the fucking target market! I bet there are now a bunch of marketing people who will go into 2011 remembering the name Droga5. They won't be thinking about you or your agency. And when the pitch lists get drawn up next year, I bet you Droga5 now has an even better chance of being on them. They will be rembered for standing out, having a point of view, seeming fun and fresh and having some balls to stand.

Well done. And, no, I have never met Nobby, Droga etc.

Anonymous said:

what the fuck is this rubbish?

also, too many commas.

What the fuck has Anonymous done to you? said:

Bang on 3:35 PM I think you've highlighted a very important point about our industry.

However, when you look at the truly great innovators throughout history (and I'm not saying I will ever amount to one) they've always earned the ire of their peers, to the point where they were kicked out of the surrealist club, shot in the back of a convertible or simply called a schmuck by other ad types for making a car small with a headline that says 'think big', or putting an art director in the same room as the writer.

But I'm digressing here. I'm commenting on a commentary about the commentary on the state of commentary within the industry, how it's not necessarily leading to fun commentary or even commentary about long lunches and not doing one single thing about the work at the moment.

Better get on with it.

Se la vie.

Anonymous said:

Commas are the writer's way of asking the reader to stop and appreciate how clever they are.

Anonymous said:

No one has fun at D5 cos they won't let anyone go home. They owe as many favours around town as there are commas in this Prairie Home Companion piece. There, munch on that. (too many commas?)

Anonymous said:

4:04

You're spot on. Way too many commas.

Anonymous said:

How Aussie. When you lack the capacity to deal with the substance of an argument, attack the messenger, and when that tack fails, go after the punctuation.

Larrikins? More like morons with beer.

Small and smaller, , , , , , ,

Anonymous said:

I just took one look at this thing and turned away in disgust. Did someone just press the justify button, you could slip Nobby's wallet through some of those rivers.
So badly set I couldn't be bothered to read it. If you're going to do this stuff then spend some time on the craft of typography and help the reader out a little. If it's any good then I don't need to struggle having to read it, with this I do.

Must I always correct you? said:

4:13, you're only 180 degrees wrong. The headline was 'Think small'. And it's 'C'est la vie'. It's French.

Old CD Guy said:

I suspect the point of this ad, when you finally get there, will be completely lost on the current generation of earnest young risk-averse twentysomethings who agencies have to kowtow to to get anything approved. Nobby, you'll probably have more success attracting clients by offering them a discount. Because as sure as shit, today's brand managers and marketing managers don't understand, appreciate or have the time - or inclination - to read long copy.

Andy F said:


I really liked it.

I especially liked the fact that for a full page broadsheet ad, it should have trawled for new business. But it didn't.

It should have been written solely from Droga5's perspective. But it wasn't.

Was it written solely for awards? No it wasn't.

Does it demonstrate that you can actually talk about yourself a great deal by not doing so in the slightest? Yes. It does.

Very, very nicely done.

Rocky said:

Do great ads. Have a laugh.

Rocky said:

Do great ads. Have a laugh.

Anonymous said:

What an incredible letter, so fresh and original. Well done Don Droga!

Anonymous said:

Was it something I said ???

Anonymous said:

why can't campaign brief have a registration page so we get rid of this anonymous shit? I'd be happy to have my name attached to all my posts and it'd only lead to more constructive criticisms? surely if this is an industry blog, it is meant for those in the industry? and we all have industry emails? it might only seem like a little blog, but a whole bunch of young uni kids and graduates read it and are terrified of putting anything out there lest they get ripped to shreds. this isn't 'welcome to the real world, your work will be critiqued' fear, this is the same type of fear a kid gets when he has to walk past the bullies in school. eventually, he'll just stop walking that particular way and then he'll end up a fucking accountant. so stop it.

we've got enough accountants.

Anonymous said:

Perfect. Needed to be said.

Thank you.

Monty said:

1:48, Oh the irony! Why didn't you put your name to that comment? The comment box has a field for your name, email address and web page if you so desire.

Monty (the real one) said:

Monty, I've told you to use your real name.

Anonymous said:

a one page ad asking for more fun? that is what is wrong with the whole communication industry - ridiculously pathetic. sorry, but it is.

Call me a realist said:

Have more fun? Ad people work 10- 12 hour days, have sleepless nights, have no client or job security and most are young and get payed a pittance.
Piss off fat cat.

December 14, 2010 11:14 AM said:

@11:57 i call you a realist and second that

fun is enabled through a great environment. it wont come all by itself, unless you go for drugs and drinks in the first place. we all know where this ends... even less real reasons for fun!

seriously, it saddens me to see this ad being praised. is the praise a sign of desperation? or is everyone just deluded? or just having a great time already (good for you, btw)?

and yes, it does look awfully like a draper pr stunt. which would not be too bad if it had some reasonable subject. fun is none (see 1st paragraph).

Anonymous said:

Except for the attack on the anonymous bloggers, who surely can't be held completely responsible for the lack of fun in the industry, and maybe the self-congratulatory tone of the collective pat on the back (don't we get enough of that via the award season that seems to run continuously throughout the year?), Droga5's invocation for us all to have more fun in 2011 is a harmless enough sentiment, and maybe even strikes the tone of something that needed to be said.

After all, it's only advertising. We're not sending rockets into space, curing cancer, or promoting world peace, so taking ourselves a bit less seriously could definitely be a good thing.

