When it comes to a brand, most consumers value the ones they trust and the same should be said about comedians. If you look at the rankings of great comedians over time they all were considered quite transparent with their fans. Richard Pryor was known to speak on several things during his shows that many would be too afraid to bring to light. Pryor’s stories on his drug experiences, run-in with the cops, and thoughts on taboo subjects became somewhat of the glue to his position in comedy. George Carlin said things his own government may have squirmed at but it was his honest perspective and people loved him for it.
Honesty can possibly be the defining factor of a great comedian and brand.
Recently UK company Ronseal decided to stick to their values of being an honest brand by getting rid of a tagline they’ve had for over 21 years. The brands tagline of ‘Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin’ was recently pointed out by consumers to not be a true statement. The untruth in the company’s legendary tagline was due to it’s growth. With advances in packaging, the company no longer just distributes their product in tins. So instead of ignoring the situation Ronseal addressed consumers concerns and even issued an apology ‘#RonsealApology’ lead by their Managing Director Martin Jones. (below) Ronseal has since moved on to introduce some new phrases for their products.
“The new strapline might not be as memorable as the old one but it is certainly more honest. We hope now the general public will continue to admire our approach – and trust our marketing as much as our products”.
So if an established brand like Ronseal recognizes the importance of honesty, the same should be considered for any comedian who looks to connect with fans. Kevin Hart has revealed that honesty is apart of his blueprint over the years and it seems to be working. From his interviews to self-deprecating stand-up material, he has delivered doses of truth to better connect with fans.
As Bill Cosby looks to move forward after a series of sexual assault allegations, his standing with fans might be the perfect example of when honesty isn’t present. Not in a since that he actually did what he is being accused of but the issue of him not addressing the matter. Majority of the backlash that Cosby received looked to have just been a way of pressuring him to at least address things. The quieter he stayed the more people spoke up. Imagine if Cosby would have took the allegations to the stage and had an open conversation with fans. That probably could have been the best approach.
Comedy is already a craft meant to point out certain things others don’t say. Overall its a way to communicate honesty for people to better digest whatever the topic. So if you are a comedian expecting growth and longevity, here’s a question “Are you being honest?”
Update: Ronseal gives another apology