We Suck Less

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"You've tried the worst, now try the THIRST!... quencher!"
—Powerthirst ad

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.

Compare The Man Is Sticking It to the Man

Examples of We Suck Less include:

  • Any weight loss pill or plan.
  • Any cosmetic product for women.
  • Any "male enhancement" product
  • 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.
  • Political campaigns are based on this principle. "Our opposition is worse! Vote for me!"
  • Domino's Pizza did this against themselves to promote their new recipe pizza. Stephen Colbert named them Alpha Dog of the Week for boldly telling their customers how utterly awful their own product was, particularly since they had been extolling the same product's virtues in their previous marketing campaign.
    • Similarly, this has been Gillette's strategy for ages—a recent 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...).

In Universe Examples

  • An episode of Friends parodied this with Joey's infomercial about a "milk spout" for people who couldn't open a carton of milk without tearing it. Which actually doesn't sound like such a bad idea if you grew up exclusively buying milk in bottles, or cartons with screw-caps...
  • The phrase is played with in Futurama when an alien couple opens a pizza parlor on Earth, using the phrase "You've tried the rest, now we're open!"
  • Inverted for laughs by Dr. Nick Reveria: "You've tried the best, now try the rest!"