Avis was #2. They tried harder.
And Hertz had a field day with them.
When the theme of your ads is that you’re almost good enough, it’s not hard for competitors to knock back. Hertz mocked Avis for having half the locations and half the selection, and turning it into a selling point. If you’re #2 even though you try harder, that makes you an underdog—but it’s also two reasons to assume that the competition is better.
Not so for search engines. If I could, I’d rank #2 for every query I’m targeting.