9th July 2024

The recipe for agency swagger

Natalie Graeme on building an agency brand and getting better briefs

Episode 10

Natalie Graeme

Founder, Uncommon Creative Studio

In seven short years, Uncommon Creative Studio has gone from launch to the very top of the advertising world. Alongside the reputation, the awards and of course the work, their deal with Havas now gives them the scale to go truly global. 

So how can a newly minted agency achieve so much success so quickly? To find out, we sat down with one of Uncommon’s founders, Natalie Graeme. 

Starting with Uncommon’s origin story, Natalie unpacks just how deliberately she, Lucy and Nils have authored the agency’s story – from why it exists, who they aspire to work with, and how this impacts the kinds of briefs their clients bring them. 

She also speaks to what made her want to start a different kind of agency; one with a broader skill-set than many ‘advertising’ agencies, and the freedom to protect talent from the kind of unimaginative briefs that lead to uninspiring work. 

If you run an agency that aspires to work with open-minded clients on consistently interesting briefs, then there’s a lot to learn here. 


[02.15] Uncommon’s origin story. 

[06.10] Understanding your agency’s place in the world. 

[08.40] There’s more than one way to answer a business problem. 

[14.35] Being upfront with clients about fit. 

[19.55] How brands can cut-through in today’s world.

[25.00] Valuing talent by cutting out the ‘faff fat’. 

[28.45] AI, creativity and justifying a premium.

[34.00] How agency founders can cultivate innovation.

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