No apologies, no excuses for media industry

By Cathy Colliver

Courier-Journal Media, USA Today Network

Louisville, Kentucky, USA


A year ago I wrote about the overlap of two of my favourite things: storytelling and bourbon. I broke down why a seemingly well-known brand like Wild Turkey would want to reinvigorate marketing efforts with brand storytelling by partnering up with Matthew McConaughey.

It has been interesting to see the new Wild Turkey story evolve over time. At the core, the concept is to tell the brand story authentically. A vehicle throughout the campaign has been the tag “It’ll Find You,” and the company has told a variety of stories teasing out the ways its bourbon-making process and the experience fit into this.

The most recent effort is an ad that builds upon the story by returning to the basic concept Wild Turkey and McConaughey started out with in the original short film “Real Bourbon, No Apologies.” They’re not trying to be overly fancy or flashy — they’re just “singing their song” about what they do best.

No apologies

As I took in the latest Wild Turkey + McConaughey ad, I kept coming back to No Apologies.

News media companies often feel as if they are carrying a huge load of baggage related to their historical formats, as well as marketing efforts on both the consumer and B2B sides of the house.

A big push for digital focus has been the predominant theme for news media marketing in the past decade, as everyone adapted to digital first. At times, this came across as almost apologetic for having a history rooted in more traditional formats like print, radio, and television.

It’s time to stop avoiding our history, and start talking about real news. No apologies.

No excuses

In a similar vein, when it comes to innovation, there can be a feeling of hesitancy due to wanting to manage risk. However, given the unrelenting changes in the news media industry, there can be no apologies and no excuses about the need to innovate and change.

We cannot afford excuses that bar the industry from evolving.

Impossible is nothing

Whenever I’m met with apologies or excuses in the professional realm, I think about my favourite quote from Muhammad Ali, who was also from my hometown of Louisville:

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.

Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.

Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.

Impossible is potential.

Impossible is temporary.

Impossible is nothing.

When faced with apologies for who we have been and who we are …

When excuses fly around about why we can’t afford to change A, B, or C …

When someone says we can’t do X, Y, or Z because it’s impossible …

… it’s important to remind ourselves that impossible is potential.

About Cathy Colliver

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