‘The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it.’

'Let it loose. It will defend itself.' — Augustine

It’s a strange world where the things people could choose to lie about are hanging out in the breeze for all to see. After all we live in a country where our Prime Minister readily admits owning shares in a hedge fund that heavily invested in Covid vaccine manufacturers Moderna. Whilst he banked millions during the pandemic as people died in their tens of thousands — he now runs our country on a policy of not paying doctors and nurses. Rishi barely even bothers to lie to hide the abandonment of his morals and humanity. 

But whilst today’s truths can be sickening — isn’t the truth still something worth holding on to? Not all our truths are repugnant. Far from it in fact. The vast majority of people — our ‘ruling class’ aside — live a truth that’s beautiful and endlessly fascinating. Brands could learn a lot by seeing into these many millions of lived experiences. After all — the closer we get to someone’s truth the more we understand them. The more we understand them — the deeper the potential for our connection. And in an ever more transactional world — isn’t that the holy grail for a future facing brand with integrity at its heart?

A possible source of creative ideas — progressive ideas — could indeed be the truth. As an industry we’ve long been addicted to metaphor in order to tell our stories. ‘Everyone hates the washing up — let’s make the sink into a monster. GRRRR!‘ And so on — and on and on. 

What about if we started with the truth instead of a made-up abstraction?

Deep, human, insightful stories that resonate. Doesn’t humanity itself contain enough richness before we need to start worrying about drumming gorillas? It’s never been more important for us to be seen — the brands that lead the way into tomorrow’s uncertain world will be the ones that see their audience. The ones in whom their audience see themselves.

Here at CALLING we take the truth as raw materials. Then take it somewhere extraordinary. Somewhere higher. 1 story told from 100 viewpoints. Our deepest vulnerabilities shared with the world in acts of radical honesty. Societal narratives concentrated into 60 powerful seconds — machine tooled for high emotion. Much of the craft of advertising is a magical process. The truth is we could choose to change the raw materials to be just as transcendent if we so wish. Maybe leave the puppets and the dancing ponies in the past. That was a far less nuanced time. A foreign country. Instead write from the truth and set it free. Like a lion — it will look after itself once that word is on the streets.

Featured image: Daniel in the Lions’ Den / Peter Paul Rubens

Josh Tenser, ECD and Founder at CALLING

Josh is the ECD and founder of Calling - a different type of creative company for a world of constant change

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