It’s All About The Indies! Introducing B&T’s Best Of The Best Indie Executive Creative Leaders 🎉

It’s All About The Indies! Introducing B&T’s Best Of The Best Indie Executive Creative Leaders 🎉

Welcome back to B&T’s Best Of The Best! For this week’s entry, we’re looking at the executive leaders guiding the indie creative shops – not a holding-co in sight.

There are ten names on this list, but there are plenty more who just missed out. We’ve based this list on the agency’s success, the quality of work that they produce, how stable they are, and how they’re set for growth in challenging times. These lists are very subjective, and the gap between some of the placements is barely a hair’s breadth. Trust us, we took no joy in separating these leaders, but we had to.

10. Jules Hall, CEO, The Hallway

With a background in advertising and marketing spanning over two decades, Hall brings a wealth of experience to his leadership role. Known for his innovative approach to branding and storytelling, he has steered The Hallway to success by delivering impactful campaigns for a diverse range of clients. Under his guidance, the agency has earned recognition for its creativity and effectiveness in the industry, solidifying Hall’s reputation as a visionary leader in the advertising world.

As a repeat B&T awards winner, The Hallway has had a successful year. Last June, the independent agency secured the Anytime Fitness creative account. Earlier this year, it also secured B-Corp certification.

9. Dan Beaumont, CEO, The Royals

With an extensive background in marketing and advertising, Beaumont brings a strategic and creative vision to his role. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a knack for developing innovative campaigns that resonate with audiences and drive results for clients. Under his leadership, The Royals have earned a reputation for their bold and unconventional approach to branding and storytelling, earning numerous accolades and industry recognition – The Royals recently topped the AFR as the best place to work in the media and marketing industry recently topped the AFR as the best place to work in the media and marketing industry. Beaumont’s commitment to pushing boundaries and delivering impactful work has solidified The Royals’ position as a standout player in the competitive advertising world.

8. Nick Hunter, CEO, Paper Moose

Hunter is a dynamic and visionary leader known for his innovative content creation and storytelling approach. With a background in film production and a passion for creativity, Nick has propelled Paper Moose to the forefront of the digital media landscape. He is celebrated for his ability to blend cutting-edge technology with compelling narrative, producing content that resonates with audiences across various platforms. Under his leadership, Paper Moose has become synonymous with high-quality productions that engage and inspire. Nick’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to pushing creative boundaries have earned the agency numerous awards and accolades, solidifying its reputation as a leader in the industry.

With a keen eye for emerging trends and a dedication to excellence, Nick continues to steer Paper Moose towards new heights of success in the ever-evolving media landscape. The last year has been huge for the agency, with wins in the Mitsubishi Electric and Real Insurance accounts, among others.

7. Aden Hepburn, CEO, Akcelo

Aden Hepburn, CEO of Akcelo, is a dynamic and visionary leader at the forefront of digital innovation and marketing excellence. With a wealth of experience in the industry and a passion for leveraging technology to drive business growth, Aden has positioned Akcelo as a trailblazer in the digital marketing landscape. Known for his strategic foresight and creative ingenuity, he has led the agency to develop cutting-edge strategies and campaigns that consistently exceed client expectations. Under his leadership, Akcelo has earned a reputation for delivering measurable results and driving meaningful impact for brands across diverse sectors.

Aden’s commitment to pushing boundaries and relentless pursuit of excellence drives Akcelo’s success, making it a trusted partner for brands looking to thrive in the digital age. The agency recently won the creative account for SPC Global and Red Bull.

6. Jasmin Bedir, CEO, Innocean

Jasmin Bedir, CEO of Innocean, is a forward-thinking executive renowned for her strategic leadership and innovative approach to advertising and marketing. With a diverse background in the industry, Jasmin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role. She is celebrated for her ability to envision and execute groundbreaking campaigns that captivate audiences and drive business results. Under her guidance, Innocean has emerged as a powerhouse in the advertising world, known for its creativity, authenticity, and impact.

