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Contents

Introduction......................................................................................................................................3
I.

Definition and use of comparative advertising.........................................................................3

II. Legislation................................................................................................................................4
III.

Effectiveness of comparative advertising.............................................................................6

IV.

Case study.............................................................................................................................8

Apple versus Microsoft................................................................................................................8
Mercedes-Benz vs. Jaguar..........................................................................................................10
Coke vs. Pepsi............................................................................................................................11
McDonalds’ vs. Burger King.....................................................................................................12
Conclusion.....................................................................................................................................13
References......................................................................................................................................14

The purpose of the comparison is to increase the sales of the advertiser. Moreover. based on research. to show its superiority over the other brand or to directly attack the competition. As we may notice the majority of advertising that we see today on TV. I. Comparative advertising can be an effective way for new brands to break into markets and for established brands to reposition and regain lost market share. some of them are famous even if they were banned from TV. Definition and use of comparative advertising Wilkie and Farris (1975) define comparative advertising as advertising that compares two or more specifically named or recognizably presented brands of the same generic product or service class. In the second part of our paper. Mercedes-Benz vs. Comparative advertising identifies the competition for the purpose of claiming superiority or enhancing perceptions of the sponsoring and usually lesser-known brand (James & Hensel. Coke vs. especially because we have a wide range of products to choose from and everyone is trying to gain customers no matter what. Burger King. This is 2 . especially because in this type of competition it is very easy to cross the line and forget about timidity or caution. we will present four well-known examples of comparative advertising: Apple versus Microsoft.Introduction We live in a world where competition and fight amongst brands is everywhere. posters or social media is comparative in nature or directly identifies or names the competitive brand. Jaguar. In this paper we will try to define what does comparative advertising represent and how it can lead companies to a lawsuit in a federal court. and makes such a comparison in terms of one or more specific product or service attributes. because have become viral on the internet. we will try to emphasize the effectiveness of this type of advertising. 1991). For each case we will present you some of the most popular comparative ads. but brands should be careful with this attention-grabbing way of saying “We’re better than the competition” because it can be a veritable minefield if not done carefully. Pepsi and McDonalds’ vs.

pdf 3 . In the early twentieth-century comparative advertisements were typically portrayed competitors’ products as unhealthy or harmful.1 Comparative ads are more likely to be used on consumer goods rather than industrial goods. Also. advertisers feel that 15 out of every 100 advertisements may involve a comparative format. retail.when competing brands are not named. a study found that direct-comparison ads for established products scored higher in consumer tests than ads without any comparisons and slightly higher than ads using indirect comparisons.usually done in two ways: denigrating the quality of the other product or simply suggesting that the advertiser’s product has the same or. c) Generically . Unilever and Procter and Gamble. an advertisement may be compared to other brands either: a) Directly . The facts speak for themselves.com/jmdc/williamskc_web7_4_. 1 http://www. For example. Across all media. motoring and airlines. b) Indirectly . McDougall (1977) identifies three types of comparative advertisements. if a company affirms that its product is 25% faster based on independent laboratory tests. comparative ads accounted for about 15% of all the media firm's ads.na-businesspress. by 1990 80% of content analyzed TV commercials contained a direct or indirect comparative claim. But the use of comparative advertisments has grown rapidly: if in 1964. if durability and strength are important characteristics of one product and significant sales issues. Sectors most affected by rules on comparative advertising include food. in most cases. 1993). Comparative advertising is especially effective when the company focuses on strong and important points of difference. Comparative advertising tends to work more effectively for lesser-known brands trying to gain recognition relative to industry standards. Burger King and McDonald's. according to a study made by Pechmann and Stewart. (Barry.when competing brands are named. by all means the company should show the difference and spell out the benefits.when competing products perform similar end uses but may differ physically. this could be entitled as false advertising under federal law. Comparison advertising gets delicate and even problematic when the issues aren’t really as matter of fact. Famous examples of direct comparative ads involve Coke and Pepsi. For example. According to him. a superior quality to that of the compared product.

