Somewhere in your marketing budget you’ve unleashed funds, possibly a lot of funds, to someone who promised to make you look awesome. To polish your brand up “nice & shiny” and present it to the world as a professional best face forward. Did it work? Does it still work? Research increasingly shows that the new buyers of today are looking for something else in their brands – authenticity.
But it isn’t enough to simply say that you are authentic. You have to BE authentic. This sounds daunting – but with the right strategy it’s possible to get your message out there & tell your story. Using video is one of the best ways of conveying authenticity to the new generations.
Many of the articles that sprung forth after the 2016 Advertising Week in New York point to the need for conquering “millennials”, and authenticity seems to be the buzz word.

Here, the clothing company Patagonia show their products in worn out and home mended states: paint stained and torn.

This goes against the grain of traditional brand messaging by acknowledging the reality that “new & shiny” is only a temporary state for products. It’s a bold move but it’s working. So much so that Patagonia and all it stands for has become something of a movement. Patagonia thought this idea was so great they made a half hour documentary style ad.  And with over half a million views it’s done its job.
Likewise the latest Jack Daniels video is authentic advertising. Its simplicity and honesty are heartfelt, and for an international brand that’s not so easy to do. No shots of the factory, process or product…until the very last. Instead this ad uses real people and relies on a slightly scrappy execution to give it a less polished feel.

Because Millennials and Gen Z’ers will not be marketed to in the same way and they want you to be real, your product or service now has to be purpose driven. Being purpose driven means that you are no longer driven by sales and profit. You have another purpose by which to present your brand.
How do you do that? In this great Ted Talk from Simon Sinek he discusses successful brands and their incomparable marketing strategies.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek
The WHY HOW WHAT circle is conventionally progressed from the outside in. We say WHAT we do. We state HOW we are different or better than everyone else doing that. We state WHY the consumer should buy it and here we expect some form of sales behaviour.
He states that the successful and forward thinking brands, regardless of size (he uses Apple as an example because they are easy to understand) approach this from the inside out. Apple present the WHY first, outlining their philosophy as the core of what they do (they challenge the status quo: different thinking). They then use that as a platform to state HOW they project this (through beautiful design & user experience). Then they end on the WHAT (we make brilliant computers) to initiate the sales behaviour. By this point the philosophy and process has already been delivered.
Clever stuff, right? But there’s more.
The increasing trend since the 2012 Edelman Goodpurpose Study is that global consumers believe that businesses need to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests. That means your core philosophy has to lean towards the altruistic. You have to look at why you do what you do.
The video marketing buzz of old was all about Content. And that’s still true but instead of generated, created content (so many spotted trying to create “Viral” and failing) the new authentic you is a lot nicer, easier and reaps the rewards. The warts and all approach with millennials works. It shows Integrity. Values. Others like you more. You like yourself more. It’s re watchable. It’s sharable. And none of it feels like advertising.
For years now our company has been producing documentary style cinematic story telling for brands. It has always worked but it’s not always been easy, certainly when clients have a stereotypical idea of what a corporate video is. Just the term “corporate video” is enough to make your knuckles pucker. Because it is not advertising in its traditional form and it’s not a corporate video either. It’s something genuine that has been born of both. And it works – because it is authentic.
So, who do you get to convey your message of authenticity? Make sure you choose wisely.
“The key to authenticity with paid creators it to find the ones whose mission is truly objective. Your brand must truly reflect the feeling and beliefs of the curator or creator. You want people who would not produce content for your brand if they did not believe in it, regardless of the paycheck. If you don’t have this, find someone else.” AdAge News

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