Why Honesty Truly is the Best Policy

I suppose “Because it just is” isn’t good enough. I supposed “Because it’s obvious” doesn’t cut it either.

How about “Because I read about it on the Internet”? No?

OK. The reason honesty works is because people are not accustomed to seeing honesty in marketing and advertising.

It catches us by surprise. It’s memorable.

That point is best illustrated by this clip of Jerry Seinfeld making a absolute mockery of the advertising industry during his Clio acceptance speech. He tells the brutal truth about the industry, which is why his audience of advertising people laughed. Jokes are funny when they contain truth, packaged in a way that is funny.

But more to the point, below are more tangible reasons why extreme honestly works.

Honesty Signals Confidence

When you’re comfortable telling the truth, people notice.

Honesty Builds Trust

This is similar to signaling confidence, but is different. When you’re open about what your products and services do and do not do, and people can easily verify your claims, people learn to trust you.

It Filters Out People Who Won’t Buy

If you’re selling Cubic Zirconia jewelry, people who are true diamond snobs will not buy anyway. So why entice them in the first place? It just wastes their time and yours.

It Filters In People Who Will Buy

Some people on the other hand want Cubic Zirconia. Looks like a diamond for a fraction of the cost. Those are the people you want anyway.

Do I Absolutely Know This to be True?

No. I have no studies to cite. I have no psychologist’s work to refer to.

So while I could be wrong, you know deep down from your own responses to ads that I’m not.


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