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.