Jasmin’s passion for pushing boundaries and her commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive work culture has solidified her reputation as a visionary leader. Her dedication to excellence and unwavering focus on delivering exceptional client service continues to propel Innocean to new heights of success. This year, the work Innocean has done for White Ribbon has made massive waves in the industry, exposing the enormity of the violence against women epidemic in Australia.

5. Jaimes Leggett, Founding Partner, Today The Brave

Known for driving success at the helm of some of the world’s most iconic agencies across the UK and Australia, Jaimes founded Today the Brave in late 2022. His ability to inspire teams and drive commercial and creative success for brands has seen Today the Brave storm onto the scene.

In the short 18-months since launch, the agency has attracted clients including Carnival Cruise Line, News Corp, HOYTS, the University of Sydney, TRUE NORTH and MECCA, while also tripling its headcount and introducing integrated media and PR capabilities. The agency was also honoured at the 2023 B&T Awards as the Emerging Agency of the Year.

Through a combination of big-picture thinking, entrepreneurial pedigree, and proven leadership, Jaimes is driving Today the Brave’s ambitious growth, using his superpower of making the complex simple.

4. Micah Walker, Founder/CCO, Bear Meets Eagle On Fire

With a background steeped in creativity and a passion for narrative, Walker has established Bear Meets Eagle on Fire as a beacon of innovation and authenticity. His unique ability to blend storytelling with strategic insight has led to the creation of compelling campaigns that resonate deeply with audiences.

Under his leadership, Bear Meets Eagle on Fire has earned a reputation for pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, delivering impactful experiences that leave a lasting impression. The agency had a massive year, being awarded the Telstra creative account alongside other agencies. Micah’s unwavering commitment to creativity and entrepreneurial spirit drives the agency forward, shaping the future of advertising one captivating story at a time.

3. Chris Howatson, CEO, Howatson+Co

Howatson is a dynamic and visionary leader known for his strategic acumen and innovative approach to marketing and communications. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Chris brings a unique blend of creativity and business savvy to his role. He is recognised for his ability to inspire teams, cultivate strong client relationships, and drive results-driven campaigns.

Howatson+Co has flourished, earning a reputation for delivering cutting-edge solutions that resonate with clients and consumers. The agency has had a big year, acquiring indie agency Akkomplice and creating several game-changing campaigns for good.

Chris is not only a leader in his field but also a mentor and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the industry. His passion for driving positive change and his relentless pursuit of excellence make him a driving force in marketing and communications.

2. Lindsey Evans, CEO and Partner, Special Group

Evans embodies the spirit of innovation and creative excellence in the advertising world. With a visionary approach to marketing and a deep understanding of consumer behaviour, Lindsey has built Special Group into a powerhouse of creativity and strategic thinking. As a leader, she fosters collaboration and fearlessness, empowering her team to push boundaries and challenge the status quo.

Under her guidance, Special Group has garnered acclaim for its groundbreaking campaigns that captivate audiences and drive results for clients—including winning its third Grand Prix at the 2023 B&T Awards. Lindsey’s entrepreneurial spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence have established Special Group as a leader in the industry, shaping the future of advertising through bold ideas and impactful storytelling.

1. Margie Reid, CEO, Thinkerbell

Reid is a dynamic and visionary leader known for her strategic thinking and creative prowess in advertising. With a wealth of experience spanning various agency roles, Margie brings a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape and consumer behaviour to her leadership.

Thinkerbell has had another huge year, winning several B&T awards and the Hort Innovation account. The grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development business is behind Australia’s $16+ billion horticulture industry, with a portfolio that includes Australian Apples, avocados, cherries, mangoes, and mushrooms.

Reid is celebrated for cultivating a culture of innovation and collaboration, empowering her team to push the boundaries of creativity and deliver impactful campaigns that resonate with audiences. Margie’s leadership has propelled Thinkerbell to the forefront of the industry, earning accolades for its bold and disruptive approach to marketing. Her passion for driving change, coupled with her unwavering commitment to excellence, inspires both her team and clients alike and is shaping the future of advertising in exciting and transformative ways.

And that is why Reid is the Best of the Best.




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