What is Collective Power ?

His name was Leonardo. He was born around Vinci in 1452. It is said he knew everything there was to know. It is said he could do anything there was to do, from baking fabulous bread, drawing the Vitruvian Man, to conceptualizing flying machines, solar power and the automated bobbin winder. He was stellar in astronomy, anatomy, mathematics, hydrodynamics, optics, geology, geography, civil engineering, tribology and physics. It is said he could do a trick or two with a brush and paint…

He was a polymath, a Renaissance man. A man who could do anything he wanted, who knew all there was to know. When he passed away, on that sunny May 2nd in 1519 in his beloved Chateau du Clos Lucré, it was the end of an era. The last complete polymath was no more.

Since then, no human has been able to study, know and master it all. Knowledge, trades and skills boomed and bloomed like poppies on a sunny battlefield. This continues today. Humanity is at the epoch of exponential change. Never before have science, technology and sociology been rattled so long and so hard. In the last 150 years alone, we have gone from the Wright brothers’ hesitant first airplane at Kitty Hawk, Neil Armstrong’s first firm step on the moondust at Tranquility Base to the first robotic vehicle exiting our solar system and adventuring in interstellar space.

A mere seventy years ago, the first TVs entered a handful of US households, going global and full color a decade later. Thirty years later internet jumped from its use in the military and academic world to linking civilians together in a world wide web.

Facebook, launched in 2003, now flirts with 3 billion users 19 years later. It took TikTok less than 5 years to produce 1 billion active monthly users. Of the last 30 people we hired here at Mediabrands, 21 have a job description that did
not exist only a decade ago.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Confucius said true wisdom is found in knowing what you don’t know. Here at Mediabrands we are surfing on the waves of change, dipping our hair and toes in the salty water of turmoil and new possibilities. We discovered the hard way, but in time, that the era of “Renaissance Agencies” has been and gone. No agency can do or know it all. Even caressing the shadow of the illusion is ridiculous. Our core trade, communications and media grew too large, too deep, too fast for an individual or an agency to pretend to know it all.

From Agency to (Super)Organism

That is why we gave in, gave up, and became a true group rather than a random collection of agencies. In biology, an organism is an organic, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells. Mediabrands is a superorganism, a holobiont made up of powerful cells without which we are nothing, and none of those cells can thrive on their own. Each cell specializes in becoming an A-player in its trade, and the power of all the cells combined is thrilling and makes us one of the trailblazing market leaders.

We have five client-facing agencies and just as many internal business units. That makes us a powerful hive. Mediabrands is 10 business units, close to 200 people, 300 clients, €250,000,000 billings and thousands of campaigns each year.

We are 14,000 kilos of organic body cells. Stack us on top of each other and we reach a whopping 40 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower. We combine close to 17 centuries of experience. We can converse in a dozen languages and curse in a dozen more. Our combined EQs and IQs generate enough energy to propel a red convertible car in an orbit around Alpha Centauri. Twice.

United Powers

We have generalists, specialists, analysts, conversationalists, futurists, data aficionados, fashion savvy-ists, mathematicians, strategists, coders, tacticians, cultural velociraptors, well-being coaches, psychologists, digital anthropologists, a movie director, historians and the best receptionist this side of Saturn. We have left brainers, right brainers, combined brainers, and some outrageous bizarre brainers.

We take care of clients, husbands, wives, spouses, ex-spouses, children (we’ve fathered and mothered a medium-sized school), dogs, rabbits, cats, fish, tarantulas, guinea pigs, plants, a chameleon and some
scary snakes. We are good in TV, in radio, in Chinese food, photography, high-speed driving, economic modelling, OOH, trading, finance, football, karaoke, digital media, Italian cooking, horse riding, off-roading, knitting, programmatic, culture, history, data, planning, strategy, partying, social media, performance marketing, content, yoga, stand-up comedy, IT, dreaming things up and making things happen.

We draw our power from the amazing skills of every single Mediabrandie. We are all for one, and one for all. We exist only for and through them.

In this book, we want to highlight who we are, by putting some of us in the spotlight. We are a bit shy, a little uncomfortable, and very excited…. we hope you love reading it and encourage you to reach out to us via TheCollectivePower@mediabrands.com. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Welcome to Mediabrands.
Welcome to the Hive.