Who doesn't want to come first? Be better than the best?
Everyone does in some way, shape or form including businesses - yet revealing faults or claiming to be second best has become a trend with brands recently. Admitting defeat, owning second place or outlining a fault is a great way to get the people talking and engaged with your brand.
Classico accepted that their pasta sauce can't beat homemade sauce from Nonna, but on a night when in the need of a quick delicious sauce, it's great to pick up a jar of Classico. The brand presented a commercial which portrayed a pasta sauce competition between Classico chefs and a group of Italian Nonnas.
Recognizing that the competition in the beverage business was extremely competitive, Snapple came with the 'threedom is freedom' campaign, proudly accepting that they rank after Coca-Cola and Pepsico.
See examples of other brands that have publicized that they aren't first in their category below.
Ran a campaign indicating that they are the second best car rental company, and that they work harder towards becoming first. This tagline was removed in 2015 after they fell behind Hertz - but was used for 50 years prior to being removed.
When the company launched their dark roast coffee, it wasn’t well received by consumers. After admitting that blend wasn't rich enough, the brand darkened the roast and presented it again to consumers, encouraging them to use social media mentions to share their feedback of the new blend.