Tell the truth

tell the truth” is an interesting book. The
authors suggest that the era of lies (or at least little white lies) in
marketing is over. The most effective way for a brand to stand out is to tell
the truth. Well, duh…. The obvious couldn’t be more obvious, could it? We
live in an age where truth is so rare that Presidential and Prime Ministerial
candidates consistently tell us lies so they can get elected. Of course we are
complicit. Reality is too harsh for us as voters to meet the truth head on. We
much prefer vision to reality, even if the vision is one of pseudo-happiness.
We tell ourselves the near-truth hoping it’s the real-truth.
Speaking of near-truth, have you ever watched a reality show called The Pitch? It pits two ad agencies against each other as they work to
win a big new account. The stakes are high and the anxiety is through the roof. We watch as
prospective clients seek someone who can pull the truth out of
their product and present it to the world — which, on the surface, would seem to be an eminently logical desire. But what they really want is magic, says The Guardian:

“Whether it’s sandwich giant Subway, trash recycling
conglomerate Waste Management or air conditioning mogul Clockwork, the demands
are identical: the media buyers want out-of-the-box thinking. They want ideas
that will change the public perceptions of their companies. And, of course,
they all want a video that’s going to go viral. If one lone copywriter had been
foolhardy enough to blurt out: “Asking for a viral video is like asking
for a hit record or a successful movie or a healthy child. You can hope it will
happen but it cannot be pre-arranged,” I would have raised my glass in
admiration.”

Because, as Jack Nicholson’s character famously said, “The
truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

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