How the story of an East End ‘Boxer’s Boxer’ shaped this creative London startup

How the story of an East End ‘Boxer’s Boxer’ shaped this creative London startup

After quietly opening a new creative store in January, last month You’re the Goods launched publicly, marking an entrepreneurial leap that founder and creative director Dom Goodman had been considering for years.

It’s a creative agency spun from a long-standing family philosophy that prioritises obsessive craft and an uncompromising dedication to quality above all else. Dom, who was most recently CCO at Above & Beyond, has built the new agency with managing partner Ngaio McCreadie, who Dom spent nearly a decade working closely with during his days at BBH London, and Darren Savage as strategy lead, who has similarly worked at big-name agencies from BBH to adam&eveDDB and Publicis London.

With founding clients including PAPAYA Games and wagamama, and a model that eschews an hourly rate for a value-based way of charging, the agency looks set to live up to its name, which was a catchphrase of Dom’s grandfather Tiny Bostock (pictured above). To hear this family story and how it has shaped the new venture, LBB’s Alex Reeves spoke to Dom.

LBB> What’s the story behind the name You’re the Goods?

Dom> Tiny Bostock, a famous boxer of the 1930s, came from Leek, Staffordshire. After his father died in the war, Tiny had to leave school at the age of 14 to support his family. He sold firewood and fought for money. Originally a choirboy at the local church, Tiny was trained to box by the priests. He was considered the boxer’s boxer, who, despite having over 200 professional fights, never broke his nose. After defeating his opponents, he would entertain the 30,000-strong crowd at Old Trafford in Manchester by chanting that he was “The Goods”. He was my grandfather.

At the height of his success he defeated Small Montana, the world champion, and lived in Bethnal Green in the home of his famous promoter, Jack Solomon, the character we believe Tom Hardy’s character was based on in ‘Peaky Blinders’.

Tiny ran 20 miles before breakfast and fought almost every 10 days, usually 15 rounds. He was relentless. He stressed the importance of dedication and raised our family with a philosophy of doing things right. Quality above all. Perfect your craft. Work hard. Train hard. Be the Good One.

Occasionally, he would honor family members by saying “You guys are awesome” if they demonstrated these important characteristics in their lives.

Launching in London in 2024, our collective creative, strategic and full-service production studio is built for the modern age. We draw from a dedicated group of senior talent focused entirely on storytelling, technology and craft, delivering streamlined value and moving at the speed of the economy. Our purpose is to connect audiences with brands in powerful ways.

Our customers, our team, our work — you are the best.

LBB> What projects from your career would you be most proud to show your grandfather?

Dom> While working on the Lucozade account and as a boxing fan, I suddenly realised that the incredible life story of Anthony Joshua, who Lucozade Sport had sponsored for some time, had never been told. I proactively wrote a script that distilled his story and presented it to the client. I explained that this story could be told by some of the other sponsors who supported AJ. Although there was no dedicated budget, the client was very supportive and enthusiastic and I was asked to present the script to AJ himself for his permission.

AJ was on holiday in Dubai with his friends before heading to the Klitschko fight camp at Wembley, and I was about to interrupt it to read his life story! Naturally, I was anxious about how unwelcome this intrusion might be. I couldn’t have been more wrong. AJ met me by the hotel pool with his manager, Freddie, and was incredibly warm and welcoming. He listened intently to the story. As my fears were allayed, it became clear that he was fully behind the project and even began suggesting music tracks to accompany the film.

The only thing he said a little more sternly was that this was the story of his life, so don’t screw it up! With great responsibility, I reassured him that the next phase was about doing justice to the idea and pouring it all into the thousand decisions needed to protect the art. Everything up to this point had been logical. Now it was time to hone the art and transform it from logic into magic.

After our meeting, AJ asked me what my plans were and if I wanted to join him and his friends at the water park. Dazed and excited, I agreed. Suddenly, I found myself sitting on a giant rubber tube about to plummet down a steep water slide, with 17-stone AJ sitting in front of me, clearly violating the ride’s weight restrictions. For the next 30 seconds, I remember screaming in a very high-pitched voice, which seemed to trigger the infamous boxer’s laugh. The fun didn’t stop there, as he generously invited me to join his team to race go-karts in the scorching Dubai heat. Thanks to my weight advantage, I managed to outrun them all, shouting, “Who’s the champ now?” Realizing that I had perhaps taken things too far, I calmed down over dinner and a burger.

From that point on, and with a limited budget, I poured my heart into this special project. AJ sent me a video message while I was at fight camp after reviewing the finished work. He absolutely crushed it. I literally fell to the floor wanting him to love it so badly. Five minutes later, he sent me another message, laughing his head off and saying, “I got you!” He was incredibly happy about it and was just joking with us as usual. He definitely got me. This project was something I felt a deep connection to, and I’d like to think Tiny would have said, “You’re the Good One, son. You’re the Good One.”

LBB> How does your experience as a creative influence the model you built for You’re the Goods?

Dom> As I progressed through various creative departments, I increasingly found myself in the peculiar situation of being told that I had used up the 10% of time allocated to a particular project. Surprised, I would ask who decided on that 10%, pointing out that quality suffers if my time is diluted due to cost constraints. I felt that clients were not getting the value they were promised, which left me increasingly dissatisfied. As a creative who passionately believes in the value of craft to elevate ideas, provoke emotion and create impact for brands, I felt this compromise was unacceptable.

At YTG, we operate under a different model. A value-based model. Where senior experienced talent can dedicate adequate time to a client’s business that is not based on an hourly rate.

We believe the fee-card model has devalued our industry’s ability to build and transform brands effectively. We operate within a framework where risk and reward are shared. Our approach involves high-level thinking and exceptional craftsmanship, with small, senior teams actively engaged in the work. This hands-on engagement leads to more successful and impactful results.

Above (left to right): Darren Savage, Strategy Lead; Dom Goldman, Founder and Chief Creative Officer; Ngaio McCreadie, Managing Partner

LBB> How do the mechanics of your value-based model work?

Dom> The advertising landscape has evolved from its pre-cool status. As society and individuals have changed, we need to adapt by offering new engagement and employment models that serve top talent, aligning with their lives and preferences.

Agency profit margins are so tight that efficiency is the key to profitability. This often means relying on junior staff for extended periods to maximize stability and justify contract lengths. Pay is tied to effort, with rewards reflecting output performance.

Clients are eagerly embracing the opportunity to diversify their brand partnerships. They are moving away from traditional, long-term, exclusive agreements in favor of assembling teams of specialized partners. These experts are often hired on a project-by-project basis to collaborate on specific tasks.

LBB> Why is this so important to you?

Dom> Protecting the quality of thought, craftsmanship, and effectiveness is crucial because it ensures that creative output is not only innovative, but also impactful and memorable. High-quality thinking drives insightful strategies, while exceptional craftsmanship brings those ideas to life in a way that resonates deeply with audiences. This combination leads to more effective branding and marketing efforts, ultimately achieving better results. Additionally, giving creative professionals the freedom and satisfaction to delve deeply into their work fosters a more passionate and engaged workforce. This not only improves the quality and depth of their thinking, but also leads to more inspired and effective solutions, generating greater success for brands and a more rewarding experience for the creatives involved.