Studio launches with global client roster and chief creative officer appointment of Sam Shepherd — the world’s most awarded creative
Uncommon — Europe’s fastest growing start-up in advertising history — officially announces its US studio opening in New York.
Uncommon is a creative studio building brands that people in the real world actually wish existed. Labeled as ‘the creative company for leaders and founders in a moment of change’ as well as launching their own brands.
Uncommon opens in New York already having worked across projects for some of America’s most renowned and creatively ambitious brands including Nike Jordan, Pinterest, H&M and most recently the new brand identity and global launch for EA SPORTS FC — coined as one of the biggest rebranding exercises in entertainment history by BBC News.
Uncommon also work with a variety of companies on their roster including British Airways, ITV, WWF, B&Q, International Olympics Committee and Formula E.
Off the back of being named Campaign’s coveted Creative Agency of the Year last year for the second year running in the UK, the studio went on to be awarded Ad Age’s International AOTY and were the only British studio listed as one of Fast Company’s Top 10 companies in Advertising globally.
Six years in, the studio continues to make awarded and stand-out work winning its first Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions for its groundbreaking campaign with British Airways.
Notably work also includes creating the most recognised mental health initiative in the UK with ITV, to creating a globally infamous free suit hire initiative for H&M — The One Second Suit, to help young men find work, to redefining what the Nike Jordan brand means today launching during the 23’ NBA All-Star Weekend through the eyes of an aspiring female baller.
The studio has always believed in creativity — applying its founding principles of building brands that matter — acts rather than advertising. The studio has built successfully portfolios across experience, CX, design and production — with Uncommon producing its first feature documentary with renowned director Andrew Dominik for Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ ‘This Much I Know To Be True’ premiering at Berlinale and SXSW and achieved critical acclaim including The Guardian’s Film of the Week as well as being listed in NME’s top films of the year.
Its second feature ‘In Camera’ is in the running for Best First Feature at the upcoming annual BFI London Film Festival.
Though the Studio was set up with a clear point of view and purpose, it also wanted to explore a new business model. Rather than just working for clients, if the studio saw a concept that deserved to exist, it would back it.
So far the studio has launched the world’s first fully compostable coffee capsule Halo Coffee, a sexual wellness brand SEX BRAND launching with the UK’s most sustainable condom and most recently Communion — a new money saving app on a mission to unlock the freedom associated with the act of saving.
Uncommon also invested in the purpose-driven accelerator Unrest — to support diverse and sustainable businesses. Since its launch two years ago, it has helped 47 startups, raising £7.2M with a total valuation of £110M.
Uncommon has hired Sam Shepherd as its CCO of its first US studio. Sam will be based in New York alongside a growing team to bolster its offering Stateside. Sam will report directly into Uncommon’s co-founder Nils Leonard working alongside Lucy Jameson and Natalie Graeme to help the studio continue to grow its presence in the US.
Sam is named the most awarded executive creative director in the world by D&AD, The One Club for Creativity, and The Clios. Sam is a two-time D&AD Black Pencil recipient, Emmy-nominee, and 12-time Grand Prix winner, over his career Sam has partnered with some of the world’s most innovative companies to build their brands and launch industry first ideas. Fluidly moving across every medium, Sam pioneers a new creative approach that blends strategy, technology, and data to fearlessly solve client’s toughest challenges.
Sam was recently behind the incredibly moving project: The Lost Class — which called for change in universal background checks legislation. The film showed a former NRA President David Keene give a graduation speech to 3,044 empty chairs, each representing a student who would have graduated if they hadn’t been killed by a gun.
Sam Shepherd, CCO at Uncommon New York said: “True creativity is not for the faint of heart. After meeting Nils, Natalie and Lucy you immediately understand why they were able to build the best shop in the world — they lack the fear gene. We share the same audacious spirit to go out and build the brands that people in the real world wish existed.”
The opportunity to tackle the briefs of our life-time for the best creative shop in the world is not something you turn down.I couldn’t be more excited and humbled to help build the next chapter of Uncommon Creative Studio in NYC.”
Nils Leonard, co-founder at Uncommon added: “Sam is such a rare talent. There is a depth, a mischief, a spirit of heist and a magic trick to Sam’s best thinking. He is at home making additive, important work and has a radar for emotion, fame and the new. We built Uncommon to answer the most influential and important briefs of our time, Sam is the leader to make the most of this incredible opportunity we have in the US.”