Good Rebels and the fun of travelling without GPS

Arturo Dorado

10 April 2024

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Being a rebel means challenging the established norms, fighting to do things in a different way from the traditional approach. This definition undoubtedly applies equally to the word creativity.

Because being creative is nothing more than practicing divergent thinking, exploring the less-travelled and almost always more enjoyable paths to reach your destination.

Ultimately, being creative is rebelling against the voice of the GPS (sorry, Karen Jacobsen).

Therefore, it’s not surprising that when someone first arrives at Good Rebels, it seems like the most creative place in the world. Because, if there’s one thing that characterises us, it’s the eagerness to do things our way.

Creativity is everywhere.

If you visit the offices of Good Rebels on any given Thursday, you might catch the CEO or any partner in the kitchen, slicing tortillas and spreading tomato on bread, side by side with the other designated chefs for the weekly breakfast. Can you think of a more creative internal communication strategy?

And if we talk about the four-day workweek, team self-management, unlimited holidays, or salary transparency, let me tell you; these all represent examples of a creative rebellion against the way things are done on the business highway.

Indeed, in no agency or company should creativity be exclusive to the creative department.

To illustrate this idea, there are several stories (whether true or legend) that have become like business mantras. Perhaps the most well-known is that of Colgate, which, thanks to the brilliant idea of making the hole in the toothpaste tube 0.5 mm larger, managed to increase its sales more than any campaign from the advertising department.

But the story of the courier company UPS, while less known, is in my opinion even more surprising.

In 1970, an engineer had an idea that today would be celebrated at all advertising creativity festivals: avoiding left turns in their delivery routes. Since then, UPS trucks avoid turning left whenever possible.
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It might seem that this only serves to take more turns and make the routes longer, but the reality is that, in countries where you drive on the right hand side of the road, left turns are slower and less efficient because you have to wait for oncoming traffic or a traffic light to allow you to turn.

Therefore, with this idea, that UPS engineer who didn’t consider himself creative at all, saved the company between $300 and $400 million annually on fuel costs.

A perfect example to help us understand that creativity is about much more than advertising.

There is no (advertising) creativity without strategy.

But if we want to talk about advertising creativity at Good Rebels, first we have to stop and refuel with strategy.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that advertising is a marketing tool, which means it should always be aimed at achieving specific business objectives. That’s why the best co-pilot for an advertising creative is always a planner.

Because creativity without strategy is reserved for art, where you have – quite literally – a blank canvas. But in advertising, there’s always a goal, a clear destination we need to reach. Yes, creatives are in the driver’s seat, but planners tell us the shortcuts, the dangerous curves in the road, and most importantly, the dead ends.

And a good briefing isn’t one that gives you total freedom; it’s one that sets limits and barriers that force you to seek other paths and truly think creatively to find a solution.

Okay, now we can continue.

So, what is advertising creativity like at Good Rebels?

Sometimes improvisation can be the best plan.

In a context where clients’ marketing channels, formats, and strategies are increasingly varied, fluid, and complex, the best way to offer them a good journey is to add a bit of jazz.

Because just like in jazz, in today’s advertising the most effective way to get applause is by improvising.

Don’t panic! Improvising doesn’t mean being lost, without a plan; it means going with the flow, thinking quickly, and having agile structures that allow you to change the rhythm at every step. Improvising means adapting to formats, influencers, trends, generations, and also budgets.

The butterfly and the bee.

But this isn’t just about formats. We should never forget that behind everything, there must always be a good idea. Using the most influential influencer in the world, creating another FOOH (Fear of Missing Out moment), or being the first to jump on the latest trend means nothing if you don’t do it with a good idea that solves the brief.

As Muhammad Ali said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

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We improvise to move quickly between formats and trends, allowing us to be prepared when the time comes to hit with our best ideas.

Creativity is nurtured by nurturing people.

But improvising isn’t easy. And it’s even harder in advertising. You need a lot of talent and a lot of know-how. You need experts in cultural trends, media, content creation, design, data, AI; you need art directors and copywriters capable of thinking, conceptualising, and executing great ideas. But, above all, you need these talented people to want to travel with you.

And that’s why, to conquer and retain talent, nothing beats an attractive corporate culture. A culture that makes everyone feel part of the project and cared for so that we can all care for our work in the same way.

Creating and maintaining a people-first philosophy is not only the basis for enhancing our creative department but also for fostering talent in every area of Good Rebels, offering 360º digital services with experts who are passionate both in their work and in the organisation they are working for.

And so our journey takes us back to Thursday breakfasts, the four-day workweek, work-life balance, and all those different things that make Good Rebels the starting point for so many professionals and clients.

If you want to learn more about our creativity, you can do so on the Good Rebels Creative website. And if you also want to try the best tortillas de patata, you can come see us at 6, Glorieta de Quevedo in Madrid.


Just don’t use GPS.