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Melding technological prowess with creative intuition proved a boon for
R/GA in 2007. The New York-based digital shop reaped several major
awards, including Creativity's Interactive Agency of the Year honor, thanks
to innovative campaigns like Verizon's Action Hero and of course, the
Cyber Grand Prix-winning Nike+. "The reason Nike+ did so well was
because it isn't really like advertising or marketing; it's more like a new
product and that product becomes a platform for marketing," reflects chief
creative office Nick Law (seen left). "When you go back to the site and
look at your running stuff, connect with people and issue challenges,
you're in the middle of a Nike experience. The challenge for us with Nike+
was to make sure it worked not just for technical people, but to wipe our
minds blank and make it really simple for a consumer coming in for the
first time. Creatively, we learned that you could build an emotional brand
without telling a story." As for the next storytelling frontier, "I think[it's]
mobility," says Global CCO Greenberg. "We call it '3D marketing' because
we are acquiring that part of the business. It's not just the right time but
the right place. It throws this whole new element of being contextual and
conversant and integrating with physical space." Mobile is going to
become huge, says Law, "which will affect the work we do because it's a lot
more personal device. It's less tolerant of interruption and marketers need
to figure out how to be useful or entertaining. You have to fit into people's
nomadic habits so there are a whole lot more dimensions to consider. That
could really shake up the industry."
Law, on how the shift to mobile will influence the agency: "R/GA's reinvented
itself pretty much every nine years since 1977. If you look back at
where we started, which was film titles and special effects and where we
are now, they are very different things. Part of our DNA and our culture is
this integration and collaboration between technology and design and creativity
and science. I don't expect that to change."