Accenture Interactive's CEO says its acquisition of Droga5 will give the consulting firm more than just a creative agency (ACN)


Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, left, with Droga5 CEO David Droga in a photo from April 2019.

  • The deal Accenture Interactive announced Wednesday to buy creative agency Droga5 is about more than just having a creative agency in-house, CEO Brian Whipple said.
  • Accenture Interactive wanted to add the creative talents of Droga5’s team to its business, he said.
  • The advertising giant has been focusing on helping clients rethink the way their customers discover and interact with their products and services.
  • Whipple thinks Droga5 can help Accenture Interactive come up with imaginative new experiences for its clients.

Accenture Interactive’s deal to acquire creative agency Droga5 is more than it might seem on the surface, say the executives behind the merger.

The planned acquisition, which Accenture Interactive announced Wednesday, will fill an obvious hole in its lineup. Despite Accenture Interactive’s large and growing presence in the ad business, it hasn’t had much of a traditional creative shop in-house, at least not one that primarily serves the giant US market. Droga5 will give it just that.

But Accenture Interactive isn’t a traditional advertising firm, and it has bigger plans for Droga5 than to have the agency design ads for its clients, company CEO Brian Whipple told Business Insider. An arm of the giant Accenture consulting firm, which has deep expertise in technology, Accenture Interactive focuses on helping companies rethink and redesign how consumers are introduced to and interact with their products and services. The company plans to tap Droga5 CEO David Droga and his team to help clients reimagine those experiences, Whipple said.

“There are many experiences out there that have yet to be reinvented,” Whipple said, pointing to areas ranging from health care to the way people board planes to the way they try on clothes in stores. “David and his team,” he continued, “will be a tremendous benefit to us, in terms of just bringing creative ideas to our clients about their experiences.”

Read this: Accenture Interactive just bought Droga5, right after a top exec at the firm said it’s ‘just getting started’ in its plan to disrupt advertising

Indeed, when evaluating Droga5, Accenture Interactive saw in it the potential for a broad definition of the word “creative,” Whipple said. Sure, Droga5 could do for Accenture Interactive’s clients what creative agencies traditionally do — create ads and marketing campaigns. But it also promised to augment the creative juices within Accenture Interactive, allowing it to be more imaginative in rethinking customer experiences, Whipple said.

“The ideas for reinventing experience are creative by nature,” he said.

Droga5 has already been heading in that direction, Droga said. The agency no longer sees itself as just creating advertising messages or building brands — and its clients now expect it to offer more than just that, he said.

The company sees itself as being in the business of helping rethink the way customers come to and interact with their products, he said. For example, Droga5 might help a motorcycle company not just advertise its bikes, but figure out how to help persuade people who have never even thought about riding one before do so, he said.

“We are an ideas entity,” Droga said, continuing, “We like to think of ourselves as creating solutions for our clients.”

Teaming up with Accenture Interactive is going to allow Droga5 to head in that direction much farther than it could on its own, because of the former’s massive size and capabilities, he said.

“They just give us the capacity to execute that far further upstream and downstream than we ever have,” Droga said.

At the SXSW conference last month, Accenture showcased some of the work it’s been doing on trying to reinvent the way consumers interact with brands. It showed off an augmented reality experience it built for DuPont Corian that allows customers to design their own virtual countertops with digital devices. It also demonstrated an interactive movie poster for Disney’s new “Dumbo” movie that changes based on the emotions it detects in viewers’ faces.

We are … just beginning to scratch the surface with what I’ve referred to as the experience marketplace,” Whipple said.

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