Authenticity and reality and intention

Take a listen to this montage of three songs.

Listen to mp3

Any guesses as to what you just heard? Go ahead, I'll wait.

That's right, it's the Silver Beats, a group of four young men from Japan that have a serious Beatles Otaku. (One of John Lennon's original name for his group was the Silver Beetles.) They mimic each note, each cable, each instrument. I saw them in concert and it was uncanny.

Here's the thing: As far as I know, they don't speak English. 

Does that change things? Does it make the song different when you know the singer has no idea what, "I want to hold your hand," means? If every original Beatles song was replaced by an indistinguishable Silver Beats cover, would it matter? What about when a rich guy sings the blues? Or when a heartbreaker song is sung by a happily married man?

The popcorn videos I posted the other day have been seen around the web millions of times. It's now generally assumed that they are fake. Does that make them resonate differently for you?

What about the difference between Jerry Seinfeld (who writes his own material) and someone like David Letterman (who doesn't). Does it change your experience to know that?

How much marketing fakery do you willingly accept, and how much do you want to know about? Does the vegetarian really want to know that they didn't wash the pot at the restaurant and a few molecules of chicken broth are in that soup? How many molecules before it matters? Is it different if it's an accident? Why?

Marketers like to talk about transparency and authenticity. I think for most people, most of the time, we care a lot more about the effect and use of a product or service and less about who made it and why. We chose Converse because they get us a date, and we don't change brands just cause Nike owns them now.

Except for when we do. When we feel deceived or tricked, the game can change, and rapidly.

It's easier than ever to mount ornate hoaxes and fancy subterfuges. And you can get away with it for a while. But often, and at the worst possible moment, the market might change its mind. It might stop enjoying the fakery and switch to scorn and anger instead. I have no clue how to predict when this will happen. How much risk are you willing to take?