2 Minutes With ... Chris Beresford-Hill, CCO of TBWA\Chiat\Day NY

Creative adventures from Foot Locker to Mountain Dew

Chris Beresford-Hill is chief creative officer of TBWA\Chiat\Day NY, where he oversees the agency's creative output and has led a resurgence at the office, creating top-notch, cultural relevant work since joining the agency in October 2017.

Prior to Chiat, Chris spent more than seven years at BBDO New York, following earlier stints at Saatchi & Saatchi, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Modernista. Past highlights include creating the Foot Locker Approved campaign, Guinness "Wheelchair Basketball," and Emerald Nuts "Robert Goulet," which Time magazine chose as its No. 1 Super Bowl ad of the decade. 

We spent two minutes with Chris to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.


Chris, tell us ...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up mostly in White Plains, New York, but we moved around a lot, so it's hard to pin down. Today I live in downtown Manhattan.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

There wasn't one thing in particular, but once I decided on advertising I never changed my mind.

How you discovered you were creative.

I was a very shy kid, so I spent a lot of time occupying myself by drawing and writing. From as early as I can remember, the adults around me would make a point to tell me I was creative.

A person you idolized creatively growing up.

Roald Dahl.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

During senior year, my father resigned as principal of my high school, and there was a lot of drama around it. When I walked to get my diploma, I continued right off the stage, hugged my dad in the audience, and continued straight out of the gymnasium, into my car, and drove away.

Your favorite visual artist.

Anyone who reminds me who I am.

Your favorite fictional character.

Pip from Great Expectations.

The best book you've read lately.

Meditations by Emperor Marcus Aurelius, for a little grounding.

Your favorite movie.

Groundhog Day. Not because it feels timely, but because it's absolutely perfect. 

Your favorite Instagram follow.

@vicbergeriv

How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally, in recent months.

Every day I show up and try to do right by the work, the job and the people. When this is over, I am certain I will be the beneficiary of currently unknown lessons and perspective. For now I'm just keeping on keeping on.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on.

The Foot Locker Approved campaign, which I created with Dan Lucey at BBDO. We used athletes in a new way, and practically every execution became part of sports culture. 

Your favorite creative project from the past year.

"Here's Mountain Dew Zero!" marked the TBWA\Chiat\Day NY's return to the Super Bowl, after a long absence. We could have taken the safe bet, with a traditional gag and punchline, but instead we went absurdist, and committed hard.

MTN DEW Zero Sugar, As Good As The Original
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.

As we come up on the anniversary of 9/11, I am reminded of when Gerry Graf and Bryan Buckley did something that made me laugh, which was not easy to do at that moment in history.

Citizens Against Terrorism | Tourists
Someone else's creative project that you've been impressed by lately.

I like to enjoy the whole discography, instead of just the singles. These days I spin a lot of Adam & Eve and D5 London.

Your main strength as a creative person.

I have my best creative ideas in the moment, often while talking to a client. 

Your weakness or blind spot.

I'm impatient. Sometimes I move too fast. 

One thing that always makes you happy.

Knowing I'm not in this alone, I have amazing partners. 

One thing that always makes you sad.

How I feel about myself after eating too many meatballs. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I'm a very all-in person. There was never a backup plan. 

2 Minutes With is our weekly interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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