Any ad shop can claim to break all the rules. For Publicis Groupe's Droga5, it's table stakes. The challenge is getting clients to go along for the ride.
To mark the opening of its new building on the Bowery, here's what the New Museum recently okayed: Stealthily defacing Calvin Klein's landmark billboard on the corner of Lafayette and Houston streets with neon pink paint dripped down its face in the dead of night over the course of several days to reveal a "negative space" representing the silhouette of the new building - and (this is the part that really cracks us up) getting Calvin Klein to pay for it.
"Calvin Klein is into the idea of incorporating contemporary art culture into their brand," says Scott Witt, creative media director at Droga5. "When we presented the idea to the head of Calvin Klein, we said to ourselves, 'This is either going to make or break our careers.'"
"The payoff," said Witt, "was standing on the corner and watching people's faces as they made the connection. Seeing them figure out what was going on, and that the New Museum and Calvin Klein were in on it. That was cool."