MediaBeat: Nick Law on Why Traditional Agencies Need to Start From the Ground Up in Digital

By Matt Van Hoven 

In this third and final installment of our interview series with R/GA CCO Nick Law, the Australian born creative discusses creator’s block, how he ended up in advertising and most importantly why traditional agencies can’t hope to become digital.

“I didn’t get a degree,” he lamented. “I went to community college for two years and did graphic design.” Law said that although his career has morphed, he’s never wavered from it and always been happy doing it.

When asked how he deals with creative blockage, Law said, “I think creativity is a habit and anyone who expects that they’re going to get the kind of great ‘aha’ moment in the shower is sort of kidding themselves.”

He explains, “If creativity is a habit, it wires in a certain way to solve problems and this is one of the big problems in our industry; it’s really hard to change habits.”

Those thoughts flowed into our final topic: traditional agencies integrating digital capabilities. “It’s hard to retrain people,” said Law. “You almost need to get new people whose brains are wired in a certain way because of the habits they’ve established.”

Reading between the lines, Law is talking about the difficulty in going digital when you’re working with traditional (well, non-digital) professionals. Bottom line is, as you know, clean slates draw clearer pictures.

Part 1: R/GA CCO Nick Law Discusses the Lessons of 2009

Part 2: Nick Law on 2010 Trends

Media Beat is Mediabistro’s interview series with the movers and shakers of the media world. View all past episodes on YouTube.