December 9, 2022
Comparative Advertising

What is Comparative Advertising?

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Introduction – 

Comparative advertising is a daring strategy that pits rival businesses against one another, and it can undoubtedly be a successful approach to grab attention. But is this the proper kind of focus? Do brands that aim to win over customers face an unreasonable threat from comparisons? To draw some wise conclusions, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of comparison advertising. But first, we must comprehend what it means. 

What is Comparative Advertising?

Comparing one or more brands is, in a nutshell, what comparative advertising is all about. Comparative ads’ primary objective is to communicate value, which is frequently accomplished by demonstrating how one brand is better than a rival brand or other brands as a whole.

Throughout your life, you have probably encountered comparisons in advertisements. Do you remember the early 2000s Mac vs Pc Commercials? The PC was characterised as “the nerdy, awkward guy in the suit,” whereas Mac was symbolised as “the cool, calm, and collected guy in a hoodie.”

Examples of Comparative Advertising – 

Comparative Advertising
What is Comparative Advertising?

To better grasp the notion of comparison advertising after learning about its benefits and drawbacks, consider a few instances of actual comparative advertising. You may be able to understand how comparative advertising functions in real life as a result. 

Popeyes – Popeyes, an american chain of fast food restaurants, seized this opportunity, shunned television advertising, and produced a comparison advertisement. Which assisted them in gaining an unexpected and enormously lucrative industry in spicy chicken. Popeyes stopped selling after the Twitter battle over its chicken sandwich and restocked. When they got back, they stopped using TV marketing and started using comparative advertising instead, which is a digital strategy. 

They were aware of Chick-fil-plan A’s and used it to their advantage, greatly increasing Sunday sales. They implemented cutting-edge social analytics powered by AI, which enabled them to continuously monitor their outcomes in real-time.

Adidas – The German multinational sportswear firm Adidas is the only well-known sports gear brand that outperformed Nike. Why did they succeed? They entered the field of comparison marketing and soon produced a video ad featuring a runner in the desert wearing Nike sneakers. Runners are aware that such terrain makes running difficult. The most surprising aspect of the film was how the photographer, who was wearing Adidas sneakers, was able to keep up with the runner while toting bulky equipment.

Sprint – In order to participate in Comparative advertising, sprint, a Verizon competitor in the marketplace, contacted the actor in 2016 and forced him to switch to their Service. For marketing and advertising, Sprint included the actor who worked for Verizon for 16 years. They appealed to the audience by asking why they couldn’t move to Sprint if a devoted Verizon actor could. What is holding you back from implementing the change? The cellular service provider claimed that there is a percent difference in coverage between their service and others. In light of such assertion, Sprint was positioned as Verizon’s more capable rival.

Bounty – Bounty demonstrated the advantages of using their brand’s paper towel as opposed to towels from generic brands without specifically naming their rival. Instead of attempting to persuade potential customers that their product is superior, they used comparison advertising, claiming that other brands do not wipe up messes as effectively as bounty towels do. In this way, they claimed that they offer luxury goods as opposed to cheap ones that do not tidy up the mess. 

Cocoon by Sealy – Casper, a pioneer in the mattress industry with a market cap of around $1 billion, rose to the top of the best online mattresses in 2014. Its direct rival, Sealy, said that its rival is merely a rival where customers purchase products for the name-brand excitement in a comparative advertising campaign.

They placed a paid Casper advertisement with the heading Don’t buy the hype, shop Cocoon, and save hundreds on SERPs to target the Casper audience. When the customer clicks on the advertisement, they learn that Sealy sells reliable, reasonably priced mattresses that promote restful sleep. In the mattress sector, Sealy became a dependable brand thanks to the comparative advertising that raised its worth.

Kroger – By the end of 2020, Kroger had gained notoriety when it for the 1st time occupied the 9th position on the list of the biggest eCommerce companies by sales. The key to their success was the use of comparison newspaper ads against their rival, publix. 

Two identical recipes with varying prices were displayed in the advertisement. By claiming that they offer lower-priced servings to increase savings and extra benefits that customers cannot obtain at Publix, Kroger specifically targeted the audience. As a result, their sales unexpectedly increased to the point where 60 million US households—out of the 120 million total—now buy goods from Kroger.

After examining the comparison advertising used by the aforementioned companies, it is critical to comprehend and accept the term “Comparative.” Do not make inaccurate deceptive assertions that could impede marketing efforts by following the comparative advertising approach. Despite the fact that many nations are against it, a company can avoid legal trouble by positively implementing and comprehending comparative marketing methods. 

Comparative Advertising
Examples of Comparative Advertising

Advantages and Disadvantages of Comparative Ads – 

It’s wise to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of comparative advertising. Even while you undoubtedly want to safeguard your brand, moving outside of your comfort zone might have advantages. 

Here are a few factors to think about when you decide if it’s a route worth taking. 

The Pros

  • Your brand may appear attractive – Utilising your competitor’s flaws to your advantage is one strategy for comparison advertising, provided you explain how you do it better. For instance, Samsung fully committed to its “Next Big Thing” marketing campaign, skillfully highlighting the advantages of the new phone over the brand-new (at the time) Apple iPhone, including a larger screen size, superior service, and no waiting in lines.
  • Increasing recognition through your brand – without a question, aggressive advertising may grab viewer’s attention. Especially if you are comparing a lesser known brand to amore well known brand and your brand is less well-known. Comparative advertising has a long history of utilising a market share of well-known brands to highlight your brand.  
  • More consumers or followers may get familiar with your brand. Increasing sales or conversions is, of course, the ultimate purpose of advertising, and comparisons are just one more technique to do this. Comparative advertisements, when done well, can not only encourage current consumers to stay with you while reinforcing their positive associations, but they can also persuade clients of your rivals to consider switching.

The Cons

  • Your brand may appear poorly. Comparative marketing has a potential to fail. If the advertisement is negatively received, it may reflect adversely on your brand or portray you as needy for attention. For instance, Bud Light started a comparison campaign with its rival to highlight how other’s use corn syrup. It appears as though there was no resonance.  
  • Losing clients could hurt your brand. Comparisons in adverts also run the danger of turning off potential clients. If your message repels them too much, they can seek out alternative answers and stop paying attention to you.
  • You could be sued over your company’s brand. Even if it’s the worst situation, if your advertisement crosses the line, you can end up in legal problems. If you want to think about comparing your brand to rivals, make sure your legal team reviews every aspect before becoming public.  
Conclusion – 

Brands can benefit greatly from comparative advertising, which can raise sales and customer growth while also enhancing brand reputation and recognition. The negative effects that can result, such a drop in reputation clientele, are equally significant. It takes a deliberate strategy, careful message, and what always seems to assist just a little bit of humour to succeed with comparison commercials.

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