Honesty

Sure, we´re tossing out fluff, but tell me, where does anyone deal in words with substance? C´mon now, there´s no honest work anywhere. Just like there´s no honest breathing or honest pissing.
-Haruki Murakami: A Wild Sheep Chase

Brands often mistake the total lack of attention and interest to their products from consumers to stupidity. Consumers are not stupid, nor they are simple. They basically just don´t care about your boring products. They block their brains deliberately when they see your ad, because they know that you are lying to them. Or not lying per se, but sugarcoating the reality to such a ridiculous extend, that it does not feel honest or genuine anymore. Advertising is mostly meaningless hyperbole, so when some brand appears at least slightly more honest it will break the clutter.

Some of the Finland´s finest creatives did this great film to promote Finnish advertising agencies during Eurobest festival. I heartily endorse this message and have a firm belief that Finnish agencies breed the best world-class talent. Especially in planning. If you want to win, hire a Finn has been the mantra of all the progressive agencies for while. Nevertheless, this ad raises the important point that every brand could have a little bit more honesty in their work:

Honesty – Invented in Finland from Darlings on Vimeo.

The “I Hate Thailand” –ad I wrote about earlier was a prime example of an ad which starts from more honest standpoint although is not purely genuine. One-eyed man is king in the land of the blind. Same way a brand with even a hint of honesty will rule amongst the dull and predictable ones. Honesty from a brand is always surprising, and surprise is the most powerful emotion a brand can trigger.

This Arbys apology to Pepsi has gathered over 1 million views and the only ingredient that breaks it from the norm is the honesty. Yes, we forget to put Pepsi in one of our ads, now you get Pepsi and nothing else. Pure product ad for 30 seconds, but coming straight from the heart:

Was it really a mistake or just a clever funny stunt? Jury is still out on that one, but it does not really matter. If it feels honest, it is way more honest than the rest of the ads out there.

Speaking frankly and speaking the truth are two different things entirely. Honesty is to truth as prow is to stern. Honesty appears first and truth appears last. The interval between varies in direct proportion to the size of the ship. With anything of size, truth takes a long time coming. Sometimes it only manifests itself posthumously. Therefore, should I impart you with no truth at this juncture, that is through no fault of mine. Nor yours.
-Haruki Murakami: A Wild Sheep Chase

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