Tag: authenticity

Brands That Cry Wolf: Marketing’s Authenticity Crisis

Marketing, Social Media3 Comments

One of the best stories you probably missed last year was that of the missing Panasonic Tough Lumix FT10 digital camera. Found by a fisherman at the bottom of Cowan Creek near the Hawkesbury River in NSW, it was retrieved in perfect working order, prompting Panasonic to launch a campaign to reunite the camera with itsĀ  owner.

Normally I’m a sucker for feel good stories that confirm we’re not all scum, but when I heard that Panasonic were driving the campaign, I thought it smelled fishy. And I wasn’t the only one.


While we all turned out to be wrong and the camera was legitimately lost and subsequently returned to it’s rightful owner, there was plenty of reasons for our skepticism. The same month the missing camera story broke, Panasonic had already been sprung trying to pass-off an actor as a real person in a campaign.

And who could forget Witchery and Toyota‘s botched attempts at currying favour in social media.

In each case, a brand had deliberately set out to deceive the public and when exposed, done a piss-poor job of explaining it, potentially causing long-term harm to their image and reputation.

I’m honestly surprised that in this age of openness and transparency, brands and their agencies would still engage in deceptive or misleading advertising practices. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the rise of social media is that the truth will come out and that privacy is disappearing. Brands need to remember that this doesn’t apply to the individual but to them as well and start behaving accordingly.

While it’s possible that the long-term impact to the brand is negligible since ‘it’s only advertising’ it makes the job of marketers and communicators that little bit harder when we do actually have something genuine and authentic to say when every message is either taken with a big grain of salt or dismissed altogether.

What do you think? Does advertising and marketing have a responsibility to be authentic?

 

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Why AC/DC matter more now than ever before

Marketing, Music0 Comments

Even though Craig Wilson has already written the post I wish I’d written about AC/DC, I thought there was still room to add my 2c worth to the discussion.

It all began in 1990 at the age of 10 when I first discovered AC/DC while watching music videos on a Saturday morning. The video was ‘Thunderstruck‘ and that was exactly the effect their music had on me. AC/DC’s raw energy and straight-up rock’n’roll sound was unlike anything I’d heard before. From that point on, I was hooked.

The only problem was that there was a clear stigma attached to their music where anyone who listened to it was instantly branded a bogan or similar. Particularly in the schoolyard where Nirvana and Pearl Jam (for example) were considered cool, AC/DC was most definitely not.

This extended to mainstream media, where despite achieving more international success than any other Australian entertainer, the local press routinely ignored them with music critics dismissive of each new album.

In the past 2 years, however, there has been a real shift in how AC/DC are perceived. Especially in the last few weeks with the band on the Australian leg of the Black Ice Tour, it seems fans are coming out of the woodwork and every major media outlet can’t get enough of them.

AC/DC Highway To Hell

What you see is what you get

It is almost a reaction to the collapse of the world economy and the excessive consumerism of the early 2000’s that consumers now are looking for authenticity and a sense of ‘realness’. In this regard, there is no better example (in musical terms) than AC/DC.

For 37 years they have recorded and performed different variations of the same few songs. But the fact that they come exactly as advertised and without pretense means that for their fans, they are a constant in otherwise turbulent times as we seek to inject our lives with something more meaningful than today’s homogenised, mass produced, faceless ‘music’ that is more style than substance.

Unlike other similarly massive bands who are constantly reinventing themselves and striving to remain relevant by preaching one cause after another (I’m looking at you, U2), AC/DC have never wavered from what they do best: playing blistering, wildly entertaining hard rock.

(Read what Brian Johnson has to say about Bono and Bob Geldof)

They have built a level of trust with their fans that few other bands have done and are now more successful than ever before. All by focusing on the things they do well and getting rid of the rest.

So next time, before start thinking about changing your logo/website/etc. ask yourself (a) why you’re really doing it, and (b) if your customers will even notice or care.

I finally got to see AC/DC live for the first time at Adelaide Oval on March 2nd. For a bunch of guys my dads age, they put on a hell of a performance that more than lived up to my expectations. Unlike some bands who I’ve seen live who could be sleepwalking through their set, you just know that these guys care about giving their fans a show and are leaving nothing on the table!

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