I’m pretty excited to write my first official blog for the new site. Hope you enjoy it:
At the end of last month I went to the Content Marketing Association Summit 2014 and was bowled over by what the second speaker – Doug Kessler, creative director of Velocity – had to say. He spoke about Insane Honesty. You know, when a brand puts their faults upright and centre for you to analyse?
‘What’s the benefit in that?’ I hear you ask. Well, if a brand can tell you what it can’t do, then you can be confident about what it can do. Because, for the business to succeed, it has to be perform well in certain areas. Make sense?
There’s no denying it’s a risky move, but for those who have the balls to laugh at themselves by being insanely honest, it could deliver two important things: kudos and customers.
Here’s a few recent examples of insanely honest marketing that fits Doug’s criteria:
1) Arby’s ‘We have Pepsi’
US fast food chain Arby’s forgot to feature Pepsi in its advert. So, to make up for it, it only featured the drinks brand in its next commercial.
Admitting in the advert that it ‘messed up’, it’s a great example of a company not taking it, or its responsibilities, too seriously. And, why should it? This advert will have more than appeased Pepsi – which has benefitted from 1.5m YouTube views in a week and free advertising across America.
2) Novotel’s ‘It’s a lot better at Novotel’
Global hotel chain Novotel has launched an advertising campaign playing on travellers’ hotel fears – by reassuring them that they won’t encounter any issues when staying with them.
Although not strictly an example of insane honesty, it does indirectly communicate everything the brand stands for, and sticks two fingers up to its competitors, without listing endless features and benefits.
3) Thailand Tourist Board’s ‘I hate Thailand’
At five minutes long this video is far too long for my attention span, but what do I know? It’s already generated more than 2 million views in less than a month.
It depicts a traveller saying how much he hates the country after losing his bag, before taking you on a journey to show how helpful, kind and generous the local people are.
Following the bad rep Thailand has experienced in recent months, it’s a bold statement to lead with. But, that’s what insane honesty is all about. And, it’s certainly captured the attention of budding travellers worldwide.
Freelance journalist Claire Hannah tweeted the company asking why the supermarket logo didn’t have a Christmas hat on.
So, this year it invited her to ‘switch on’ the store’s lights (there’s traditional lights and lights on steroids, and this advert definitely depicts the latter if you ask me).
Opposed to displaying its faults, Tesco has shown it understands how it can use customer feedback to tell a story – and that’s just as powerful.
Do you buy the insane honesty trend? What secrets will you be sharing with your customers?