Droga5 Expands Creative Department with Trio of CD Hires

By Erik Oster 

Droga5 has expanded its creative department with a series of new hires, including the arrivals of three creative directors: Donnell JohnsonMatty Smith and Shannon Washington.

Johnson joins Droga5 following over six years as a freelance creative director/group creative director/copywriter with agencies including BBDO, 72andSunny, Havas, CP+B, JWT and McCann, following around a year and a half as an associate creative director and creative director with Saatchi & Saatchi L.A. Over the course of his career he has worked with brands including Toyota, Cigna, KeurigAT&T and The New York Times, for whom he worked on the recent “The Truth Is Hard To Find” campaign.

“The agencies I’ve loved being a part of all have the same ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit. It’s about the work first—not personal agendas or egos,” Johnson said in a statement. “Knowing that soul lives within the culture, I look forward to working and collaborating on any challenges Droga5 throws my way.”


Smith joins Droga5 from Barton F. Graf, where he served as creative director and worked with brands including Supercell and Nature’s Care. He originally joined Barton F. Graf in February 2011 as a copywriter and worked with brands such as Little Casears, GrubHub, DISH Netowrk and KAYAK.com, before being promoted to creative director in 2015. He was named to Adweek’s list of “50 Creatives Whose Brilliant Ideas and Beautiful Craft Will Make You Jealous” in July of 2016.

“I’ve been very lucky in my career to work for some great mentors, and I’m really looking forward to learning and growing more at Droga5,” Smith said in a statement. “The agency is also kind enough to let me wear shorts to work—which if it hadn’t, would have been a deal breaker for me.”

Washington arrives at the agency following two years with INVNT/Time Inc. as senior creative director and strategist, crafting lifestyle and beauty experiences for brands clients such as SC Johnson, Intel, People, Essence, POPSUGAR and InStyle. Prior to that she spent two years at Grey as an integrated and digital creative director, working as digital lead for Pandora Jewelry and Pantene. That followed a year and a half as director of digital creative and strategy for Gotham Inc.’s beauty@Gotham.

“The one thing that you pick up when you talk to everyone here, from account to creative to strategy, even operations…people genuinely care about the work,” Washington said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to starting a new, fresh, thought-provoking cultural conversation through beauty—it’s time, and this is the place,” says Washington.”

Droga5 also added six associate creative directors: Rich Singer, Zack MennaAriella Gogol, Marie DelpyAlyssa Georg and Elena Knox. The latter two creatives teamed up for a “Read Between The Headlines” side project while at SS+K.