Publicis Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law is understandably invested in supporting the importance of all things creative during a time when data and analytics increasingly encroach on its turf.
Law spoke one on one with MediaPost following his opening keynote at Monday's Cannes Lions Festival to further discuss the importance of one universal agency team and the challenges of free work.
“The reality is that in a world where the product of creativity needs to change dramatically — keep up with changing media, evolve at the speed of culture, and have any impact whatsoever — it’s the creatives who need to take the lead in designing the companies we work for,” he says. “There is a destructive disconnect today where creative agencies have separated themselves from the context and delivery. Creative works when it understands the environment, builds new capabilities and creates value through connection.”
"Even a finger in sand is technology," says Law. "When I come up with an idea, it is dependent on the medium for the execution," pointing out the impossibility of drawing an intricate design on the beach.
Law admits this reunification will be challenging, particularly when clients have two different holding companies servicing their accounts. "They must find common ground," he said, adding the industry is dependent on evolving -- or else it won't survive.
But while he believes data and analytics need to work alongside creative talent, Law’s involvement with the newly acquired Epsilon remains minimal at this time. He will increase his role as the deal progresses through Publicis' integration process, he says.
As the industry explores other alternatives, Law understands the embrace of in-house shops believing "creative talent is everywhere these days."
Law is opposed to the school of thought where agencies charge clients 15% to place its media budget and essentially offer creative as a free add-on. This theory is widely believed to be a key driver behind Accenture Interactive's acquisition of Droga5.
Law is an avid fan of creative regardless of source.
The most eye-catching designs across Instagram Stories are developed by a mom in California or a teen in India "fluent" in that medium, says Law, adding he has hired people he's admired from afar. Great designs aren't coming from Madison Avenue, instead they keep developing "bloody anthem films with tag lines."
"Our world is defined by the Internet, which is a connective machine," he says.
The Internet and the need to capture consumer attention have forced agencies to forget the craftsmanship required to turn a concept into a good idea. "We need to stop doing stunts and start building capabilities."