2 Minutes With ... Gil Muinos, ECD at Colle McVoy

On his oddly exciting and gratifying work with the sleep apnea treatment, Inspire

Gil Muinos is currently ECD at Colle McVoy in Minneapolis. He has more than 15 years of experience working with both challenger and iconic brands like Jordan, Nike Sportswear, Google, Xbox, Red Bull, Quaker Oats and Porsche. Before joining Colle McVoy in 2022, he was group creative director at Best Buy, where he developed full-service creative campaigns for the Best Buy brand, as well as Samsung, Intel and Oculus (Meta) brand initiatives. Miami born and raised, he's put down roots in the Midwest after spending four years in San Francisco. 

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

Gil, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I was born and raised in a part of Miami, Florida called Westchester (pronounced Wes-ches-teh in Spanglish) and currently live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Long story but I met a great girl from here and never left. Love it here. 

How you first realized you were creative.

I paid my way through Miami Ad School (MAS) by working as a bill collector. I cold-called people and tried convincing them to pay old bills they had no intention of paying. I had to quickly read people, figure out how to connect with them, come up with a pitch for the idea of paying the debt, and accept a lot of rejection. I learned a ton about people and what makes them tick. I was good at it.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Sheldon Clay—he's on my Mt. Rushmore of copywriters.

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

Miami people in Minneapolis are very rare. One night while at the University of Minnesota, I ran into an old friend from Miami who was working in Minneapolis as an art director. She told me about MAS and how awesome advertising is. Fast forward 19 years and here I am writing this.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Stephen Malkmus of Pavement—smart, well-written lyrics, comfortable in his own skin, lowkey, great music.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I recently listened to Cal Newport's book Deep Work for the second time. It's fascinating and inspires listeners to do something I feel we all need more of: digital minimalism. It's crazy how the "always-on, hyper-active hive mind" way we work is counter to how our brains are wired to do cognitive work.

Your favorite fictional character.

I don't know that I have one in particular, but I have two little girls and Joy from Inside Out is currently a fave. Genius movie and she's a great reminder of what's important.

Someone or something worth following in social media.

@OnlyInDade—a wild user-gen aggregator of all things Miami. I peep it when I get homesick. But at the same time, it has a way of constantly affirming my decision to live up in Minneapolis.

Project Farm on YouTube—the single best and most comprehensive product reviews on the internet for random DIYer, homeowner and garage stuff. Looking for the best stud finder? Project Farm's got you.

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

Personally: It's given me so much perspective; everything is fragile—how we work, how we live, institutions, the global economy, and life itself. It's staggering that 1M+ Americans and counting have died of Covid. So sad.

Professionally: I think we are all just trying to figure out the post-pandemic world and that brings so much opportunity. I think we are in a wide open, new golden age.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

I've been lucky and worked on great brands, but surprisingly, it's the complete branding of a sleep apnea treatment called Inspire that is my favorite. It's a small, niche medical device brand, which isn't sexy at all, but it turned out to be one my most gratifying professional experiences to date. We built it from the brand up, from strategy, identity and creative. I partnered with Carly Beetsch, Justin Davis and Tony Jorgenson, and our client, Martin Abrams, which is the best I've ever worked with so far. We pitched an idea that was wildly outside of what they and anyone in the category was doing. The Inspire team saw the potential, trusted us and the work, and went for it. The shift from behaving like a med/pharma brand to a consumer brand has been really successful

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

The old Emerald Nuts work is very legit.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Art director, designer and artist Christopher Berry. He's recently launched codex nonsensica where he's put his art and illustrations up for the world to see and they are incredible. I really admire his boundless creative talent and smarts. Oh, and he's a fantastic human to boot.

Your main strength as a creative person.

I bring passion to my work.

Your biggest weakness.

When I overthink.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Besides my wife and kids, it's mowing my grass—a thick lawn, sharp mower blades, an audio book, warm weather and a cold beer. It's a very simple and gratifying combination.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Monday creative reviews—there is no more surefire way to guarantee people will have to work over the weekend than to schedule a Monday review or presentation.

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

Making sandwiches. My dad worked in kitchens after coming over from Cuba. He would always tell me he loved it because of the immediate satisfaction of watching someone enjoy his food. I'd try to do that but with sandwiches. I'm pretty good at making 'em.

2 Minutes With is our regular 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.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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