Ironically, it may have played more sincerely, and been allot less self serving if it had been made anonymously.

Just saying.

Anonymous said:

We have fun and anon blog as well.
How cool's that!

Anonymous said:

Except for the attack on the anonymous bloggers, who surely can't be held completely responsible for the lack of fun in the industry, and maybe the self-congratulatory tone of the collective pat on the back (don't we get enough of that via the award season that seems to run continuously throughout the year?), Droga5's invocation for us all to have more fun in 2011 is a harmless enough sentiment, and maybe even strikes the tone of something that needed to be said.

After all, it's only advertising. We're not launching space shuttles, curing cancer, or promoting world peace, so taking ourselves a bit less seriously could definitely be a good thing.

Ironically, however, it may have played more sincerely, and been allot less self serving if it had been made anonymously.

Just saying.

Literal Metaphor said:

I don't know about anyone else but I have a lot of fun doing what I do.

Yes the hours are long and I rarely get lunch. Yes clients and account service sometimes don't see things the way I'd like them to. Yes, sometimes, they're bloody right too.

But the fun for me comes from getting a good idea up, not playing fuseball or ducking out to the pub for a quick one. Guess we're all different and I'm glad Droga brought it up – if anything, the creatives / clients / as who aren't having fun will all want to bunker down over there and they're getting talked about so win-win.

Cheaper than the agency christmas card.

Anonymous said:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's like that every day in my agency.

Maybe D5 people are all a little too serious?

Anonymous said:

win-win? i do not think so. ridiculous. yes.

Anonymous said:

"Politics is the art of controlling your environment." - Hunter S. Thompson

Looks like the anonymous contributers on the CB Blog are an environment that Nobby just can't seem to control . . . not that he doesn't keep trying.

Anonymous said:

Wouldn't it be more realistic if it read "Have a Happy New Year or we will fire you", or something like that?

Anonymous said:

Why on earth do certain people in this industry have a problem with anon?

Maybe they are showing their age!

Welcome to the Internet, you fools - 99% of people on all blog sites are anonymous or go by a fictitious name.

That's the beauty of the blog and precisely why they are such interesting forums.

Judge what is being said, not who is saying it. Philistines!

Old CD guy said:

Young 8:20 has made the most prescient point on this anonymous issue. Judge what is being said, not who is saying it. The beauty of blogs and the net is that it ends the monopoly of the power clique. It democratises expression. Although I'd like to think my experience, reputation and status in the business gives my views more weight than some junior, it should be down to the persuasiveness of my argument, and my ability to prosecute a point of view. Which is what we're paid by clients to do on their behalf - anonymously, in our little work spaces.

Anonymous said:


We choose governments by secret ballot so people can express their 'political opinion' without fear or favour.

Anon blogs serve a similar purpose

I tend to agree said:

From today's breaking news section of The Australian:

'LIKE, whatever.

For the second year in a row, Americans ranked "whatever" as the most annoying word or phrase used in conversation, a Marist Poll released today found.

Thirty-nine per cent of those polled were most irritated by the oft-used "whatever", while 28 per cent found the term "like" the most offensive.'

Young 8:20 said:

Take the said ad for example ... It matters not one iota whether it was
written by a CD or the tea lady. It has a point of view and people will invariably have a point of view on that point of view.

Listen old hacks, embrace the blog, don't fight it. Your wasting your time. Its bigger and more powerful than you ever will be!

A Question of Age said:

Why does everyone assume that the anonymous bloggers are either young and/or juniors in the industry?

My guess is that any number of those who have had harsh criticism for a posted campaign, or for an individual's PR of their new position at an agency or production company, or for an award show, or even for a post of someone's business/social event complete with photos are well established and well known personalities in the industry who, like many of the young and junior, simply want to post a comment in anonymity to get a thought or an opinion out there that they feel needs to be said, but at the same time want to protect themselves from the potential backlash from their peers, just as the juniors from their employers.

The only question should be is the comment of value. If it's not, it's only speech, and of what real harm, and if it is, then what does it matter who made it? Nobby claims that the speaker gives a comment context, and he's probably correct, but context and validity should have very little to do with one another.

The what should carry a good deal more weight than the who, even in our cult of celebrity, and or societal tendency to confuse power with authority.

Funstak said:

Is this an interoffice memo to all staff at DROGA?

Anonymous said:

This is a comment on the ad, not the agency or wonderful people who work there.

Unless this is a stunt of some sort I'm not entirely sure what it's saying.

'Come to Droga 5, where we can smoke our pipes, reminisce about the good old days over a long lunch and pop out some long copy set in letraset that barely raises a scratch on the awesome 1980's long copy ads.'

Are they saying they're an agency that doesn't know how to contain a social media disaster for themselves, let alone their clients, that they can't handle the realities of today's business and the fact that anonymous online reviews often speak louder than an ad when it comes down to purchasing decision, that people rely on anonymous to find out the truth about say, a war in Afghanistan or an alleged rape in Sweden, that to truly take any of their clients brands online you have to give part of the control over that brand to consumers to create?

If I didn't know Nobby wrote this I'd say it's an ad for an agency pining for the past, not embracing the future. And that scares me, because people look up to those guys.

Stefan Pertz said:

Interesting. Just the fact that there are so many comments says something about the impact of the ad.

Would love to see more ads with more copy. Loved what Ogilvy did.

We are still having loooooooong lunches. And fun.

Happy new year everyone.

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