Colin Kinsella: Drawing on locale for his ingenuity

With previous work stops affording him the opportunity to travel to London, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Colin Kinsella has seen most of the world during his career in marketing and advertising.

But according to him, no comparison can be made to his job location — San Francisco — where he works for Avenue A Razorfish as the president of the company’s West Coast region.

“There’s nothing quite like the Bay Area,” said Kinsella, who originally hails from St. Louis. “It’s certainly one of the most dynamic areas in the country. Industries always seem like they’re a step ahead out here. It very much feels like an epicenter.”

Kinsella said the surrounding environment infuses ingenuity into Avenue A Razorfish, which bills itself as the largest interactive digital marketing firm in the country.

“Every firm is going to say it’s innovative,” said Kinsella, who works at the company’s 165-person office on Townsend Street. “But there has to be real authenticity when a company says that, especially in this area, because it’s such a competitive field here.”

After 20 years in the industry — first working at the traditional advertising firm Foote, Cone and Belding, and then with online marketer Quinstreet — Kinsella joined Avenue A Razorfish in 2004 as the general manager of the California offices. He was promoted in March 2007 to West Coast region president, where he oversees operations of the Avenue A Razorfish companies in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.

Avenue A Razorfish’s clients include Visa, Singapore Airlines and Ancestry.com. Kinsella helps the firm design brand management and marketing campaigns for the digital world, including operations in media channels sich as video, mobile phones and podcasts.

According to Kinsella, the company holds quarterly “Idea Labs,” at which 40 to 50 employees consult with one another to come up with new digital-marketing campaigns. The group that comes up with the best idea, as voted on by consensus, then has 90 days to fully foment their creation.

“We’re always on the outlook for more creativity,” said Kinsella, who completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Dayton before receiving his MBA from the University of Chicago.

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