Everything is opaque in the age of transparency and authenticity

Today, every brand wants to have an ethos of authenticity and a transparent culture. They’re all claiming to be responsible green and sustainable. Or maybe it’s all well-crafted bullshit sentimentality.

Afterall, how can you really know what a company’s management really thinks? Newsweek lists the top 10 US Green Companies this year and they don’t really look to me to be anything more than typical corporate entities looking to make a buck like everyone else.

Yet, just about every brief that is handed to creative departments these days mentions how important these “values” are to customers and potential customers. Customers say they want authenticity and transparency from the toilet paper maker, (at least the account planners tell us so).

Does it truly matter if the folks who make the bleach that keeps your clothes white are authentic? To most people, probably not. But they don’t want to knowingly give their money to polluting liars. They’d probably settle for some sentiments they can agree on. Like “the bleach company that cares about the things you do.”

We’ve all got a lot of things that concern us, and unlike George Bush, most of us, can’t just look at someone, much their tub of ice cream, and “get a sense of their soul.” So while we all may want to believe Ben and Jerry are authentic and good guys and Exxon dudes are bad dudes, it’s kinda silly to put the responsibility of being mind-readers on ourselves.

So consumers settle for the sentiments we advertising people give them. But we really should not kid ourselves that transparency and authenticity are something customers need or want from the brands they encounter every day. It would be truly exhausting to examine the inner workings and gauge the authenticity of every corporate entity we all deal with on a daily basis. Give me a fun brand over an authentic and transparent on any day!

Posted on: August 23, 2016, by :