“Be original. Drink Dr. Pepper” -1950s Dr. Pepper slogan
Thank you Dr. Pepper. I knew I was missing something in my goal to be original! I’ll go buy a 6 pack!
When Dr. Pepper wrote this slogan, they were appealing to Rugged Individualism, in other words, determined independence. Dr. Pepper is attempting to appeal to the opinion of a small (but opinionated) group of people. The idea is to be different, which many people think is the “cool” thing to be.. different.
I understand why the idea of different attracts people, even I am attracted to it. For example, I didn't want to be in a sorority when I came to college because I didn't want to do what every freshman did. Instead, I did something that wasn't as popular, (joined a learning community). It still worked out, but I also see the fruitfulness that comes from the popular Greek life!
Even Donald Trump tried out this fallacy in 2015:
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either.”
So, why do people use this fallacy?
Many companies and leaders use this fallacy to play upon the desire to be above the crowd, better than others, or a leader rather than a follower. People pride themselves for not falling to popular vote, but to be rational and to be oneself. This fallacy highlights that you must be making decisions for yourself, be very independent, and strong in yourself.
Even though being rational and thoughtful in your decisions is great, this doesn’t mean the answer has to be the unpopular one. When something becomes popular, it is obviously for a reason. Riding your bike to work or taking public transit is becoming more and more popular because it is saving money and gas emissions, rather than gas hogs like Hummers becoming the popular car to drive. No, Hummers became unpopular because of their horrible gas emissions. (Usually, an idea is unpopular for a reason)
So yes, be rational when you make decisions, but don’t base that decision off the idea that since something may be unpopular and different, that it is the better one. Aren't the popular kids the "cool" ones?