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>.
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>.