A few weeks ago, we wrote in this space about how a few notable ads of late were more highly produced than the “ugly” trend meant to evoke authenticity.
In it, we suggested brands adopting a more polished look knew something others didn’t: that content distribution rules were changing and higher production quality is the next “arbitrage moment.”
We’ve been thinking more about this. Part of what we missed in that last newsletter was what might be happening on the consumer side to drive this.
If you watch someone outside the commerce space scroll a feed, they’ll tell you they know that an account pushing a new product is an ad—whether it’s disclosed or not. “Authenticity” might sell still, but it’s not because it’s authentic.
This is a departure from why most say ugly ads work, which means the operating assumption is dangerous.
Against this backdrop, it’s worth asking, then, why those ads work as well as what role trust plays in a relationship between a customer and a brand. And, if it still matters, what might restore it.