CB Q&A with Today the Brave: “We’ve all come together because we are hungry, focused, driven and entrepreneurial. That’s our thing.”

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CB Q&A with Today the Brave: “We’ve all come together because we are hungry, focused, driven and entrepreneurial. That’s our thing.”

(Pictured L-R: Jaimes Leggett, founding partner, Jade Manning, creative partner, Vince Osmond, creative partner)

A little over a year after Today the Brave swung open the doors of its Haymarket office, founding partner Jaimes Leggett and creative partners Jade Manning and Vince Osmond sit down with Campaign Brief.


Born from the belief that bravery drives growth through measured, meaningful, and definitive action, the agency’s founding principle that brave work can change the world stands firm 12-months in. Having already built up an impressive roster of household-name clients including News Corp, the University of Sydney, HOYTS, Zambrero and MECCA – to name a few – the trio reflect on how they intend to maintain their tight-knit and engaged culture, ensure they stay true to their founding principles and keep pushing creative boundaries amid their rapid growth.

Campaign Brief: If I was a CMO in your boardroom, how would you sell Today the Brave’s proposition?

Jaimes Leggett: At its simplest, clients come to us because they want growth. In order to drive growth – they need to do things differently; doing things differently requires creativity, and creativity requires bravery. It’s important to be clear that bravery is not in the intent to do something, it’s in the action of doing it. Today the Brave is a creative agency that is oriented towards driving growth for businesses with an appetite for bold, measured and meaningful work.

Propositionally, our superpower is big brand platforms. Creating big brand platforms that are pervasive through the entirety of a business so that everything adds up to something greater than the sum of its parts.

Today the Brave is a lean, mean, fighting machine. All of our people are the best at what they do, having worked in the best agencies around the world when they were in their prime. We’ve all come together because we are hungry, focused, driven and entrepreneurial. That’s our thing.

Jade Manning: Ultimately, clients are looking for more people who want to be closer to the work. They don’t need 20 people on their business, with the majority of them sitting on the sidelines. They want people in the room who are actually touching and growing their business.

Vince Osmond: Clients are now looking for more talented, senior people who understand and care about their business problems – they want less bureaucracy, layers and egos, because that just gets in the way of the work.

CB: How do you maintain growth without sacrificing your proposition? 

Vince: Part of this answer lies in the philosophy of the people who have started the agency, right? We wanted people in senior positions who want to be part of the work, not at arm’s length. If you have people who are passionate about the work, and like to be involved in the work, then scaling is not an issue. It’s why our hiring policy is so meticulous – when you invite people with the same passion and values, those people are then empowered to make decisions.

Jade: I think that’s a great answer. The worst thing that could happen is if we just hired downwards. Then in a couple of years time, we’ve basically created what we’ve all moved away from – pushed further away from the work and the ability to shape it.

Jaimes: So actually, the ability to scale is predicated on our ability to hire really amazing people who want to be close to the work. Because as our business gets bigger, we’ll be surrounded by other people like us; a team who think, feel and want to do the same stuff as us.

CB: You aren’t the first agency to tout ‘brave’. How is ‘brave’ different at TTB?

Jade: Sure, ‘brave’ is not a new concept. It’s something that every single creative person strives for. However, the word ‘brave’ has often been misconstrued as ‘reckless’, ‘brazen’ and at worst ‘naive’. We’re reclaiming it. Brave is a calculated step forward. It sits as a core belief and within our agency proposition. It’s not just what we strive for, it’s what we begin with.

Jaimes: Absolutely. ‘Brave’ is definitely not bravado. Bravado is unplanned and disconnected from the business problem. Bravado doesn’t move the brand forward. We’re not in the business of bravado. We’re in the business of Brave; measured, deliberate and impactful creative work that drives growth.

Vince: We spend time with our clients talking about their brave, and what it means for them specifically – it’s not always the bonkers, or the silly thing that’s brave. For some, it might be small, incremental changes that still have big results for the business.

CB: You say Brave is different for all of your clients; can you explain?

Jaimes: HOYTS is a good example. They came to us with a product attribute brief to highlight their reclining seats. Through a strategic journey, we got them to a place where they recognised that they needed to be the leader of the cinema category. HOYTS had the option to take a leadership position and own the magic and wonder of cinema, as opposed to trying to find one point of difference in the experience. Ultimately, they chose the brave option.

Vince: News Corp was interesting too. Historically, they’ve run different campaigns across each of the mastheads. But the reality is that while the audiences are different for each of those mastheads, the role that those mastheads play in the audience lives is the same. Their brave step was to consolidate those campaigns into one master brand campaign all into one broad creative platform, in “Get a read on today”. Regardless of whether you’re in Brisbane, Sydney or wherever, it all was under the same umbrella. Whenever you saw a news publication, you understood the value that the publication was bringing.

Jade: With Zambrero, we went through a process of research and workshops, and collectively we recognised that we needed to start talking to a completely different audience. Shifting that focus from one audience to another has had quite a profound impact on everything, from their tone of voice, brand identity and overarching platform.

CB: A huge part of creating a new agency is the culture. How did Today the Brave’s culture come to be?

Jade: Through a very deliberate and painstaking process around hires. When you’re a small agency, every single hire has a massive impact on the culture. So being really stringent around who you’re bringing into the agency with a talent-led point of view, but more importantly, from a personality and value standpoint. If you are talented, have the same values and you care about the same thing, it’s a recipe for a powerful culture.

Vince: Yeah I agree. I don’t think you can preemptively write down what you want an agency’s culture to be. But, you can have a pretty clear view on what your values are, and then hire people who you think will exude those values. Then, culture manifests organically.

Jaimes: Absolutely. Culture is not something that exists in a deck. It’s not something you say. It’s something you live and breathe.

CB: What is the ambition for the agency?

Jade: Simply put, we want to be the agency that everyone wants to be a part of.

Jaimes: We want Today the Brave to be the best place you’ve worked. In order to do that, it needs to be a place with great work, great opportunity and culture to match.

CB: A year in, what have been Today the Brave’s biggest challenges / benefits?

Jade: Hiring has been the biggest challenge. Without a doubt. We put an incredible amount of emphasis on finding the right people – it’s painstaking and time consuming. But the scrutiny also means that we get it right more often than not – and that’s super rewarding.

Vince: In terms of benefits, I’d say it’s the speed at which we move – we make decisions faster which means we get things done faster. It’s in our name – Today the Brave. We can all sit together and we can get to outcomes a lot quicker. That’s not only beneficial for the business, it’s beneficial for our clients and rubs off on the work as well.

Jaimes: The greatest upside to launching has been the proof in the pudding. Work is so much more fun and you can’t help but think, what a shame we didn’t do it earlier. It’s been even more rewarding than I thought it would be.

CB: This time next year, where do you see Today the Brave?

Jaimes: I want to see Today the Brave as pumped and as enthusiastic about the future as we are now. And, of course, a little more settled in our ways of working. But I see the agency growing a broader canvas of opportunity for our clients, our portfolio of work, and continuing to be proud of what we created.

CB Q&A with Today the Brave: “We’ve all come together because we are hungry, focused, driven and entrepreneurial. That’s our thing.” CB Q&A with Today the Brave: “We’ve all come together because we are hungry, focused, driven and entrepreneurial. That’s our thing.”