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Why We Stopped Using the Word ‘Authentic’
By: Contently
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Every night, when I come home from work, I walk by a little billboard in the Hoboken PATH station that makes me gnash my teeth. It’s an ad for a yoga studio. I’ve seen two variations, one for men and one for women. The billboard meant for women contains 15 words of copy: “I am a sister. I am a runner. I am authentic. I do hot yoga.” The sign reads like a parody of the worst kind of lifestyle advertising.

What does being a sister have to do with yoga? The more I walk by it, the less sense it makes. The third line gets to me the most, though. “I am authentic” just doesn’t communicate anything concrete or valuable to the consumer.

There are plenty of popular marketing terms that irritate me (“subject-matter experts,” “micro-moments,” “thought leadership”), but “authentic” bothers me the most. While crappy buzzwords are usually just convoluted ways of saying simple things, “authentic” is especially problematic because of its hollowness. Marketers frequently use it in a way that’s either meaningless or contradictory.

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About the Author
This article was first published by Contently.com. A link to the original can be found at the bottom of the post. www.contently.com
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