They’re both the best! Or is half the country crazy?

Advertising pros that have careers that last more than a couple years will find themselves working on more than one brand in a single category. I, for example, have worked on multiple hotel brands including Ritz Carleton and Hilton hotels. Multiple motorcycle brands including Kawasaki and Suzuki (twice). And multiple sunglass brands including Oakley and Smith.

Switching brands is no problem for me. And it has nothing to do with any sort of moral flexibility often ascribed to advertising professionals. If you’re not an advertising copywriter, you might find this kinda weird. How can I write an ad saying one is the best and then another’s the best? Sure, there’s the obvious paycheck part of it. But I don’t think I’d be a very good writer if my only motivation is money.

Let’s take Ritz Carleton and Hilton. It’s pretty obvious they’re different. One is opulent and stuffy. The other nice and relaxed. Both provide a similar services (hots and cots) but at different price points and to different markets. To these distinct markets, it’s very possible that they’re both the best. Even if money weren’t an object, I can see how some people would find the Ritz too stuffy or Hilton’s service lacking.

At the heart of it, I believe they are are incompatible views of the world that deserve equal respect. I’m not speaking about moral relativism. Rather that it’s possible for two people to hold different opinions and to be right given their life experience, the facts that they possess and the culture they experience everyday. For example I think my Hindu neighbors are just as right to worship they way they do as my Catholic ones. Or that most white people could believe the OJ verdict while most blacks did not. Or that Japanese believe their nation to be the best while Americans also believe the same of theirs.

Which brings us to politics. I also believe it’s possible that your friend, neighbor or co-worker actually has reasons to support the other guy that has nothing to do with your experience and the facts that you posses. Maybe they were raised in a military family and you weren’t. Or they have experienced a hardship that you know nothing about. Or they studied at a trade school while you went to graduate school. In the age of Google, you may disagree, but it’s impossible to know everything so why do you assume you know the same things others do?

However, maybe you think their knowledge, experiences and education are less valuable then yours. Pride is something that can be valuable in accomplishing goals but it’s a horrible lens to use when relating to your fellow man. And it’s the worst possible one to use when crafting ad copy. So next time you think about berating someone for supporting the other guy, breath deeply and simply ask why or just shut the fuck up. And if you can’t relate to someone because you don’t like their politics, you probably shouldn’t be the one writing the advertising that’s supposed to be selling them something.

Posted on: October 5, 2016, by :