Today’s post is all about faking it. No not that sort of faking it. I mean the type of faking it found in advertising.

The Good:
If you’re going to fake an ad and produce outlandish results then learn a lesson from Mini’s 2007 ads which aired in the USA:

The Bad:
A prospective beacon of honesty, trustworthiness and transparency can be seen on a new billboard campaign with some pretty obvious retouching. Yes it’s ‘the next Prime Minister’ David Cameron. Now for someone who should uphold the aforementioned traits his team have done a pretty bad PR job with David seemingly unhappy to appear on the ads looking his normal self. A little powder to take the shine away could have done it. My finer half is a Photographer, and of course most portrait images go through some retouching process – removing the blemishes with which the naked eye ignores, yet which a digital lens and lighting exaggerate, and in many ads featuring models perhaps some airbrushing. But removing the natural crows feet, softening cheek bones and Gaussian blurring the forehead on a politician is going too far for many people. With some strong responses.

The Ugly:

Perhaps a little harsh, but a new three-step system from Johnson & Johnson aims to promote its fast results. Part of a trend using traditional ad techniques it demonstrates the old stable – case study vox pops with a before vs after scenario. But yes – you guessed it – they’ve covered the girls’ faces with powder and foundation on the ‘after’ images. Now J&J claim this was simply to prevent camera flare obscuring the “fewer spots, reduced redness and much clearer skin” but they got a bit carried away with the old slap and neglected to do the same to the ‘before’ shots, ruining any honesty that such an ad could claim.

People know things are faked a little, we all do it even if it’s refraining to pick our noses in public, or dressing in a different manner for a particular meeting. But when it’s either unfair, unnecessary, or tarnishes honesty – then it’s gone too far.

I’ll sign off with a lesson in how to fake it in true style from Rayban and Microsoft: