Can You Handle The Truth? (What is Truth?)


Ads have always been viewed with skepticism. Claims taken with grains of salt.

Then, people began trusting social media, online reviews and word of mouth. But that’s changing as more and more truths (alleged “unbiased” opinions) are found to be sponsored (“shills”–– the technical term).

It’s amazing the glowing reviews you can get when you pay for them.

And recently the FTC lowered the boom on native ads, those editorial-looking puff pieces that blend seamlessly into journalistic environments cloaking themselves as unbiased endorsements.

And now, in our money-fueled political season, politicians preach their truths that if the Pinocchio syndrome took effect, would shatter our TV screens and blind us all.

But it doesn’t matter. The audience self-selects its news portals, where talking heads support and reaffirm pre-existent points of view.

We don’t consume media to learn, we consume media to confirm our beliefs.

The internet has made it easy to find whatever flavor belief you want. Conspiracy theories abound–– you’re always a couple clicks from support of any hair-brained notion imaginable. As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

This is our marketing environment. This is the mindset of consumers. Each of us is master of his/her domain, certain of some things, confused and distracted by many others, and time-crushed and too harried to root out the facts (if that’s even possible).

So, what’s it mean to you, marketer?

It means you’d better make sure your messaging is empathetic to a skeptical, yet certain mindset.

Make sure your story is worth telling, and told well. And, that it can withstand our notion of truth–– whatever the hell truth is.