The truth campaign
There isn’t a better example of the power of TRUST in marketing than the TRUTH Campaign.
In 1998 we were involved in developing the original campaign aimed at eliminating smoking amongst teens in the United States. Back then, the teen smoking rate was 23%. By 2020, this figure had dropped to 4%. In its long history, the campaign has won many awards for effectiveness.
The TRUTH campaign was originally to be called RAGE. We suggested this would be less effective. As explained in the Wikipedia entry describing the campaign “Youth articulated their frustrations with the manipulative marketing tactics used by the tobacco industry, and described their ideal campaign as one that would give them facts and the truth about tobacco. From this emerged the concept of uniting youth in a movement against tobacco companies promoted through grassroots advocacy and a youth-driven advertising campaign."
We were the advisors that drove this insight and recommendation. We showed how providing the facts and inviting the audience to make their own mind up created the degree of TRUST required to engage with the messaging.
In its long history, the campaign has won many awards for effectiveness. In 2014, Advertising Age named TRUTH one of the top 10 ad campaigns on the 21st century.
Understanding the value of TRUST at The Economist
Sometimes it is more important for a brand to value the trust with which it is held than to try to maximise profits. Strike that. It is ALWAYS more important for a brand to value the trust with which it is held than to try to maximise profits.
This was the case for The Economist, which wanted to ensure it was making the most of its web presence without compromising it relationship with its loyal followers.
We undertook a wide-ranging international study that uncovered how a range of different Economist readers - from students to top executives - felt about the brand and the unique perspective it gave them.
What we found was a highly evolved, sophisticated relationship between the weekly journal and its core readership. The relationship was one of genuine ‘friendship’ in which good natured disagreements took place, occasionally spilling over into exasperation at the high-minded tone of the publication. Ultimately, as in all good relationships, there was a deep well of respect and affection.
Within this context, it was clear that any move to evolve the website into a glorified sales opportunity would have been quite wrong. Go to the website now and you’ll see very little advertising, ‘special offers’ or intrusive banners. The Economists management took our advice and chose to protect the integrity of the brand over the chance of a lucrative, yet inappropriate revenue stream.
Uncovering the real personality of your brand
CHRISTOPHER WARD WATCHES
TRUST is founded on consistency. You have to clearly say what you do and do what you say. It is therefore vital that a brand properly understands what it is and what it is offering before it can expect its audience to trust it.
In 2016 Christopher Ward was a maverick on-line watch company catering to a niche audience of watch enthusiasts.
The brand was unsure of how to break out of this specialist sector and appeal to a wider audience. Prior to working with us their marketing had been worthy but formulaic.
We undertook a comprehensive review of the premium watch market, established the ‘true’ audience for the brand and the underlying strengths of its offer.
We developed a personality and tone of voice that allowed the brand to highlight the superficial nature of the watch industry without being cynical and explained why ‘smart’ watch buyers understood Christopher Ward’s mission to “To put premium watches within the reach of everyone.” It created a brand identity that Christopher Ward owners and followers could trust and be proud to wear and represent.
This resulted in advertising and marketing that added 40% to enquires and sales within its first year of launch.