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Are You Practicing Faux Authenticity?

Do you have the same reaction that I do to a 16-year old wearing worn-looking Madonna Blond Ambition World Tour t-shirt? My reaction is – ‘you weren’t even born yet.’ The tour was in 1990! While the t-shirt looks vintage and worn, it’s not — it’s faux authentic.

It reminds me of how many major pharmaceutical brands practice patient authenticity in their DTC marketing efforts. The execution often attempts to exude authenticity, but the patient portrayed is actually an actor/model. The copy has been developed by a young copywriter at the ad agency who has ‘read’ about the disease, but has not experienced the disease first hand. The execution attempts to portray how a patient would actually feel. Like that Madonna t-shirt, only those who are truly experienced know what is real and what isn’t.

In contrast, a few innovative marketers are imbuing real patient authenticity into their consumer efforts. Should I even have to use the adjective ‘real’ in front of patient authenticity?

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