The Power of “And”

When I was growing up, my favorite movie was the “The Karate Kid.”

It’s the inspiring tale of young Daniel Larusso, displaced and distraught when his mother relocates from New Jersey to sunny California, who then meets an old karate master (who happens to work in his building, and to be adept at bonsai tree-trimming, and to know how to fix a bike when needed) and, through a lot of waxing floors and painting fences, finds the courage and skills he needs to win the girl of his dreams. This was, for me, the idyllic tale of success: one boy, facing impossible odds, with a wise mentor and the strength he needs to overcome them.

The problem is that a lot of us are still living our lives – and leading our organizations – that way. We strive to be the end-all, be-all of whatever it is that we do, a self-contained unit of greatness. It’s a noble pursuit, built on our passion and vision to make a real impact and discover lasting success.

But in an increasingly complex world, your brand, your organization, your dream… can’t afford to go it alone. You need more than great coaches; you need capable partners. You need “and.” And so do we.

At OX, on one level, we’ve always believed in “and.” When we started, we were an agency built on partnering with brands doing good in the world, working with them to refine and amplify their very worthwhile messages.

You + OX.

 

This was our heartbeat from the beginning.

In the decade that’s elapsed since our start, we’ve seen the power of an incredible cause paired with world-class creative. We’ve traveled the world telling the stories of causes and brands doing incredible good in the world. We’ve seen our work connect with millions of people and raise billions of dollars. It’s even been mentioned by the President of the United States.

And along the way, we’ve made some incredible friends, brands, NGO’s, churches, artists, and beyond, all of whom are doing incredible work in the world, which has led to a very interesting question: What if our friends… got to know each other? What kind of good would happen then?

That’s why, in recent days, we’ve started dreaming about a new kind of “and.”

Lately, we get excited about the collaborative potential that exists when our favorite brands and causes come together to create landmark campaigns that do more good for more people than ever before – and more than they could have done on their own.

Our world needs us, all of us, to dream of bigger stories than the ones we can write by ourselves. As artists, we’re grown to trust the seemingly limitless potential that creative collaboration fosters. We’ve seen time and time again how much better our work gets when we bring in someone who can do what we simply can’t.

But what if that truth applies more fundamentally, more broadly than we might have initially imagined? What if brands bring something that causes need, and vice versa? We think that this is more than a “what if?” – we think it’s essential.

 As we embrace the beautiful reality that we each, as organizations or as individuals, exist for a specific purpose, we also inevitably must accept that we don’t exist for every purpose. In so many words, we need each other, and that’s a good thing.

So we welcome the new dawn of an era when brands and causes, faith and government, creatives and analysts and beyond accept that collaborative inevitability with open arms. We’re committed to being a bridge, a facilitator of all sorts of new, surprising collaborations that break through whatever barriers we may have once presumed.

As we do, we can’t wait to see what’s on the other side of “and.”

 

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