Unthinkable Media's Approach
Jay Acunzo founded Unthinkable Media to create better, more resonant shows about the working world. We experience our work with the full range of human emotion, from fun and funny to serious and sappy and everything in between. So why does every B2B show, whether video or audio, live or pre-recorded, look and sound like a commodity? They interview the same damn experts, rarely edit their shows, front-load the most boring parts, and build “yet another” instead of THE ONLY. Unthinkable Media focuses on the emotional resonance with audiences. We honor the Golden Rule of making shows: Get them to the end.
For clients like Drift, Flipboard, Wistia, the Content Marketing Institute, and DivvyHQ, we provide the creative strategy (a show concept, episode structure, and documented Show Bible), marketing advisory, and talent training and sourcing needed to build the most beloved show in a niche.
Don’t create yet another commodity program. Spark a movement. Don’t just acquire attention. Hold it.
Flagship Show: "Unthinkable" with Jay Acunzo | Episode: The Man Bun (S3, E2)
On Unthinkable, Unthinkable Media founder Jay Acunzo shares stories of work that seems crazy … until you hear their side of it. The goal of the show is to highlight the truth: Exceptional work isn’t created by the answers others give us but by the questions we ask ourselves.
CONCEPT: “Unthinkable” is Jay Acunzo’s public laboratory, testing and learning the craft of docu-style storytelling. The show has won him awards like Boston’s 50 On Fire and Entrepreneur’s Hottest New Podcast, while Salesforce called him “a creative savant.” In the show, what we deem insane, risky, innovative, or creative feels logical, smart, or even safe to the creator. Why? Because they make decisions based on their context, not the generic best practice.
STRUCTURE: The show is heavily produced, with tons of music, sound effects, narration, and other touches to craft a compelling narrative. It’s broken into seasons, with lots of bonus content in between. Each episode has an underlying structure, which is a complex array of blocks and beats borrowed and adapted from the host’s favorite documentary series, Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, along with Jay’s unique blend of warmth, humor, and insightfulness.
"Exceptions" | Episode: Inside Wistia
On Exceptions, we go inside the world’s top B2B companies to understand why and how they’re betting big on brand. Drift chose to run this series inside their existing podcast, Seeking Wisdom.
CONCEPT: “Exceptions” hints at the reason these companies are so great. They build around what makes them an exception (namely, their people, since brand is the collective behavior of your people). It also implies that all listeners can themselves become an exception with their B2B companies.
STRUCTURE: The show is heavily produced, with music evocative of other Seeking Wisdom episodes, plus recurring sections like The Voice of the Customer, The Big Idea, and the 3 Questions to Build Better Brands. With a structure listeners can hear, we hold attention and delight superfans who return each episode to hear how they change story to story.
Client: DivvyHQ | Show: The BIG Simple | Episode: The Loyalty Loop
Today, everyone with a wifi connection and a propensity for tweeting pithy statements claims that their thinking is gold. So we went gold diggin’ (we ain’t messin’ with no broke-broke) to find the most genuinely useful, legitimately big ideas from marketing’s boldest thinkers, and we profiled them in a connected series of webinars.
CONCEPT: “The BIG Simple” directly speaks to the notion that big ideas make our work simpler. When we discuss concepts like strategy, creativity, decision-making, loyalty, and influence, suddenly things seem more complex than your basic tips-and-tricks article about automating social media. (That’s an issue for another day, BTW.) However, a big idea, smartly crafted, can make the hard stuff suddenly snap into place.
STRUCTURE: We’re rethinking the usual, stale webinar and doing more production for this series. It isn’t over-the-top in its polish, since that would seem inauthentic to the medium, but it does show an extra layer of love to the audience experience. This includes swapping out the usual sponsor message and housekeeping at the beginning (yawn) and droning business-y voices (gross) to add in a great story (finally) and lightly edited interview with helpful visual prompts (sweet).
Client: Tettra | Show: "Org Uncharted" | Episode: Inside HBR
On Org Uncharted, we embark on a journey to find leaders who empower every individual on their teams, regardless of title.
CONCEPT: “Org Uncharted” evokes the client Tettra’s mission to empower every individual on growing teams to make decisions and get the information they need in their work. Tettra sells knowledge management software, and thus, the ideal customer believes in an open and transparent culture, empowering every individual to have a voice and understand the “why” behind the work.
STRUCTURE: The show is lightly produced, with overt chapter breaks, some moments of narration, and some light music. By dividing up some collegial, smartest-friend-over-coffee conversations, the show holds your attention and helps listeners absorb lots of information.
Client: Brain+Trust | Show: "The Difference" | Episode: Glomming onto Tactics vs. Strategically Attacking Them
On The Difference, we ask a simple but powerful question: In the digital age, why do some big brands thrive while others struggle to survive?
CONCEPT: “The Difference” takes one common behavior, trending tactic, or new technology, and explain what big brand executives can do to make better decisions around that topic. The show seeks to explain why some brands successfully embrace digital transformation, while others fall short.
STRUCTURE: The show is a relatively un-produced conversation, at least in terms of post-production. But by adding serious structure to the interview flow, and by doing some light editing and scoring, we create a more enjoyable, gripping experience than the typical Q&A show.
Subscribe to the Newsletter
Damn the Best Practices shares one new story each Monday morning for being better than best practices.
Contact Unthinkable Media
We provide creative strategy, marketing advisory, and talent coaching and sourcing for B2B shows.