Authenticity and transparency are two of the biggest marketing buzzwords right now (and have been gaining steam for a while). Nearly every case study and talk coming out of Cannes last week seemed to reference authenticity as a theme.
Like any marketing bandwagon, some brands are applying the lessons superficially at best. There’s a difference between sounding authentic and being authentic. Brands can’t fake authenticity, at least not for long.
It will take more than a Southern accent for British Petroleum to redeem its image in the Gulf states. BP has taken a lot of heat for its current campaign, trumpeting “the best tourism season in years.” Many have called it BP propaganda.
BP is definitely an extreme case, but I think there’s a watch-out there. Brands often come across as insincere when they are trying hardest to sound authentic and transparent.
Authenticity means more show, less tell.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)