It can be a legitimate means of informing consumers of what is in their interests. Comparative advertising is only permitted when it is not misleading. competitors. At the European Union level the comparative advertising was accepted through 1997 Directive which added this issue to the provisions in matters of deceiving advertising referred to in a Directive from 1984 (84/450 Directive). created problems for the media delivering the advertisements.htm 4 . Legislation During the twentieth century. Comparative advertising has until now been governed by a patchwork of different laws in different countries. The Control of Misleading Advertisements (Amendment) Regulations 2000 implement an EC Directive intended to harmonies comparative advertising laws across Europe. Eventually.S. many U. the comparisons should:2 2 :http://europa. and raised concerns about potentially misleading advertising. In fact. a plaintiff must show that consumers were actually deceived by the defendant's false advertising and that there was a direct cause or connection between the alleged false advertising and the injury of the plaintiff. The FTC felt that direct comparisons would enhance the quality and quantity of information presented in messages for consumers. Regulations and norms about comparative advertising vary around the world. but has the intention to deceive consumers through the implied message conveyed. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressed support for this format in 1972 based on the premise that it is more informative for consumers. and the advertising industry. advertisers fought comparative advertising wars which grew increasingly hostile over time. in particular. Lanham Act is a main law tool. disparagement and the validity of comparative claims seem to have driven media advertising self-regulation policies. advertisers. In European Union.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/consumer_information/l32010_en. however. Standards of proof for recovering damages for false advertising are high. corrective advertising expenses to help regain loss business. which states that “one could incur liability when the message of the comparative advertisement is untrue or uncertain. Therefore.II. and punitive damages. and such ads are still not allowed in several countries: In the United States. attorneys’' fees.” The Lanham Act allows plaintiffs to claim a number of damages: lost profits. Also. to be entitled to damages.

- avoid creating confusion between traders. if an advertisement is proven to be dishonest by hiding or omitting some essential parts of the comparison. amended by the Decision no. the purposed or implemented comparison shall be capable of being supported by evidence. 3 Adopting a comparative advertising strategy can be risky because it can lead to a legal challenge if the regulations are not respected. “Mention the name of a competitor and you advertise him. So. which may include price. - relate to products with the same designation of origin. In Argentina. Nevertheless. comparative advertising is not forbidden since there is no specific law dealing with it. For example. and should not discredit. relevant. but in can also generate 3 https://www. in the case of consumption goods.com/library/journal/1P3-2451709041/a-history-of-the-media-industry-s-self-regulation 5 . the comparison shall be made with models manufactured in the same year and no comparison shall be made between products manufactured in different years. there are clear rules based on unfair competition law. unless it is only a reference to show evolution. in which case the evolution shall be clearly demonstrated. imitate or take advantage of the trade mark or trade names of a competitor. Effectiveness of comparative advertising Comparative advertising has often been viewed as both problematic and controversial even from the 19th century. it is probable that the advertising to be declared as illegal. - deal objectively with the material. George Rowell. psychological or emotionally based data does not constitute a valid comparison basis for consumers. (Brazilian Advertising Self-Regulation Code). III. Many early advertisers agreed with the American advertising executive and publisher. 148/2000 related to advertising. These provisions are contained by the Romanian Law no. 148 from July 26th 2000 related to advertising. 8 letter e) of Law no. as we have seen in previous chapter. but with some restrictions.questia. 17/2003 related to amendment of art. verifiable and representative features of those goods or services. Brazil allows comparative advertising.- relate to goods or services which meet the same needs or are intended for the same purpose. slander him and you do yourself no end of harm”.

These depend on the brands involved. comparative advertising can be an example of successful advertising.pdf 6 http://www. and considered the ad to be more relevant to their needs.a negative reaction among the consumers.com/jmdc/williamskc_web7_4_. 2001)5. & Grossbart (1990) 6 found that subjects processing a comparative ad format paid greater attention to the ad. Nevertheless.. that comparative advertising has both advantages and disadvantages.na-businesspress. elaborated on the ad more.4 It is no doubt. i. therefore. There are some aspects that the marketers need to take into consideration if they want the comparative advertising strategy to be a successful one: 4 http://www. The effectiveness of this type of advertising differs from culture to culture.na-businesspress. especially if they use the direct and negative strategy. However. These mixed results are most likely due to the use of direct versus indirect comparative ads and the use of comparisons based on the product category versus the brand name. perceived similarity or persuasion.yourarticlelibrary. There are also mixed reviews whether or not comparative ads reduce perceived differences between a new product and the market leader as well as whether or not perceptions of that brand are enhanced (Sciulli & Taiani. the comparative advertising is perceived as less credible than non-comparative one and it is more biased. especially when it is about a new vs an established brand - is more effective in generating attention and brand-awareness Also. As Barker et al (1993:157) pointed out. product position. it should be noted that comparative ads tend to contain more information than noncomparative ones and they are used to convey information about brands to the marketplace. Muehling. on the type of comparative ad chosen and also on the different measures that the researcher uses to measure effectiveness. A lot of research is focused on whether comparative advertisement is more effective than a non-comparative one.com/advertising/comparative-advertising-its-effectiveness-areas-and-otherdetails/22273/ 5 http://www. depending on how they are being perceived and analyzed and also on the results that they lead to.pdf 6 . Stoltman.e.com/jmdc/williamskc_web7_4_. recalled more information about the ad. the research conducted in terms of its effectiveness has concluded that comparative advertising: - is better than a non-comparative ad in enhancing brand name recall - generates more purchases than non-comparative ads - generates more favorable attitudes towards the sponsoring brand. which are: attention/recall. if done properly. and the results seem to vary.

