• Cairo Ad School

Up close with Nick Law Exclusive to CAS Students

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

While attending Creative Summit / One Show Awards in New York, I met with Nick Law; Vice Chairman and Global Chief Creative officer at R/GA, one of the most awarded agencies in the world in Digital. I had a few words with him exclusively for Cairo Ad School. He was gracious enough to sit and talk with me, while busy preparing to his keynote in the summit. I had two questions in my mind looking for some answers specially from him!

Enas: So mainly we’re asking about 2 things, firstly; what are those things that are never change about advertisement making?

The second question is; we now teach our students what’s new in advertising, but when they graduate, what do they need to learn in order to catch up with any further changes?

Nick Law: Oh… Difficult questions!

The first one is related to being creative, I think. The advantage that the advertising industry has is having very creative people in it. And to be creative, I think there are three things that makes someone creative; it’s knowledge, they tend to be obsessive, they tend to work something over and over again and they have courage. Courage is very important, you need to take risks when you’re creative, otherwise you end up doing very dull work.

So I think that’s universal and that will always be the case. As a creative person, you have to know stuff, you need to be obsessed by it and you need to be brave. Obviously, what changed and what continues to change is more complicated.

And whether it’s…… the big question in this country right now is; will agencies survive?! Because there’s lots of pressure from consultancies, from big digital media companies, from clients building in-house teams. So I think the important thing to understand in advertising is that it’s very difficult to expect people to listen to you if you’re going to have something as interesting as they’re doing. So for 50 years, we’ve brought media to get in front of people to advertise.

However, now culture really lives in social, it lives in the stream.

And if anything is good in advertising now, it will find its way into social, whether it intends to be there or not, whether it’s designed to be in social or not. If it’s any good, it will pay attention to it. If it affects culture, it’s going to be in social.

So I think that’s the mindset now of creative in advertising. It’s not about how to write the perfect script that captures everything the client wants to say; I think it’s more about how to create something that someone will first look at then share. Because if they share it, then it becomes very effective. The most effective advertising is the advertising I get from you not from the company; right from your friends.

So I think that’s the basis of creative sifters, how they’re thinking about their audience and how they could communicate what the client want to say into the audience’s world.

Enasl: Yeah… their life!

Nick Law: Yes, that’s right. Yes…. Was that profound?

Enas: Perfect! Thank you and hope to see you again in the next year summit!.

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