One small step – One giant leap

One Small Step Collective

50 years ago, Neil Armstrong took what is perhaps the most significant ‘one small step’ ever taken in mans history, and for One Small Step Collective (OSSC), it’s continued to inspire their work every day since.

50 years ago, Neil Armstrong took what is perhaps the most significant ‘one small step’ ever taken in mans history, and for One Small Step Collective (OSSC), it’s continued to inspire their work every day since. 

Operating for 6 years now and working with over 30 clients, collaboration is still cemented into everything OSSC does, so they wanted to reflect on this step, and take a moment to recognise the importance of the event that inspired the agency’s name.  

When John Williams and James Procter first started the agency in 2013, they made it very clear that they were here to do things differently. In fact, they believed they needed to, to them there wasn’t another option. 

The agency model in its essence was broken and had remained the same since the about the 40s, so together they took the step into building what they believed was the answer- a data led, adaptive, bespoke, collaborative model – existing at the intersection between clients, consultancies and agencies. 

“We feel exceptionally proud now that 6 years after talking about this, the industry is moving further into the space every day” says James, co-founder and Creative Director.  

While it’s hard to believe that the operation of landing a man on the moon was achieved with less computing power than the smartphones we hold in our hands today, a big part of the success can be put down to clear and powerful goal setting.

“We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people… We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.” 

September 12, 1962 President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy, delivered the speech that inspired people to make something never done before, happen, and a little less than 7 years later, it did. 

“Thinking about the challenges they faced, and the mission in its entirety, is incredibly inspiring for me, and really thought provoking” says John, Co-founder and Managing Director.  

While James and John don’t compare the work they do to landing a man on the moon, they do like to learn from what the past can teach us, and celebrate the anniversary of the event that helped them name the data-led creative agency. 

“In reality, the name of our business is based on dealing with one of the most complex projects of the 19th century. We now apply that same philosophy to dealing with interesting and complex brand and commercial issues.” explains John. 

Yes, the three astronauts Neil, Buzz and Michael are the most recognised of the Apollo 11 mission but what we need to remember are the 400,000 minds behind the entire operation.  Each of those individual minds contributed and collaborated to make what was considered impossible, possible. 

Even today, after 50 years of achieving one of history’s biggest milestones, NASA continues to evolve, allow space for change, and bring in people from different disciplines and skills to continue their unprecedented innovation. 

When asked what his number one piece of marketing advice would be, James explained that “change and adaptation should be at the centre of everything you do. Always allow for change, because it will never stop being constant.” 

“Brands that have the ability to move and change, they are the ones who will take a bigger share of the future.” 

John from the other side, responded with “I think my greatest piece of advice is – data is core to any success for any modern brand. Not data for the sake of data, it should be used as stimulus to drive strategy and creativity.”

Happy anniversary.