People

John Brash Founder & CEO

Brash is the result of John’s vision to establish a creative consultancy with a more personal and bespoke way of doing business. He founded Brash in May 2007 and has built a handpicked team of talent who share his vision.

John is not your typical CEO, but then Brash is not a typical brand consultancy. Everyday John and his team try and find creative and unconventional ways to help clients identify and realise opportunities for growth. A natural entrepreneur, John is tireless in his enthusiasm and curiosity. His optimistic nature, his genuine interest in clients and their business has played a significant role in cementing our strong reputation in the market. Brash is authentic and agile, our independence will enable us to stay ‘Brash’ and relevant.

“Brash is a people business. We do our best work with ambitious clients whose personal approach drives their business. People who are driven by a clear vision, on a genuine mission, and with strong values. People determined to make an impact. Just like us.”

Rose Hilhorst Group Special Projects Director

Rawan Darwish Managing Director

Rose Hilhorst Group Special Projects Director

Rose has worked in the industry for over 20 years. Early on in her career, while working for a large branding corporate in London, she got introduced to John, and something changed. Work became inspiring and fun again. In the years that followed, Rose and John have partnered intensively, creating memorable and iconic brands around the globe. They share a belief and energy that makes collaboration easy and intuitive. Since joining Brash in 2008, Rose has witnessed how the Brash spirit has positively touched and truly inspired many clients, colleagues and partners.

Rose is part of the Brash Group and responsible for shaping our business on a global scale, while preserving our unique attitude.

“There is an energy about Brash that is contagious. It’s incredibly exciting to work in the business of creation, shaping new experiences and realities every day. Working with a highly talented and passionate team that genuinely cares, makes all the difference – to our clients and the positive impact we achieve.”

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Rawan Darwish Managing Director

Rawan has led cross-industry programs with focus on large scale destinations, Government Programs, Financial Institutions and Luxury hospitality brands, calling on an eclectic variety of experience that started with her career in Banking & Finance to working with specialised multi-national brand consultancies.

With a professional career that spans the GCC, EMEA & APAC, she is able to bring unique insights across multiple industries. Through an international array of experience, Rawan brings a unique insight to branding – building distinct links between the brands themselves and the space in which they live. From sector developers to large-scale master planners, Rawan is adept in taking brands from conception to success – seamlessly overseeing large scale projects; managing complex stakeholder dynamics; and building long-term business partnerships.

Leading the company as Managing Director, Rawan continues to encourage the vertical growth of Brash’s regional offices and its products across the globe. 

“I am fortunate in my work, ensuring that Brash creates value for clients; innovative and tangible output that changes both market perspectives and customer’s lives.”

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Gary O’Kelly Creative Director

Charles Erasmus Head of Strategy

Gary O’Kelly Creative Director

Gary O’Kelly joined Brash in Dubai at the end of 2007 and has been responsible for creating some of the regions most recognised work.

Gary’s work stretches across multiple sectors such as real estate, telecoms, government, infrastructure, environment, finance, retail and hospitality. Gary can also pull from a tapestry of international experience, as he has worked on brands across the globe, including UK, Australia, USA, South Africa, India, China, Malaysia, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain and UAE.

As the Creative Director at Brash, Gary drives creative experiences, leading an energetic, dynamic team that is well versed in bringing ideas and strategic thinking to life. His passion for brands continue to create award winning work. Projects such as Burj Khalifa, Emaar, Etihad Rail, dnata, Averda, Gama Aviation, Kochi Metro and more recently ENOC and Dubai Police rebrands.

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Charles Erasmus Head of Strategy

Based in Dubai, Charles heads up our strategic offering. With over 20 years of experience, having started his career in South Africa as a designer and brand creative, Charles is now a successful senior brand consultant. With a First Class degree in Graphic Design, Charles harnesses his balance of analytical and creative skills to deliver strategy that inspires and influences action.

His strength lies in bridging the gap between deep strategic thinking, insight and analysis; and simple yet powerful articulations and creative executions.

Now, Charles is the Head of Strategy at Brash, and continues to instil upon his team the values that he has gained over an extensive career.

“Strategy should bring clarity to an organisation. It should be a simple game plan, giving people not only an intellectual, but also an instinctive understanding of where the brand is going and why.”

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Dan Kohn CREATIVE TECH DIRECTOR

Guillaume Cocken Client Director

Dan Kohn CREATIVE TECH DIRECTOR

Dan has over 15 years experience in VFX, technology and film and is helping to define the path we take as a business of creativity married with technology.

His diverse CV includes a 1st class honours degree in Artificial Intelligence, a career as a VFX artist and Directorships in several successful creative businesses. This experience gives him a unique understanding of how and when to use technology and film to create maximum impact.

Dan’s passion is to find better ways of telling stories and conveying emotion. He understands that technology should be used to serve content and enhance customer experiences and never simply for the ‘sake of it’. This broad width and depth of experience in technical and creative gives him a unique 360 view of clients projects.

“I’m fortunate that many clients come to Brash because they want to do something different. From a film and technology standpoint, it means we constantly get to explore new ideas and create exciting new work.”

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Guillaume Cocken Client Director

Whilst studying Visual Communication at university, Guillaume set-up an agency with two fellow students in the UK. They spotted a niche in the market; designing, producing and capturing content for the colourful nightlife of England’s second city.

After a year of design, business development and hands-on project management moved to an award winning creative agency. Where he worked across a number of sectors – from key automotive clients, such as Nissan and Infiniti, to luxury furniture company Gloster and Sealine yachts.

 After two years at an independent agency in Dubai, running the FIFA Club World Cup, AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and DP World Tour Championship (amongst others) Guillaume moved to Brash. He oversees the Client Advisory department, working closely with the Head of Strategy and Creative Director to change the way people perceive brands.

“It’s all about getting close enough to a client that you truly understand them, and their business needs. At Brash we work together with our clients to gather real insight and close understanding, helping build timeless brands.”

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