Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blind Loyalty

I've been giving some thought to my loyalties since starting this new job early last month. At the ad agency, my only client was Ford. I'd never been the biggest fan of domestic cars, but I also happen to be the kind of person who develops loyalties quite easily. As soon as I started there, my perspective changed, and I began to root for Ford hard core. I also started to drink the Kool Aid, giving FoMoCo the benefit of the doubt in terms of product quality and appeal. Most people would do this at least to some extent, so I guess it's nothing unique. But I probably lost perspective a bit too much.

I also gained an unnatural hatred for certain competitive products. Mind you, it wasn't out of control. I still appreciated that the Corvette was one of the best performance values on the market, for example. But I would write off vehicles like the new Challenger and Camaro, thinking that they'd never be as cool as the Mustang.

I must say, it's quite a load off to not feel constrained in this way anymore. In my new position, I do projects for nearly every OEM, so there's not much chance of an unwarranted bias. I'm free to love and hate vehicles with utter abandon.

Interestingly enough, I also don't feel quite the disappointment anymore about the sale of Aston Martin. I thought of it as the crown jewel in the Ford empire, and I was sad to see it go. I felt like I was losing my personal connection with the brand. But no longer do I think of it as my losing Aston. The brand and its heritage are the property of the car enthusiast world in my eyes, and it can be as much a part of me as it ever was.

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