Like we talked about in our previous blog, there are rules in place to make sure advertisers aren’t deceiving consumers. But are they being as honest as they could be? Honesty in advertising can be a tricky subject.

We recently watched a movie from the 90s called “Crazy People” that parodied the idea of advertisers being completely honest, almost to a fault. But as the movie shows, people oftentimes respond better to total transparency than to the gimmicky lines we usually give them.

What would it look like for marketers to tell the truth? This movie tackles that question in a humorous but valid way. Basically, the movie concludes that it would take a “crazy” person to beĀ thatĀ honest in an ad. But maybe we need a little crazy sometimes.

During the holidays, we’re bombarded with more and more ad messages, so the question is how does any one brand or voice stand out? Maybe the key here is honesty. Some examples of some real-life “honest” ads are ones like RXbar’s commercial with rapper Ice Tea. Sprite did a similar bit in the 90s with a famous basketball player. Advertisers know that people don’t buy products simply because someone famous told them to, so an honest look at this tactic can provide a comic relief to the string of ads a consumer may have previously seen.

What do you think? Will you try an “honest” ad this season? Maybe it could be a 2019 resolution to be a little more straightforward in our thinking and in our advertising. Like your mom always said, “Honesty is the best policy.”

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