You've tried the rest, now try us!
OK, we know you've been screwed by other companies before. Your hair is falling out, you're covered in warts, and your children run screaming from you. Nothing you've used so far has worked as advertised. Or at all. But you can trust us. We have your best interests at heart. Really.
Now, start sending in those installments of $19.99.
This pitch is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Frequently used by products with dubious effectiveness, or ones that cost far more than any practical difference they might make is worth. The products that are offered aim to improve something that people are insecure enough about to pour out money over, such as body image or social standing.
This trope has the cynically clever idea to target people who have already proven themselves dupes once. Oddly effective even against people who should know better.
- Any weight loss pill or plan.
- Any cosmetic product for women.
- Any "male enhancement" product. (Well, if it's a vacuum system, one could say that it would suck more.)
- Most infomercials, usually for one of the above. Particularly hilarious when for products that address flaws the competition doesn't actually have. Aren't you tired of how normal potato peelers slip out of your hands and stab you in the jugular?
- Most commercials for cellular phones. They openly acknowledge the family strife the expense of such services causes, or the frustration of dealing with dropped calls and interference that, after years of having the technology, are still several times worse than even the worst landline connection... and promise that their service will slightly reduce incidences of these problems.
- The most odious branches of "alternative" medicine sell themselves, or excuse themselves after the fact, on this basis, stapling the tatty old stench-ridden "conventional medicine has failed!" card to the terminally ill with all the tact of a carnival huckster. Columnist John Diamond suffered terminal cancer and received many testimonies from people who said a relative turned to alternative treatments after rejecting medicine and were much better that way. Chasing them up, he found that every single one ended with "...until they died six months later."
- Avis' "We Try Harder" ad campaign.
- The Massachusetts car dealership Commonwealth Motors uses the tagline "Shop Us Last...You'll Love Us!", and actively encourages in their radio advertisements that potential customers try out other dealers before visiting them. Their web site URL is even ShopUsLast.com.
- Political campaigns are based on this principle. "Our opposition is worse! Vote for me!"
- Similarly, this has been Gillette's strategy for ages — one campaign involved a man breaking into guys' bathrooms to effectively mock them for still using the Mach 3 when the Fusion is so clearly superior. Presumably they're trying to phase them out (at least you hope so, the alternative being they're continuing to sell something they think is crap...).