tiny gigantic’s Authentic Brand Voice

I like what Josh Kamler at tiny gigantic has to say about authenticity.

Authenticity is a basic requirement for any healthy relationship, but it’s nothing more than that.
That’s why it rubs me so wrong to see decks and brand guidelines that trumpet authenticity as a value: We are authentic, they say. But here’s the thing: authentically what? That’s the real question. That’s what people really need to know. It’s what will make them care.
And once you’ve got that figured out, you won’t have to shout about it. You can just be yourself.

Kamler is calling for the truth, and for brands to be comfortable in their own skin. But “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.”
What Kamler is saying and what the people who fill decks with this tripe (myself included) are saying is, “actually, WE CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH.” I’ll just add that “the truth” is increasingly hard to hide in a world made transparent by these very intertubes.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. And the other thing is: why would you actually want to hide the truth from the very people who matter most to your success? If business and brand–ugh–loyalty is really all about meaningful relationships it wouldn’t make much sense to begin that relationship with something like a lie

  2. Let’s see…would you rather market your mass production beer as “cheap swill,” or as something a bit loftier? Coors, for instance, now owns cold. They’re spending millions to tell people their beer is the coldest. Why? Because it sounds better than the truth.

  3. Well, it could be the coldest. We’ll never know. See that sneaky loophole–it may not be the truth, but it can’t be proven as a lie. But still, I wonder: how’s that campaign doing?