Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The harsh jungle of battery competition

I just remembered something that happened some years ago: I was back in Denmark, and walking in an industrial district in Glostrup, outside Copenhagen. I walked past a big gate leading in to a very large parking lot, and in the back of it was a very, very large building, with a large sign saying "Duracell".

And there it was: right dead center in the middle of the driveway and gate, lay a battery. It was a Danish brand: Hellesen. You didn't see them very much these days. And this poor battery was totally dry and flattened by having been driven over multiple times by big, full, Duracell trucks.

What are the odds? And I've never seen such in-your-face symbolism. The independent Danish battery manufacturer, figurative and literally flattened by the trucks of Duracell invading the country. (And I see that Hellesen was in fact later bought up by Duracell. They may not have liked it, but it's surely preferable to bankrupcy.)

(Don't get me wrong, this is not me 'sticking up for the underdog': if Duracell makes a superior product, and they probably do, that's just how competition works. But I just had to laugh at such striking symbolism.)


CalgaryMark said...

Near where I live, on the right side of the road, there is a Governemnt Forestry Office with a helipad; then the road I travel, and to the left of it some open space and a railway line that parallels the road. Beside the road is a sign that says 'Beware Low-Flying Aircraft'. One of these days I will be there as a big Canadian Pacific mile - long, 110-car freight train comes lumbering past with its three big headlights shining brightly, and I will be able to snap a picture of the sign in the foreground and the train in the background . . . the juxtaposition appeals to my sense of the absurd.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

You should do that.

Somewhere on the web I have a photo of an old building, taken not long from where I live. On it, right next to each other, is one sign saying the building is condemned and dangerous, and another sign saying where to call if you wish to rent the building!

David Evans said...

Duracell are not necessarily superior. In tests by "Which?" their AA disposables come out the same as or worse than the ones sold by Aldi and Lidl. Prices:
Duracell £4.99 for 4
Aldi/Lidl £1.99 for 8.
Admittedly Duracell can often be found cheaper, but not that much cheaper.