Apple has been fighting Microsoft for years. The commercial’s intent is to present Surface Pro 3 as a laptop that's also a tablet. I can do better.- situational factors: characteristics of the audience. I’m a Mac” ad that shows Justin Long as the hip embodiment of Mac users and John Hodgman as the stiff personification of PC guy. Some of this competition led to smart campaigns that increased sales and improved the brand’s image because they were carefully planned and took into consideration the aspects that we discussed in the theoretical part. Microsoft has fought back more than ever. One of the most recent example is the commercial that portrays Surface Pro3 as the hipper product compared to Apple’s more traditional MacBook Air.fool. message.aspx http://www.fastcodesign. The two actors that personify the 7 8 http://www. The point of the ads presented viewers with a question put best by Seth Stevenson at Slate: "Would you rather be the laid-back young dude or the portly old dweeb"?8 The commercial is a direct comparison between Mac and PC that led to a thorough campaign in the United States and Canada launched in May 2. emphasizing the comparison with Apple "everything you can do.com/investing/general/2014/08/26/microsoft-vs-apple-new-surface-ads-bring-back-mac. But lately. which made them effective. starting with Apple’s first anti-PC advertisement from 1984. from their desire to prove that their product is the best.Case study Comparative advertising can be a valuable weapon in the arsenal of a skilled marketer and an effective way to target cost-sensitive consumers.com/3026521/evidence/apples-famous-ads-created-an-im-a-mac-effect 7 . We will present and analyze further some of the best known comparative ads and campaigns of top brands. With the “Hi." 7 The most famous comparative ad of the brands still remains the “Hi. company and product - distinct advantage: present the distinct advantage relative to competitive brands - credibility issue: should contain elements that make them believable. media. Apple versus Microsoft Apple and Microsoft's epic rivalry is well documented. such as a credible source or objective claims IV. 2006. Rival brands have been challenging each other through a wide range of advertising mediums for a very long time. I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” commercials by Apple and the “I’m a PC” responses by Microsoft.

More than that. and a waste of time. all with the same message: “PCs cause trouble and grief—they’re hard to use. and they’re vulnerable to malware.g. The ads are comprehensive. PR lady.com/download_folder/GAM_Campaign_Analysis. As Eric Jaffe pointed out in an article ‘Rather than sell Macs to certain consumers. Santa Claus. but are not intended to attract an expert who would have more knowledge on the technical aspects. the ads take into consideration the cultural differences and use persons from that particular culture (e.11 9 http://www. maybe these ads wanted to sell everyone on a Mac way of life”. I guess you are a little better at creative stuff-even though it’s completely juvenile.g. the comparison is done at the individual’s level as well: while PC is portrayed as an aggressor (e. customer care.computers that they represent are found in different circumstances: accident. demonstrated in most of the ads.target audience The Apple campaign is directed at the uninitiated user. and competent. This tactic is clever because it shows that the ads are respectful but at the same time.workingpsychology. while Mac is a young cool one.”). Mac.com/3026521/evidence/apples-famous-ads-created-an-im-a-mac-effect 10 8 . he encourages him. the distinction is obviously visible at a first look: PC is an old guy. Even though the strategy used is a negative one. they’re unstable.”9 Situational factors. etc. stable. Your computer problems will go away when you switch to Mac.workingpsychology. They are directed at the average user who might not even have heard about Macs or did not have the intention to buy one. saying “Work in progress!” We consider this to be an example of an effective comparative advertising. boxer.pdf http://www. An example of this is the “Better Results” ad when Mac sees PC’s ugly home movie. memorable. More than that. Credibility issue Mac possesses one of the traits that modern research consider to be one of the three fundamental research found in credibility10. safe. Macs are easy. “Well.pdf 11 http://www. gathering a total of 19 ads. a Japanese girl for Japan ads) Distinct advantage The ads highlight Apple’s advantages by comparing them to the drawbacks of a PC in terms of technical aspects. the negative sides of the Mac seem to be less important than the hostile attitude of the PC: the peacemaker vs the troublemaker. at those people that are undecided and those who buy a PC because they don’t know that else to get.com/download_folder/GAM_Campaign_Analysis.fastcodesign. which is the empathy. Mac is the friendly guy. even though it uses a negative strategy.

