Creativity 50

Creativity 50 2014: Quinn Kilbury

Senior Brand Director, Heineken USA

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Quinn Kilbury
Quinn Kilbury

Quinn Kilbury led the successful "No Bollocks" campaign for Newcastle Brown Ale, which features lighthearted ribbing of conventional beer-selling ploys. And he helped the brand steal the Super Bowl without buying an expensive ad -- its digital spoof campaign included over-the-top teasers for the "mega football ad we didn't actually make." For one digital video starring Anna Kendrick, Newcastle says it did not pay for a single click -- all of the views came organically.

Mr. Kilbury has effectively zeroed in on Newcastle's target of witty beer drinkers with a risk-taking approach. And as much as possible, the brand avoided paying for pre-roll ads. "That makes a huge difference," Mr. Kilbury said. "It's not entertainment if its pre-roll. … Even if it's good, [people] start off being annoyed." Mr. Kilbury recently took his talents to the Heineken brand, for which he was named senior brand director in the U.S.

What is your definition of creativity? How would you describe your creative process?

Mr. Kilbury: Finding a new way to think about old ideas.

What is the biggest challenge of the "No Bollocks" campaign?

Mr. Kilbury: The budget. We have way more ideas than we have money to fund those ideas.

Advice for anyone to get out of a creative rut?

Mr. Kilbury: Spend an absurd amount of time figuring out a "one sentence" question that can a) change the game and b) only be answered through creativity. Then find the right people to answer it for you. An example would be the "If We Made It" brief; how do we hijack the conversation around the Super Bowl? That was the right question that unleashed a wave of creativity because it could only be answered correctly with a massively creative idea. You don't have to be the one who has all the answers, you just need to know the people who do.

Who is the funniest actor or actress you've worked with?

Mr. Kilbury: Anna. Kendrick. I would add that "funny" isn't doing her justice. Her smarts far outweigh her humor.

What is the secret to making a video go viral?

Mr. Kilbury: Make something more interesting than Kim Kardashian's butt and cute kittens. People will share that. Promise.

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