The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Why Telling The Truth Makes People Want You More …
May 29, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Ages ago I wrote a post about the benefits of unplanning … basically shunning all the re-framing, re-positioning, re-everything and taking on the perceived truth head on.

My argument is that it is often easier to get people to go on a journey with you when you’re talking about their existing viewpoints than trying to get them to let go of what they [believe] they know and take on an entirely different viewpoint.

I still stand by that – and while not every brand/campaign/idea needs to adopt it – in a World where so much parity bullshit is shouted at the masses, coming out from behind the marketing curtain can, in the right circumstances, be the best communication strategy you could have.

What am I talking about?

This …

In a World where one of the least trustworthy industries is real estate [though they rate more highly than adland] this ad by ‘Dave’ would make me call him.

It’s not just that he has a sense of humour – which he definitely does – but by highlighting he is NOT the real #1 realtor in his geography, it makes me like him – and weirdly – trust him more.

I know … I know … that sounds fucked up, but there’s logic to it. Honest. Albeit fucked up, twisted logic.

Many years ago I wanted to buy a house in Sydney.

I found one I liked so I went to the real estate that represented them.

While we were talking, I said that I wanted to hire an outside party to negotiate the price of the house for me.

The real estate agent looked confused and told me, “In Australia, we do all the negotiating for you”.

On hearing this, I picked up one of their brochures and pointed to the ‘tag line’ they featured prominently at the top.


When I explained that this indicated to me that they represent the sellers interest more than the buyers and that while I’d use them to sell my house but not buy my house – you could literally see a lightbulb go off in their head.

Which is why I like that Dave is NOT the #1 realtor in his district because maybe that means he’s not as cut-throat as everyone else and actually gives a damn about people, not just profit.


Regardless, I’d give him a call which means he’s in with a chance – which is more than I’d do with most other real estate ads promising a never-ending stream of bland ‘professional’ statements.

In an industry that is constantly looking to differentiate their clients brands from the competition, often the biggest – and most effective – thing you can do is simply strip back all the marketing hype and tell the truth.

Who’d of thought … and not a proprietary tool in sight.

20 Comments so far
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And that is how you became Australia’s property tycoon/evil landlord.

Comment by DH

For the sake of accuracy, I feel compelled to point out that Robert’s empire extends well beyond the shores of Australia.

Comment by George

Did you come up with unplanned so you could have more holidays?

Comment by DH

Now that would be devious strategy. Why didn’t I think of that. Dammit.

Comment by Rob

His website disappointly reveals the gag to be the limit of his appeal. I wonder if that epitomises Canadian realtors?

Comment by John

Andrew should be able to answer that for you John.

Comment by George

I was hoping he would.

Comment by John

i would never fucking buy a place from a man with a moustache and a desire to look like a fat fucking piers brosnan. fact.

Comment by andy@cynic

Is it the mustache or the Piers impression?

Comment by DH

its the fact the fucker is maple syrup canadian twat who needs his mothers validation to feel hes doing something worthy. hes not. cock.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH


Comment by Billy Whizz

The thing I always liked about unplanned was that it was about embracing the most prominent perception of the brand and building on it rather than ignoring, twisting it or repositioning it. I’m not sure if the example you use strictly falls within this approach because he has made up the “fact” about his selling prowess. It definitely shows the power of charm but not quite convinced it’s about unplanning, but as you came up with the concept, I suppose you can interpret it anyway you want to.

Comment by Pete

I should add that I would call Dave as well, so whether his strategy is unplanned or charm offensive, it would work on me.

Comment by Pete

I’m not sure what that says about planners, but I’m sure somebody can tell me.

Comment by John

It say’s we’re a sad bunch, but you should already know that by now John.

I know what you’re saying Pete, but charm aside, he is highlighting he’s not exactly the god of real estate and given the majority in that industry reframe their success to sound like they’re gods [ie: #1 in selling homes numbered 2-13], I think this is absolutely based on the premise of unplanned planning.

But as John pointed out, at the end of the day, “truth” is in the eye of the beholder, which means that as much as this guys ad would attract me enough to call him, it would make Mr Dodds want to put out a hitman on him.

Comment by Rob

I agree with Pete this seems more about charm than unplanning, but then by admitting his success is only through his mothers eyes, he is acknowledging the cold, hard truth which is the foundation of what unplanning is about. But there is a simpler definition. Unplanned planning is simply telling the truth rather than the marketing truth, which these days appears to be like living on different planets.

Comment by George

On the other hand, I see it as a contrived attempt to re-frame and re-position himself as the human face of one of the most loathed and mistrusted professions in the world. Complete with corporate affiliation. But then I’m just a bitter member of the underclass.

Comment by John

Which is why you come to this blog like the rest of us John.

Comment by George

The glow of the internet is the only vicarious warmth I get.

Comment by John

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