«Return to Blog List My Bumper Sticker Would Be…

Where I live, in Boulder, CO, there’s a classic bumper sticker, “Keep Boulder Weird.” Austin, TX has it’s version as well.

It’s a simple but powerful statement about preserving what makes these places unique and special.

If I had to boil the essence of customer stories down into a bumper-sticker statement, I might pick “Keep It Real.”

The very survival of customer case studies and success stories as effective, credible business assets depends on preserving their authenticity.

That’s why I am disheartened by the current Lipitor commercials. The cholesterol drug engaged real customers to tell their stories about their experiences before, and now with, Lipitor.

The problem is, they don’t feel very authentic. I doubted the people on TV were actual customers. They were so smooth and spoke at times like they were reading the Lipitor brochure.

I went to the site and it assured me that the ads featured real customers. Now I know they do, but the ads just don’t feel authentic. I can’t help but wonder how much coaching and training the customers received.

So much advertising features people talking about how solutions helped them. Most often they are actors.

When you have the golden opportunity to feature actual customers in a case study or success story of any type, let the customers speak in their own words – without excessive polish and puffery. When real customers sound like actors, it defeats the whole purpose.

Watch for yourself and let me know your thoughts.

3 Responses to My Bumper Sticker Would Be…

  1. This is interesting, the point about effective advocacy/customer stories is that you can empathise or transfer the example/picture yourself with the same issues or situation. Doubly interesting for me as my age and lifestyle makes these situations very real!
    Do I think these are too ‘slick’? Yes, way too polished.
    Does the concept of using this type of customer evidence suffer as a result?
    Well it’s not as compelling as it could be however the company states clearly that ‘Patients were compensated to share their stories’ and I think consumers are smart enough/cynical enough to lower their expectations accordingly.

  2. Hi Robin,
    Thanks for your comments. Good point about them being upfront about patients being compensated for sharing their stories. I see that note on the site, but I’m not sure that it comes across on the TV ads.
    I do agree the polish of the ads takes away from the “compelling” that usually comes from showcasing real customers.

  3. Marie-Claude Ethier says:

    Despite Lipitor’s assurance that these are ‘real’ customers, the cynical consumer in me immediately recoils at the blatant ‘un’-authentic feel of the ads. I agree with you Casey that the company completely missed the point here. I worked in media long enough to know that the number of people who can look natural in front of a camera is exceedingly small. And they are usually actors.