There are usually 20 people behind a “One-Man Army”
Everyone loves hearing a successful business story. A tweet that goes viral. A marketing campaign that defines an era. A brand slogan that becomes timeless.
A few times, these success stories can be attributed to a company or a group of people. More often, however, they are attributed to a single leadership figure. A ‘spokesperson’, if you will. These are the Heads of Marketing, CEOs, Creative Directors and PR ‘gurus’ of the world.
No one really talks about the junior account executive, software engineer, graphic designer, technical lead, web developer or PR assistant that sparked an initial conversation or came up with the foundation of what would eventually become a great idea. People often idolise leadership figures before really clarifying or validating the real source or inspiration behind their successful products, ideas, services or dialogue. It’s not to say that those leaders do not deserve any merit in influencing the outcome of a big idea — In today’s hyper-connected / freelance based / solo entrepreneur world, much of the content we see online could very well be the work of a single person — However, in the grand scheme of things (and particularly, the Advertising Agency industry), it is disappointing when just a central figure is put up in big, shiny lights and a long list of the other people involved are put as a mere footnote.
It’s about time credit was given to everyone that deserves it rather than a convenient selection of everyone that deserves it.
So how many people does it really take to create incredible things?
The Oreo ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet? — Over 15 people.
Apple’s ‘Macintosh’ — Over 30 people.
Nestle’s marketing team? — Over 60 people.
A big-budget Hollywood film? — Over 3000 people.
The next time you see a video being shared 2 million times or someone’s face on the cover of Time and proceed to automatically ‘like’ Mr or Mrs-Incredible-CEO’s Facebook page, stop to consider how many people were actually involved … and give them a thumbs up instead.