Transparent Advertising: Why Today’s Buyers Demand Honesty

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Consumers want to buy from people, not companies. There are countless avenues brands can take to become more personable and less corporate. Transparent advertising yields consumer loyalty. Consumer loyalty yields $$. But how transparent should brands be? What should or shouldn’t be said through the means of transparent advertising?

Companies need to listen to what their buyers have to say. Buyers mean business, literally and figuratively. Feedback shapes how companies approach the average consumer and alters how and what their product is. Constantly iterating and improving to achieve the best buyer’s journey is vital to business prosperity. 

Do companies care more about revenue or their consumers? How can consumers tell where brands place their values? One of the solutions to these questions could very well be transparent advertising. 

What is Transparent Advertising & Branding?

Transparent advertising is a relatively new technique advertisers use to build brands. But what truly defines a brand and how does that relate to transparency in advertising? Well, branding is essentially the act of crafting a story behind a particular company. Branding is manufacturing the why behind how companies operate. Who are the executives? What’s their story? What are their values? Invested consumers will continually ask these questions so they know that their dollars are being spent ethically.

Purposeful advertising can and should be honest. For many years, companies were thought to follow unwritten requirements of professionalism towards their consumers and clients. Modern-day marketing strategies no longer follow these requirements. Companies now utilize advertising as a flamboyant artform to formulate bold statements relating to social issues and their core values. Transparent advertising empowers consumers to directly connect and interact with companies. Will purchasing a specific product help the environment? Do certain brands donate to charitable causes that resonate with you? These impactful initiatives matter to a lot of consumers. Many will pay a premium to buy from companies that share similar values.


Brand personality can be a notably effective approach to transparent advertising. Personality breeds engagement. Consumers willingly interact with brands that let down their guard and encompass a sense of realness through their advertising campaigns. Showcasing company leaders and executives on the company website and having them be their own spokespeople can positively impact brand personality. Consumers want to know who they’re buying from. People gravitate towards people with personality as well as companies with personality.

Building a brand or business with personality is far more difficult than it sounds. It’s entirely possible to have too much personality or too little. If you own a small startup in the clothing space, brand personality can do wonders. If you’re a marketer for a medical instruments company, too much brand personality may not be the best advertising strategy. It’s very much a “read the room” circumstance when finding your brand’s personality and what you should show to potential and already existing customers.  


Vulnerability is extraordinarily uncomfortable. Knocking down those personal and professional internal boundaries is no easy task to handle, both individually and as a brand. To what extent should you become vulnerable? Now you shouldn’t advertise sensitive medical or personal information, but you should admit weaknesses that your company might have and turn it into a storytelling opportunity. Tell consumers where you went wrong, but also show them how you’re handling it and improving. What is your company’s story? Where did you come from? What mistakes did you make to get to where you’re at now? Honest storytelling while incorporating vulnerability elements can be an advertising goldmine. 

Admitting weakness doesn’t necessarily mean destructively tearing down your company and employees. It means turning a negative into a positive and displaying that effort to your consumers through transparent advertising. This personalized relationship is a monumental trust builder between you and your customers. Buyers yearn for trustworthy companies and will gladly pay a little bit more to use products and services from transparent businesses.  


While elements of brand personality, vulnerability, and transparent advertising are great for marketing a business, you need to back up your ad campaigns with a great product. Part of being truthful and transparent is, unsurprisingly, doing exactly what you said you were going to do. Keeping a promise means keeping customers engaged with your brand for much longer. Customer longevity is fundamental to long-term growth for any company. Building a loyal consumer base allows for businesses to continually operate and improve. 

Gaining a buyer’s trust is gaining their brand loyalty. Organic advertising, such as word of mouth will expand with loyal customers that willingly support your product and company. Honest advertising doesn’t have to be fully, 100% transparent. It just has to be transparent enough to attract customers. Transparent advertising is less about ad campaign development and more about total business development. Company authenticity should be advertising in itself. Let consumers be the center of your business goals and the money will follow.

Buyers demand honesty and so do our clients. Firefly Engagement works with publishers to produce the best results with full transparency. We handle the complexities of adtech to maximize revenue while relieving the stress of managing marketing and advertising systems for our clients. 

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