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Wednesday, May 23, 2007



My last post on transparency didn't seem to rouse any souls. So due to unpopular demand I am going to keep talking about it.

Have you seen these over weight women on TV commercials? I am sure that you have. For the past three years or so there has been a shift in product marketing. We have gone from beach babes with flowing dark hair to "normal" looking product models. Weight Watchers, Dove, and other companies have used curvaceous women as they continue their campaign for "true beauty".

This trend was recently highlighted in an Adweek Article. A portion of the article read:

"People will talk about most anything because of reality and talk shows like Dr. Phil and Oprah," says Laura Slutsky, president of New York-based PeopleFinders, "Television has become a confessional."

Advertising in which people bare their souls—and even break down—marks a significant evolution from the man-on-the-street interviews and typical testimonials real people have been delivering for decades. Slutsky, who has been in the real-people casting business since the mid-'70s, says nothing about real life was coming through in such ads of the '70s and '80s. "People were not talking about intimate feelings or life-changing issues such as smoking, drinking, pregnancy, breast cancer—not in those years," she says.

This article, if you take the time to read it, communicates that we are living in a new time. The consumer is no longer impressed by the shiny package or a tall Cindy Crawford look-a-like. The consumer no longer gets lost in the hype (unless it's an Apple product). The consumer is not fooled by taglines, gimmicks, or a light and smoke show.

This generation is looking for authenticity, transparency, and honesty. We are looking for real life and real experiences.

Marketing agencies have figured it out. But have we? No matter what it is that you are selling…a school, a book, a CD, a religion, a movement, even yourself…what do you say? How do you communicate the things you want others to get behind? How do you communicate the things that you are most important to you? Do you use a stage, lights, or a glam marketing scam? Do you beat around the bush? Do you stay on the surface and never cut to the chase? Do you bring out your stunning model persona while keeping reality behind your designer words?

I struggle with this because transparency is difficult…but I am beginning to see a world around me that is thirsty for it. Our generation has a dry mouth that has been filled with fluff. So the question is, can we accept the challenge to bring an honesty that is not watered down and is truly transparent?

Let's talk all things authenticity, transparency, and even good ol' honesty. Who have you experienced as authentic? Where have you seen transparency and been attracted? How do you struggle with living life authentically? Where do you find it difficult to be transparent?

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