Who Will Caretake Your Brand Narrative?

Nick Law, executive creative director at R/GA, spoke to Ad Age Digital recently. He had some rather interesting things to say about the rise of content and the importance of a well-constructed brand narrative.

Ad Age Digital: That said, do you see R/GA moving more into that territory and doing the things ad agencies do? Such as TV spots?
Mr. Law: We’ve already done a little. The question is whether those narratives should be 30 seconds long or appear on TV or elsewhere; that’s a question about the way consumers are consuming media. We’re less interested in format and more interested in content, which is the way the industry is going. We don’t start with a list of media or channels that need to be ticked off. It’s different from a traditional agency starting with a TV spot and print ads.
Ad Age Digital: Just about every kind of agency is converging on the interactive world, where R/GA has been a top player for years. How to see R/GA keep that leadership role?
Mr. Law: A key difference is that traditional ad agencies don’t have technology in-house and a lot of our creative ideas come from tech people. We create applications to make people’s lives easier. You often can’t define it as advertising and you might not even define it as marketing. That stuff isn’t even in the minds of traditional agencies. Where we’re better than interactive agencies is that we know how to tell stories in an emotional way and build experiences. There are a few interactive agencies that have tried to dip into that narrative space with some pretty mediocre results.

For more on this subject see Digital Aboriginal, a book by Mikela and Philip Tarlow.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.