Kelly’s Korner: Advertising Claims Follow Up

by Kelly Du

With so many products out there being advertised in the world, it’s difficult to believe one claim over another. One way companies create an illusion of superiority is by using the words “better” and “best.” They may seem similar, but in terms of advertising claims, they’re quite different.  “Best” means “equal to.” Any product that is advertised as being the best just means that it’s “as good as the other superior products in its category.”

“Better” ends up being interpreted as a clear claim of superiority over other products in its category.  It can also be used to compare a product with something other than its competing brands, like claiming orange juice as “better than a vitamin pill” or “the better breakfast drink.” If a product is truly superior, then it will clearly say so along with supporting evidence. Most of the time though, this is not the case. If a product mentions its advantage over the competition, there’s a good chance that it’s not actually better, but just equal to it.

Next time you see an advertisement, be aware of when they use the words “better” and “best.” Those words are ways advertisers create an illusion of superiority.

“ADVERTISEMENTS.” The Official Home of Bing Crosby. BCE, Inc. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://bingcrosby.com/bing/bing-crosby-media/photo-gallery/advertisements&gt;.

Schrank, Jeffrey. “The Language of Advertising Claims.” HANDOUT: The Language Of Advertising Claims. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://sunset.backbone.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/comp/ad-claims.html&gt;.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Kelly’s Korner: Advertising Claims Follow Up

  1. Rylee

    This article pretty much sums up every advertisement we see today on tv, billboards, magazines, etc. People become easily persuaded when a product says it’s “the best,” but this article informs people about how this really isn’t the case. For example, today where everyone is on the run, they just want the coffee that is “the best,” but never question if there is actually a better kind out there. From now on when I see/read an ad, I will be more focused and make sure to research which product is actually “better.”

  2. hp

    I never really thought about the difference between the words better and best. We hear and read those words in advertising all the time, but never really thought about what they actually meant. This was a very interesting read.

  3. Bill

    This definitely opened my eyes to how better and best are used. I’m surprised at how the meaning of the word “best” doesn’t really mean the product is the best at all. Now I view those words a lot differently.