Up & Comer: Hugh Brothers

Hugh Brothers

We give the mic to our future leaders to hear their thoughts on the industry. In this edition we chat with Hugh Brothers, a creative at TBWA.


What sparked your interest in the industry? How did you get into it?

 I mean, I had always gravitated towards creativity. However, writing a full novel seemed way too hard, my brushwork wasn’t hot enough to make masterpieces, and I didn’t fancy the idea of having no money.

Unfortunately as with all decision triangles, I had to pick one of those options. So I chose having no money, got a $30,000 student loan and ended up with an advertising internship.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on so far?

I had quite a bit of fun last year establishing brand platforms for not one, but two of our clients (2degrees ‘Fighting for Fair’ and Long White Vodka ‘This is Forever’).

The 2degrees work represents a huge leap for me in my career. I went from writing social content to collaborating with Pax, a young NZ comedian, to develop a truly unique tone of voice for the brand. 

I was also able to collaborate with an amazing director, Chris Searl, to create a music video for the launch of Long White Vodka’s new ‘This is Forever’ brand. It was a particularly special project because it all kind of started from watching ‘Racing’, the band we worked with, at Leigh Saw Mill. I had a few beers with them afterwards and 6 months later we’re putting this music video out there. It was one of those times where collaboration just kind of works.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Inspiration is a funny one. Some people will say you should consume everything you can until you’re so full of random inspo your eyes start to leak Pinterest boards down your cheeks. 

I’ve always figured that I get bombarded with enough stuff all the time that if I just take a minute to go inside myself and listen, chances are there is probably something good already sifting about waiting to be expressed.

Are there any misconceptions about the industry you’d like to see busted?

That all we do is swan in at 10 in the morning, look thoughtfully out the window for a bit then have a long lunch before getting on the beers every day. 

I think a lot of young creatives get into the industry expecting that because that’s what they’ve seen on TV. Then they end up freaking out when they realise how truly dedicated you need to be to succeed. 

What’s your favourite campaign from the last year (local or international)?

Spotify has been doing some really interesting stuff. I may be biased by how incredibly copy heavy they are but they’re entertaining, insightful, and backed by data. It’s the kind of stuff that writes itself and
just works hard. Plus their personalised
year in review on Instagram spawned some great memes. 

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve had to deal with in your role?

Self-consciousness and imposter syndrome. As a young creative you need to reconcile that, although talking to lots of people maybe that isn’t restricted to ‘young’ creatives. I think it is just something that you become hyper aware of instantly. 

 What will your role look like in 10 years’ time?

We’re seeing this trend of collaboration really explode and take off at the moment. Brand collaboration is no new thing, but the way the industry is going, and the way creatives are working at pace, the creative’s role in the future is going to move more and more towards one of curation. 

I think creatives will only gain from working closer with artists, directors, creators, producers, comedians and writers. We should appreciate that these are people who, like us, have dedicated their life to exploring a storytelling medium. If we collaborate, learn, and sometimes defer to them, the work can only get better.


This article was originally published in the March/April issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.

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