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How Authenticity Defined Our Work in 2023

Authenticity Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word of the year. A year in review

Merriam-Webster named “authentic” the 2023 Word of the Year. Pointing to stories about AI, celebrity culture, and identity as the driving forces, the announcement also noted, “Clearly a desirable quality, authentic is hard to define and subject to debate — two reasons it sends many people to the dictionary.”

We understand.

Every day, we assist clients in navigating changes in strategies, creative content, and programming to meet audiences’ needs for real-life experiences and aid in making well-informed decisions. While we acknowledge that the way we tell a story is ever evolving, we firmly believe that truth and authenticity remain constant. And our commitment to creating stories and events lies in honoring the human experience.

Here’s how we explored authenticity this year:

Leading by Example:
Abby Thompson, associate creative director: “When I think about authenticity, I think a lot about Gen Z. Their BS barometer is uncanny and in a world of shrinking attention spans, making a genuine connection is the only way through. In our work with Fitbit, we approach this by first and foremost leading by example. The team intentionally shows up with the Fitbit trainers, clients, and collaborators as our truest selves and spend time to create space for them to do the same. In the end, the work is better, both in its integrity and by the numbers. Some of our most effective and impactful creative comes out of us leaning into the goofy playfulness of Fitbit trainer Tisha or the always humble always a force-to-be-reckoned with trainer Diamond.”

Sharing Real Life and Actual Results:
Kelsey Hadaller, vice president, content marketing: “Probably no surprise to anyone following social media trends over the years, but video is a top performer. While the medium has stayed the same, the creative has evolved. We now see an organic look and feel taking priority over snappy copy and unique design. The messages have also shifted to case studies and thought leadership, providing tangible value in decision-making.”

Creating Multiple Paths to Connection:
Rachael George, vice president, experiential: “We’ve noticed a rise in small gatherings allowing for personal ‘touches’ resulting in intimate and thoughtful engagements for attendees. In complement, large-scale programs maximize attendee time through mixed-format agendas and multi-day meeting schedules, offering more choice and freedom to curate a personalized ‘agenda.’ Collectively, these strategies aim to provide optimal experiences, understanding that people learn, receive, and retain information in their unique ways.”

Honoring The Storytellers:
Angeliz Guevara, senior social strategist: “We believe toxic environments stifle creativity, and content producers engaging on a purely transactional level may deliver results, but they won’t capture the essence of authenticity. So, while working on projects for Fitbit, we prioritized building relationships with our trainers and production teams. This approach resulted in trainers trusting us to create content that shares their most personal and vulnerable stories.”

Looking ahead these learnings inspire us to continue championing truthful narratives, fostering intimate connections, and honoring the storytellers who trust us to share their most profound experiences. We remain guided by the belief that authenticity is the vital essence of every compelling story we tell.

Written By:
December 12, 2023