Cannes Lions Special: Hire the best people in the business and let them do their job : Quinn Kilbury

Brands must give the agency a big goal and creative freedom. When the agency feels it doesn't have the complete faith and trust of the brand, it will bring safe ideas, says Quinn Kilbury, Brand Director Newcastle at Heineken USA

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Jun 19, 2014 9:55 AM
Cannes Lions Special: Hire the best people in the business and let them do their job : Quinn Kilbury

Quinn Kilbury, Brand Director Newcastle at Heineken USA talks about giving creative freedom to agencies in order to gain big ideas, offering the millenials relevant and engaging content, being among inspiring creative minds at Cannes and more in a conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra. Below are the edited excerpts.

As a client how do you think the gap between agencies and clients can be bridged or decreased?

The onus should be on the client, because if the agency is not doing their job you should get a different agency. Half my career was at the agency side so I have a pretty good understanding of that side. If I am the agency I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with a client wherein I am not allowed to do my best work.

You need to be audacious, have big ideas, your goals need to be big from a brand side. Our goal around the Super Bowl was to hijack the conversation around Super Bowl which is the largest you can get in terms of scale.

Asking our agency to hijack the conversation is a really big ask, and they pushed back at first and said we can’t do this in the budget you are giving us, but once we gave them permission to fail, they came up with huge ideas.
When the agency doesn’t feel it has the complete faith and trust of the brand it will bring safe ideas.
As a brand you must remember  not to be over descriptive , you need to give the agency a  big goal but a lot of freedom, Droga 5 is our creative agency and incredibly creative, Why would I work with them If I didn’t want their best ?
My motto is ‘Hire the best people in the business and let them do their job.’
My job is just to give the agency the objective, clear any obstacles that come in the way and let them do their job.
In Cannes this week you can see so many talented people,  but you don’t often see enough creative work, because for whatever reason agencies and clients are not seeing eye to eye.

How does Heineken as a brand talk to millennial as a target audience, given the nature of the brand , certain parameters/ restrictions need to be kept in mind while advertising / communicating ?

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, a powerful creative idea is a powerful creative idea and if I take our campaign ‘No Bollocks’ it basically means, we are going to give it straight (the way it is). This is true with all millennials. They know when you are messing with them, it maybe a US based campaign but it is relevant to all the markets.  From a communication perspective while talking to millennials you need to find a way to get in there daily routine. For me that routine is mobile, mobile is the truth around the globe, mobile is where the world is going. If you can figure out the right away to engage your consumer at the right time on their mobile phones, with interesting and relevant content, you can get the message across.

On Cannes 2014

It is a very important week for Heineken globally; we feel as a company, creativity is at the heart of growing brands and making connections with consumers. Cannes is an incredibly important place to Heineken, it is a barometer of your creativity breaking through and for me personally I love to see the other work. We get so stuck in our day to day routines, and live the brand literally 24 hours a day, being able to be here with other creative people and see all the best practises is absolutely great.

I am also hopeful we win some awards. We are nominated in 28 categories, I have been on campaigns that have won before with big teams, this year it is a little more personal.

What is the overlying theme/ conversation around Cannes 2014 in your view?

Creativity always has to be at the centre, you can have the best programmatic media in the world, but if you don’t have something compelling to share, no one is going to see it, you will just pay for it and everyone will ignore it.

I think Cannes this year is about the intersection between the great creative idea and great ways to get the idea out.

There are so many ways to get your idea out now, for me it is mirroring data to get your idea out, using data to make sure the right people see our content.

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