Authenticity on YouTube: Q and A

Here’s another Becky Roth video, this one from her personal vlog:


Here are my “answers”:

1. If it’s produced can it be authentic? Yes, if the assembled moments are authentically “found moments” or else “realistic moments” which communicate a truth about some aspect of the human condition.

2. Can it be authentic if green screen or other devices are used? Yes, if the visuals convey a truth with a sense of perspective and appropriate emotion.

3. Can it be authentic if it’s rehearsed? Yes … Hollywood does this all the time. Here, you start with authentic dialog, true to the character, to the situation, to human nature. Then you rehearse it until the actor can deliver it in character, in the moment, as though it was authenticly caught by a candid camera.

4. Can it be unrehearsed, unmediated, unedited, and still be inauthentic? YES! It can be a come-on, a false or extremely partial view into a person, a misrepresentation of their feelings, a statement of what they think you want to hear.

5. If it’s authentic, does it have intrinsic value? No, because it can also be authentically banal, boring, derivative, destructive, shocking, titillating, or horrifying…. and thus other than perhaps being a form of art, pretty much worthless in spite of its authenticity.

Thanks, Becky, for raising these questions. I welcome comments on these perspectives.

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2 Responses to “Authenticity on YouTube: Q and A”

  1. Chris Hoskin Says:

    I think I agree with all your answers!

    IMHO it is interesting that there seems to be a desire for individuals and organisations to find the ‘secret recipe’, or ‘secret sauce’ to Authenticity (or Remarkability or Approachability for that matter).

    However I really think that there is no one-size that fits all. There is no one stop shop.

    Don’t get me wrong this is a great conversation and debate – but ultimately each case will need to be taken on its own merit.

    For some of my clients it would be suicide to pitch in with off-the-cuff, warts-an-all content.

    That said, in the past highly produced, well rehearsed, slick communications (be it brand or campaign oriented) were a prerequisite.

    Today, contemporary consumption of marketing messages has changed to the extent that completely transparent initiatives can work very well – In the right place at the right time. But alas that doesn’t mean it will work well for everyone.

    I do hope that makes sense! rgs from the UK

    Chris from

  2. Becky Says:

    You posted this on my birthday, which is ironic! its interesting how authenticity is defined…as im finding that many companies are having to change their advertising models accordingly with the presence of web 2.0. (now that im out of college and in the real world…)
    but on a separate note, in discussing scripted authenticity and unscripted inauthenticity, i think i think certain tv shows are comparable, such as reality and sitcom. often the reality is more staged because of the show being “put on” by 15 minute celebrities. On one hand, people crave the rawness of someone like them, but someone like them might have difficulty negotiating the authenticity aspect if they are unfamiliar with the media they are using…though is it any less authentic if someone puts on a face on camera? people who saw my videos first before meeting me in person have said that i am noticeably different. but not any less authentic. 🙂 thank you for commenting on the video and vlogs, I enjoy the insight.

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