This is for those of us who never really talk about what we work on.
There are those who do. And rightly so.
“I’m working on Nike”.
Good for you. Really. Those who can say, deserve to.
They’ve done the 52-hour days. Slept under desks. Eaten their millionth stale boardroom sandwich at sunrise. Suffered repeat rejections in front of whole departments.
Yep. All that.
But here’s a thing.
So too have the people who slave over brands the world has yet to see.
Let’s never forget that making a brand famous is harder work than keeping it there.
All mighty brands were tiny once. Apple started in a homebrew computer club. Nike was born on a running track at Oregon university. A Mr. Heineken borrowed money from his mum to buy an abandoned brew-house in 1864. And a Mr. Branson used to drive a vanload of vinyl down to Cornwall once a week.
Imagine the graft, tears, grit and bleary eyes that took them from there. Not just in garages and granny’s spare bedroom. But in agency back-rooms far and wide.
That in mind, maybe the ultimate accolade should go the growers, not the show-ers.
So, here’s to the hidden ones.
The grafters. The after-hours soldiers. The unseen heroes. The solitary anglepoises in the unlit corners. The planners, writers, art directors and designers who pass days, nights and marriages turning brands we don’t know into giants we will. They’re not fond of prima donnas. And they have no respect for the clock.
You can question their thinking, scrutinise their efforts, re-brief and re-review, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push brands forward. And while some feel they’re the hidden ones, they should all be worshiped.
Because the people who many agencies hide away are the ones who make them shine.