Fake is big now. Fake is the rule.
Everything can be safely assumed to be fake these days. Particularly when it comes to public messaging.
Not just ads. They always were fake. Just blatantly so.
News. Fake news, Spin, Planted stories, Paid news. All news, really.
Celebs. When famous people started being called celebrities, it was more about the celebration of them.
Reviews. Movie reviews that score a 3.5, or an Uber driver that clocks a 4.4 are not to be taken at face value. Every review has a new zero point.
Social profiles. Here is where fake can almost become alternate reality.
Status updates. Nothing is real here. Embellishing the truth or skirting the truth can be called fake.
Election campaigns. Fake Promises and convenient positions.
Presidents and other figure-heads. What you see is not often who is running the show.
The list can go on.
So in a world that’s predominantly fake, how does someone come across as honest and truthful?
The need to trust and the need to be trusted remain of critical importance – for people, brands, corporations.
So who are the ones who are really really trusted in a fake world?
Not the one who says “Trust Me”. Not the suave media manipulator.
Here are my rules for building trust in this Fake world.
- Admit the complexity of truth – Being simple about truth is either naive or manipulative. Today, more than ever before, truth is very relative. Admit that.
- Unveil the motive behind the message – Admit that there is a desired response. These ads of chipotle remain a classic.
- Un-varnish the message – Candid, Raw, Warts and all – It might be ugly, but it goes out to make a point. Advertising’s use of models who would have been rejected as bad looking a few years back is an example of this approach.
- Un-serious – It’s not about being funny. Comedians and canned laughter go together. It’s about being unpretentious. Everyone is still trying to unveil the mystique of Baba Ramdev, but somewhere the unpretentious humour is working its own magic.
- Un-communicate – This is possibly the most ingenious. Break every rule of good communication that has been done to death and extended beyond all realms of credibility. Just mumble your way through, muddle it up or just make it dense. They’ll believe the truth that’s hidden beyond the obvious. Remember the way Sharon Stone laughed when asked about #metoo?
- Or just tell them you’re a liar – They’ll believe you of course and also love you for your honesty. I just love this book that set me thinking on this whole subject.
While I have just penned a few thoughts on this, the reality of fake is much bigger in our lives. It might just take a lifetime to unravel this.