There are R3 in Advertising:

Real People aRe Rock Stars

By Jacquie Goodwill, APR

My go-to, fundamental belief in advertising is that Real people aRe Rock stars.  Hands down.

So often, I see the same faces selected from an array stock images or stock video.  There’s this one guy who is found in about #300 photos among stock imagery sites.  I call him Pensive Aging Man. Over the past ten years, he’s been featured in tri-fold brochures, sales catalogs, and print and online ads.  I am just sure he’s passed on by now, and whenever I see Pensive Aging Man, it’s a brand diluter.

I’m an Actor.  I was Acting. 

That line comes to mind every time I see actors, not real people, in an ad that tells you to do something compelling or formidable, like undergo joint replacement surgery or take your entire family on a cruise around the world!  I feel it’s a missed opportunity if your organization selects actors instead of real people in your promotional imagery, citing privacy concerns.

In truth, most often actors are hired, instead of finding testimonials to share, because of the time it takes to identify, chronicle, and then produce the campaign. If you have spent, literally, millions of dollars to ensure your organizational quality, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, why have you stopped at branding?  If you need to find the quintessential person or team who embodies your brand identity, look no further than these groups:

  • Your employees
  • Your patients or customers
  • Your vendors
  • Your community leaders
  • Your governing bodies and accrediting organizations

Yes, you will have employees featured in your advertising or marketing pieces that leave your organization.  Yes, your customers will move away, or even pass away.  You will also find some people who, due to personal or professional issues, can no longer be featured in your public, promotional imagery.  However, if you commit to a refresh of your imagery on a regular basis, that is okay.  It is factored into your ongoing commitment to tell your brand story by featuring the real-life heroes, beneficiaries, and champions of your organization.

Peninsula Strategic Communication (PSC) delivers spot-on B2C/B2B MarCom and internal Communication for your business.  Principal Jacquie Goodwill provides hands-on support during times of major transition, growth, and change in an organization.  She’s also known to bring delicious chocolate-filled, home-baked items to a meeting, now and then.

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