Are Authentic Ads Self Promoting?

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Most ads are focused on self promotion of themselves and their products. This makes sense as the point of an ad is to get consumers interested in buying your product. However, have companies gone too far with self promotion ads recently to the point that they aren’t authentic? Are there other ways to create an ad that is authentic and successful without self promotion?

Authentic Ad Suggestions

The short answer is yes to both of these questions. With technology only becoming more and more important to our everyday lives, we see a lot of ads on a daily basis. With only promotions taking over our screens, it is easy to see them as unauthentic and get frustrated by them. People are influenced by a lot more than just self promotion. Ethos has become important to ad campaigns. If a campaign or ad is able to evoke emotion in a person, whether its joy or sadness, it is always a good sign. When a consumer feels something because of the ad, they are more likely to feel it is authentic and want to interact with it. Self promotion rarely ignites any sort of intense emotions. 

When a company leans away from self promotion and instead promotes a movement or community that might need awareness or support, it can have a positive effect of their ads. There will be people that do not agree with whatever a company supports but it will do less harm than good as their support shows they care. Consumers love to see humanistic behavior from companies. Once again it proves their authenticity as well. These large companies have a voice and should use it for good. When they do, minorities feel included and are more likely to support a company that is supporting them. Allies will want to support companies that are standing up for the right things as well. 

Small Businesses

Small businesses might need to do some self promotion to get their name out there and show what they have to offer, but these big brands have usually already made a name for themselves and their products. Everybody knows who they are and what they have to offer. In this case it is beneficial to make a connection with your consumers rather than promote yourself more. These connections are what make these companies seem authentic.

Authentic Ads Success

The Oreo Ad we watched in class is a great example of both of these. In watching the ad, you would have no clue it was for Oreo. They were probably shown for a minute in the entire ad but consumers were invested in the story, how it made them feel, and what it was supporting. It wasn’t just self promoting. They were creating a beautiful story, showing support , and connecting this idea of love starts at home back to their brand. It made me proud to be putting my money towards them.

As we discussed in class these ads are only going to be or look authentic if they stick around. If a campaign is started just for a singular moment or movement in time and never talked about or supported again then it will seem disingenuous. There should be a bigger picture to ads that aim to provoke emotion or support movements. They can’t just be doing it simply to gain promotion or they won’t be authentic and will have the same or less success as self promotional ads. 

At the end of the day ads need to worry more about their consumers than themselves in order to get the results they want. They need to use social listening to understand their customers and give them what they want. And what consumers want is for company’s to be authentic with us.

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