R/GA EVPs Barry Wacksman and Nick Law chatted with AOL's David Shing during Advertising Week about "the next nine years" in the advertising industry.
Law, who is R/GA's Chief Creative Officer for North America, said that one of the big changes facing the industry is around the types of talent that agencies are looking for, and that Madison Avenue needs to channel Silicon Valley in order to succeed.
"It's definitely about talent, but it's about a different blend of talent than historically we've been going after," he said. "Which makes it difficult, because you have to assess and buy talen that we're not used to, as an industry. I've always said that we're at a place where Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley need to hold hands, and all the ways you look for talent in Silicon Valley are very different than how you look for talent on Madison Avenue. So it's a little more complicated than it used to be, just beacuse we're looking for more variations and more diversity in talent."
Wacksman, the agency's Chief Growth Officer, said that the 21st century poses new growth challenges for brands and for agencies.
"We're obsessed with growth, not for just ourselves but how our clients grow," he said. "A lot of what we think about is what it takes to grow in the 21st century. I think it's pretty well-understood about how big brands grew in the 20th century, but we think that that cycle of growth has largely run its course and a new one has emerged in the 21st century. I think maybe we're the first agency that's really identified it, and so the work that we need to do as partners to these clients to help them grow is very different from what was required in the 20th century."
But Law cautioned that the answers to questions around the future of the industry will not -- and cannot -- come from the industry alone.
"We don't just look at the advertising industry," he said. "I think that's one of the mistakes of any industry is to get hermetically sealed and look at itself for reference...We try to look at the trends, how people are consuming media and how media is being used differently now, not just as a way to communicate but to enable behaviors and services and things like that."