Ballantine’s has launched its new campaign themed ‘There’s No Wrong Way.’ This campaign will be carried by its new ambassadors for the Cameroon market – Ko-C, Mimie and DJ Labastille. When we look away from the marketing statement that it is and try to look at how this statement plays out in the real world, it begs for some deeper level of reflection and understanding.
Is it just a fancy combination of words or truly, there is no wrong way to go about anything?
Cameroonian youths are becoming decreasingly dependent on the government. Quite frankly, there a few formal, well-paid jobs and the government can only disguise employment so much with the number of people it swallows every year into the public service. For a while, many had been scared to step out and dare to be their own man but with the advent of the internet, the scales have been falling off faster than one would say jack. Even those of earlier generations who once had as creed, the idea that it was appointed for man to school, get a government job and rock it until 65, are now convinced the center itself can no longer hold. How apt, Achebe.
But even with the turn of events, many remain scared to let out their creativity and talent. Even the greats like Bob Marley were never shy to admit that they felt most liberated when performing their art. This ability to fully express oneself remains a vital key in opening life’s multiple doors to self-actualisation, success and many other good things. Like supernatural energy, it is shared and absorbed more efficiently when suggested by a person who understands too well the mantra.
That being said, perhaps the real issues will revolve around the fear of failure – as we, humans, naturally have a penchant for wondering what people will think about us failing -, and the propensity to wait to have all the tools we need to go before we start going.
“There’s No Wrong Way” comes in to challenge these notions. If we look at our music industry for example and walk back to 2010 and 2011, to take a look at the music videos that came out of Buea, it would have been hard to imagine the growth that will be reflected today in what we currently see on TV and on the internet. Those guys started out with nothing; some with phone cameras. All they did was apply a certain amount of ingenuity and creativity and they learned to wing it along the way. Today they are what they are and who they are. You know them.
The truth is, as much as we generally love to praise and highlight humble beginnings, even someone who was given a top-of-the-line camera at the same time would have had to go through the same learning curve and would have had to learn to apply a certain amount of creativity and ingenuity to make something that would be visually appealing and praised. That is the part of the rags-to-riches story that we don’t really talk much about.
This means that the two people who had a phone camera and a top-of-the-line camera to start, and did not apply themselves every day to learn, would end up lagging behind anyway. And these are the rags-to-rags stories we pretend not to know about.
There’s No Wrong Way tells us that the focus should not be on the tool but the person. On the person’s ability to learn, to develop, to make mistakes and learn from them, to put whatever tool they have at their disposal to use, and to slowly move up to the next step and become better and certainly get better tools in the process. Above all else, it urges us to start first. Ballantine’s campaign suggests that there is no wrong way to self-expression and creativity. It fosters the idea that it is through self-expression and originality that youths can attain and express their full potential.
There truly is no wrong way to do it. So long as you aren’t selling puppies, of course.
By Wandji Wilfred & Giyo Ndzi