Brand authenticity needs to start in the real world
The problem is that a lot of today’s advertising doesn't acknowledge the real world and context these people live in. It portrays a world that is perfect, full of happiness and in other words unrealistic. In fact, our consumers are dealing with things such as mental health issues, loneliness, pressure to succeed, inequality, unemployment or climate change concerns. And this is where brand authenticity needs to start from.
Recent backlash against Kim Kardashian’s 40th birthday party on a private island and against her sister Kendall's star-studded 25th birthday bash shows that people are pushing back against the manicured life, especially when life is hard.
So, brands won’t deliver authenticity without reflecting a real life in their advertising. They need to move away from smiling couples to real situations and challenges people go through.
Delivering real authenticity
We can call it real authenticity. It’s authenticity that is well-observed; your audience can recognise themselves in it. It’s authenticity that is not afraid to tap into some negative feelings or problems the audience might have. It’s a world that is not perfect, yet it inspires.
Brands that are delivering this real authenticity are winning.
Remember Habito’s Hell or Habito campaign? Instead of showing a happy couple getting their new house, an online mortgage broker dramatized, rather drastically, people’s real pain point, the plight of UK mortgage holders and first-time buyers. And it paid off: Habito’s spontaneous brand awareness has doubled and customer volumes are up three and a half times, says Marketing Week.
Sport England’s This Girl Can has also delivered this real authenticity, although the execution is different to Habito’s. The campaign directly addressed the real problem that was stopping women from being active: fear of judgement. How? By celebrating what women fear the most, their bodies and their sweat. It’s done in a way that makes you feel like you know someone like her or actually, you are her. As a result of this campaign, more than 2.8 million of women nationwide took part in sports.
So, next time there’s ‘authenticity’ in your brief, think how you can make it authentically real and have the confidence to tackle the negative head on.