Monday, November 27, 2006

The truth

I explained away most of the mishaps of my childhood as "I fell out of a tree." As my mother found out this Thanksgiving, this was merely the answer I devised to make me seem less stupid (actually I jumped off the roof after I lost my housekey).

My mother remembers that my sister loves white chocolate. Actually my sister HATES white chocolate. "I knew there was something with her and white chocolate" mom says with a shrug.

These are the topics that crop up after Thanksgiving dinner. The misinterpretations and made-up truths that have become legendary in our household.

Half-truths are the stuff of brand legend, as well.

Floating Volkswagens. Safe Volvos. Indestructable Timex watches. If you say it enough times, you'll believe it. If you say it memorably enough, it becomes the truth. To the point where the real truth is a let-down.

The truth is I was only a little drunk at my cousin Kathy's wedding.
The truth is my Volvo V70 turbo only needed about $3000 worth of repairs. The stupidity lay in buying a car out of warranty, not a car from the russian mob in used car lot in Kensington.
The truth is, Santa is a left boot and an artful bite out of one of the carrots.
The truth is, my brain wasn't going to rot if I got water in my ears.

We don't want the truth. We want a good story. A convincing reason to believe.
We'll make up the truth, and remember it to fit our needs.
My mom doesn't want to know the truth. And neither do you.

Be memorable. Not correct. You'll still end up an authority.


Make the logo bigger said...

So then, it’s ok to say I worked at W+K on my resume?


J_Fox said...

You know, it is possible to be memorable and correct. Just more difficult when your slinging sweet ads for brands people actively dislike. And by "dislike" I mean "CompUSA."

James-H said...

MLTB: if the story was good enough, I think you could even convince W&K you've worked there before.

FOX: Agreed. And I get your point. We go out of our way to forgive brands (Mom, Target, etc) that we already like. The stories have to jive somehow, even if it's sort of far-fetched. Most of us give Nike the benefit of the doubt with their manufacturing contracts, because we see Nike's as standing for competiveness and the struggle for greatness. Walmart, less so. Because all they really stand for is "cheap crap".