- Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017
- NEW YORK
Tasha Cronin and Justin Durazzo have been promoted to co-directors of interactive at Droga5 New York. The two join the ranks of the production department leadership, headed by chief creation officer Sally-Ann Dale. Previously, Cronin and Durazzo served as executive producer, interactive, and associate director of interactive, respectively. In this new role, Cronin and Durazzo oversee the 18-person-strong Interactive branch of the production department.
Dale commented, “The role of interactive and experiential production within our agency is critical as we continue to push boundaries and produce work that moves our clients’ businesses forward through unique, non-traditional projects. Tasha and Justin will continue to lead our group of diverse production thinkers in this direction.”
Since joining Droga5 in 2015, Cronin has helped lead the charge for Johnsonville’s “Sausage Nonnas,” Pizza Hut’s “Pie Tops,” Quilted Northern’s “National Toilet Paper Day,” Dixie’s “Deadzone Diners” and, most recently, COVERGIRL’s “#ProjectPDA.” Pulling from her integrated background, Cronin has pushed the limits of both familiar and emerging technologies to create activations and fabricate products that merge the physical and digital worlds.
Cronin began her career in the film industry, developing scripts and acquiring films for independent studio Samuel Goldwyn Films and playing a major role in several Academy Award-winning films. Leveraging that experience, Cronin then made the leap into advertising, managing integrated campaigns for film, television and console-gaming accounts at Crew Creative Advertising in Los Angeles. After her venture in Los Angeles, Cronin joined Cole & Weber United, most notably producing several award-winning campaigns and on-site installations for the International Olympic Committee during the London and Sochi Olympic Games. Prior to Droga5, Cronin worked on the first Android brand campaign and Project Ara at Google Creative Lab.
Cronin commented, “I’m excited and emboldened by Sally-Ann Dale’s leadership, and, as an out woman in production, mentoring the next generation of female producers and increasing the numbers—as well as visibility of diversity in advertising—is hugely important to me. In order for authentic stories and brand experiences to be created, we need honest voices at the table from strategy through the execution team, and in this new role, I feel inspired to continue working toward that change.”
Durazzo joined Droga5 in 2013 and has been a driving force behind the creative innovation process that has propelled the agency’s interactive and experiential output. Known for his non-traditional approach to productions, he pushes the boundaries of art, design, craft and narrative, endlessly exploring new angles and opportunities to create experiences that are logically executed, beautiful to inhabit and built to leave a lasting impression on culture. Among others, he’s led two of Droga’s most notable and lauded interactive projects: Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign and MailChimp’s “Did You Mean MailChimp?” campaign, which were both awarded Cyber Grand Prix Cannes Lions.
This past year, he brokered a unique collaboration between New Reality Co., Here Be Dragons and Droga5 to help produce Tree VR. The environmentally focused immersive-reality project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to be featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, the Future of StoryTelling and TED, pushing outside the normal circuit of advertising and into new frontiers of original art, film and technical content. Durazzo is also leading up an education and innovation incubator internally at the agency.
Durazzo’s been primed for his role as co-director with 17+ years of experience in design, branding, food, music and technology from his time at Bates Worldwide, Merkley + Partners, Ito, Tag Collective, BBH, Mother New York, ANIMAL New York, and B-Reel, working across notable brands like Mercedes-Benz, Morgans Hotel Group, Google, Virgin, Target, Canon, Coca-Cola, UNICEF, Blue Apron, Hennessy, The New Museum, and The New York Times.
Durazzo said, “What a time to explore and apply all the new and ever-changing technologies we have at our disposal. With major advances in machine learning and neural networks, augmented realities and various immersive frameworks, it’s an exciting and ethical challenge to help shepherd our curious, talented teams of producers, creators and technologists as we develop integrated design systems for highly-crafted narrative and better user journeys—serving our clients and their clients’ enhanced human experience.”
Cronin and Durazzo succeed Niklas Lindström in the role he previously held as director of interactive production. Lindström departed the agency in June 2017 and is now a partner in the recently launched CALLEN, an independent creative agency in Austin, Texas, which has backing from Wieden+Kennedy.