Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

There’s a holiday for just about everything. In July alone, we have Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day (July 10), National Carousel Day (July 25), and Yellow Pig Day (July 17).

But the one that gets me every year is the holiday that falls on July 7: National Tell the Truth Day. The one day all year when everyone is encouraged to tell the truth.

I first learned about this holiday (and I use the term loosely) last year. You may have read my blog about it then. One year later I’m still chewing on the ramifications of a culture that makes it possible for truth to have a designated day, even as a joke. My question this year is, Can we handle the truth?

The answer seems to depend on who we ask. Most politicians don’t think we can handle the truth. That’s why political campaigns are often filled with promises that are rarely fulfilled when the candidate becomes the incumbent.

Advertisements are another venue where the truth is often unrecognizable. Products are dressed up to look better than they are, as we often discover after we purchase them.

Surprisingly, one particular corporation has spent the past year bucking this trend. One of the most successful international pizza delivery companies thinks we can handle the truth. In fact, they staked their reputation on putting the “truth” back in “Truth in Advertising.” How’s that for an innovative marketing strategy?

Contrary to conventional marketing wisdom, Domino’s Pizza launched an advertising campaign acknowledging the subpar quality of their products. Focus groups discussed their disappointment. Corporate executives then rolled out the “new and improved” products, openly inviting feedback. They both gave and asked for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It was the smartest thing they could have done.

Consumers responded with an enthusiasm that surprised financial and marketing analysts. Domino’s experienced a major increase in income and was named the pizza chain of the year two consecutive years by industry leaders.

The Bible is right after all. Proverbs 16:13 says, “Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.”

Looks like kings aren’t the only ones who value truth…and not just once a year.

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