The TARES Test: What is it and how to use it

First off… What is a “TARES test”? Let’s break it down. The “TARES test” is a set of five principles of ethical persuasion used in the advertising and marketing worlds. Each letter stands for a different ethical question.

T: Is the message truthful?

A: Is the message authentic?

R: Does the advertisement treat the receiver with respect?

E: Is there equity between the advertiser/public relations specialist and the consumer?

S: Is the advertisement socially responsible?

Let’s go ahead and put the TARES test to… The test! Below is an advertisement for the brand AXE. This commercial aired this year, shortly after the quarantine period began.

T: Is this ad truthful? I would say yes. It paints a realistic image of what dating is going to look like while in and after COVID. Things are going to be different and awkward. But the good thing is, we’re all in this together.

A: This ad is authentic because it took current events and created a clever ad that is relevant to what’s happening now. It was creative, humorous, and is a play on their previous ads.

R: I believe that this ad is respectful. Even though it tried to make light of a dark situation, it was done in a respectful manner and didn’t cross any boundaries.

E: The ad is trying to sell a product, so yes there is equity involved.

S: This ad is socially responsible because it helps people look towards something positive in an uncertain time.

The Final Decision: This AXE commercial passed the TARES Test! It was truthful, authentic, respectful, equitable, and socially responsible.

The TARES Test is useful because it gives advertising and marketing professionals a chance to take a step back and make sure they’re being ethical while promoting a product or cause. It’s important to use ethics in the business world because when work is produced in a way that is based on honesty and integrity, the company benefits.

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