Always tell the truth
“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
You will have heard this phrase many times if you’ve watched any US courtroom drama. Being truthful is pretty helpful for the legal system and it’s also critical to brands and the stories they tell.
Advertising has, traditionally, relied on a subtle stretching of the truth to get people to buy products. It worked in the past, but times have moved on.
Social media and the internet have played a huge role in this by allowing us to see ‘behind the scenes’. We live in a new era of transparency and authenticity, making it harder to get away with telling even the smallest of lies.
In 2015, for example, Volkswagen was found to be cheating on emission tests for its diesel cars. Evidence showed that it had been going on for a while - at the same time as Volkswagen advertising its diesel car as a ‘cleaner’ vehicle. VW is estimated to have spent $30 billion on repairing the damage caused by their deceit.
You can follow this simple rule to make sure you remain truthful. Work out the undeniably true things about your audience, product or brand.
1. An audience truth - Nike is a great example. They understand that we’d all like to be fitter, healthier versions of ourselves but that it’s often hard to stay motivated.
2. A product truth - Volvo is a good example here. They built their brand on the safety of their cars.
3. A brand truth - Red Bull is all about tapping in to the spirit of adventure. They demonstrate this by sponsoring extreme sports.
Truth is also a helpful place to start when you’re brainstorming. Look at the funny little things that are happening, or have happened, in your own life.
Grounding a story in these ‘truths’ is a trick many of the world’s best storytellers use.
To learn more, register your interest in our upcoming course on storytelling coming soon.