A press ad I just saw for Wrigley Extra chewing gum (featuring Ben Fogle, apparently admitting that chewing gum is not the classiest of past-times) seems to hit the nail on the head. No corny ad slogans and no mistruths.

It is so rare to come across a communication that seems to be more honest that it needs to be. I have always been irritated by the hype that surrounds so many advertising communications. There might be no particular ‘product truth’ involved, and if it is present at all, it can often be blown out of all proportion. It has galvanised my view of copywriting as something that needs to be as honest as possible if it is to be believed, and it’s a view that underpins all of my own writing.

Wrigley could easily create a brand ad that speaks about heritage and history, and one imagines taste might be a topic they could focus on. But social faux pas? Not quite the subject a copywriter would initially head towards, unless they were actively seeking to convey a brand message about honesty.

For my part, I love the fact that Wrigley questions the social rights and wrongs of chewing gum, and this helps attract me to a brand and a product which – if I am honest, myself – is something I am
trying to convince my 10-year-old son not to be involved with. I am not keen on the habit of chewing gum, although like Ben Fogle, I can appreciate the way it can ‘give my mouth a quick once over’
when necessary. More importantly, though, is that fact that whilst having my concerns about the
habit, it helps enormously to know that Wrigley themselves have a few concerns about it too. That is, if they are being honest about things.