Quitting time is the runner-ups' cue to grab a drink and get under the table. In an advertised world of fabricated desires, squeezing out the juice from the hip pocket of the lowly consumer matters. Draining the colostomy bag as a straight chaser, the creeping debt that wraps the wallet skin begs for a reason to sink people further.
There's an art in delivering a message and perception that crafts the sympathy vote. One well worn sock scores points in loser appeal, the drivel of comparison advertising.
More sheets per bogroll as compared to the leading brand in toilet paper
Pinning themselves as second place is where they make their stake for first without the garishness of overtly twisting their boot heel on your neck.
The simple trick lies in gaming lizardly emotions in making you root for the underdog. Sitting atop a heap of dead bodies while they squat out a sense of accomplishment, careful to avoid their newly trashed pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars, second place cresting is only an illusion.
It's a fine line one walks between SMERSH and KAOS. On the one hand, you've got stealth and cunning. On the other foot you have bumbling fools needing a leg up. Together you have someone hopping on the spot clutching their ankle as they rub their gut in xanthan gum.
Companies jostling for market share enjoy trash talking the competition. It's half their breathing space. It drives the blood that engorges their throbbing thirst for a scalp. Within reason.
Comparative advertising only works so long as you wish to project yourself into second place. Eat your own shadow, take the lead and then you're stuck playing pat-a-cake with Schrödinger's cat. You're the lead comparing yourself against the leading brand which compares itself back to the original. Two states, and only one isn't not right.
When you're the tall poppy, slagging off the next one on the rung is unsavoury business. "How dare you?" they say. "What nerve!" they say. But if you're the one below and you're nicking at the heels, you're the go-getter the public champions. Only so long as you're looking up to kill and not down to guard your lead.
The two states are inherently consanguineous. There is no difference between them save for who they think is ahead. All they know and care about is that you're behind them.
Written on Friday, 12 August 2011