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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  Mighty Mighty You Are Not Alone

Mighty Mighty You Are Not Alone

Posted on July 9, 2012 and read 3,415 times

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Cam Ferrin Mighty Mighty You Are Not AloneCameron Ferrin
Creative Brand Manager / Masters Candidate 2013
VCU Brandcenter

This week marked a monumental half-way-there point for me. A date that I was sure wouldn’t come for some time, if ever. After what felt like months of interviewing, preparing, and not sleeping with anticipation I finally arrived at the front gates of The Coca-Cola Company. Bright-eyed and dead serious about posting up under a Freestyle machine (if you’re unfamiliar with this glorious contraption, Google it immediately), I had no doubts the summer would be epic. I was joined by two classmates from the VCU Brandcenter to make up the first-ever class of creative strategy interns within Coca-Cola’s esteemed Content Excellence group.

An honor that in our minds carries not only great opportunity but also serious responsibility.

As a part of the team that oversees all creative advertising content for Coca-Cola’s global markets, my teammates and I fabricated worst case scenarios, should we butcher some element of advertising the world’s biggest brand. Even a slight ripple could escalate into a tidal wave of destruction by the time it reached all 206 countries in which Coca-Cola does business. Or so we told ourselves. And here we stand at that monumental half-way point, four weeks into our eight week internship, having managed to do no harm. In fact, I may even argue we’ve had a positive impact on the work. Needless to say we’re excited about that.

Although we have managed to survive four weeks in one of the most creative, forward thinking marketing organizations in the world, that isn’t to say we are without fault. In fact, all three of us have had a number of small missteps from which we have focused on gleaning some sort of lesson. Some of these learnings were very profound. Others less so. Perhaps the most surprising insight that has manifested itself this summer actually has little to do with advertising. Or even Coca-Cola. It has taken us four weeks, but we have finally managed to put our finger on a feeling that we were collectively unable to describe.

Each of us relocated to Atlanta for the summer. We are close friends but live separately. We have many more friends from the Brandcenter that have dispersed for similar engagements during the summer months, mostly congregating in the big advertising cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. And while we have been welcomed with open arms at Coca-Cola and find our kinship with distant friends still very much intact, there was an overwhelming feeling of loneliness experienced by each of us. In the middle of one of the biggest cities in the country. Surrounded by people. Yet we still managed to feel alone.

To be clear, this wasn’t a sad, depressing alone. More like an unmet need to feel a part of something. To be included. A longing to exchange friendly encouragement and camaraderie. Not surprisingly, further exploration revealed masses of people experiencing the same feelings every day – the desire to be celebrated. And while we initially considered this an isolated incident, it became evident that something could be done to bring more happiness to more people.

During the course of the past four weeks, we have come to realize that while we may feel somewhat alone, that really isn’t the case at all. In fact, there are arguably millions of people out there rooting for us. All of us. A population of people far greater than those that make up our immediate social circles. And while many of those people are total strangers, that doesn’t diminish the idea that the world is filled with great human beings. Fantastic even. People that want to see each other collectively succeed.

What is really a shame, however, is how infrequently the effort is exerted to remind each other of this. How rarely one person reaches out to another to offer some kindly inspiration or encouragement. To let a stranger know “Hey, whatever it is you’re taking on… I’ve got your back.” From this insight Mighty Mighty You was born. A project aimed at creating a place where people could go to both give and receive encouragement whenever needed. Somewhere that could act as a platform for friendly encouragement for people all over the world. But much like real life, the message loses its power without the participation of real people. We are what will make this project great. We have brought Mighty Mighty You to life, but its voice is dependent on all of us collectively.

This week represented the midpoint of my summer internship at Coca-Cola. While it was a notable landmark in the context of my summer, it’s certainly not the only, or most important, destination I’ll reach. Even this summer. Because this week also marks the beginning of an era for me. A shift in the way I will view the people around me. I now recognize that people everywhere fight hard battles.

And I want to be sure they know they’re not fighting alone.

  • Rob Baral

    Check out this TED talk…one of my favorites.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so impressed by this idea. Like all great ones, it’s rooted in a simple truth that can be articulated, well, infinitely. Keep going, y’all (that’s the Dixie-tinged message). There are tons of folks who can benefit from MMY. Kudos.




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