The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Uncommon …

A few weeks ago, I met Nils Leonard, one of the founders of Uncommon.

While I had definitely encountered his agencies work before, I had not encountered him.

I wish I hadn’t.

Not because he’s an arrogant dick.

Not because he cares more about money than creativity.

Not even because he has let all his success go to his head.

But because he’s good.

As in really good.

Not just in his talent – which is obvious – but as a person.

He’s a charming, smart, funny and – wonderfully – self depreciating.

He has built, arguably, the most exciting agency in London right now and yet the prick is still generous, open, passionate and welcoming.

I have achieved 0.2% of what he has and I’m a miserable, egotistical dick …

Hell, even my partner-in-crime, Mr Weigel, fell under Nils spell … which means he’s either a witch, a hypnotist or just one of those absolutely talented wankers who you are genuinely happy for the success they are achieving because they’re building and earning it the right way.

With the work.

That said, I’ve heard there are some in the industry who hate him.

As in really, really hate him.

I can only assume they’re jealous about what he [and Lucy and Natalie] have created and are creating and – more importantly – how they’re actually going about doing it …

I don’t blame them, I want to hate him too … and while I could focus on the fact his laugh is a bit like David Brent’s and I’m not as keen on their Guardian work as most of their other stuff [though, to be fair, it’s more the line than the work]… the fact is, there are people you meet in this life – and I’ve been fortunate to have met and worked with a few – where you realise all their achievements aren’t because they’re political, self-publisiising, manipulative, ego-driven, cold and calulated assholes, but because they’re extremely talented and hard-working in a way that means they were always destined to exist at a different altitude to the rest of us.

No wonder he called them Uncommon.


29 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You must have forgotten what a dickish genius I am too.

Comment by paul macfarlane

I don’t know who you are Nils but if you’re reading this, run away as fast as you can. Dan Wieden fell for it and he’s never been the same since and I barely survived. There’s praise there’s praise you don’t want. This is it, even if it comes from someone who normally hates everyone and everything.

Comment by Bazza


Comment by DH

I don’t know much about Uncommon, they’re not mentioned much over here, but they seem to be doing things right. I really like their ITV spot. I had not seen that before. It has been a while since an agency created genuine buzz about themselves and to impress you Rob is quite the feat. Not because you hate everyone and everything as Baz mischievously claimed, but because you have worked with the best and made some of the best, so can spot great from 1000 paces. Congratulations Nils and Uncommon.

Comment by George


Have you forgotten what it was like to work with him?
Have you read this blog for the past 10+ years?

Comment by Bazza

Yes. And it has always about an expectation for others to do the right thing not the easy thing. Call it encouraging judgement.

Comment by George

“I have achieved 0.2% of what he has and I’m a miserable, egotistical dick”

I’ll just leave that there.

Comment by Bazza

Thanks George for trying to defend my honour.
Thanks Baz for how much you enjoy not doing that. Ha.

Comment by Rob

You have always given praise when it is due. You have also been quick to apologise when you have been wrong. That is better than most and I am sure those who have worked with you or along side you will agree.

As for Nils. I don’t know him but I know his work and while some is not to my taste, it is pragmatic, crafted and full of personality. No wonder Robert is so full of praise.

Comment by Lee Hill

george. lee. quit with the niceness, it makes me fucking sick.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re never nice about anyone. Who are you? Sell out.

Comment by Billy Whizz


Comment by Bazza

This sort of praise from Rob is like winning an Oscar, Nobel and Pulitzer all at once. I had to make do with an occasional free lunch from him.

Comment by Pete

And I put that on expenses.

Comment by Rob

On brand.

Comment by Pete

at my fucking expense. as per fucking usual.

Comment by andy@cynic

Better value for money.

Comment by Rob

If you only read the comments, you’d swear this post was either about stalking some poor guy called Nils who works at a company called Uncommon or my anger and judgement issues. Which really are your issues with my anger and judgment. Ha.

Comment by Rob


Comment by DH

Oh the diversity.

Comment by John

Reading this makes me even more grateful for getting you guys together at Upload. Even if it meant letting my phone with Nils only to find out he had sent you two a dreadful email. At least it wasn’t a dick pick of the Spanish guy!

Comment by Daniel

fuck me campbell, this is the equivalent of some prick writing “will you marry me” in rose petals on the fucking sidewalk. have you got no shame? lets hope nils has some fucking sense because the easiest way to turn uncommon into common as fucking muck is to hire you. bellend.

Comment by andy@cynic

I would have thought you’d want someone else to suffer like you did. You know … make it fair for them all, hahaha.

Comment by Rob

no one will feel the fucking pain youve put me through campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

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