Mar 26, 2013

Ad trends point to need for authenticity

Tony Treadway

Brand development is a special science that must include a focus on authenticity. For example, we are at work on a new brand of snack food that draws its history from an actual grain mill that dates to before the Civil War.

Consumers are so tired of the hype (in everything from politics to advertising) that they yearn for something that is true. That is why marketers must be great storytellers that can share the passion and authenticity of their brand in almost everything they do.

A great example is our treatment for a print ad for Dunbar’s Roasted Peppers. The company reintroduced the Old World process for preparing bell peppers by exposing fresh peppers to an open flame. It is a key differentiator for their brand. We drilled down on the process and found that an individual in the company had played a key role in the development of the process so we termed him a ‘Master Roaster’. The ad was so authentic in its photography and storytelling that it truly resonated with chefs who were discovering that Dunbar’s Roasted Peppers truly were better.

There are a couple more recent examples of authentic advertising. The Dodge Ram TV spot that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl in superb (with 14 million YouTube views today). Another great one is from an old Tennessee favorite…Jack Daniels. Their “Meet The Sign Painter” video is extraordinary.

When you are developing a brand, be sure that it is authentic, and communicate it through exceptional storytelling.

Tony Treadway


President & CEO

Regarded in the advertising and PR industry as a top strategist, Tony is considered one of the most respected marketing minds in the business, especially in the $600 billion foodservice industry. As president, he leads Creative Energy in serving a variety of regional and national accounts in the textile, hardware, building materials, electronics, nuclear power and health care markets.