In 1995, Nicks directed commercials for Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Quiksilver, and Union Bay. His sense of direction coupled with his sense of humor garnered the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Award for "The World's Funniest Commercial" for his 1999 Ameritrade spot "Let's Light This Candle". Also in 1999, he was a nominee for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in television commercials.
Car culture, plastic surgery, and energetic excess were the subjects of his book, Kustom (printed in 2000 by Greybull Press). That same year, Nicks began directing the independent film Slackers. It starred Jason Schwartzman, Jaime King, Jason Segel, Devon Sawa, and Laura Prepon and was released in 2002.