How to Use “New” to Disparage Your Competition

by Lou

How would you like—using just a few words—to have your readers, viewers, or listeners completely remove the idea of using your competition’s products?

Normally, when we see or hear the word “new”, we tend to think of something positive. But there is a way to use “new” that can conjure up a whole slew of negative images, connotations, and reactions.

This pattern is often used in opinion pieces in newspapers. It has such awsome power that it’s gotten whole groups to change their minds.

Here’s the pattern:

(COMPETITOR OR COMPETITOR’S PRODUCT): The new (NEGATIVE CONNOTATION WORD OR PHRASE)

Some examples:

• Costa Rica: The new Haiti? (this could be used in a holiday/vaction ad for other Latin American countries)
• YouTube: The new Idiot Box? (possibly for a new video sharing site)
• Duluth Pizza Restaurants: The new salmonella carriers? (could be used for a competitive take out restaurant in that town)
• Ford Pinto: The New Suicide Machine? (could have been used some years ago for the automobile)

The words you choose for this pattern need to be somewhat related or it won’t make much sense. And you do need to have an element of truth or at least back your statement with some proof.

You should be careful when using this pattern though. Disparaging the competition by name is a violation of Sales 101 (basically it makes you look bad). However you can use it on your competitors’ products or services as a whole, against big corporations, or against governments.

You can use the Disparaging New as a headline, subhead, or the title of a promotional article or press release.

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