How to be the best fake possible

best fake

You’ll probably want to hurt me after you read this post. My thesis is that authenticity might not matter as much as we say, and it might be more effective to be the best fake possible.

Let’s begin, with the future of fakes.

I love fakes

Slowly but surely, my Instagram feed is filling with AI-generated content …

  • Musical mash-ups of long-dead rock stars
  • Surreal science fiction landscapes
  • Twisted art and images that make you wonder, “How did they do that?”

These images are so fantastic, beautiful, and mesmerizing. And of course, they’re all fake.

A long time ago, Buzz Sumo did a study that showed the most common emotion associated with viral content was “awe.” Awe comes from seeing something that you’ve never seen before. And AI is pretty good at that. These addictive Instagram images and videos are proving it.

Fake stuff is amazing Fake stuff rules.

How to be the best fake possible

I could argue that fake is the future of content and marketing.

Most of us are trying to get a consumer to stop what they’re doing and spend a few moments with us to become aware of an idea, product, or service. The content that’s stopping me the most these days has no authentic human element whatsoever. So why wouldn’t we embrace the fake?

If you haven’t been dazzled by fake content yet, you soon will be. It’s showing up everywhere. Of course AI-generated content will be used to disrupt elections and perpetuate lies, but it can also provide great entertainment value, at almost no cost.

One of my favorite movies is Avengers End Game. The thrilling final battle scene is jaw-dropping … and almost entirely fake. Does it ever enter my mind that it’s fake? No. I just love the experience.

best fake

In the coming months, we’ll be able to make cinematic, movie-quality videos on our computers. If you could make Avengers-quality content for your business, why wouldn’t you? Is it fake? Yes. Do your customers care? Not if it’s great.

Embrace the fake. Be on the cutting edge of fake. Bring the awe!

But what about human authenticity?

100 percent human contentThere is probably no marketing consultant on the planet who has advocated human-centered marketing approaches more than me. Famously, the subtitle of my book Marketing Rebellion is “The Most Human Company Wins.”

Am I selling out?

I don’t have an agenda. I’m not the LinkedIn Guy or the Facebook Ads Guy trying to sell my services. I’m the Whatever Works Guy.

Authentic human connection has been at the heart of marketing since the beginning. In early history, it was the only thing we had, and there will always be a place for it.

In fact, I’m counting on it. I’ve included a badge on each of my posts that says “100% Human Content.” I want to assure you that what you see is what you get. It’s me, and only me. No AI. You can trust what you read.

My business is built on trust. I want to be the most trusted voice in marketing. And that means, NO FAKES.

My message today is, don’t go down the “authentic” rabbit hole so far that you can’t recognize great content — and great opportunity — when you see it. Use every storytelling technique you have available to you, even it derives from the imagination of artificial intelligence.

P.S. About that image

I used MidJourney to create the image at the top of the post. It had to be a dazzling fake, right? Here is the prompt I used: most dazzling image imaginable, insane detail, awe, surprise, beautiful, dazzling, gorgeous

Here is the image that came in second place:

best fake

Crazy stuff!

Need a keynote speaker? Mark Schaefer is the most trusted voice in marketing. Your conference guests will buzz about his insights long after your event! Mark is the author of some of the world’s bestselling marketing books, a college educator, and an advisor to many of the world’s largest brands. Contact Mark to have him bring a fun, meaningful, and memorable presentation to your company event or conference.

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Images courtesy MidJourney

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