Honesty: The Hot New Currency in Advertising

If you took all the digital agency messaging materials and mixed them up in a bag, here’s what the tag cloud looks like:

Image for post
Image for post
Tag cloud based on 50+ agency websites and their messaging

We all literally look the same. While we are, in practice, all special in our own ways, to an outsider we are only one Instagram filter away from the next agency.

Some of us find our sexiness in being “experiential” while others strut their “strategy” — some even believe they’ve managed to be both sexy and smart. Jealous, right? Well, here’s a not-so-sexy word that I think we can expect to see more of in the coming year — that word is “honesty.”

Okay, roll your eyes. I probably would if I were reading this, but consider the rest before you dismiss the notion.

For a while, the theme of “accountability” has been steadily evolving into a theme that centers around a commitment to “honesty.” Accountability is one thing, but honesty is about how that accountability is achieved, and it has far greater value in a world with a constantly changing digital ecosystem.

Consider the following questions you could get from a client or employee.

These are tough topics, significant demands, and moving goal posts. The complexity and speed of these issues can leave you feeling like you’re always one step behind. Maybe honesty doesn’t fit in agency messaging and shouldn’t fall in a tag cloud, but I think the spirit of it should be reflected in all conversations and transactions.

Up until now, honesty has been severely underestimated, but it has the potential to be a game changer. I, for one, look forward to when we’re able to differentiate ourselves through this new currency.

Written by

Founder, Situation (www.situation.nyc)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store