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Creativity Squared: Being Part of the Movement with Rodrigo Rodrigues

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Horizon FCB's executive creative director on 'The 456' scale, the importance of working together and the fun of the process

Creativity Squared: Being Part of the Movement with Rodrigo Rodrigues

Rodrigo Leal Rodrigues is Horizon FCB's executive creative director with over 20 years of experience in advertising.

Born and raised in Brazil, he has worked in some of the largest multinational agencies, such as Neogama BHH, Leo Burnett, Almap BBDO, MullenLowe, and FCB Brasil, where he was part of the team that helped become one of the most awarded agencies in Brazil in 2015.

Rodrigo moved to Dubai in 2016, where he became head of art and creative director at Leo Burnett, before moving to Horizon FCB as ECD in 2019, where he currently leads the creative team.


To be able to describe who I am it is essential to, first of all, understand that I am genuinely someone who is very proud of his trade. I graduated as an Architect back in 2001 but was quickly lured by the creative, exciting, and restless atmosphere of the advertising world.

I am a humanist who has never stopped dreaming of a world with more equality, that’s less greedy and more generous. I believe that Creativity is the most powerful tool to transform and move the world. 

To work in Communications places us in a privileged position to impact people´s values, beliefs, and behaviours. And when I say people I include those who are responsible for Brands and Corporations. 

Looking at all the technological developments in Communications, I believe there is no longer a place in this world for big Brands and Corporations without a Human Purpose. 

My ambition is to be part of this movement, to help my clients to communicate in a clear and creative way what they stand for and how they intend to walk the talk.  


What is the big Idea? It is new, fresh? Will it answer the objective? Will my mom like it?

These are the general criteria I have always used to judge my creative work. Lately, I have begun to use and implement 'The 456', a scale created by FCB.

The objective of this scale is to assign a score to each project, starting with ‘1, 2, and 3’ which varies on whether the brand will be harmed by the campaign or will go completely unnoticed. A better creative idea can reach the ‘456’, '4' which is provocative work, a '5' which creates behaviour, and finally '6' which is an idea that leaves a legacy.

This is an incredibly useful and intuitive system that allows us to judge our work and compare it to the scores of others from our network around the world.

It allows us to ask: is this provocative enough? Will it stand the test of time? It is a definitive way to help us build the type of relationships that will drive Brands, Corporations, and people to be aware, consider or transform the way they think about the advertised product/service?

What creative campaigns are your proudest of and why?

The campaign I'm most proud of is Nivea Doll;

It started as a product, a doll, made of ultraviolet-sensitive material that changes colour to red when exposed to the sun, to demonstrate to children the consequences of sun exposure without using sunscreen in a language they can understand.

The project was so successful that Nivea Doll was launched in other countries, such as Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Mexico, Philippines, and Japan.

Received several international awards. The main ones were nine Lions from the Cannes International Festival of Creativity (three Golds, three Silvers, and three Bronzes), competing in the Grand Prix Promo.


I like to start my projects working alone; it gives me time to introspect and create my own unique point of view. Then I share the work with the team to identify other perspectives.

I am a firm believer that working together increases your chances of creating something even bigger, better.

As a leader, I try to organise all the information in the best way possible and plan the path ahead, to ensure that the goals and objectives of the creative job are 100% aligned with the strategy and with the client. And never forget to try and make the process fun and exciting for the creative team.


I grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a family that placed great value and was actively engaged in culture and arts. 

My father, unquestionably the biggest influencer in my life, was born in Portugal. A lawyer, journalist, poet, and published author always had a deep commitment to supporting artists, musicians, and writers.

At the end of his life, he owned a small publishing house that edited the works of some of the best-known philosophers and poets.

My mother, a Ukrainian immigrant in Brazil, is also a very talented painter who influences and inspires me to this day.

So I was very fortunate to grow up in a house that had a constant stream of talented and inspiring people coming in and out from all realms of life: politicians, clergymen, businessmen, and of course, artists.

These influences taught me to always aim for high standards in my life. This is why in my career, one of the key criteria to select the places I wanted to work was the opportunity to be close to people I admire. 

This is what I believe helped me to hone my craft.

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Horizon FCB Dubai, Mon, 13 Sep 2021 15:23:07 GMT