Coke vs. However. Mercedes-Benz did not hold back and it took them 3 days to come up with a simple and effective poster." Jaguar decided to challenge Mercedes-Benz’s chicken ad with their comparative "Jaguar vs. trying to stay on top of each other. Jaguar’s commercial might seem like a bizarre challenge to Mercedes-Benz. and satirical nature of the ads. each other is trying to dominate the carbonated soft drink market. comparative advertising is in need of a drastic makeover. Mercedes-Benz started a viral ad campaign in September 2013 to showcase the benefits of their Intelligent Drive Magic Body Control which ensures optimum driving comfort. which is a gentle and a polite response to Jaguar vs. Chicken ad. Chicken" ad. along with a reason for why consumers dislike its taste. carefully drafted. don’t you?" This is a humorous ad that has the intention of attracting consumer’s attention from the beginning. Considering certain commercials by both Pepsi and Coke have been banned due to offensive content. Pepsi vs.Mercedes-Benz vs. competitiveness.com/audi-jaguar-knock-mercedes-in-recent-ads/ 9 . if the consumers have not seen the initial ad. Both brands were undergoing global advertisement war through print ads and video ads. released 3 months later. They used a similar concept of a chicken showing its stability throughout the video but with a twist at the end: "Magic Body Control? We prefer cat-like reflexes.luxurydaily. Nevertheless.” we believe that this is a compelling ad. 12 http://www. Jaguar Another example of famous comparative advertising and rivalry between brands is that of Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. While Ron Kurtz 12 says that “If mockery ads have an audience other than the executives of the brand and its ad agency. the audience is most likely to be younger consumers who might appreciate the humor. Pepsi Coke and Pepsi are rivals since their beginnings. The message they wanted to get across was "What do chickens and MercedesBenz have in common? Stability at all times. Coke battle against one another easy materialized in launching ads that feature the other’s product.

Burger King and McDonald's constantly deliver messages emphasizing claims of quality. after rival Burger King complained that the spot. The message Pepsi is trying to send is that Pepsi products are unique and there is no alternative. was 10 . This type of advertising is not really providing any useful information to the consumer regarding the differences between the two products. Then “Pepsi man” becomes angry and punches the “Coke man” to gain back his Pepsi can. from internet. in the second one are two vending machines and you can see how the one from Coca Cola is not used at all because it’s full of ice and snow. as with McDonald's. as in the case of Burger King. or value. but also on print ads such as poster and banners. He gets two Coca-Cola and put them under his feet just to reach the higher button for the Pepsi Cola. Burger King The fast food industry is extremely competitive and ripe with comparative advertising. meanwhile there is a path through the snow until Pepsi vending machine. They are in a restaurant and are quite friendly to each other. It is only a psychological/emotionally advertisement based on subjective consumer product tests. In another one-minute advertisement. At one point. reflecting a personal decision. which compares Burger King's food unfavorably to McDonald's. in 2011 a McDonalds’ commercial was banned in Germany. For example. McDonalds’ vs. is the one where a kid is trying to get drinks from a vending machine. they taste the other one’s drink. Pepsi directly competes with Coke on the same stage.One of the most popular comparative advertisements. one of them working for Pepsi and the other one for Coca Cola. The "Coke man” takes Pepsi and does not want to give the can back. Comparative advertisements are not made only in TV commercials. Two such situations are reflected in the pictures below: in the first one the straw simply does not want go for Coke can. There are two men.

