The First Ad David Droga Ever Made Is a Crazy, Psychedelic Spot from Australia Circa 1990

By Patrick Coffee 

You might have heard that David Droga will add one more feather to his cap this year by becoming the latest ad industry veteran to receive the Lion of St. Mark (previous winners included John Hegarty, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow and Bob Greenberg).

But he wasn’t always at the top of the totem pole.

In a pre-Cannes interview with Adweek, Droga discussed his trajectory from mail boy at Grey Sydney (yes, really) to the guy who inspires more envy and/or jealous rage than any other creative leader in the business at this particular moment.


He also talked about the first ad he ever made, right after he’d graduated from Australian Writers and Art Directors and scored a gig as a junior junior copywriter at FCB. It was for Triple M Melbourne, which was (and still seems to be) the Victorian capital’s top stop for rock music and footie news.
Here’s how Droga described the work in our interview.

The No. 1 radio station in Australia was called MMM. The official brief was, “You’ve got to do something that makes people go, ‘Holy fuck,’ and the budget is $1 million. What are you going to do?” To this day it was one of the strangest, most unusual commercials I’ve ever made. I’d like to believe that I still have that edge now.

I think the second campaign I did after that was for a pharmaceutical company, which sort of brought me crashing down to earth. But again, that was about as epic a start as you can have because normally, when you start as a creative, you’d sort of have to earn your right up the food chain of opportunities.

So that one was definitely a trip. It kind of reminded us of a Terry Gilliam/Heavy Metal mashup, and then the shredding angels are their own thing altogether.

We do get what Droga meant when he talked about how unusual it would be to start one’s career working on such a spot. And now we want to see that pharma follow-up.