Under Armour’s Kevin Plank (left) with Droga5’s David Droga
How Drogo became Plank’s knight in shining armour
YOU’VE seen its award-winning ad featuring the kickboxing supermodel Gisele Bündchen, which was part of the trailer for the Matt Damon movie The Martian. And it is here at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to tell us: “Brands, brands, brands; everything comes down to brands.”
The company is Under Armour (UA), arguably the most innovative sports-apparel brand on the market. Everyone from athletes to entertainment celebrities want to be seen wearing its tech-centric sports gear. But founder and CEO Kevin Plank disclosed yesterday that, without advertising and a very trusted agency, his company would not be where it is today: a former start-up that is on track to be a $5bn company by the end of this year.
Plank and David Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5 — UA’s global agency of record — were on stage to discuss how the client/agency dynamic is key to any growing global business.
“A brand’s mission is to give you things you never thought you needed and, once you have them, you wonder how you ever lived without them,” Plank said. “Brands have to be part of your business. You can’t be creative just for the sake of it. The most important thing is how to articulate and execute that message.”
He added that Droga5’s efforts to understand the UA brand has been essential to the company’s growth.
Explaining why his agency enjoyed working with UA, Droga said: “How many brands have a point of view that authentically goes all the way through its products?”
But the real hard work began the moment UA entrusted Droga5 with its brand’s future, he added: “The most intimidating thing a client can do is to trust its agency.
But I personally like that pressure. As the agency, when someone gives you that leeway, make sure you do the right thing by them.”