But each time. a young boy sits on a playground day after day trying to enjoy his McDonald's burger and fries.com/article/global-news/mcdonald-s-air-burger-king-spot-youtube/231565/ 11 . as we have seen in the examples presented above. so that the commercial could provide more information for consumers. Finally. One of the restaurants had an outdoor commercial saying “Why eat with a clown when you can dine with the king?”Also. In a statement issued in Munich. The growing number of comparative ads has driven media advertising to a set of self-regulation policies. where these policies exist they seem to have some common characteristic: they allow comparative advertisement as far as it is in the benefit of the consumer. However. Nevertheless.'”13 McDonald’s has agreed not to air the ad on TV but that hasn’t stopped the ad from going viral on YouTube now as well. In most of the cases. This often leads to banned commercials.is in a Burger King restaurant ordering food. As we have seen. the legislation regarding this type of ads is different from one corner to another of the world. offering him more information in order to help him to take the best decision. the boy hits on an idea: he hides his McDonald's items behind a Burger King bag. older boys swoop in and steal his food. in practice this does not always happens. comparative ads rely on the subjective preference of one individual for a certain product over another. He finally gets to enjoy his meal undisturbed since no one would go for Burger King. Burger King also used comparative advertisement. 13 http://adage." In the spot. Comparative advertising is not always focused on presenting real characteristics of a product in comparison with other. Burger King said: "McDonald's has broken the rules of comparative advertising by degrading the Burger King brand in the TV commercial 'Packaging. Burger King had a poster in which McDonalds’ mascot – the clown. Conclusion As we have seen comparative advertising is that type of advertising that makes comparisons between two brands or two products (either directly or indirectly) in order to underline the benefits of one over the other. leaving him hungry and frustrated."degrading. Still.

01. Beard. 1993. but the focus should not be on the other brand. et al. online document https://www. Chow-Hou Wee.com/library/journal/1P3-2451709041/a- history-of-the-media-industry-s-self-regulation [Last accessed at 3. Comparative Advertising: a Review With Implications For Further Research.2015] Brazilian Advertising Self-Regulation. Also.acrwebsite. Wayne D.questia. [online document: http://www.2015]. B. As we have noticed. Chad. credibility or image will in turn affect the brand image and even draw you to court. Consumer Behaviour.aspx?Id=614 [Last accessed at 01. [Last accessed at 01. Nye. References Books: Barker.pdf]. Fred. there is the danger that the positive points you want to communicate about your brand could be attributed to your competitor.. Cengage Learning Articles: Ash S. 2013.org.org/search/view-conference- proceedings. Integrated Marketing Communications.conar. advertisers must use this type of advertising cautiously because it has both advantages and disadvantages.While the use of comparative ads has been increasing. The intentional attempt to undermine the competitor’s reputation.2015]. Nigel.01. which can be a risky strategy.br/pdf/brazilianadvertising-self. NTC Business Books Hoyer. 12 . comparative advertising can work really well. online document. http://www. et al. If the benefits are very rational. comparative advertising seem to be particularly effective when they are exposed to strong counter messages from competitors and when the usage of negative messages is not extremely directly conveyed. A History of the Media Industry’s self Regulation of Comparative Advertising.01.

eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/consumer_information/l32010_en. Smriti Chand..2015] Websites: http://www.com/download_folder/GAM_Campaign_Analysis. [online document:http://europa.pdf].h tm].aspx http://adage.com/investing/general/2014/08/26/microsoft-vs-apple-new-surface-ads-bringback-mac..workingpsychology. A. Areas and other Details.com/jmdc/williamskc_web7_4_.fastcodesign.yourarticlelibrary.2015].2015]. [Last accessed at 01. Williams K. [Last accessed at 01. [Last accessed at 01.01.01.com/article/global-news/mcdonald-s-air-burger-king-spot-youtube/231565/ 13 .01.com/audi-jaguar-knock-mercedes-in-recent-ads/ http://www. Comparative Advertising: it’s Effectiveness. Misleading and comparative advertising. [online document:http://www. Page R.pdf http://www.fool. Comparative Advertising as a Competitive Tool [online document: http://www.luxurydaily.com/advertising/comparative-advertising-itseffectiveness-areas-and-other-details/22273/].com/3026521/evidence/apples-famous-ads-created-an-im-a-mac-effect http://www.na-businesspress. C.Official website of the European Union.