Your Story Better Hold Up To Scrutiny

Adweek’s Tim Nudd interviewed Seth Godin recently for Brandweek.
I didn’t realize Godin had predicted (in 1994) that the internet was a fad that wouldn’t last. Very interesting. Anyway, Godin recently wrote a book called All Marketers Are Liars. In the Brandweek interview, he gives a topline synopsis.

Q. Where’s the line between white lies that marketers tell and the more insidious ones?
A. What marketers really are, are storytellers. It’s the consumers who are liars. Marketers who succeed tell stories that people want to believe, and the lies are what consumers tell themselves they want to believe. A white lie is a story that literally isn’t true, meaning that Dasani or Aquafina aren’t worth the money, but if we package it right and sell it right and advertise it right, someone is glad we did it. I distinguish that from a fraud. An example is 20 years of telling Americans SUVs were safe and practical. Authenticity is at the core of this. You have to have a story that can hold up to scrutiny on the internet, that can hold up to people talking about you.

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. Indiana Gividen says:

    Seth Godin’s logic is so far removed from reality it is funny.
    That same logic is has cost Ford and GM significant market share.