Take a look at your high school yearbook. I dare you. It’s embarrassing to think about how we used to think.

How could we possible have… thought that was cool… dressed like that… worn our hair like that?

In my not-so-effortless transition from thinking that programming a radio station was about 1) playing cool songs I like, and 2) evaluating talent on the basis of “he’s got a good voice and runs a tight board,” to embracing things like strategy, branding, and actually mattering to people, one of the first books I came across was Al Reis and Jack Trout’s “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” (Do yourself a favor and read it.)

One of the concepts shared was “The Law of Sacrifice.”

You have to give up something in order to get something. Sacrificing means clarifying your position and becoming authentic.

Budweiser’s latest campaign is brilliant. What are they sacrificing? They are sacrificing running ads in the Super Bowl.


“The thing about America is we can do anything. We can turn rooftops into mountaintops. We can turn boundaries into common ground. We can turn solitude into closeness. And screen time into playtime. …And together let’s turn our strength into hope. For the first time in 37 years Budweiser will not air a Super Bowl ad, instead we’ll be redirecting our advertising dollars to raise awareness for COVID-19 vaccinations.”

While communicating that your station is positive/encouraging/uplifting/and great fun at parties is clearly a good thing, sharing what you’re not doing may be a better way to fit into the context of the lives of listeners. If real people feel that the world is becoming increasingly negative, that media is consumed with gossip, and that bickering and name calling permeate social media, then maybe what you don’t do is what matters most.

“A thing cannot exist without its opposite. This is why a positive statement – without its corresponding negative – is usually a platitude.”

Roy Williams